In 2003, several undergraduate students taking a class in disability studies at the University of Washington in Seattle discovered that there wasn't a strong student group on campus working to advocate for students with disabilities. The students thought that members of this campus community should have a stronger voice in promoting accessibility and diversity on campus. So, as a class project, they decided to form such a student organization to promote accessibility and disability activism on their campus.
Assisted by professors in disability studies, the students founded the Disability Advocacy Student Alliance (DASA) . New members were recruited from the university population via online distribution lists, posters, and information tables throughout campus. Due to its success, DASA became a registered student organization that advocates overall campus accessibility for everyone, including students with disabilities.
A few of DASA's early achievements are listed below.
- DASA obtained approval for the Students with Disabilities Commission (SDC), which is one of the student government's diversity commissions.
- DASA members were successful in getting accessible workout equipment purchased for the campus gym and recreation facility.
- DASA is represented on the Advisory Committee on Disability Issues, an advisory group for the campus-wide Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity.
- DASA has worked with Housing and Food Services to increase accessibility for students with disabilities in the dorms.
- DASA developed and participates in the annual Body Fair, an art and tabling fair devoted to issues of the body and mind focusing on disability issues.
Today, DASA has a strong and vibrant presence on the University of Washington campus. DASA is a promising practice in using students with disabilities and their fellow student advocates to promote accessibility on campus.
-  Disability Advocacy Student Alliance (DASA)