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ADA Campus Policies


A practical and effective model for responding to campus disability issues contains: (a) a campus wide network of collaboration and responsibility and (b) a clearly defined and articulated set of policies, procedures and processes for responding to issues affecting faculty, staff, students and guests. Outlined below is the system currently implemented at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

I. Campus Network

  1. McBurney Disability Resource Center: Provides services to students and nonemployees with disabilities.

  2. Office for Equity and Diversity: A Disability and Personnel Specialist provides support to departments with disabled employees. Assesses needs and makes accommodation recommendations

  3. Facilities, Planning and Management: An "Accessibility Specialist" is responsible for (a) assisting departments with barrier removal projects, (b) reviewing renovation and new construction plans for ADA compliance, and (c) serving as campus consultant on issues relating to physical access.

  4. Committee on Access and Accommodation in Instruction: University committee appointed by the chancellor consisting of faculty, staff and students who identify and review issues pertaining to disability, instruction and accommodations.

  5. ADA Task Force: University task force appointed by the chancellor responsible for implementing self-evaluation and transition plans and addressing non-instructional disability-related issues.

  6. Access and Accommodation Resource Coordinators (AARC's): For academic units, these are senior faculty appointed by department chairs serving as liaisons between faculty, staff and students with disabilities. Primary duty is providing information, assistance, and referral to faculty and students on issues not easily resolvable. AARC's are trained by the Committee on Access and Accommodation in Instruction. Student services and general administrative units also have AARC's.

  7. Divisional Disability Representatives (DDR's): DDR's are the employee equivalent of the AARC's. They are designated by their dean or director to assist supervisors and managers response to disability-related employment matters. DDR's are trained by the Disability Specialist within the Equity and Diversity Resource Center.

  8. ADA/504 Coordinator: The ADA Coordinator, currently the Director of Administrative Legal Services, chairs the ADA Task Force and is responsible for compliance with the federal disability laws. The ADA Coordinator serves as the second level of appeal for the denial of accommodation requests.

The 8 components above work collaboratively in responding to disability-related campus issues or concerns.

II. Policies, Procedures, and Processes

  1. Federal Law

    1. Section 504 of Vocational Rehabilitation Act

    2. Americans with Disabilities Act

  2. Wisconsin State Law

    1. Chapter 36.12. "No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or discriminated against in any service, program, course, or facility of the [UW] system or it's institutions or centers because of a student's race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, or parental status."

  3. University of Wisconsin System Policy (26 campuses)

    1. "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." (excerpted from "The University of Wisconsin System, Policies of the Board of Regents", August 1997).

  4. University of Wisconsin-Madison Policies

    1. Faculty Document 1071 (5/2/94): UW Madison Faculty Policy on Access and Accommodation in Instruction. "We believe in the right of all students who are enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to full and equal educational opportunity. Disability should not be the basis for exclusion from educational programs. All students are entitled to an accessible, accommodating, and supportive teaching and learning environment."

    2. Faculty Document 1143 (5/1/95): Alternative Assessment for Students with Disabilities. This is a faculty senate policy acknowledging that alternative testing accommodations may be necessary for qualified students with disabilities to fully participate in instructional programs. Policy acknowledges the faculty's authority to test and the student's right to request and receive "reasonable accommodation", while recognizing accommodations are not to fundamentally alter the nature of the course or test and can not provide the student with an unfair advantage.

    3. Disability Accommodation Appeals Process. Three level appeal process (department, ADA Coordinator, formal complaint) under state chapter 36.12.

    4. Additional Campus Policies and Procedures:

      1. Disability Accommodation Policies for Employees

      2. "Transfer as an Accommodation" Procedures for Employees

      3. Employment Provisions of the ADA: UW Guidelines for Compliance

      4. Faculty Document 1159a: Faculty Accommodation Under the ADA

      5. Disability Parking Policy

      6. Snow Removal Service

      7. UW Madison ADA Grievance Procedures

      8. ADA Conference Planning Guidelines

      9. Medical Records Under the ADA

      10. ADA Accommodation Notice

      11. Law School Test Accommodation Policy

      12. Wisconsin Union ADA Policy

      13. Service Animals Policy

Through the collaborative efforts of the individuals and units listed under Part I (Campus Network) guided by federal, state, system, and university laws, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed a comprehensive and effective system for responding to campus disability issues. Results are a contemplative, thorough and fair process empowering faculty, staff and students to collectively share in the responsibility of upholding academic integrity while fully including all individuals with disabilities.

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