This policy applies to all University of Wisconsin System and UW institution programs and activities, employment practices and operations, including the conduct of all students and employees that arises out of their employment, educational or academic status.


The purpose of this policy is to define the rights and responsibilities of instructors (which shall include faculty and instructional academic staff) to protect their instructional materials and lectures and to balance those rights against the rights of qualified students with disabilities to effectively access instructional materials and lectures or to participate in a course, event, or program.

Policy Statement

The Board of Regents recognizes the right of individual instructors to set reasonable policies and practices in regard to the use, copying or recording of instructional materials or lectures that are developed as a part of an academic course, event or program.

For reasons of pedagogical practice, academic freedom or protection of intellectual property rights, instructors may limit or restrict students from copying, recording or using instructional materials or lectures. However, reasonable accommodations shall be provided to qualified students with disabilities who may require the use of a recording device, note-taker or other assistance or technology to effectively access instructional materials and lectures in order to participate in an educational or academic course, event or program.

Instructors and students should work with their institution’s office that provides services for students with disabilities to determine what type of reasonable accommodation, if any, is necessary to assure that the student may effectively participate in an educational or academic course, event or program in accordance with Regent policies, UW System Administration policies, institution policies, and state and federal laws.

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

Institutions may adopt policies or practices consistent with this Regent Policy Document.

Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws

• Regent Policy Document 14-10, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability
• Wis. Stat. § 36.12, Student discrimination prohibited
• Wis. Stat. § 106.57, Postsecondary education; accessible instructional material for students with disabilities
• 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
• 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973


History: Res. 1326, adopted 10/15/1976, created Regent Policy Document 76-5; Res. 1556, adopted 11/11/1977, replaced Regent Policy Document 76-5 and created Regent Policy Document 77-5; subsequently renumbered 4-1; Res. 10440, adopted 12/05/2015, amended Regent Policy Document 4-1.


SYS 191: Copyrightable Instructions Materials Ownership, Use, and Control (formerly G27)

[UW System Administrative policies are included for reference and are separate from Regent Policy Documents adopted by the Board.]