UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Parent Information

For Parents

The Ability Services staff appreciates the support parents provide their children. We invite you to contact us with general inquiries, concerns, or feedback. Transition to college can be a confusing process to many students, particularly regarding their eligibility for accommodations. The Ability Services staff can offer the best level of support to the student who recognizes a need for accommodation and is engaged in the interactive process. We realize a parent may want to contact us on behalf of their child during a term, but please understand that even when we're arranging and supporting a student's accommodations, it is rare that we know what the student is experiencing day-to-day. College students are considered legal adults with a strong right to privacy. Ability Services staff respects this privacy and does not attempt to closely monitor specific students. 

Please review our page for Future Students. It provides information regarding documentation guidelines for various disabilities.

FAQ's For Parents

Because Ability Services focuses on our current student’s needs, we generally do not receive and evaluate documentation until a student has accepted UWRF, has completed the New Student Application, and has (or soon-to-be) enrolled in courses. The admission process does not include disclosing the need for accommodations.

Maybe. Documentation should reflect your student’s current functioning as an adult and any recommended accommodations should be reasonable for UWRF's academic programs.

In general, the time frames are as follows:

  • ADHD — 3 years
  • Specific Learning Disabilities —3 years
  • Physical and Systemic Illness or Injury — Every 6 to 12 months
  • Mental Health Disabilities — Every 6 to 12 months
  • Additional disabilities are discussed in the documentation guidelines found on our Future Students page

 

Although the application is online, we recommend the student completes the information. In order to be eligible for academic accommodations and to best meet each student’s individual needs, students are required to meet with the Ability Services Manager for an intake interview. At this time, the student's application and documentaion will be reviewed. Engaging in the interactive process in necessary. The intake interview also allows us to discuss policies and procedures, as well as legal information. Documentation is not thoroughly reviewed prior to the face to face meeting. It is important for the student to complete the New Student Application in order to better understand and communicate their perspective regarding their need for accommodations.

No. Parents may be invited by the student to attend intake meetings and share details on what may be helpful, but ultimately the student makes the decision on which accommodations are requested.

This depends on when the appropriate, supportive documentation is submitted and when the intake appointment is completed. 

  • Documentation submitted during May, June, July, and early August will be evaluated prior to the start of school in August.
  • Documentation submitted during mid-to-late August and September may take two to three weeks evaluation time.
  • Documentation submitted October through April usually takes one to two weeks to be evaluated

No. Students are considered legal adults at 18 and are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This protects a student’s right to privacy concerning their records. Students do have an option to sign a confidential release of information through the Ability Services Office to allow information to be shared with parents or another individual providing support to that student.

No. The primary role of the Ability Services office is to support students by providing academic accommodations, coordinating with faculty, and problem-solving any accommodation issues that arise. Ability Services does not offer 1:1 support to students in the area of time-management, organization, academic coaching, tutoring, etc.  Separate services on campus provide these supports. If the student needs this level of support, connect with Student Support Services, Tutoring Center, Speech and Hearing Clinic, etc. 

504 and IEP plans are not transferred to college from the K-12 setting.  504 and IEP plans can be submitted as supporting documentation that aid in determining what accommodations are reasonable for the student in a higher education setting. The Ability Services office needs documentation that specifically addresses the student’s diagnosis and how that diagnosis affects the student academically. Students are asked to have an appropriate licensed clinical professional complete the Ability Services Collaborative Document. It is also helpful to submit the student’s most recent evaluation or assessment.

Possibly. In order to receive an accommodation, a student is required to have a documented disability. Under section 504 of the ADA, disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. A student experiencing test anxiety is to have a documented diagnosis, and the diagnosis needs to demonstrate that it substantially limits one or more major life activity for that student. Students who do not have a diagnosed condition and experience test anxiety should reach out to Ability Services to receive resources about testing, evaluation services in the area and counseling supports on and off campus.

Students are able to connect with the Ability Services office at any point over the course of each semester. It is encouraged that students who are eligible for accommodations connect with Ability Services before the start of the semester as arranging accommodations can be a lengthy process if the student does not provide sufficient information that demonstrates a need for academic accommodations.  It is difficult to process successful accommodations late in the semester.  During the final month of each term, intake appointments to determine appropriate accommodations will be conducted with the intent of creating accommodations for the following academic term.  Accommodations are not retroactive, meaning they cannot address an issue that occurred in the past. Accommodations can only address present and future student concerns. 

After meeting with the student and reviewing documentation, if the Abilty Services Manager recommends accommodations, the AS office will provide letters for the student to give each professor. These Faculty Notification Letters are valid for the current semester only. 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).

No. Tutoring is a free service offered to all UWRF students. Information about course tutors can be obtained by contacting Tutoring Services. There are options for tutoring services: (1) appointment based services featuring 1:1 or small-group sessions, or (2) drop-in hours at tutoring centers. There are six tutoring centers across campus: CAFES, Business/CSIS, Chemistry, Math, Physics, and General tutoring.

The UWRF Online Writing Lab (the OWL) provides a useful resource for students who are seeking assistance during all stages of composing (inventing, revising, editing).

Tutoring Services: Our mission is to empower students to become confident, independent learners through facilitation of the learning process.

Yes. The student can complete an Authorization to Release Confidential Information form to indicate to whom information may be released. A student can change this form at any time by contacting the AS office.

No.

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