UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

About the Office

About the Office

The mission of the Ability Services office at UW-River Falls is to arrange opportunity for students with disabilities to have equal access in the way of academic accommodations, while inclusively being involved in the campus community and culture.

The Ability Services office is driven to provide learning outcomes that represent the needs of the students we serve. Our goals are to Foster Independence in students, Reduce Barriers in the academic environment, and Promote Inclusion on campus and in the community.

We believe our community is enriched by diversity and direct our focus by furthering the education, understanding, and advancement of students with disabilities. We commit to fostering an inclusive campus environment for all students, demolishing the stigma attached to the word disability. We empower students to effectively communicate their needs, strengths, and barriers in order to provide equal opportunities in the classroom and other university-sponsored programs. We welcome advocacy allies among campus peers, faculty and staff. Ability Services encourages suggestions to further establish a culture of understanding and awareness in relation to the disability population served on our campus.

The Ability Services Office Utilizes a Social Justice Approach to Disability

 

We are committed to the following core elements of the Social Justice Model:

1) A focus on the ways power and privilege shape the lives of students who have disabilities and those without disabilities in higher education.

2) An explicit recognition of the dangers of presuming that typical ways of doing, being, learning, teaching, thinking, feeling, moving, and communication are preferable and encouragement of a diversity of approaches that support success of all individuals. 

3) Attention to and acceptance of the diversity in experience within the disability communities, in terms of intersecting social identities and the multiple ways in which particular forms for disability are experienced, both between people and over the course of a given individual's experience or impairment.

4) Acceptance that all people are interdependent and rejection of independence as a desired outcome.

5) Attention to the impacts of people's physical bodies and minds on the experience of disability, in addition to and in interaction with the environment (i.e. social, cultural, and economic). 

6) Recognition that a social justice approach to disability in higher education must attend to the influence of disability and ableism not just on students, but also on staff and faculty. 

7) Advocacy for inclusion and equity in access to and within all higher education settings. 

We empower students by helping them build their self-awareness and self-advocacy skills to effectively communicate their needs, strengths, learning style and barriers.

 

We arrange reasonable academic accommodations to best ensure that students can maximize the use of their inherent ability by providing them the supports required for their educational learning and academic opportunities.

We provide initiatives to help establish a culture of understanding and awareness in relation to the disability populations served on the UWRF campus. We advocate for accessibility in the learning environment and educating the larger campus community on disability issues.  

Shaping the Core Values of

Individuals and Community

The Ability Services office is committed to support the individual needs of students with disabilities and work collaboratively to provide an environment, culture, and community that honors individual differences. These core values are shaped by participating in campus collaboration, engaging in community partnerships, and providing opportunities for outreach and education.

The Ability Services Office values collaboration as being an essential function of honoring equal access and opportunity to students with disabilities. We work to establish positive working relationships between faculty and the students we serve. Outside of collaborating with faculty, we are devoted to promoting disability diversity on our campus and providing education, outreach, and awareness regarding the needs of our students. We achieve this by collaborating closely with the following campus partners: Student Health and Counseling, TRIO/SSS, Residence Life, Admissions, Parking, Facilities, Textbook Services, Registrars, Speech and Hearing Clinic, Dinning Services, Division of Technology Services, Student Conduct and Community Standards, Disability Advisory Committee, Medical Emergency Withdrawal Committee, Autism Transition Program Committee, Commencement Committee, Week of Welcome Committee, and the Campus Climate Sexual Assault Assessment Committee.

We are committed to promoting professional development and continuing education opportunities for faculty and staff to learn best practices in effectively servicing the needs of students with disabilities in the classroom, campus departments, residence halls, and the larger campus community. Providing outreach and establishing a greater understanding of disability culture on our campus is a vital aspect our of office’s vision and mission.

The Ability Services office is dedicated to connecting with local school districts to aid in educating students, parents, and high school staff on the expectations and requirements for receiving academic accommodations in Higher Education. Education sessions and informational panels are platforms used to promote outreach about services and supports while also appropriately preparing prospective students for the transition from high school to college. Developing community partnerships, and understanding community resources is vital to establishing a sustainable long-term culture and vision that encompasses all of the factors prospective students with disabilities take into consideration when making their decision about what university to select. The Ability Services Office strives to provide supports during each student’s educational journey by collaborating with community providers to offer comprehensive supports that can best service the complex needs of each individual student.

Staff:

 
Alicia Reinke-Tuthill

Manager of Ability Services

Deb Morgan

Accommodations Coordinator

Contact us:

715-425-0740
123 David Rodli Hall
ability.services@uwrf.edu
  • David Rodli Hall is located between Centennial Science Hall and McMillian Hall
  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We can be found at college visit information fairs, new student registration information fairs and sessions, week of welcome sessions, and the counseling services health fair.

We are dedicated to advocate for accessibility in the classroom and across campus. We look forward to meeting you!

Equal Access for Students

Fostering Independence, Reducing Barriers, & Promoting Inclusion

 

Ability Services

715.425.0740
ability.services@uwrf.edu
Confidential Fax: 715.425.0742
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
123 David Rodli Hall