Disability Support Services (DSS) is a compliance office that ensures equal access to the physical and educational architecture of the George Washington University (GW). Established in 1978, DSS serves a population of over 900 students with a wide variety of disabilities. In doing so, DSS works collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff across the campus to foster a climate of universal academic excellence, while also promoting disability culture and GW’s broader diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Students who qualify for access to disability accommodations must register with DSS. This registration process ensures that these accommodations are appropriately and efficiently communicated to university faculty and other necessary parties—GW Housing, Student Health, or other relevant parts of university operations. At the time of registration, students must provide DSS with disability documentation prepared by a qualified practitioner that attests to the presence of a disability, discusses the impact of that disability in a postsecondary academic environment, and recommends specific accommodations to mediate that impact.
In addition, DSS coordinates sign language interpreting and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services for the entire GW community, by request. DSS also offers university faculty a variety of teaching resources that are meant to assist with incorporating Universal Design for Learning principles into curriculum and assignment design.