Policy 14-10 with Guidelines for Implementation

(Formerly 96-6) GUIDELINES   FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF   THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM   POLICY ON INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

This document has   been developed by the University of Wisconsin System President's Advisory Committee   on Disability Issues and UW System Administration to guide institutions in implementing   the Board of Regent's Policy 14-10, "Non-Discrimination on the Basis of   Disability." The Policy is shown in italics; implementation guidelines   for a specific section follow that section in bold type. Questions regarding   the guidelines should be directed to the UW System Office of Academic Affairs.

I. POLICY   STATEMENT

The University of Wisconsin   System is committed to making individuals with disabilities full participants   in its programs, services and activities through its compliance with Section   504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act   (ADA) of 1990. The Board of Regents recognizes that individuals with disabilities   may need accommodations to have equally effective opportunities to participate   in or benefit from the university's programs, services and activities.

It is the policy of   the University of Wisconsin System that no otherwise qualified individual with   a disability shall be denied access to or participation in any program, service,   or activity offered by the universities. Individuals with disabilities have   a right to request accommodations. Individuals will receive appropriate accommodations   to their needs in order to fully participate in or benefit from the university's   programs, services and activities in a non-discriminatory, integrated setting.

The University of Wisconsin   System and any of its agents shall not coerce, intimidate, retaliate against   or discriminate against any individual for exercising a right under the ADA   or Section 504, or for assisting or supporting another to exercise a right under   the ADA or Section 504.

The University of Wisconsin   System will not give significant assistance to an agency, organization, or person   that discriminates on the basis of disability in providing any aid, benefit   or service to beneficiaries of the university's programs.

This policy applies   to students, program participants, visitors, and guests of UW System institutions.

II.   DEFINITIONS

1. Disability means,   with respect to an individual:

(a) a physical or mental   impairment that substantially limits one or more of the person's major life   activities;

Physical and mental   impairments, as well as major life activities, are fairly well defined throughout   case law and administrative decisions. In guidelines published by the Equal   Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), "major life activities" are defined   as "functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking,   seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working." The effects of   learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, and various psychiatric   disorders on "learning and working" form the basis for considering affected   individuals disabled under the law.

The parameters of   "substantially limiting" are the most difficult aspect of determining   eligibility under the definition of disability. There are no established criteria   available for referencing whether a condition is in fact "substantially limiting."   The ADA says that a disability is substantially limiting if a person is unable   to perform a major life activity that the average person can perform or is significantly   restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which he or she can   perform the activity. A "disability" exists only where an impairment "substantially   limits" a major life activity, not where it "might," "could," or "would" be   substantially limiting if corrective measures were not taken. Second, because   the ADA requires that disabilities be evaluated "with respect to an individual"   and be determined based on whether an impairment substantially limits the individual's   "major life activities," the question whether a person has a disability under   the ADA requires an individual answer. Each situation must be evaluated independently,   and in light of the available facts. Functional limitations imposed by the impairment   can serve as a guide in determining a substantial limitation. Since each case   must be considered individually, mitigating circumstances (i.e., conditions   that modify the extent or character the impairment, e.g. medication) must be   considered in determining whether an individual has a disability.

(b) a history of such   an impairment; or

The intent of this   condition is not to suggest that because an individual has a history of impairment,   he or she is currently eligible under the law. Rather ADA, as a civil rights   law, has the intent of ensuring that someone having a history of a disability   is not discriminated against because of that disability. For example, someone   with a history of major depression would be covered under the law to the extent   that an academic program or employer could not use the depression as a reason   for not admitting or hiring the individual.

(c) being regarded   as having such an impairment.

An important goal   of the third element of the disability definition is to ensure that persons   with medical conditions that are under control, and that therefore do not currently   limit major life activities, are not discriminated against on the basis of their   medical conditions. An individual who is disfigured may not have any specific   substantial limitations; however, others may perceive him or her to be disabled.   Survivors of cancer also may be perceived as limited and thus disabled. Being   previously regarded as disabled does not, in of itself, qualify anyone as being   currently disabled.

2. A Qualified Individual   with a Disability is someone who (with or without accommodations) meets the   essential eligibility requirements for participating in programs, services,   and activities provided by the university.

Students are qualified   if they satisfy the essential eligibility requirements for participating in   a program, service, or activity supported by the university with or without   accommodation. Those requirements must be appropriate and defensible. The university   does not have an obligation to admit an unqualified applicant to any program   or discipline. A visitor or guest is qualified, and thus has a right to reasonable   accommodation, if he or she satisfies the requirements for eligibility. For   example, if eligibility for admission to a college theatrical production is   predicated on possession of a ticket, then a person with a disability requesting   accommodations would be otherwise qualified. On the other hand, if individuals   must audition to attend a music camp, a person with a disability would also   be required to audition provided that the requirement is a deemed an essential   eligibility requirement.

