UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Ability Services

Current Students

A.S. Connect for Current Students

Request Faculty Notification Letters and Alternative Testing Accommodation Here

  • Select A.S. Connect button below. Log In with UWRF credentials. 
  • Each semester, select your accommodations through this platform.
  • Email Faculty Notification Letters within the first 30 days of the semester.
  • Go to Alternative Testing to schedule and request testing accommodations. 

A.S. Connect

 

Within this platform, you can also:

  • Update any new documentation to support the need for any new accommodation requests
  • Review current list of eligible accommodations 
  • Verify test requests
  • Sign-up for SMS Texts
  • Receive office updates and news
  • Tutorial Video to use AS Connect to request your Faculty Notification Letters
Faculty Notification Letters

If you've previously worked with Ability Services and have received your Letter of Eligibility, please review Steps 1-5 below to proceed with requests. If you have not had accommodations at UWRF, please complete the New Student Application to begin the process to qualify for accommodations.

Each semester, it is the student's responsibility to present their approved accommodations to instructors. Communication is recommended early in the semester. Beginning Fall 2020, students will use A.S. Connect to notify professors of their accommodations via e-mail. This process replaces the paper copies previously distributed.

  1. Open A.S. Connect
  2. From the list of your enrolled courses, select which classes you plan to request accommodations.
  3. Continue to Customize Accommodations and select which accommodations you'd like to use in each course.
  4. Submit your Accommodation Request.
  5. An e-mail will be sent to your professor and to your UWRF email.
  • Faculty Notification Letters (FNL) are valid for one term. Every semester the student should request a new set of letters and then meet with individual professors to present and discuss their eligible accommodation(s).
  • Eligible students are not required to meet with an AS staff each semester. Students should request their FNL early each semester and confirm their current accommodations are satisfactory.
  • Why do students need to request accommodations each semester? 
    1. Each student has the right to choose if and when they would like to use their approved accommodations.  The Ability Services staff do not make assumptions about a student's needs, as each student has the right to determine what level of support they need in each of their courses.
    2.  Provides an opportunity to discuss whether the AS office could support the student in a different way. It creates an opportunity for communication with the student. 
  • Students can update or review with AS staff their accommodation plan at any point during their collegiate career. If a student does want to change or add an accommodation, they are required to set-up an Accommodation Review Meeting with the Ability Services Manager, Alicia Reinke-Tuthill. Updated documentation may be required to support the need for the student’s additionally requested accommodations. 
  • Current students should request their accommodations (FNL) within 30 days of the term start date. 
  • For concerns or issues during the course of the semester, please contact  Deb Morgan or Alicia Reinke-Tuthill

 

Now that you've completed the eligibility process and you've emailed your FNL to professors, 

Request Your Accommodations

Keeping with the paperless theme, Alternate Text and Note Taker requests will require the student to complete an appropriate request form and submit it to request.abilityservices@uwrf.edu. The PDF's are provided below with mouse-over commands. If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact our office at 715-425-0740 or debra.morgan@uwrf.edu.

 

Testing Accommodation Request - NEW PROCESS, Fall 2021
  1. Access your A.S. Connect platform by logging in above and choosing the Alternative Testing option, found in the left column.
  2. Select Class in the drop down options and Schedule an Exam.
  3. Exams are any timed assessment between week one and week 16 that are not considered a quiz or final test.
  4. Select Date to test. This should correspond with the class schedule.
  5. Select Time to Start test. 
  6. Choose all eligible accommodations you're requesting.
  7. Add Exam Request

You will be able to review your exam requests and be notified when they are approved. It is recommended that you enter all known test dates, even if the professor has not entered their information into the system yet. It's best to enter the dates early and adjust if needed. If your test request is submitted late, you might not be able to test in Ability Services.  Contact us with any questions. 

 

Note Taking 
  • Classmate Note Taker Requestone form for each class; Folder number is last 4 digits of your W number. (mouse over and click on form to download).
    • A link will be shared with the student once notes are submitted. Please notify the office if there are any concerns regarding the information you've received. 
  • Sonocent Software Note-Taking - Recording software.  Receive sign-on information with your accommodation approval. Contact us with questions.

 

Alternative Text (e-book) 
  1. Open the Request Form, linked in the above copy.
  2. Fill out the required boxes: Course, Title and ISBN are extremely important elements.
  3. OK to submit more than one page if needed.
  4. Email completed forms to request.abilityservices@uwrf.edu.  

 

AS Connect dashboard > My Accommodations > Alternative Testing

Before requesting testing accommodations in Ability Services, a testing agreement must be signed by the student. This is done within your AS Connect dashboard and will be prompted prior to scheduling tests.

A request for each test should be made under the Alternative Testing subset, found on the left column of the page.

