Testing expanding section

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 expanding section

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 expanding section

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.

Sonocent Audio Notetaker License Key: 1AN-JMZK-9M96TM-B9V5AZ1-FUZ2HW (use must be approved by The ACCESS Center)

Flexible Attendance and Due Date expanding section

The ACCESS Center approves Flexible Attendance/Due Date accommodations for students with documented chronic or episodic disabilities. Students may need to miss class due to a disability related reason and require some flexibility when accessing courses at UWL.  

Flexible Attendance and Due Dates Reasonable Accommodation

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing expanding section

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 expanding section
  • Braille textbooks and course materials
  • CCTV
  • Assistive technology for testing
Residence Life expanding section

UWL recognizes the importance of providing reasonable accommodations in its housing policies and practices where necessary for individuals with disabilities to fully participate in the housing program. In order to receive accommodations in the residence halls, students first register with The ACCESS center and make a request for the needed accommodation(s) based on a disability or medical need. After registration with The ACCESS Center, the individual requesting an accommodation must schedule an intake meeting with their assigned ACESS Center advisor. The advisor will discuss the necessary documentation to move forward and provide the student with a copy of a Reasonable Accommodation Verification Form.

UWL will accept and consider requests for reasonable accommodation in University housing at any time. The individual making the request for accommodation should complete and provide the Request Form to The ACCESS Center as soon as practicably possible before moving into University housing. If the request for the accommodation is submitted to the ACCESS Center after initial room assignments have been made by Residence Life for the upcoming semester, before the individual intends to move into University housing, UWL cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the individual’s accommodation needs during the first semester or term of occupancy.

If the need for the accommodation arises when an individual already resides in University housing, they should contact The ACCESS Center and complete the Request Form as soon as practicably possible. UWL cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the accommodation needs during the semester or term in which the request is received.

The timeline of which reasonable accommodation requests are responded to varies based on the type of request, level of review necessary, and potential submission of additional required documentation.

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 refrigerator 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)- An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal that provides therapeutic emotional support for an individual with a diagnosed mental health disability. Unlike service animals that are trained to perform specific tasks that are important to the independence or safety of their disabled handler, ESAs are generally not trained to perform disability-specific tasks. ESAs are not pets, but they typically are animals commonly kept in households as pets. An ESA may be a dog, cat, small bird, rabbit, hamster, gerbil, fish, turtle, or other small, domesticated, animal that is traditionally kept in the home for pleasure. Under guidelines from HUD, reptiles (other than turtles), barnyard animals, monkeys, and other non-domesticated animals are not considered common household animals.

Additional details may be found in the following files:


Service Animals expanding section

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.