UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Ability Services

Policies

Commitment to Access and Inclusion

UW-River Falls provides reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students wishing to make an academic accommodation request should consult with Ability Services. The below procedures are to be used to help resolve student concerns about academic accommodations. Whenever possible, issues should be settled through informal discussions among those involved. If an issue cannot be resolved through such means, students should use the below procedures.

UW-River Falls Academic Accommodation Appeal Process

 

Denied a Requested Academic Accommodation Through Ability Services 

 

Stage 1: Informal Request 

  • All informal requests are reviewed and determined by the Ability Services Manager.
  • All students who have an accommodation request denied, will receive an accommodation explanation letter from the Ability Services Manager that notifies the student why the accommodation request was denied.
  • Students in disagreement with the decision, will be asked to complete one of the following steps:
    • Provide clarifying information in writing to answer the questions of the Ability Services Manager
    • Provide additional documentation to support the need for their request.
    • Submit a Statement of Appeal Form to make a formal appeal request.
    • At no time during the appeal process shall a student be harassed or have negative consequence of filing an appeal. 
    • After all supplemental materials have been delivered, the Ability Services Manager will contact the student within 7 business days to review the request. 
    • The Ability Services Manager will notify the student in writing of their decision within 15 days after the appeal is received. The Ability Services Manager may confirm, modify, or reverse the decision. 

Stage 2: Formal Request 

  • All formal requests are reviewed and determined by the ADA Coordinator for Students.
  • Students may request a review within 15 days after the receipt of the decision of the Ability Services Manager.
  • To request a formal review, the student must complete the Statement of Appeal Form.
  • At no time during the appeal process shall a student be harassed or have negative consequence of filing an appeal.
  • The ADA Coordinator for Student's review will consist of the student's case file, the Ability Services Manager's findings and recommendations, as well as the student's self-report and Statement of Appeal Form.
  • The ADA Coordinator for Students will notify the student in writing of their decision within 30 days after the appeal is received. The ADA Coordinator for Students may modify or reverse the decision only if the Ability Services Manager's decision was not supported by the record or if the Ability Services Manager substantially failed to comply with internal procedures to deny a fair review of the student's request.

Denied an Approved Reasonable Academic Accommodation Through Ability Services 

 

Stage 1: Informal Request 

  • If the university, department, faculty, or program is not providing an approved Ability Services accommodation, it is recommended that students e-mail their concerns immediately to the Ability Services Manager, Alicia Reinke-Tuthill (alicia.reinketuthill@uwrf.edu) so they are clearly documented. 
  • At no time during the appeal process shall a student be harassed or have negative consequence of filing an appeal. 
  • The Ability Services Manager will meet with the student and the involved parties to problem-solve and mediate a solution. 

Stage 2: Formal Request 

  • If the issue is not resolved via a meeting with the student, the Ability Services Manager, and the involved party, a student can file a written appeal with the Ability Services Manager.
  • A student's written appeal must be filled within 15 days after the denial of the approved accommodation. The written appeal is to be submitted to the Ability Services Manager.
  • To request a formal review, the student must complete the Statement of Appeal Form. 
  • At no time during the appeal process shall a student be harassed or have negative consequence of filing an appeal. 
  • The ADA Coordinator for Student's review will consist of the student's case file, the Ability Services Manager's findings and recommendations, as well as the student's self-report and Statement of Appeal Form.
  • The ADA Coordinator for Students may confirm, modify, or reverse the decision of the individual denying the approved academic accommodation. The ADA Coordinator for Students may refer the matter to the Department Chair, Dean of the College, and the Ability Services Manager. The ADA Coordinator for Students will notify the student in writing of their decision within 15 days after the appeal is recieved. 

Further Action 

  • Students who feel that these procedures have not adequately resolved their concerns are directed to the Discrimination, Harrassment, and Retaliation Policy. 
  • Federal law also provides students the option of contacting the Office of Civil Rights, for more information or assistance contact:

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights 

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202-1100

Telephone: 1-800-245-6800

Fax: 202-245-6840; TDD: 877-521-2172

E-mail: OCR@ed.gov


 

Other Ability Services Policies

 

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is committed to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to access, participate in, and benefit from any of the university’s services, programs, and activities. UWRF, as a Title II institution under the Section 504 Americans with Disabilities Act, receives federal funding and is mandated by law to accommodate students with disabilities.

Implementation of Policy:

Students in need of accommodations should submit their request to the Ability Services office. Students may request academic and housing accommodations through the Ability Services Office. Accommodations will be offered to eligible students, unless the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the program, service, or activity. UWRF provides students with reasonable accommodations in a timely manner.

The Ability Services Office uses an interactive process and the use of submitted clinical documentation to determine the reasonable nature of each student’s individual accommodation request. All accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. If denied, students will receive written communication pertaining to the reason for the denial, as well as the process used to identify determination.

 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Ability Services office adheres and follow the policies set out and established under FERPA.  FERPA governs the release and access of student education records maintained by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.  Students are afforded certain rights concerning their educational records including (1) the right to inspect and review education records, (2) the right to have the records amended, and (3) the right to have control over the disclosure of the information from the records.

Implementation of Policy:

Ability Services staff do not disclose the nature of a student’s disability without the permission of the student.

Students who elect for Ability Services staff to disclose disability related information to parents or other external entities are required to authorize their permission by completing the Authorization to Release Confidential Information Form.

A temporary impairment does not constitute a disability for purposes of Section 504 of the ADA, unless its severity is such that it results in substitution limitation of one or more major life activities for an extended period of time. All temporary accommodation requests are determined on case-by-case basis.

Implementation of Policy:

The Ability Services office meets with students with temporary impairments and determines who can effectively support the student based on the following two factors, (1) the severity of identified symptoms and (2) the expected timeline of recovery.

If the severity of the condition is not substantial and will take less than 4 weeks to recover, faculty are asked to work directly with the student to provide the student the requested accommodation.

All accommodation request applications are to be completed a minimum of 30 days prior to the end of each term for new students. 

For currently registered students, all requested accommodations for each semester are to be completed within the first 30 days of each term. 

Implementation of Policy:

New Students - All new students are to have finished all of the accommodation steps 30 days prior to the end of the term. The steps include:

  1. Completion of the “New Student Application” found on our homepage
  2. Submission of clinical documentation which supports the need for each requested accommodation
  3. Participation and collaboration in an Intake Appointment

Returning Students - All returning students are required to complete the form to request Faculty Notification Letters (FNL) each semester, within the first 30 days of each term.  Providing FNL to professors allows students to utilize their approved accommodations each semester.

 

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