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Advising Students with Disabilities


Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( ADA ), the University of Wisconsin has a legal responsibility to accommodate and provide access to students with disabilities. Pursuant to these federal laws, no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded form participation in or be denied the benefits of services, programs or activities of the University or be subject to discrimination.

To meet this mandate, the University must provide physical and programmatic access to students with disabilities, including auxiliary aid and services. Advisers need to be aware of and faculty need to be concerned with their responsibility in providing accommodations. Following are some aspects of Section 504 and ADA which institutions of higher education are required to follow:

  • Institutions must offer students with disabilities the same opportunities to participate in campus programs and activities, including academic majors and programs, field trips, research, occupational training, counseling programs, housing, health services, student services, physical education, transportation, and extracurricular activities, that are offered to all students.

  • Students with impaired sensory, manual, language, or processing skills must be allowed to use educational auxiliary aids or services. Such aids may include, but are not limited to, taped texts, readers, interpreters, note takers, exam accommodations, tape recorders, adapted classroom equipment, and other similar services or equipment. Institutions cannot impose rules limiting the use of such aids in the classroom. However, it is not required that services or equipment of a personal nature or that are personally prescribed be provided by the institution.

  • Modifications in academic requirements may include changes in the length of time permitted for completion of degree requirements and substitution of specific required courses. Courses and requirements essential to the program of instruction (e.g. science courses for a Nursing major) or related to licensing requirements need not be considered for substitution.

It is not the responsibility of the adviser to determine what accommodations are appropriate. It is the adviser's responsibility to broadly understand what the law requires, know the resources available on campus, and make referrals to the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office.

It is the student's prerogative whether or not to identify her/his disability. It is also the student's responsibility to request accommodations. The University cannot provide or require a student to use an accommodation that is not requested by this student. Nevertheless, it is important that you inform a student with a disability that services are available at UW-Eau Claire and refer the student to the SSD Office. The SSD Office will require written documentation from a student before accommodations can be provided. Documentation must provide information indicating

the nature of the student's disability and supporting the accommodations being requested. If a student has questions concerning needed documentation, refer the student to the SSD Office.


As required by law, information about the existence and details of an individual's disability is confidential and will be shared by the SSD Office on a need-to-know basis only. A student can voluntarily choose to share information regarding her/his disability with an advisor or a faculty member. If a student does share this information with you, please remember that the information is confidential.

Early Registration for Students with Documented Disabilities

Advisers should be aware that students with documented disabilities are eligible for early registration.

All students must have both appropriate documentation and have completed the intake process in the Services for Students with Disabilities Office in order to register early.

Contact information

Office of Services for Students with Disabilities
Location: Old Library 2136
Telephone: 715-836-4542