3. Accommodation means   adjustments including reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices;   environmental adjustments such as the removal of architectural, communication,   or transportation barriers; or auxiliary aids and services. Examples of accommodations   include, but are not limited to: alternative testing, extended time, scribe,   interpreter, environment free of distractions, brailled material, taped lectures,   and computer-assisted instruction.

Most of the examples   given in the policy are specific to auxiliary aids and services. There are,   however, other adjustments that can be made. For instance, it may generally   be allowable for a faculty member to deny students permission to tape lectures   or for the campus to prohibit the presence of animals in buildings; however,   denying a student with a disability an appropriate accommodation, for example   the right to tape lectures or the right to have a service animal in the classroom,   is impermissible. (Board of Regent Policy 77-5 provides that the student may   be required to sign an agreement that they will not release the tape recording   or transcript to others.)

4. Essential Eligibility   Requirement means the academic or other technical standards required for admission   to or participation in the university's programs, services, or activities which   an individual must be able to meet with or without accommodation.

Universities need   to exercise caution when determining whether an individual meets the essential   eligibility requirements for an academic program. Prior to doing so, they must   make certain the eligibility requirements, both academic and technical, are   clearly articulated, necessary, and enforced in an equitable manner. Institutions   and units are strongly encouraged to review eligibility requirements published   in catalogues and program notices.

5. Individual means   any person applying for admission to or participation in a program, service   or activity of the university, or any person currently participating in a program,   service or activity of the university.

For the purposes   of this document the term individual refers to students, visitors and guests.   It does not include employees. In cases where students are also employees, employment   policies apply.

III.   RESPONSIBILITIES

1. UW System Administration:

a. The President of   The University of Wisconsin System shall appoint and maintain an Advisory Committee   to provide information and recommendations relating to individuals with disabilities.

b. The President of   the University of Wisconsin System shall designate a person or office to be   a resource to the President's Advisory Committee, to act as a liaison to other   agencies, and to assure that each institution has developed the procedures required   by this policy.

c. System Administration   shall develop operational guidelines for implementing this policy.

These guidelines   need to be reviewed and, where necessary, revised on a regular basis. In doing   so, there should be broad representation from related areas.

2. UW Institutions:

a. Each Chancellor   shall appoint an advisory committee, including students, to provide information   and recommendations responsive to the needs and concerns of individuals with   disabilities.

Each campus should,   in writing, clarify and make known the composition and role of its advisory   committee. Committees should meet regularly, keep minutes, and be composed of   faculty, staff and students. Committees should submit annual reports to the   chancellor.

b. Each Chancellor   shall designate one or more individuals to coordinate its efforts to comply   with and fulfill its responsibilities under Title II of the ADA and Section   504 and to investigate any complaints alleging the institution's non-compliance   with Title II of the ADA and Section 504.

The role of the   504/ADA Coordinator should be clearly defined and consistent with the campus   organizational structure. The functions of the office serving as a resource   on disability issues and determining accommodations should be separated from   the individual or office responsible for investigating complaints of noncompliance   with the ADA or Section 504. Because the ADA Coordinator may be expected to   investigate complaints, it may be a conflict of interest if the ADA Coordinator   is expected to also provide guidance to university staff and faculty. ADA coordinators   should not be in the position of evaluating their own advice or guidance in   the process of investigating a complaint.

c. Each institution   shall adopt and make readily available in suitable formats (e.g., enlarged,   Braille, audio-taped):

(i) a procedure which   allows an individual, including both prospective and current students, to disclose   a disabling condition and request accommodations believed needed to obtain equal   access to and participation in university programs, services and activities;

Universities should   provide prospective students with information on how to request accommodations   so that they may do so as early as possible. Because pre-admission inquiries   regarding disabilities are prohibited, the application does not present an opportunity   to self-disclose. Therefore, campuses may wish to include information on disability-related   services in their mailings and communiqués to students. This information   needs to clearly articulate the proper procedure for requesting accommodations.   This procedure should be in writing and widely distributed.

(ii) a procedure for   confirming an individual's disability and assessing the appropriateness of the   requested accommodations;

The first step in   confirming an individual's disability is having documentation criteria. Unless   a program specifies what is acceptable documentation, it cannot accurately assess   whether or not the materials submitted by a student are, in fact, acceptable.   The criteria should state the following as a minimum:

1. The documents   must be prepared by an appropriate,   treating professional;

2. Documents must   be relevant and appropriately recent to support the accommodation requested;

3. Documents must   address the functional limitations   proscribed by the impairment;

4. A specific diagnosis   must be provided;

5. The level of   severity must be indicated;

6. The major life   activities limited by the impairment must be noted; and

7. how, if applicable,   the impairment affects learning in higher education should be stated.