  1. Course
  2. Day/Date -  should correspond with the date scheduled for the class section 
  3. Start time (allowing for additional time is eligible, without missing another schedule course)
  4. Specific accommodations requested

This process is only for tests conducted in the Ability Services office and should be requested a minimum of one week prior to the test.  Finals should be requested at least 2-3 weeks prior to Finals week.

For online tests, request your accommodation directly from your professor, multiple days before it's scheduled, and receive confirmation of you request. 

1. Classmate Note Taker Accommodation Request Form and Application

Relies on the accuracy and participation of a classmate to take notes from a lecture and share them electronically. 

Download the form onto your computer and "save as" your course name.  Send your professor the form via email and CC the request.abilityservices@uwrf.edu email.  Once a note taker has been recruited by the professor, and notes have been received, a link will be sent to the student to access lecture notes.

2. Sonocent Audio Note Taker Software Accommodation 

Students who have already been approved for the previous audio notetaking technology known as "Glean," will have an opportunity to transition to Sonocent Audio Note Taker in the Spring of 2021. Technology access and usage tutorials are shared with the student.  A.S. staff is available for support if needed.  This accommodation allows the student an independent opportunity to record lecture, organize main concepts, add details, and ultimately formulate best strategies for learning course content. Students approved for this accommodation should review the UW-River Falls Recording E-Form Agreement Video Tutorial and Sonocent Audio Note Taker Student Training Checklist before the Spring of 2021.

UW-River Falls Recording E-Form Agreement Video Tutorial 

Sonocent Audio Note Taker Student Training Checklist Spring of 2021

Alternate Format (e-Book, Audiobook) Request Form

Please keep in mind that many requests can take up to four weeks to fulfill. Ability Services works as quickly as possible to provide audio books and other materials. Submitting request forms for each textbook or video, prior to the start of a semester or term is recommended. Once the form(s) is completed, please send them to request.abilityservices@uwrf.edu.

For all questions regarding Kurzweil technology, check out this extremely helpful website - https://www.kurzweiledu.com/kurzweil-academy/kurzweil-academy.html

Step by Step Process

prior to using AS Connect

The first step for each student requesting accommodations is to complete the New Student Application form found on our home page. Once this form is complete, the student will receive an email providing the contact information for step 2 of the process, scheduling an Intake appointment with an Ability Services staff to discuss the student’s learning style, strengths, and academic barriers. Students are asked to share information with staff about how and why their disability makes it difficult for them academically.

Accommodation Process

Based on information gathered during the Intake process, the student will be contacted by Ability Services staff when reasonable accommodations have been determined. A Letter of Eligibility outlines the individualized, approved accommodations for the student. This letter is for personal record only and is not to be distributed to professors.

The final meeting for student is to learn how to appropriately use their accommodations on campus. At this meeting, students will obtain their Faculty Notification Letters. The student receives one letter for each professor, each semester. The student shares this letter with their professors. Students have the liberty to choose which courses will require accommodations. 

Students are responsible for giving their Faculty Notification Letter to each professor prior to requesting any accommodations in a class. Students are encouraged to meet with their professors to discuss the accommodations and their individual learning needs.  Requests for testing accommodations should be turned in one week ahead of time for each test and a minimum of two week before finals week. Faculty Notification Letters are dated for a specific semester. By reqeuesting new letters each semseter, a student has the opportunity to meet with Ability Services staff to discuss if changes are necessary to their approved accommodations. It also allows Ability Services to know that a student is satisfied with the accommodation process. If ever a student feels an accommodation need is not being met, they should reach out to Ability Services as soon as possible.

Accommodations For Students

FM System Listening Devices, Spelling Software Programs, Audio Recorders, Screen Readers,

Extended Test Time- Most students receive 50% additional time.  Depending on the severity of the impairment, the test time could be adjusted up to 100%.
 

Alternative Testing Location- Most students take exams in distraction reduced locations where a small number of other students may be present. Students who have significant barriers in distractibility and concentration can see benefits in a less stimulating environment. Some students qualify for a private testing room. These students may need more physical space due for wheel chair access, high levels of social anxiety, etc. 

 
Writing Assistance –For students who struggle with writing their responses, students can be offered a scribe to record responses that are dictated from the student.
 

Test Questions Read Aloud- Test questions are read by Ability Services staff who can only read each question as written. No question can be rephrased or reworded. 

 
 

This accommodation is for a medical, physical, or brain related issue that limits the ability to write adequate notes.  It is not intended to be a substitute for the need to attend class. The copies of notes are often handwritten and obtained from a classmate. Typically, the classmate does not know the identity of the student who is receiving the notes. Word-processed notes can be arranged if documentation explains why such a thing is important.

