Disability Support Services (DSS) is the university’s central resource for academic support for students with disabilities. The George Washington University (GW) recognizes disability in the context of diversity. We work 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.
The work of DSS is grounded in evidence-based practices, that centers disabled voices and lived experiences in service provision. Our efforts are also fundamentally influenced by social justice, disability studies, disability justice, feminist theory, and Universal Design frameworks.
We aim to create an inclusive environment that challenges notions of normality that influences scholarship across all disciplines and university programming.
- Provide individualized accommodations and auxiliary aids that center the voices of students.
- Integrate progressive messaging about disability at the intersections of lived experience and culture.
- Cultivate partnerships with students, faculty, and staff that center inclusivity and accessibility.
History of DSS
Established in 1978, GW was innovative in dedicating resources and services to create an inclusive and accessible curricular environment predating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Since its inception, DSS has elevated the voices of students through the GW DSS Speakers Bureau, worked closely with faculty from disability studies and writing studies to develop the inaugural biennial conference entitled event, titled Composing Disability: Writing, Communication, Culture, and supported efforts to initiate GW’s 2018 Disability Advocacy Certificate offered through American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Summer Internship Program in collaboration with the College of Professional Studies (CPS).
The GW Statement on Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity is crucial to an educational institution's pursuit of excellence in learning, research, and service. In pursuit of those goals, a population of students, faculty, and staff with differing perspectives, backgrounds, talents, and needs can lead to a richer mix of ideas, energizing and enlightening debates, deeper commitments, and a host of educational, civic, and work outcomes.
Leveraging diversity is rarely achieved by accident. As individuals and as an institution, we must intentionally act to create the diverse and inclusive community that enables everyone to flourish. All members and units of the George Washington University community must advance the institution’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority.