Disability Policy

Policy Summary

The George Washington University is committed to providing to qualified individuals with disabilities access to participate in its educational programs and activities, and employment opportunities, on an equal basis.  The University shall comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as necessary to provide equal participation for qualified persons with disabilities.   

Related Regulations

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Students
  • Staff
  • Faculty
  • Visitors


The university is committed to the principles of inclusion necessary to create a campus community in which the unique contributions of all its members are valued equally.  Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the laws of the District of Columbia, the university will provide qualified persons with the accommodations deemed reasonable for equal access to educational programs and activities, and employment opportunities, in the most integrated setting feasible.  

This policy applies to all aspects of the university’s operations, programs, and activities.  Failure to reasonably accommodate qualified persons with disabilities is a violation of federal and/or district laws as well as university policy. 

Prospective & Current Students 

Disability Support Services (DSS) assists students with disabilities as they navigate the university. The DSS website maintains information related to students, academics, and accommodations. Students with a disability in need of accommodations or other services must register with DSS and submit the requisite documentation to establish their eligibility for, and subsequent implementation of, reasonable and appropriate accommodations.  For more information, students should contact Disability Support Services at (202) 994-8250 or [email protected].  

To request information about the protections against discrimination on the basis of disability, students should contact the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement at (202) 994-7434 or [email protected] and/or Student Rights & Responsibilities at (202) 994-6757 or [email protected]

Prospective, Current Employees & Visitors 

Applicants, current employees, and campus visitors who believe they need an accommodation because of a disability are responsible for requesting a reasonable accommodation.  The university will provide a qualified individual with a disability a reasonable accommodation in regards to the job application process and in employment, and to participate in university events or programming. 

To request information about reasonable accommodations or the protections against discrimination on the basis of disability, employees and other professional members of the university community should contact the Office of Equal Employment/Affirmative Action and Employee Relations at (202) 994-9656 or [email protected].   

Protections Against Discrimination and Retaliation 

Protection from discrimination applies to all university applicants and employees: student employees, classified employees, professional faculty, academic employees, and all employment applicants. Retaliation against an individual for reporting discrimination or requesting an accommodation is prohibited.  To be a violation of this policy, the retaliatory action must be one that has or could have the effect of deterring a reasonable individual from engaging in a protected activity.   Those found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.  

Section 504 Coordinator

Teresa Murphy, Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs, coordinates the university’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and serves as the university’s Section 504 Coordinator and can be contacted via the university's Accessibility Feedback Form.

Grievance Procedure

In the event an individual wishes to grieve any determination under this policy (for example, whether an individual has a disability, whether documentation provided is adequate, or when a requested accommodation is denied), the individual should first attempt to resolve their concerns informally. If any informal resolution fails or is impracticable, the individual may file a grievance.


Disability: Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is defined as a person who has an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a history or record of such an impairment, or is perceived by others as having such an impairment. Major life activities, as defined by the ADA, include activities such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, eating, hearing, speaking, breathing, reading, thinking, communicating, learning and working. Temporary impairments, including pregnancy, are not considered disabilities under the ADA in and of themselves. However, complications that limit one or more major life activities resulting from these temporary conditions may constitute coverage under certain circumstances.  

Related Information

Students, faculty, staff and visitors to GW may obtain information about access to campus facilities, services and resources by visiting Accessibility@GW.

Inquiries concerning federal and local laws and regulations concerning discrimination on the basis of disability in education and employment programs and activities may be directed to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the applicable state or local agency (for example, the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights). 


Contact Phone Number Email Address
Section 504 Coordinator 202-994-3386 [email protected]
Disability Support Services 202-994-8250  [email protected]
Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement 202-994-7434 [email protected]
Student Rights & Responsibilities 202-994-6757 [email protected]
Office of Equal Employment/ Affirmative Action and Employee Relations  202-994-9656  [email protected]


Responsible University Official: Vice President and Chief People Officer and Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement 
Responsible Office: Human Resource Management and Development and the Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement

Noncompliance with this policy can be reported through this website.