Documentation criteria   should state that students are responsible for submitting comprehensive disability   documentation. If students provide incomplete documentation, the university   has the right to require additional supporting materials satisfying the stated   documentation criteria. If the documentation is complete but the program questions   its validity, the university may ask the student to participate in a second-opinion   assessment at the university's expense.

Assessment of requested   accommodations includes the following: (i) a review of the documentation, (ii)   consideration of the student's expressed needs, (iii) a review of prior service   use, (iv) professional judgment, and (v) consideration of the academic program's   specific characteristics. Accommodations may not fundamentally alter the nature   of the academic program or cause an undue administrative or financial burden.

(iii) a procedure for   sharing, storing and protecting confidential medical information;

Universities shall   have written policies and procedures for sharing, storing and protecting confidential   information; students and the academic community must be informed of these procedures.   Student records relating to the nature of a disability should be kept separate   from the normal educational record and should be consolidated at a single location,   such as the Disabled Student Services Office (DSS). Records pertaining to an   accommodation of a disability are typically education records under FERPA. Accordingly,   they can be shared with appropriate university personnel on a need-to-know basis.   Only in rare circumstances should the actual disability documentation be shared   with individuals outside of the DSS office. Before sharing disability documentation,   DSS staff may wish to seek a legal opinion.

(iv) a procedure for   providing accommodations.

Procedures for providing   accommodations must be in writing and widely distributed. They should include   the role and responsibilities of the student, Disabled Student Services (DSS)   and others in the institution and address both academic and extracurricular   areas.

d. Each institution   shall maintain data on the nature and extent of the services provided to individuals   with disabilities. System Administration will develop data collection requirements   as part of the operational guidelines for implementing this policy.

Institutions must   follow UW System's operational guidelines for collecting data and reporting   information. Copies are available from the UW System Office of Academic Affairs.   In addition, institutions should maintain data on requests for accommodation   and what their responses to those requests have been.

e. Each institution   shall provide accommodations to allow individuals with disabilities to participate   in or benefit from the university and its programs, services and activities   in the most integrated setting appropriate.

Laws applicable   to this policy intend to assure that individuals with disabilities have equal   access to the same opportunities as their peers without disabilities. To this   extent, institutions are instructed to provide services and activities in the   most appropriate integrated setting. For example, students needing attendant   care should not be automatically excluded from a university's roommate assignment   program. In the same vein, creating a separate computer lab for students with   disabilities rather than modifying existing labs to make them accessible is   not appropriate under this provision.

f. Each institution   shall adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable   resolution of complaints alleging any action that would violate Title II of   the ADA or Section 504. These procedures should be applicable to any anticipated   complaint, including an appeal of a denied accommodation request.

One of the most   common errors institutions make in implementing the ADA is not having a thorough   and formal grievance and appeal process for students. The Office of Civil Rights   has concluded that institutions, while coming to a reasonable conclusion regarding   requests for accommodations, violated the students' rights by not adopting and   publishing formal grievance procedures for resolving disability related complaints.

Campuses may use   existing appeals and grievance procedures for resolving disputes, or they may   establish separate procedures for disability related issues. Denials of requests   for accommodation should never be made unilaterally.

g. An institution will   not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group   of individuals with disabilities to cover the costs of measures that are required   to comply with the provisions of Section 504 and the ADA.

Institutions may   not levy surcharges for accommodations or services that are mandated under Section   504 and the ADA. This does not prohibit colleges from charging for optional   services of a personal nature such as tutoring, attendant care, or physical   therapy provided the charges are comparable to those paid by other students.   Additionally, colleges charging students for parking may also assess students   with disabilities for accessible parking provided that the charges are comparable   to those paid by other students.

h. An institution will   provide funding for auxiliary aids while an individual's application for funding   by other agencies is being reviewed.

Institutions have   the responsibility for ensuring that qualified individuals with disabilities   receive the necessary auxiliary aids (e.g., interpreting, notetaking, and reading)   for obtaining equal access to educational opportunities.

Even if the student   is a client of DVR, the institution must pay for and provide services if DVR   declines to provide funding. Furthermore, institutions may not require students   to apply for funding from other agencies. Institutions are encouraged to develop   relationships with local DVR offices and to make appropriate referrals whenever   possible.

i. Each institution   shall provide periodic in-service training for faculty and staff to develop   their awareness and understanding of the needs of individuals with disabilities   and legal compliance issues.

Campuses are encouraged   to use existing opportunities to provide   in-service training for faculty and staff. Because people tend not to want information   until they need it, establishing training mechanisms that provide information   in a timely and convenient fashion is most effective. For example, developing   a comprehensive Web page may be as valuable as scheduling a series of lunch   discussions.

