UW Colleges Student Accessibility Services

Mission Statement

The mission of the Student Accessibility Services Office is to be an active partner with students, faculty and staff in creating an accessible learning environment where students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of UW Colleges programs, services and activities.

What does the UW Colleges Student Accessibility Services Office offer?

The Student Accessibility Services Office coordinates services for students with disabilities attending the University of Wisconsin Colleges. The Student Accessibility Services Office works with students with disabilities, campus staff and faculty to ensure that students with disabilities who have program access needs receive appropriate accommodations.

Who is eligible for Student Accessibility Services?

Students who have physical or mental impairments which substantially limit one or more life activities (e.g. communication, mobility, learning, etc.) in an academic setting, and have a record of such an impairment, or are regarded as having such an impairment.

Who determines which students are eligible for Student Accessibility Services?

The Director of Student Accessibility Services, in consultation with the Campus Contact for Student Accessibility Services, determines which students are eligible for accommodation services.

Students are responsible for providing documentation of their stated disability. This documentation must identify the disability for which each accommodation is requested, and substantiate that the need for accommodation is related to the disability. In general, documentation should not be more than three years old.

What kinds of accommodation services are available?

Eligibility for Accommodation Services is determined on an individual basis for each student who applies for services. Approval for services is determined by evaluating a student's documentation of the diagnosed condition creating the barrier, the demonstrated need for the accommodation, and talking to the student who is making the request for a specific service.

If a student received a service prior to attending UW-Colleges, it does not guarantee that the service will be available or approved at the University level.  

Services provided may include:

  • Advocacy and Liaison: Advocacy and liaison services are available to UWC students. Discuss your specific situation or concern with your Campus Contact for assistance.
  • Interpreting/Captioning: Accurate translation of spoken/auditory information in the classroom for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing. 
  • Alternative media: Alternative media is the provision of printed materials in alternative formats for individuals with visual or information processing disabilities. Print materials are provided in a variety of alternative formats. 
  • Alternative Testing: Equal access to the testing process at the University without compromising the integrity of the class.
  • Classroom accommodations: Create equal access to the learning environment (i.e. preferential seating, accessible room location, chair/table/desk adjustments, etc.).
  • Note taking: Access to copies of class notes to qualified students with disabilities through the use of classroom volunteers.
  • In-class Aide/Library Assistance: Equal access to classroom activities and library services for students who cannot physically manipulate course materials.
  • Assistive Technology/Software: Limited resources are available to supply campuses with a variety of shared assistive technology devices and software programs.

Procedures for Applying for Student Accessibility Services

  1. Meet with your Advisor in the Solution Center and discuss your need for accommodations while attending UW-Colleges. Be prepared to describe what services you have previously found to be helpful. You will receive a packet of information, which includes documentation guidelines, a release of information form, and a request for accommodations form.
    • Depending on your needs, it can take 4-6 weeks to get supports in place. Plan accordingly!
  2. Submit your completed request form along with supporting documentation, prepared by an appropriate professional, to your Advisor/Campus Contact for Student Accessibility Services located in the Solution Center.
    • In general, documentation should not be more than three years old.
  3. Your documentation and Request for Services will be reviewed by the Director of Student Accessibility Services. The Director will consider all of the information provided and make an eligibility determination.
    • You will be contacted by the Director if clarification or more information is needed.
  4. If you are found eligible, an Individualized Accommodation Plan (IAP) is written to verify which services are approved and recommended for you to use while attending UW-Colleges. This plan, along with directions for your next steps of the process, will be sent to your UWC Student Email address.
    • Check your UWC email account regularly! We will not send confidential information to personal email accounts (i.e. Gmail, Yahoo, etc.)
    • It is your responsibility to share your IAP with each of your instructors and talk to them about how your accommodations can be used in their class.
    • If you disagree with your IAP, please contact your Campus Contact or the Director of Student Accessibility Services to discuss your concerns.
  5. When you receive your plan, schedule a follow-up appointment with your Campus Contact in the Solution Center to learn how to use your approved accommodations.

Student Accessibility Services Initial Application Information and Forms

Alternative Media Information

Student Responsibilities

The UW Colleges wishes to promote an atmosphere of independence for all students, including those students with disabilities. Students with disabilities are encouraged to become advocates for themselves. To further that mission, here are some guidelines for student responsibility:

  • Adhere to all policies regarding academic conduct. These apply equally to all students, regardless of having a disability.
  • Meet and maintain academic standards which have been established by UW Colleges and its academic departments.
  • In a timely manner, submit student application for accommodation services, along with current disability-related documentation, to the Campus Contact for Student Accessibility Services.
  • Become aware of your rights as a student.

Laws Applicable to Students with Disabilities

UW Colleges complies with both the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, specifically Section 508, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. No recipients of federal funding may discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability solely by reason of that disability. This means that students with disabilities have equal access to all UW Colleges' programs, services and activities.

Campus Contacts for Student Accessibility Services

Inactive student records are no longer archived in Madison. If needed, please contact the Accessibility Services Office at the Receiving Institution of the campus you attended to request your accessibility services records.

Director of Student Accessibility Services

Kristin Hoffmann, MS, LPC
Director of Student Accessibility Services, UW Colleges
1500 North University Drive, A122
Waukesha, WI 53188
Voice: 262-524-3957
Fax: 262-521-1026

The Director of Student Accessibility Services works with the Campus Contacts to coordinate eligible students' accommodation services. The Director reviews student applications and disability-related documentation in order to determine each student's eligibility for specific accommodation services. With input from the student and the Campus Contact, accordingly, writes the accommodation plan recommendations.

Appeal of Denied Accommodation

Students who have been denied an approved accommodation in the classroom, housing, or other program should first discuss their concern with their Campus Contact for Student Accessibility Services in the Solution Center.  At no time during an appeal process should a student be harassed or have a negative consequence as a result of filing an appeal. The student may be directed to first have a discussion with the faculty or staff regarding the issue.  If needed, Student Accessibility Services staff will meet with the student and the faculty/staff together to problem solve and mediate a resolution.

If the issue is not resolved between the student and the individual denying the approved accommodation, then the student can file a written appeal. The form for the appeal will be provided, upon request, by the Campus Contact for Student Accessibility Services.

  1. The written appeal must be filed within seven (7) calendar days after receipt of the denial of the approved accommodation.
  2. During the appeal process, the approved accommodation will be implemented until a final decision is made.
  3. The review will be based on relevant UW Policies, ADA, the Federal Rehabilitation Act, the written appeal form, documentation of the disability, the Campus Contact for Student Accessibility Services findings, and recommendations and rational provided by the individual denying the approved accommodation.
  4. The Director of Student Accessibility Services may affirm, modify or reverse the decision of an individual denying the approved accommodation, or at his or her discretion, refer the matter to the Department Chair, appropriate Dean, or the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.  The Director of Student Accessibility Services shall notify the student and individual denying the approved accommodation in writing of his or her decision within fifteen (15) calendar days after the appeal is received.

Students who have been denied a requested auxiliary aid, service, or accommodation by the Director of Student Accessibility Services may within seven (7) calendar days after the receipt of the decision,  request in writing, review by the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion or their designee.  

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
432 N. Lake St., Room 201
Madison, WI 53706 (email)
608.262.3969 (phone)
608-890-0259 (fax)
711 for Relay 

Discrimination Complaint

Students who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability should follow the institutional procedure which implements 36.12(1), Wis. Stats., Student Discrimination Prohibited. The University follows EEOC and state guidelines. To be timely, a written Statement of Complaint must be filed with the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within 300 days of the date the complainant knew or should have known about the most recent alleged incident. General OEDI email: