UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
College students are considered legal adults with a strong right to privacy. It's one of the reasons that UWRF staff and professors don't watch individual students to consider the possibility they may have a difficult medical, physical, sensory, or brain related issue. Instead, students who want accommodation are expected to voluntarily contact Ability Services and acknowledge it. We call this the "self-disclosure process." A convenient way to start the process is with a Self-Disclosure Form. The form is also available at Ability Services in room 129, Hagestad Hall.
In addition to the self-disclosure process, before accommodation is arranged most students are also expected to submit a written summary about their medical, physical, sensory, or brain related issue. That kind of paperwork is often called "documentation." It should be written by a qualified expert (often a doctor) and contain certain kinds of detailed information. UWRF does not supply the expert or pay for any fees the expert may charge. Nor will the university contact the expert and request documentation on behalf of students. It often seems to take considerable time for students to arrange and submit documentation. This can delay their ability to have accommodation. For advice about arranging documentation please use the Documenting an Issue link on the left side or contact Ability Services.
The Ability Services office becomes extremely busy as a new semester approaches. When that happens the staff may be unable to rapidly review or react to incoming documentation. Thus, we recommend students should submit their documentation at least three weeks before the beginning of the semester when they plan to start having accommodation. If at all possible, we also recommend students should make an appointment to meet with Mark Johnson at Ability Services for an individualized discussion of these matters either before or soon after receiving acceptance to attend UWRF.
Ability Services functions in ways that provide all students strong measures of confidentiality on these matters. It's required by a federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).