3. Individuals with   Disabilities:

a. Each individual   is responsible for making timely and complete disclosures and specific requests   regarding accommodations to meet his or her particular needs in order to enable   the UW institution to provide an appropriate response. It is strongly recommended   that requests for accommodations be made at least eight weeks prior to the date   they would be needed to avoid delays which could affect participation in a program,   service, or activity.

Students seeking   accommodation have an obligation to disclose disabilities, to provide documentation,   and to make requests for accommodation as provided in the published policies   of the institution. The more thorough the documentation, and the more timely   the request, the easier it is to respond effectively. Sometimes students do   not provide adequate documentation, or do not make timely requests. However,   it is unwise for universities to reject requests for accommodations simply because   they are submitted late. The recommendation that requests be made at least eight   weeks in advance is a suggestion intended to avoid delays. However, the eight-week   notice should not be construed as a requirement. For one-time events, such as   lectures or professional development courses, an eight-week notice is unreasonable.   Clearly, a student needing interpreters for 15 credits is prudent to submit   requests as far in advance as possible to ensure participation.

Institutions should   accept any request for accommodation, even a last minute request, and give it   ample consideration.

b. Each individual   seeking accommodations based on a disability shall demonstrate initiative in   obtaining and arranging accommodations. If requested, institutions will assist   an individual in making the necessary applications for funding from other agencies.

The University recognizes   that persons participating in the programs, services, and activities of the   University may be seeking assistance and accommodations from federal, state,   and local agencies beyond those that the University is required to provide.   The Coordinators of Services for Students with Disabilities or other institutional   designee should make reasonable efforts to assist those individuals seeking   support from these other agencies. It is recommended that on-going relationships   should be developed with local agencies to facilitate this interaction.

c. Each individual   is required to submit documentation verifying his or her disability and limitations   which is appropriately current and prepared by a qualified professional. Individuals   submitting incomplete information may be asked to provide additional verifying   documentation. Individuals may be required to participate in additional evaluations   needed to determine the individual's eligibility for an accommodation or what   constitutes an appropriate accommodation.

Universities cannot   predict which students have disabilities and/or need accommodations. Thus, the   obligation falls on the student to notify the institution and to provide adequate   documentation. It is incumbent upon students to indicate a need for auxiliary   aids, services and/or accommodations. Students may not understand all the ramifications   of how a disability may impact their education. Institutions therefore have   a duty to provide information on available services and to evaluate a student's   needs beyond merely responding to requests. For example, a student may discuss   a need for notetaking due to a hearing loss but may be unaware of the availability   of assistive listening systems.

d. The university shall   not require an individual with a disability to accept an accommodation, aid,   service, opportunity or benefit under any circumstances.

Institutions have   decision-making authority in determining reasonable accommodations; however,   they cannot impose particular accommodations. In the area of communications,   the ADA specifically requires entities to strongly consider individual preferences.   However, if the requested accommodation does not relate to communication, the   institution is permitted greater discretion in determining the form of the accommodation.   See also section V.4, pages 13-15.

e. Students with disabilities   are expected to abide by the student conduct code in the same manner as all   students.

Disability law focuses   on equal opportunity, not preferential treatment. On occasion, individuals with   a disability may suggest they are exempt from normal societal obligations due   to the impact of a disabling condition. Generally, this is not true. For example,   a student with Tourette's Syndrome who repeatedly blurts out obscenities in   class may be otherwise qualified to participate in the academic environment;   however, if the outbursts are so undisciplined as to disrupt the instructor's   ability to conduct class, then it may be legal and fair to require the student   to withdraw. The issue is whether or not the outbursts truly "disrupt"   the class. If they are occasional and annoying, the student may be qualified.

Another example:   Students with a mental illness are expected to follow the same established codes   of conduct other students must. Focus should be on behaviors, not diagnosis.   If a student's behavior is in violation of established campus conduct codes,   he or she should be treated the same as other students, regardless of the presence   of a disability. A mental health condition is not a defense for inappropriate   behavior. Institutions are encouraged to take health conditions under consideration   when reviewing conduct violations.

IV.   FACILITY ACCESSIBILITY

1. Existing Facilities:

a. Structural changes   in existing facilities are not required when other methods provide program accessibility.   Existing facilities shall be made readily accessible to qualified individuals   with disabilities, through such means as:

(i) Redesigning equipment   or the facility after case review.

(ii) Providing appropriate   signage.

(iii) Reassigning classes,   staff, or services to accessible sites.

(iv) Delivering health,   advisory, and support services at accessible sites.

Not every entry   to a facility needs to be accessible to make the building as a whole accessible.   Structural changes are not necessary if other methods provide program access.

