Frequently Asked Questions
The Student Accessibility
provides services to students with disabilities to insure accessibility
to university programs. SAC offers accommodations counseling,
evaluation referral, disability-related information, adaptive
technology counseling and equipment, and interpreter services for
academically related purposes. SAC does not offer disability evaluation
and/or testing, personal services, or attendants.
A disability is defined in
with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
1973 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one
more major life activities. Learning is an example of a major life
activity. If you have a mental or physical condition, a history of such
a condition, or a condition which may be considered by
others as substantially limiting, you may have a legally defined
What does substantially limiting mean?
According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, "substantially limiting" is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average person or to most people.
What is a major life activity?
According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
What are academic accommodations?
Appropriate academic accommodations create equal access to education, as long as they don't require a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum. The institution determines this. Such modifications may include an adjustment in the amount of time allowed to complete a degree, substitution of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted. see "What kinds of accommodations are available"
What should I know when applying to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee? Are there any special procedures?The admissions process for applicants with disabilities is the same as for all others applying to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Students apply to the Office of Admissions using the same forms and meeting the same deadlines as all other applicants. A current Application Booklet is available upon request from Enrollment Services or call (414) 229-3800. Additionally, the Academic Opportunity Center (AOC) takes into consideration the impact a disability might have had on the academic record of a student who is not regularly admissible. Application to and participation in AOC is voluntary and intended to increase the participation of individuals with disabilities at the UW-Milwaukee. Disclosure of disability information will be handled confidentially.
Norrris Health Center can be of assistance, and the UWM Psychology Department Training Clinic provides an assessment for learning disabilities and attentional disorders which is available to students registered at UWM. The Clinic can be reached at (414) 229-5521. There is a reduced student fee charged for this assessment.
I received accommodations in high school or I had an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). Can I use the IEP as documentation?The IEP is a valuable resource of information, but it cannot be used as documentation of the disability.
I don't want anyone to know I have a disability. Will my records be confidential?
Disability related information will be shared only on a limited basis within the institutional community. It may be shared only when there is a compelling reason for an individual from the institution to seek information regarding some specific aspect of this confidential information. You can view our complete policy on confidentiality here.
I have a physical disability and have trouble getting around. What types of accommodations are geared just for me?Students with physical disabilities are encouraged to register with SAC so that a SAC counselor can help them assess physical access needs for courses and other university activities. The Occupational Therapy Department has a rehabilitation engineer who works closely with SAC staff to ensure that appropriate assistive technology is available for student use. The Physical Plant staff also assist in solving barrier-related access issues. Paratransit services are available through Milwaukee County Transit's Transit Plus Program . Most Milwaukee County buses are handicap accessible, and all students can receive a U-Pass, a bus pass that is paid for by student fees.
Are there any sources of funding for college expenses that are specifically for students with disabilities?We recommend you check out three sources of possible funding:
1. Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR): VR is a federal program designed to "obtain, maintain, and improve employment for people with disabilities". To be eligible for funding through VR, you need to "have a disability which is severe enough that you have problems getting or keeping a job specifically because of your disability". VR must also agree that college is needed to increase your ability to obtain employment. For more information on the Wisconsin Department of Vocational Rehabilitation go to http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/dvr/ .
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will often fund services provided through UWM if completing a college degree is part of your DVR employment plan. Talk to your DVR counselor about support services for which you might be eligible.
We have interpreters and C-Print captionists on staff, and we employ hourly interpreters and captionists as needed. We employ certified interpreters who are able to offer sign language interpreting in ASL, PSE, and ENGLISH; we also offer ORAL interpreting and Real Time Captioning. We also have a full range of auditory listening devices available.
How do I file an appeal or complaint of I've been denied an accommodation or discriminated against on the basis of disability?Each Academic department has established grievance procedures for handling such matters as complaints pertaining to grades, treatment by faculty, academic action, as well as appeals of decisions concerning these matters. Information about the procedures is available from the department office, school or college dean's office and the Office of Student Life. Information about appealing a denial of accommodation or filing a complaint of disability discrimination may be obtained from the Student Accessibility Center (414-229-6287) or the Office of Equity/Diversity Services .
I am an employee of the UW, can you assist me with getting accommodations from my department?
Accommodating employees is ultimately a departmental responsibility. The University's Human Resource Department can assist departments and employees with identifying appropriate work-related accommodations. They can be reached at 229-5419.
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Last updated: March 7, 2008
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