ACCESS Center

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Testing
ACCESS Center Large Testing Room ACCESS Center Small Testing Room

Reduced Distraction Environment - The two main testing rooms in The ACCESS Center provide a smaller space with 12 or 7 seats and fewer distractions than the classroom environment.  Additional spaces are available for students needing assistive technology or when greater numbers of students are testing.

Extended Time - Extended time for testing allows students the opportunity to fully show the material they have learned by ensuring that the effects of their disability are compensated for in the testing environment.

Alternative Formatting - Large print, Braille, electronic format or other conversion of text materials to provide access while testing.

Scribe - For students who need assistance to physically write their responses to exam questions, a scribe can take dictation of the student's responses on exams.

Assistive Technology - Text-to-speech software, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Smart Board, word processor or other technology that is required by the student in order to effectively show their learning in a testing situation. 

Alternative Formats

Alternative format text provides copies of text books or other print materials in electronic format, large print, Braille, or another accessible format.  Electronic format materials can be used in conjunction with software, provided by The ACCESS Center, that can read the materials out loud or can resize the text and images to make them more accessible.

Classroom Recording and Notetaking

Students may need notetaking support in class that can take various forms. 

The most common type of notetaking support at UWL is classroom recording. Recording is preferable to a personal notetaker for many reasons:

  • Promotes independence in learning and practices skills that will be necessary in future occupational settings
  • Does not rely on a volunteer, who may find topics for notes more or less important than the student receiving the notes
  • Supports a wide range of disabilities (e.g. physical, learning disability, processing disorder, psychological, attention, etc.)

The ACCESS Center loans students Livescribe Smartpens (shown below) to use for the semester, or provides a software loan of Sonocent Audio Notetaker for the semester to allow them to record audio content in class and be able to revisit and study from the resulting recordings. 

Some instructors may prefer not to be recorded.  In this case, if the instructor uses principles of Universal Design in their class that results in no students needing to take notes, or a comprehensive set of notes is provided to the class, the instructor may ask that students refrain from recording since other students are not taking notes either. 

Audio Recording-Smartpen Appropriate Use Agreement.pdf

Notetaking services, by a student volunteer already enrolled in the class, are available to students who are unable to take notes due to hearing, physical, or other disabilities.  Notes are uploaded by the notetaker to the ACCESS Connect database for students to retrieve.

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

For students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing, there are many options to provide access to auditory material in the classroom. Please discuss with your advisor if you have any questions.

Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Braille textbooks and course materials
  • CCTV
  • Assistive technology for testing
Residence Life

UWL recognizes the importance of providing reasonable accommodations in its housing policies and practices where necessary for individuals with disabilities to use and enjoy University housing.  In order to receive accommodations in the residence halls students must register with The ACCESS Center and make a request for the accommodation needed based on documentation of a medical or disability need.  UWL will accept and consider requests for reasonable accommodation in University housing at any time, however if the request is made fewer than 60 days before move-in or while already living in housing UWL cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the student's accommodation needs during the first semester or term of occupancy.  Reasonable accommodations in university housing may include:

  • Room Assignment - Students may need a housing placement in a specific location (e.g. near a bathroom, first floor, closer to center of campus, etc.) due to disability or medical condition.
  • Air Conditioning - Placement in residence halls with central air conditioning or with window air conditioning units.  Window units do not have filtration and do not provide a barrier to allergens entering the living space.
  • Single Room - Students who have large amounts of medical equipment to store, or a medical/psychological need for a single room placement may request a single room.  Single rooms are typically not assigned to individuals who need a quiet study space, as the residence halls are not a recommended location for uninterrupted study and other locations on campus are better suited to that purpose.
  • Furniture and Equipment - Additional refridgerator for medication, roll-in shower and grab bars in the bathroom, ability to bring own mattress, etc.
  • Fire Alarm Strobe and Horn - Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students can arrange for a fire alarm strobe light to be installed in their residence hall room.
  • Emotional Support Animal (ESA)- Emotional Support Animals are a category of animals that may provide necessary emotional support to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability that alleviates one or more identified symptoms of the individual’s disability, but which are not considered Service Animals under the ADAAA and UW-L’s Service Animal Policy.  Students that have the support of their mental health care professional and an established relationship with an ESA that has been shown to provide positive therapeutic benefit may request to bring their ESA to live in the residence hall with them.  ESAs are only allowed in the assigned residence space of the individual student and may not be taken to other buildings on campus (e.g. classrooms, dining halls, etc.).

Additional details may be found in the "Residence Life Reasonable Accommodation Policy" and the "Residence Life Emotional Support Animal Policy" below.

Residence Life Reasonable Accommodation Policy.pdf

Residence Life Emotional Support Animal Policy.pdf

Service Animals

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse recognizes that the use of a service animal is not an accommodation, but recommends that students who bring a service animal to campus register with The ACCESS Center in order to ensure that appropriate information can be communicated to campus officials so that the student does not encounter unnecessary questioning while on campus. 

It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse that service animals assisting individuals with disabilities (including service animals in training), are generally permitted on the campus, including exterior and interior locations that are deemed appropriate in accordance with the provisions of the Service Animal Policy. A service animal is any dog, regardless of breed, that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability and that otherwise meets the definition of “service animal” under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93112, 87 Stat. 394 (29 U.S.C. 794), as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act § 35.136.

Additional details may be found in the "UWL Service Animal Policy" below.

UWL Service Animal Policy.pdf

“Emotional Support Animals” are a category of animals that may provide necessary emotional support to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability that alleviates one or more identified symptoms of the individual’s disability, but which are not considered Service Animals under the ADAAA and UW-L’s Service Animal Policy.  Emotional support animal accommodations are discussed under Residence Life Accommodations.

Other
  • Classroom Furniture
  • Classroom Relocation
  • Snow Removal Planning