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This portion of the website contains information for UW-Platteville faculty. It will assist you in understanding the needs of students with disabilities and provide you with information about SSWD’s services, policies, and procedures. In addition, this section can guide you as you assist and integrate students with disabilities into the classroom so that they can have access to classroom instruction.
What is a disability?
An individual with a disability is defined as any person who:
- has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, or performing manual tasks),
- has a record of such an impairment, or
- is regarded as having such an impairment.
Are “disability” and “handicap” the same thing?
- A "disability" is a condition caused by accident, trauma, genetics or disease that may limit a person's mobility, hearing, vision, speech, or mental function. A person may have more than one disability.
- A "handicap" is a physical or attitudinal constraint imposed upon a person; for example, stairs, narrow doorways, and curbs are handicaps imposed upon people with disabilities who use wheelchairs.
How does a student become eligible to receive accommodations?
To become eligible, a student must:
- Contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSWD),
- Provide SSWD with current documentation that meets the definition of a disability from a qualified professional, and
- Consult with SSWD staff to determine appropriate accommodations.
- Request approved accommodations from his/her professor.
What do I do when a student discloses a disability and requests accommodations?
- Ask for the Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations form (VISA) completed by Services for Students with Disabilities staff. This form indicates the accommodations that instructors are legally mandated to provide. Invite the student to meet with you during office hours or at another convenient time to discuss with the student the accommodations approved on the VISA. Students are required to present the VISA to receive accommodations. The approved accommodations MUST be provided if the student requests them.
- If the student does not have a VISA, he or she should be referred to SSWD. The Services for Students with Disabilities staff will determine the appropriate accommodations after reviewing documentation of the disability provided by the student.
- Discuss any questions about the requested accommodations first with the student, then, if necessary, with a SSWD staff member.
- Note: any information about a student's disability is confidential and should not be released without the student's permission.
How do I request a volunteer notetaker?
TO REQUEST VOLUNTEER NOTETAKERS YOU MAY READ THE FOLLOWING IN CLASS:
“A volunteer notetaker is needed for one of your classmates who has a disability. Taking notes for another student can benefit you in several ways. Notetakers usually find their notes improve when they know someone else benefits from them. Volunteer experience looks great on your resume (it impresses future employers). For those of you who belong to campus organizations, volunteer hours can be used as service points. There is also the satisfaction of helping others.
To be a volunteer notetaker, you should meet these four criteria: (1) your attendance is good; (2) your handwriting is legible; (3) your notes are detailed (include notes from the lecture and information from overheads and what the instructor writes on the board) and (4) you consider yourself to be a good student. If you meet these criteria, we would appreciate your assistance. Please see me after class if you are interested in volunteering.”
What information should I include in my syllabus about SSWD?
SAMPLE COURSE SYLLABUS STATEMENT:
“If you are a student with a disability and need accommodations, you are welcome to meet with me to discuss arrangements for the accommodations. A VISA (Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations) is needed in order to use accommodations. This can be obtained through Services for Students with Disabilities (SSWD) at UW-Platteville. You can contact SSWD to schedule an appointment by calling 608.342.1818 or visiting their office, located in 103 Warner Hall.”
How do I send my tests or quizzes to the Center for Alternative Testing (CAT)?
If an instructor wishes to use it, the CAT uses a drop box feature to submit tests and quizzes. Should you wish to use another avenue for submitting your tests and quizzes to the CAT, contact the CAT for assistance.
*Note: Remember that students using testing accommodations need to remind their instructors three days prior to their test or quiz. This allows the instructor time to set up said accommodations. If students are taking their test or quiz with the CAT then they need to register the test or quiz; no registration is needed unless the students are using the CAT. Instructors will need to assist in the process of completing the registration form. The registration form can be downloaded via the CAT website under "Faculty Info."
What if a student does not request an accommodation until later in the semester?
Students have a responsibility to give instructors and Services for Students with Disabilities staff adequate time to arrange accommodations. SSWD staff encourages students to request accommodations early on in the semester.
- Instructors should announce in class and include a statement in the course syllabus for students to identify themselves early in the semester. An example syllabus statement can be accessed via the SSWD Website. Please see a previous FAQ regarding syllabi.
Once a student has shared their VISA and requests accommodations authorized by SSWD, the instructor has a legal responsibility to make reasonable attempts to accommodate the need, even late in the semester. There is no responsibility to provide accommodations retroactively.
- Instructors should feel free to contact SSWD for assistance on arrangements for last-minute requests.
Can I review the student’s documentation of a disability?
SSWD is the office designated to receive and interpret documentation of the disability. Services for Students with Disabilities staff certify eligibility for services and determine accommodations. Disability information is confidential and students are not required to disclose this information to instructors.
What if I suspect that a student has a disability?
Talk with the student about your concerns regarding their performance. If the concern seems disability-related, ask if the student has ever received assistance for a disability. If it seems appropriate, refer the student to SSWD for more information.
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