Faculty/Staff Resources

UW-Platteville Classroom
This portion of the website functions as a resource for faculty and staff when working with students with disabilities.  Below is information regarding various disabilities, how to accommodate students, the ADA and other laws governing disability rights in higher education, as well as a variety of other topics.  The FAQs section of our website may also offer information you find useful.  Additional questions not answered within these sections should be directed to our office.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A website from the United States Department of Justice regarding the ADA and it's amendments.  The ADA was signed into law in 1990 and prohibits discrimination while ensuring opportunity for people with disabilities.  The ADA was amended in 2008.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Information from the United States Department of Education regarding IDEA.  This law ensures services for students with disabilities in the K-12 educational system.  Once the student enters post-secondary education the law no longer applies; the ADA and Section 504 take over from that point on.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act: A fact sheet from the United States Office for Civil Rights regarding Section 504.  Section 504 became a national law in 1973.  This law defends qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination because of that disability.

Comparison of IDEA, ADA, and Section 504: The Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund explains the difference between IDEA, ADA, and Section 504.

Disability Information:

UW System Disability Resources: The UW System is committed to equal access to postsecondary education under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.  This resource serves to educate on UW System policies regarding individuals with disabilities.  

ACCESS: The Access Project out of Colorado State University serves as a great resource to faculty and staff looking to gain more knowledge regarding specific disabilities, possible accommodations, and effective teaching strategies.  

Guide to Reasonable Accommodations: A resource from Florida State University describing reasonable accommodations for various disabilities.

Also visit the Student Resources page for more specific disability information.


How to Provide Accommodations:

If a student provides you a Verified Individual Individualized Services and Accommodations (VISA) it is important to consider the following:

  • How will these accommodations look in my classroom?
  • How will I provide the student with these accommodations?
  • Are essential elements compromised or fundamentally altered by the accommodation?

The student can and should be party to this conversation.  Testing accommodations can either be administered through the instructor or through the Testing Center, located in Karrmann Library.  Time and a half and testing in a reduced distraction environment are common testing accommodations.  Notetaking assistance can be provided through providing a student with instructor notes (e.g., PowerPoint slides or outlines) or a volunteer notetaker.  If the student wishes to remain anonymous in the notetaking process, the notetaker can bring notes to SSWD or the instructor and the student with a disability can pick up the notes accordingly.  Many students prefer to hammer out these specific details when they initially share their VISA with you.  This helps alleviate any anxieties they may have and sets the precedent for the semester.  

A sample syllabus statement can be viewed on our website.  


Should a student disclose a disability to you listen with a kind ear.  For many students approaching an authority figure in any capacity can be difficult, especially if it involves disclosing a disability.  It is appropriate to ask the student if they are connected to our office or for an instructor to ask to see the student's VISA.  Without a VISA you are not required to accommodate the student in the classroom.  Should that student not have a VISA or not be connected with SSWD in anyway, please refer them to our office.  SSWD will then work with the student to aid them in the pursuit of accommodations or any other disability related assistance they may need.

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