Questions often   center on what "other methods" might be used to provide program accessibility.   Increasingly, distance learning technologies provide an alternative; however,   such alternate methods should not be restricted to students with disabilities,   nor should they result in the segregation of students with disabilities. Additionally,   there may be more than one way of providing access. For example, a student who   is deaf or hearing impaired may be provided with interpreting services for a   theatre production, access to a wireless sound system, or even a play script,   if the person lip-reads. The important issue is the quality of the experience   and students' participation in the most integrated setting appropriate to their   needs.

If there is a long-standing   access problem with a facility, best efforts should be made to initiate needed   structural changes to accommodate students with disabilities.

Students may not   be excluded from a specifically requested course offering, program or other   activity because it is not offered in an accessible location. However, every   section of a course, program or activity need not be accessible.

Institutions should   develop a mechanism for regularly reviewing access problems on campus and for   identifying feasible solutions. As noted below, these studies should be integrated   into campus planning processes.

b. Remodeling projects   which affect the usability of a facility or any part of a facility shall, to   the maximum extent feasible, be completed in such a manner that the facility   is readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

Campuses should   involve DSS coordinators, students with disabilities and other knowledgeable   persons in the physical planning process. State-funded remodeling projects will   bring facilities to code and afford disability access, but there should be an   opportunity for the perspectives and needs of users with disabilities to be   considered. Institutional remodeling projects must be designed and built so   that they and their elements are accessible to students with disabilities.

c. Evacuation procedures   shall be developed by each institution for individuals with disabilities.

Institutions must   have a written, building-specific plan that describes procedures for evacuating   persons with disabilities. Its development should involve emergency agencies   (fire/police), campus security, cleaning staff, etc. The plan must outline who   has responsibility for evacuating individuals with disabilities. The plan must   be periodically updated with the physical plant and emergency personnel involved.   It must be regularly disseminated and available to users of each building. Regular   staff training in evacuation procedures should be provided; for example, residence   hall staff should be trained annually.

2. New Construction:

Each facility or part   of a facility constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of the university   must be designed and constructed in such a manner that the facility is readily   accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

New construction   must conform to the American with Disabilities Act Guidelines for Buildings   and Facilities (ADAAG). Campuses should involve persons knowledgeable about   the needs and interests of students with disabilities in the planning process.

3. Off Campus:

Contractual or lease   agreements for the use of off-campus facilities should reflect efforts to secure   accessibility. Any program, service, or activity in that facility must be accessible.

Outreach activities   frequently provide classes, programs and events in private facilities. Institutions   should not enter into leases for inaccessible space. Contractual agreements   should address any issues of facility access under ADA, and registration materials   should provide individuals the opportunity to state their need for accommodation   (access, large print, interpreters, etc.). Every opportunity should be given   for individuals to request accommodation well in advance, though it is once   again emphasized that last-minute requests should not be arbitrarily denied.

V. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

1. Admissions or Enrollment:

a. No information regarding   an applicant's disability may be solicited to determine admission to the university.   However, such inquiries may be made after an individual has been admitted for   purposes of providing appropriate accommodations.

A qualified individual   with a disability is someone who (with or without accommodations) meets the   essential eligibility requirements for participation. An institution or program   may not make any inquiry regarding possible disabilities prior to making an   admission decision. However, institutions and programs must have processes in   place to assure that all admitted students are informed of the procedures for   disclosing disabilities and requesting accommodations.

If applicants for   admission include materials regarding a disability with their applications,   these unsolicited materials should not be weighed in the admission decision.

Institutions and   programs may have a process in place to reconsider individuals not initially   admitted who may have special circumstances -- including disabilities. The process   may include the review of any additional solicited and unsolicited materials   by individuals with the expertise to evaluate those materials, for example,   Disabilities Services staff. Only individuals who upon further review are deemed   to meet the essential eligibility requirements should be admitted. Note: confidential   documents relating to disabilities should not remain in admissions files.

Institutions and   programs should exercise caution in determining that an individual does not   satisfy the essential eligibility requirements of a program. Prior to doing   so, they must make certain that the requirements, both academic and technical,   are clearly articulated, necessary, and routinely enforced.

b. The number or proportion   of individuals with disabilities who will be admitted or enrolled may not be   limited solely on the basis of disability.

No quota may be   established related to individuals with disabilities.

c. Tests administered   for purposes of admission, enrollment, or placement may not discriminate.

See section on testing   which follows.

2. Testing:

a. Before tests are   selected and administered, campuses first should confirm that assessments do   not discriminate by ensuring that:

(i) Tests are selected   and administered so that the results reflect aptitude or achievement level,   or whatever other factor the test purports to measure, rather than the applicant's   disability, unless the existence of a disability must be determined to allow   an individual access to a program, services or activity established for individuals   with disabilities.

