TWC Disability Services

TWC Disability Services

The Washington Center is committed to ensuring that as many students as possible have access to our transformative internship experiences.

Our disabilities services team's mission is to ensure that all students are equipped with the tools necessary to thrive in their professional and academic settings, and live comfortably in TWC housing. We are committed to upholding and maintaining all aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and make every effort to accommodate reasonable requests and services. In addition, we actively work to educate students on how they can advocate for themselves in the workplace in order to obtain accommodations. Below are some of the accommodations we have provided in the past.

Sample Living Accommodations    
36-40" doorways Strobe light fire alarms/doorbells Roll-in shower
Grab bars in bathroom Automatic door opener Braille-labeled apartment
Shower seat Private bedroom Roll-under bathroom sink
Adjustable/removable shower head Wheelchair-accessible appliances  
Hospital bed Bed shaker  


Sample Classroom Accommodations  
Ability to use an audio recorder during lecture Ability to use a laptop during lecture
ASL interpreters Classroom materials in alternative formats
Extra time on exams Note takers
Reduced distractions or alternative location for testing Wheelchair accessible room/desk
Speech recognition software Screen reader software


Rights and Responsibilities

Every qualified student with a disability has the following rights:

  • Equal access to programs, services, activities, and facilities available through The Washington Center.
  • Reasonable and effective accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids as determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Appropriate confidentiality regarding information pertaining to disability, including disclosure, except as required by law

Every student with a disability has the responsibility to:

  • Meet The Washington Center's qualifications, including essential technical, academic, and institutional standards.
  • Self-identify as an individual with a disability and request reasonable accommodations in a timely manner.
  • Provide documentation from an appropriate professional source (rehabilitation counselor, disability office at home institution, doctor treating the particular disability) verifying the nature of the disability and any needed accommodations.

The Washington Center's role is to:

  • Select from among equally effective/appropriate accommodations, adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids in consultation with the participant.
  • Assist in coordinating any changes or alterations of courses, internships, or other program components and needed.
  • Assist students in learning about and utilizing self-advocacy techniques, as well as understanding rights for people with disabilities in the workplace.

Disability Guide for Navigating D.C. Metro

The Washington Center housing facilities are within close proximity to the Metro (subway) system. TWC will work with each student, on a case-by-case basis, to provide information and guidance on how to utilize public transportation. Mobility training will be provided if necessary.

Metro has reduced fares for people with disabilities. To be eligible for reduced fares, students must obtain a Metro Disabled ID. This ID card is free and will be issued, without a waiting period, to people who qualify. An application for this ID card can be obtained at 600 Fifth Street, NW, and at some regional locations by appointment only. For information on reduced fares, call 202-962-1245, TTY 202-628-8973, or visit: Reduced Fare Program For People With Disabilities

Broken Elevators and Escalators
Regular repairs and outages can and do affect elevators and escalators at various Metro stations. Although an effort is made to announce outages in advance, announcements can be hard to understand in crowded stations. Students are strongly advised to call ahead or check the website for up-to-date information. 
To find out about out of service elevators and escalators, call Metro Mobility Link at 202-962-1212 which has 24-hour recorded information on route changes and out of service elevators. Students can also subscribe to an e-mail list that will notify them of elevator outages. To subscribe to the list, go to: MetroAlerts

Individual Rights under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
If a person is at a Metro station where the elevator is not working, the Metro system, which is funded by the federal government and therefore subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act, must provide this person with an alternative means of transportation.

Should a person leave the train, not knowing he/she is in a station with a broken elevator, the employees at the station may inform the person that she/he should get back on the train to the next station where a shuttle will be available to transport the person to street level where he/she needs to go. Although there may be a wait for the shuttle, Metro does make an effort to transport people in as timely a manner as possible. 

Multiple Elevators
Some Metro stations have multiple floors, which require one elevator to mezzanine level (where fare cards can be purchased) and a second elevator to go down to the platform level (where trains arrive and depart). 

Inside the Metro StationMetro trains, particularly during rush hour on weekdays, are often packed full of people, which may make it difficult for students with certain types of disabilities to board. Rules are posted in the Metro stations giving people with disabilities and senior citizens first access onto the train and to each car's limited seating. If a train is particularly crowded, students may want to look at the digital signs inside the stations, which tell them when the next train will arrive. Often, if two trains are running back to back, the second train is much less crowded than the first. 

For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
There are lights on the floor of the platform that start to flash when the train is about to arrive. There are also signs in some Metro stations (digital signs hanging from overhead) that will tell users the approximate wait time for the next train or will identify if a train is approaching the station. 

Wheelchairs on the Trains
When taking a wheelchair onto the Metro trains, students will find that there are specific areas in the front and back of most cars where extra space is available. Also, many of the trains have locks on the floor in these areas where people can lock in their wheelchair so it does not start to move while the train is moving. Sometimes the wheelchair brakes are not enough to prevent the chair from moving during the train ride. 

Other Metro Tips
Metro provides "Tips for Riding Metro for People with Disabilities." This information can be found at: Tips for Riding Metro for People with Disabilities

Metro Access Service

There is a program called Metro Access that provides door-to-door service for those who are not able to ride the buses at all. For more information, go to: MetroAccess Paratransit

Metro Accessibility Training

TWC, in partnership with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, offers students with disabilities Metro training during TWC orientation. This training is targeted for persons with mobility disabilities, wheelchair users, and persons who are visually or hearing impaired. If you would like to participate in this training, please contact