Students have opportunities throughout the course of the semester to develop their self-awareness and self-advocacy skills in preparation for meetings with professors to discuss their learning needs, barriers, and accommodation supports. 
Students who are experiencing difficulties obtaining the appropriate accommodations with faculty and staff they can connect with Ability Services for additional supports to aid in the resolving the concern.


Preferential Seating, Priority Registration, Course Substitution Evaluation, Classroom Furniture, Early Access to Course Materials, Reduced Credit Load Recommendation, Flexibilty on Class Attendance, and Due Dates etc.

Arranging Flexible Attendance and Due Dates Accommodations (PDF)

Arranging Flexible Attendance and Due Dates Accommodations (Video Tutorial)

Alternative format text provides copies of textbooks or other print materials in electronic format, Braille, or another accessible format.

A temporary impairment (broken arm or leg, surgery, recovering from surgery, etc.) does not constitute a disability for purposes of Section 504 or the ADA unless its severity is such that it results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities for an extended period of time. Temporary accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration both the duration and expected duration of the impairment, and the extent to which it actually limits a major life activity of the student. Individuals with temporary disabilities are encouraged to connect with Ability Services office to determine whether reasonable accommodations are required.

Temporary disabilities can include, but are not limited to, concussions, broken limbs, or post-surgical procedures. All temporary disabilities are handled on a case-by-case basis so accommodations may not always be available.

Please connect with the Ability Services office to seek out temporary parking accommodations. The Ability Services office is able to arrange a temporary disability parking permit for students who submit a disability parking application that has been signed by a doctor. Such a special parking permit is only valid on campus. The temporary permit expires after 30 days and cannot be renewed through any UWRF office.  See the state links below for the appropriate application found on the website of a Department of Transportation (DOT).  Students should use the DOT website that matches the state where their vehicle is licensed. Students who may need disability parking for more than 30 days, or need it somewhere other than campus, should attempt to acquire a disability parking permit directly from their state’s Department of Transportation. 

Disability is Diversity 

Disability is part of diversity. We want students to recognize that disability should be celebrated and accepted. Take the time to learn more about disability culture and the empowered voices and perspectives of disabled activists, media makers, advocates, educators, etc., check out our new “Disability Culture Resource Guide.”  The resource includes a collection of blogs, podcasts, websites, and recommended book reads for students to connect with and learn more about disability culture, getting connected to the disability community, and disability identity. We encourage students to learn more about the concept of Disability Identity Development. Our Disability Culture Resource Guide offers some great insight and introductions to learning more about disability identity development.

Disability Culture Resource Guide 

Person-First VS. Identity-First Language 


There are two prevalent ways that we identify with disability in language: person-first and identity-first. Both options have implications for how we think about disability.

Person-first language distances the person from the disability, ostensibly to separate the person from the negative connotations and stigma with which we have all been socialized. As professionals, many of us have been taught that person-first language is preferable, and some disabled individuals choose to identify as a person first, based on their personal orientation to disability. Example: I am a woman with a disability. I am separate from the stereotypes and stigma you associate with disability. 

Identity-first language challenges negative connotations by claiming disability directly. Identity-first language references the variety that exists in how our bodies and brains work with a myriad of conditions that exist, and the role of inaccessible or oppressive systems, structures, or environments in making someone disabled. Example: I am disabled, queer, and Latinx. I have an impairment, and I am disabled by societal barriers.

These language choices underscore the differences between impairment and disability. “Impairment” is the term used by disability studies scholars to refer to a physiological difference in one’s body or brain. Disability is a lived experience with far-reaching political, social, and economic implications. 

Key Terms

Letter of Eligibility:  States the approved, reasonable accommodations for the student. This list of accommodations is determined through a specific, collaborative process between the student and the Ability Services staff. This letter is to document agreement of accommodations between the student and the Ability Services office and is not to be distributed to professors.
 

Faculty Notification Letter:  States the approved accommodations a particular student is eligible to receive. The letter does not list diagnosis information, only the accommodations the student may request.  No accommodation listed in this letter should be assumed by the professor.  How and when a student wants to use a listed accommodation can vary from class to class, therefore the professor will grant the accommodation once an outward request has been made by the student.  

First-Year Mentoring Opportunity 

Program Description: A mentoring program for first-year students who identify as having a disability. All mentors are students connected with the Ability Services Office who identify as having a disability. Mentors will provide support to first-year students during a summer bridge program and will be assigned 7-10 first-year mentees during the academic year in which they will provide weekly support. Mentors will meet with students weekly to help problem-solve concerns, assist students in navigating campus resources, developing positive study skills, and connecting students to the larger campus community.  Mentors are asked to make a one-year commitment to the program.  

We are looking for two peer mentors to start on August 19th! 

Ability Services Peer Mentor Application

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