(ii) The tests administered   to individuals with disabilities are available as regularly and in as timely   a manner as are other admissions tests. The individual is responsible for making   special needs known in a timely manner.

For the purposes   of the University of Wisconsin System Policy on Individuals with Disabilities,   Section V.2 (Testing) refers to tests or assessments used in determining eligibility   for academic programs. These include, but are not limited to: SAT, ACT, GRE,   MCAT, LSAT, TOEFL, Journalism Usage Test, English or math placement tests, and   foreign language placement exams.

An example of a   test measuring an applicant's disability rather than their aptitude or achievement   could be an individual using adaptive equipment being given a timed test. Use   of adaptive equipment often requires the student be given more time to complete   the exam. Thus, results of a timed exam would reflect the applicant's disability   more than his or her aptitude. Another example: one-third of the TOEFL (Test   of English as a Foreign Language) measures listening comprehension; it might   be discriminatory when administered in full to a deaf applicant. Evaluating   the deaf applicant on two-thirds of the exam may be a reasonable accommodation.

In order to qualify   an applicant for a specialized LD program, a neurological examination intended   to determine the presence of a learning disability would be an example of a   test measuring an individual's disability that is allowable.

Placement or other   comparable exams need to be offered to applicants with disabilities in the same   manner and frequency as they are offered to non-disabled students. For example,   if standard placement tests were offered only on Saturdays, every effort should   be made to schedule the accommodated exam at a similar date and time. As always,   the individual is responsible for making accommodation requests. Establishing   reasonable deadlines is allowable.

Standardized testing   services like ACT are covered under Title III, Public Accommodations of ADA,   and therefore must provide accommodations for their tests.

Current issues in   respect to standardized testing include: a) whether applicants can be required   to test or if qualifying factors merit a waiver; b) what are the appropriate   accommodations for standardized tests; and c) should scores be flagged when   reported to institutions? Because regulating agencies and the courts continue   to struggle with these issues, disability services staff are advised to seek   guidance from university counsel when making recommendations for accommodation.

Institutions offering   computer based tests and WEB based tests must assure that they are accessible.

3. Off-campus Activities:

If a program is not   wholly operated by the university but requires student participation (for example,   internships, co-op, and student teaching assignments), the institution shall   attempt to assure that these activities, as a whole, provide an equal opportunity   for the participation of individuals with disabilities.

Prospective enrollees   for UW-Extension and university outreach programs are responsible for making   requests for any special modifications or auxiliary aids. Registration forms   and program announcements must allow applicants to identify special needs and   request accommodations.

Institutions should   have written policies and procedures to ensure equal opportunity for the participation   of individuals with disabilities in all off-campus activities such as internship   placements, study abroad programs, student teaching assignments and other external   programs. These procedures should include the elements outlined in the policy   (see Part III: Responsibilities, 2: UW Institutions, sections c (i) – how to   request accommodations; (ii) – confirming disabilities; (iii) – protecting confidential   medical information; and (iv) – providing accommodations).   Contracts with external partners should specify who is responsible for assuring   accessibility and providing accommodations. The institution should make clear   who is responsible for assuring that programs outside the United States are   as accessible as is feasible for participating students. Ensuring equal opportunity   means that programs must be accessible when viewed as a whole. For instance,   a professional internship is required for students to complete a degree. Must   every business location used for internship placement be accessible? Not if   the type of business opportunity is available in other locations that are accessible,   and students with disabilities have choices. Students with disabilities must   not be segregated.
Student teaching is a required part of teaching degree programs. If   the program (e.g., elementary education, a magnet school or special education   program) is available in multiple locations, not all buildings need be accessible.   On the other hand, if the majority of buildings in a school district are inaccessible,   or an inaccessible building has a program that is not available in another location,   institutions should request accessibility enhancements or not use them for student   placement.

All registration   forms, program announcements and application materials should state that reasonable   accommodations will be provided upon request and indicate how an individual   may request an accommodation. Institutions are encouraged to develop a standard   format or template of language to be included on such materials.

4. Accommodations:

a. ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS--Academic   requirements shall be modified, as necessary, so that they do not discriminate   against qualified individuals with disabilities.

Modifications should   not affect the substance of educational programs or compromise educational standards,   nor should they intrude upon legitimate academic freedom. Modifications may   include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree   requirements (including credit load), substitution of specific courses required   for the completion of degrees, and adaptation of the manner in which specific   courses are conducted. For example, a campus may permit an otherwise qualified   student who is deaf to substitute an appropriate history, international education,   or cultural studies class for a general education foreign language requirement.   However, academic requirements that are essential to programs of instruction   or to any directly related licensing requirement (e.g., licensing for physical   therapy or nursing) need not be waived.

