This policy applies to all educational programs, employment practices, and operations of the University of Wisconsin System and its institutions, and to the conduct of all students, faculty and staff that arises out of their employment or academic status, as well as to the conduct of all program participants, guests, visitors, vendors, contractors, subcontractors and others who do business with the UW System or its institutions.
The purpose of this policy is to express the Board of Regents’ expectation that the UW System, its institutions and agents shall respect the rights of individuals under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), including changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act and other applicable state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of a disability.
It is the policy of the Board of Regents that discrimination on the basis of a disability is prohibited. No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall be denied access to or participation in any program, service, activity or employment opportunity offered by the UW System or its institutions.
In addition, retaliation is prohibited against any person for exercising a right under federal or state disability laws or for assisting or supporting another in exercising such a right.
A. University of Wisconsin System
The President of the UW System shall appoint and maintain an advisory committee to provide information and recommendations with regard to disability-related issues. The President shall also designate a person or office to be a resource to this committee, to act as a liaison to other agencies, and to assure that each institution has developed the procedures required by this policy. The UW System Administration shall maintain operational guidelines for implementing this policy.
B. UW Institutions
Each UW System institution shall undertake the following initiatives:
- Appoint an advisory committee, which includes students as members, to provide information and recommendations responsive to the needs and concerns of individuals with disabilities.
- Implement policies, procedures or practices that are consistent with this policy and provide, at a minimum, the following:
- Notification of the institution’s policies, procedures and/or practices in regard to the rights and protections of qualified individuals with disabilities in employment and the educational setting. This information shall be readily available in accessible formats to prospective and current students and employees on the institution’s website.
- A procedure(s) pursuant to which an individual may notify an appropriate institutional representative that he/she has a disability and request a reasonable accommodation. This process shall include a method under which confidential health-related information will be collected and maintained in accordance with the law.
- A procedure for evaluating requests to use service animals or assistance animals on property owned or controlled by the institution.
- A procedure under which a person may file a complaint or grievance for alleged violations of this policy or institutional policies or practices. This process must ensure the prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint or grievance, should be applicable to any anticipated disability-related complaint, including an appeal of a denied accommodation request, and should provide for resolution by an administrative official or panel.
- A designated individual(s) in the appropriate units to coordinate efforts to implement and enforce the applicable policies, procedures and protections afforded to qualified individuals with disabilities.
- Ensure that its facilities, including new and existing facilities, are accessible in a manner that is consistent with this policy and compliant with state and federal law.
- Ensure that any University program, activity or event that occurs off-campus is readily accessible to all participants in accordance with state and federal law.
- Ensure that its financial aid, admissions and enrollment practices, advising and placement services, and social organizations do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities.
- Ensure that all physical education courses, athletic programs and related activities, taken as a whole, provide an equal opportunity for the participation of qualified individuals with a disability, in accordance with eligibility requirements and state and federal law.
- Ensure that electronic and information technology resources are accessible to and usable by qualified individuals with disabilities.
In addition, each institution shall develop a process under which relevant statistical data and information can be collected, maintained and reviewed to assess the nature and extent of the services provided to individuals with disabilities in both an employment and educational setting. Each institution is also encouraged to provide training to faculty and staff in order to provide awareness and understanding of the legal rights of individuals with disabilities in regard to higher education.
Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities
Each chancellor or his or her designee shall be responsible for implementing institutional policies consistent with this policy. System Administration staff will assist institutions in their efforts to implement this policy, to answer specific legal or policy questions, and to provide information and materials on the subject of disability law compliance that may be useful in the drafting of definitions and procedures or in preparing education programs.
Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws
- RPD 14-6, Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
- Wis. Stat. § 36.12, Student discrimination prohibited
- Wis. Stat. § 106.56, Postsecondary education; prohibition against discrimination on basis of physical condition or developmental disability
- Wis. Stat. § 106.57, Postsecondary education; accessible instructional material for students with disabilities
- Wis. Stat. § 111.34, Fair Employment Act (Disability: exceptions and special cases)
- 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., Fair Housing Act
- 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., Americans with Disabilities Act
- 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325)
History: Res. 5008, adopted 07/08/1988, created Regent Policy Document 88-9; Res. 7346, adopted 12/06/1996, created Regent Policy Document 96-6 replacing Regent Policy Document 88-9; subsequently renumbered 14-10; Res. 10439, adopted 12/05/2014, amended Regent Policy Document 14-10.
[UW System Administrative policies are included for reference and are separate from Regent Policy Documents adopted by the Board.]