Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) do?
The Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) provides services to students with disabilities to insure accessibility to university programs. CSD offers accommodations counseling, evaluation referral, disability-related information, adaptive technology counseling and equipment, and interpreter services for academically related purposes. CSD does not offer disability evaluation and/or testing, personal expenses, or personal attendant care.
What constitutes a disability?
A disability is defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Learning and walking are two examples of a major life activities. If you have a mental or physical condition, a history of such a condition, or a condition which may be considered by other as substantially limiting, you may have a legally defined disability. http://www.ada.gov/
What does substantially limiting mean?
According to Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973, substantially limiting is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average or to most people.
What is a major life activity?
According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning, and working.
What are appropriate academic accommodations?
Appropriate academic accommodations create equal access to education, as long as they don't require a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum. The institution determines this. Such modifications many include an adjustment in the amount of time allowed to complete a degree, substitution of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.
What should I do if I think I have a disability or I have a disability and want to receive accommodations/services?
If you suspect you have a disability or have a disability you will need to provide appropriate documentation of that disability to CSD. A qualified professional who is licensed or certified to diagnose the disability in question must supply this documentation. Please click HERE for the list of Documentation Guidelines and HERE for a step-by-step guide to obtaining services and accommodations through CSD.
What type of accommodations and services are available?
Academic accommodations include, not are not limited to testing accommodations, interpreting, captioning, note-taker services, document conversion (e.g., books in digital audio and electronic formats), and registration assistance. Although not accommodations, CSD assists students with issues and salutations related to advocacy, accessibly, on-campus housing, transportation services, and attendant care. CSD is a resource for information including, but not limited to, tutoring services, study skills and time management, community resources, disability awareness, and various university services. For a comprehensive list of Mandated and Success based Services
I received accommodations in high school or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 plan. Can I use the IEP or 504 as documentation?
The IEP or 504 Plan is a valuable resource of information, but it cannot be used as documentation of the disability.
What role do my parents play in the process?
Students who are 18 years old or older are legally recognized as adults. In this case, the student is responsible for their own accommodation requests and disability-related decisions. However, students are encouraged to have an open dialogue with their parents. Parents can be a great source of support and encouragement.
Are there any sources of funding for college expenses that are specifically for students with disabilities?
We recommend you check out 3 sources of possible funding:
1.) Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR): VR is a federal program designed to "obtain, maintain, and improve employment for people with disabilities." To be eligible for funding through VR, you need to "have a disability which is severe enough that you have problems getting or keeping a job specifically because of your disability." VR must also agree that college is needed to increase your ability to obtain employment. For more information on the Wisconsin Department of Vocational Rehabilitation go to
2.) Center for Students with Disabilities Scholarships. CSD has several scholarships specifically for UW-Whitewater students with Disabilities. For more information
3.) Other Financial Aid/Scholarship Opportunities: For other funding opportunities got to http://www.finaid.org/otheraid/disabled.phtml or contact UW-Whitewater's Office of Financial Aid.
How do I file an appeal or complaint if I have been denied an accommodation or discriminated against on the basis of disability?
You can refer to the university's appeal and complaint process which can be found at http://www.uww.edu/csd/information/policies/appeals.html
I had an accident over the weekend and torn my ACL. Can CSD assist me?
Please review the information and resources for students with temporary disabilities. http://www.uww.edu/csd/students/temporary.html
I am an employee at UW-Whitewater, can you assist me with getting accommodations from my department?
Accommodating employees is ultimately a departmental responsibility. The university's Office of Human Resources & Diversity www.uww.edu/adminaffairs/hr/ employs a specialist to assist departments and employees with identifying appropriate work-related accommodations. Please click HERE for the Disability Accommodation Request Form for university employees.
Adopted from the McBurney Disability Resource Center at UW Madison