Institutions are   advised to review course and degree requirements thoroughly and carefully to   ensure that such requirements are essential. Requirements should be in writing,   communicated clearly to all students and available in alternative format.

b. PROGRAM EXAMINATIONS   AND EVALUATIONS--Examinations or other procedures for evaluating an individual's   academic achievements should, where necessary, be adapted to permit evaluating   the achievement of individuals who have a disability, rather than reflecting   the individual's disability.

It is the student's   responsibility to request test accommodations as soon as possible, preferably   at the beginning of the program/course according to the procedures outlined   by the institution. Testing accommodations are individually determined, based   on documentation, and may include but not be limited to:

• enlarged materials • oral test • taped test • extended time • reader • environment with minimal distractions • preferential seating (front, etc.) • alternate format • writer, scribe • computer-assisted • Brailled material

Testing accommodations   may be provided by the instructor/faculty member or at an alternative-testing   site (e.g., disability services unit, testing center, etc.) Testing accommodations   should not, however, change the substance of the test, lower applicable academic   standards, or otherwise compromise the integrity of the program.

c. ACADEMIC SUPPORT   SERVICES--No participant with a disability in a university program or activity   shall be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be otherwise   discriminated against in the provision of educational support services available   to all individuals in general.

Student support   services such as academic and career advising, counseling and remedial or tutorial   programs serve all students. In addition to these services, accommodations and   educational auxiliary aids should be available for qualified students with disabilities;   they may include, but need not be limited to:

• accessible parking • registration assistance • supplemental orientation • reader services • notetaker services • referral to appropriate on or off-campus resources, services, or agencies • interpreter services, assistive listening devices, or real time captioning   for the deaf/hard of hearing • arrangements for specialized auxiliary aids for document conversion, including   tapes, Brailled materials and electronic texts

Computers and other   technologies that are made available for student use must be made accessible   through the provision of assistive technologies. Since the Internet and Web   based courses increasingly provide educational access, they must also be usable   by students with disabilities.

All auxiliary aids,   services or other accommodations used by individuals with disabilities to provide   access to university programs, services, and activities need not be on hand   or present at all times.

Institutions should   have a written plan for obtaining services in a timely manner. For example,   readers need not be available in libraries at all times if an adequate schedule   for readers' services is established, and a Braille library need not be maintained   if Brailled materials can be obtained as needed in a timely manner. Again, it   is the responsibility of the student to request the necessary accommodation   or auxiliary aid and to do so in a timely manner as well in advance as possible.   Although students may not be denied an accommodation if advance notice is not   given, provision of services may not be as prompt or timely as it can be with   advance notice/requests. Institutions should put suggested time frames in writing   to be included in admission/registration/disability services materials.
The university does not provide individuals with disabilities with personal   devices or assistance for personal use, including but not limited to wheelchairs,   eye glasses, hearing aids, personal assistance for eating or dressing, or readers   for personal use.

Additionally, personal   computers and tutors (unless available to all students) are not required. Although   not required to provide personal devices, the institution may provide assistance   through referral to community agencies, services and the Division of Vocational   Rehabilitation. Prohibition against the use of tape recorders or Braillers in   classrooms, or service animals in campus buildings, or other rules that have   the effect of limiting the participation of qualified students in educational   programs or activities may not be imposed. Students or participants in university   programs or activities may be required to sign an agreement that they will not   release tape recordings or transcription of lectures, or otherwise hinder the   ability of a professor to obtain a copyright (see Regent Resolution 77-5).

Accommodations shall   not fundamentally alter the nature of the program, service, or activity; require   waiver of essential program or licensure requirements; violate accreditation   requirements; unnecessarily intrude on academic freedom; or pose an undue fiscal   or administrative burden on the institution.

Though substitutions   may be granted to qualified individuals and academic requirements modified to   ensure non-discrimination, institutions are not mandated to waive program or   licensure requirements or in any way fundamentally alter a program or service.   It is critical that institutions, as a part of curricular revisions and reviews,   regularly consider course requirements, technical standards, and programs to   ensure that all requirements are in writing, essential, and can be substantiated.

The university retains   authority in determining appropriate accommodations after giving consideration   to the wishes of the individual, the documentation provided, and institutional   expertise in working with individuals with disabilities.

Since final authority   regarding the determination of appropriate accommodations rests with each institution   and its chief executive officer, it is incumbent on the institution to have   available staff who are well-trained, experienced, and knowledgeable regarding   disability and legal requirements. In making accommodations and accessibility   decisions, campuses are urged to consider their specific circumstances, the   experience of other post-secondary institutions (including UWS institutions),   legal advice and legal precedents. Also see III.3.d, page 8.

