Information for Faculty - DSS

How to Communicate with Students about Disability Support Services

Here are some different ways to introduce students to the Office of Disability Support Services.

Announcement in the beginning of semester:

“If you have a disability or suspect that you have a disability and need to discuss possible reasonable accommodations, please contact DSS Office.”

Statement in Syllabus:

"If students have disabilities and will need formal accommodations in order to fully participate or effectively demonstrate learning in this class, program, or activities, they should contact the Disability Support Services Office at (425)629-5015 or  The DSS Office welcomes the opportunity to meet with students to discuss how the accommodations will be implemented. Also, if you may need assistance in the event of an evacuation, please let the instructor know." 

What should I say if I suspect that a student may have a disability?

You CANNOT ask if the person has a disability or not.  However, you can share your academic concerns with the student and let them know about resources on campus.

  1. Find a private location so that the student can feel comfortable discussing his or her issues.   
  2. Think about why you suspect that a student may have a disability, and express your concerns.

Some sample statements:

  •  “I am concerned that you are struggling with ________.  I am wondering what kind of issues you are facing.”
  • "Have you heard about DSS?” or “Would you like to learn more about DSS Office?"

If your student mentions health, mental, or learning challenges during your conversation, please share (DSS Office, Student Success Advising, and Counseling Center) if the student mentions