5. Physical Education,   Athletics, and Related Activities:

Each institution shall   require that all physical education courses, intercollegiate and intramural   athletics, and related activities, taken as a whole, provide an equal opportunity   for the participation of qualified individuals with a disability. Individuals   who cannot participate in standard physical education courses or compete in   athletic programs with or without accommodation because of a disability may   be offered alternates that are separate or different, provided that the programs   and activities are operated in the most integrated setting appropriate. If accommodations   are not possible in a required course, a procedure for requesting a substitution   should be available.

Students should   not be excluded from a physical education program if they have a disability   that might require an accommodation or adaptation of the class, e.g., a student   in a wheelchair could not be denied the opportunity to enroll in a regular archery   course, nor a deaf student be excluded from participating in a wrestling course.   There should not be an automatic waiver in physical education courses, athletics   and related activities because a student has a physical or sensory disability.   Students with disabilities should be encouraged to fully participate in an integrated   setting in physical education, as well as intercollegiate and intramural athletics.

6. Insurance:

For institutions which   provide insurance plans and health services, the university shall afford these   benefits to qualified persons with disabilities in a manner consistent with   ADA. A student health center must provide the same types and levels of service   for all students, non-disabled and disabled. In addition, student health centers   should be prepared to provide individuals with disabilities with information   about where specialized health services may be obtained, if these services are   not provided at the center.

If an institution   endorses supplementary insurance, it needs to review the policy to ensure it   does not place limits on health services to students with disabilities. Institutions   may not endorse any health plans that discriminate.

7. Housing:

a. ON-CAMPUS HOUSING--Where   a university provides on-campus housing/food services, it shall provide comparable,   convenient, and accessible services at the same cost to individuals with disabilities.

b. OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING--Where   a listing of private off-campus housing is provided by any university office,   it should identify those units that are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

It is important   that the university include instructions for requesting accommodations on its   housing contract. There should also be open communication between the office   providing services for students with disabilities and residence halls to ensure   that requested accommodations are completed in a timely fashion. The food contracts   should be written so that there is an opportunity to indicate special dietary   restrictions for qualified individuals with a disability. Students with disabilities   should participate in the roommate arrangement process in the same manner as   all students.

8. Financial Aid:

Financial aid awards   may take into account the special needs of individuals with disabilities. Adjustments   to awards as allowed by the rules or regulations governing the financial aid   program may be made by the financial aid service.

There should be   communication between Disability Services and the Financial Aid office to assure   that students with disabilities who need to take a reduced credit load because   of that disability are not penalized for it. When the disability causes the   student to take less than a full load, there should be a mechanism that will   assure the student receives benefits provided to students without disabilities   (e.g., housing, access to recreational facilities on campus). If a reduced load   is taken, the financial awards are required to be adjusted to comply with federal   regulations.

9. Student Employment:

The University of Wisconsin   System complies with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section   504 so that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate   in institutional employment opportunities.

Student employees   with disabilities are covered by the same provision that protects all employees   of the UW System. Students with disabilities should be encouraged to apply for   positions. To further this end, two actions are recommended: 1) guidance should   be given to those who have authority to hire students regarding non-discrimination   and their obligation to accommodate student employees with disabilities, and   (2) students should receive information regarding their employment rights and   responsibilities.

10. Advising, Counseling   and Placement Services:

Institutions shall not   counsel or advise qualified individuals with disabilities toward more restrictive   career objectives than non-disabled individuals with similar interests. This   does not preclude providing factual information about licensing and certification   requirements that may present obstacles to individuals with disabilities in   their pursuit of particular careers.

In-service opportunities   addressing ADA and how it pertains to employment opportunities should be afforded   to counselors, advisors and placement service personnel. Counselors should be   able to refer students with disabilities to resources that discuss the technical   standards of various professions. These resources should be available in alternative   formats. Academic advising and personal counseling services should be provided   to students with disabilities with the same quality and accessibility as provided   to all students.

11. Social Organizations:

Before providing official   recognition or assistance to fraternities, sororities, or other campus organizations,   institutions shall request and obtain assurance that the organization does not   permit actions prohibited by this policy.

Any recognized student   organization on campus should be required to state that it does not discriminate   in its bylaws, and provide information on how it handles requests for accommodations   in its brochures. Any discrimination by a student organization should be subject   to disciplinary action against the offending organization.

Institutions should   develop written policies that delineate who bears fiscal responsibility for   providing mandated accommodation in curricular, co-curricular and extra curricular   settings.

Adopted by Board of   Regents July 8, 1988 as UW System Policy and Guidelines Applying to Nondiscrimination   on the Basis of Disability.

Amended December 6,   1996 as University of Wisconsin System Policy on Individuals with Disabilities.

February 27, 2002