UW-Stevens Point, Disability Center

By:Rachel Gasper

What type of agency is it?

It is a Title 1, ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and public agency. This agency gives all students who can prove their eligibility for the services access to them. They as a university have the legal responsibility to accommodate and provide access to all students with disabilities. This also means that they cannot deny or exclude anyone with a disability. The agency provides equal access by having reasonable modifications to procedures for students.

What are the agency's hours of operation?

Main office is open 8 am to 4:30 pm, this is where students can go to disclose and talk to the agencies head people about what is going on with them. They can also at this time set up accommodations. Services are provided to students from 7 am to 9 pm. The services are things like getting food with help from someone or testing help.

What geographical area does the agency serve?

The agency serves all students no matter where they are from as long as the go to UWSP. They do not have to live on campus to get accommodations with their school work. The agency also helps students who live on campus outside of school with getting food and other things for daily living if that is part of their accommodations.

What is the history of the agency?

The agency started off small during the Rehabilitation Act and then got bigger as time went on. At all times, the agency is changing the ways it helps students due to different laws and policies being passed. They started out with small amounts of students due to not many students with disabilities going to college, but now they have a large amount of students. This is due to students having more opportunities to come to college when they have a disability.

What interaction does the agency have with parents?

At the beginning, when the student first starts at the University all input from them is helpful in creating the accommodations for the student. Also, throughout the students career in college the input from parents is always helpful. As the student goes further in their college career, contact with the parents lessen due to being a student-centered agency rather than a parent-based.

What interaction does the agency have with schools and youth?

They have information nights at the local high schools and make families aware of the services they provide. Other than that, they don't recruit students. They feel it is not important to contact the youth, because they are focused on college students. Youth are not that close to college and they only have a limited budget to go talk to high schools, which is why they only talk to the area high schools. This agency is only meant for the college students, so they feel their budget is better spent helping the students they have, rather than paying to tell students about themselves. They can be found on the internet, so they feel the youth can find them that way.

How is the agency funded?

They are funded by tax payers and state appropriations. They are a non-fee based agency. When everyone is taxed some of that money goes to the agency along with the college. This way it isn't a financial burden to families and students who need the services. Also, then a student cannot be turned away, because they can't afford the accommodation help.

What services does your agency provide?

They provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations for all students who have documentation of their disability. They have many different accommodations for students, some are exam accommodations, like adaptive or modified test-taking. Another one is proctors, scribes, and reader for when a student is taking a test. One of the accommodation's that is used very often is note-takers and self-duplicating paper for students who have a disability that effects their note taking in their classrooms.

How do individuals access the services?

They come to the agency and disclose. Then, they will make a appointment with a advisors of the agency. When they meet with the advisor they need to prove that they are eligible for the services with documentation. The advisor will go over the information that is needed with the student and tell them what the agency is about.

What are the eligibility requirements for the services?

As of 2008, the student needs to have a diagnosed condition and an impairment to qualify for the services. The student has to prove their eligibility. They do this by having a documentation for their disability. The documentation has to be within 3 years of when they come in to get the services. The agency is also able to ask for any other information to be filed as they need.

How is the agency evaluated and who evaluates the agency?

They do self-assessments as directors and workers in that office. Also, just like all of the other university offices they have do their own university reporting to the higher offices. This is to show the university that they are meeting the needs of the students with disabilities.

What link does the agency have to the IEP?

They have little to none, students come in with an IEP, but that is just the start. IEP's are made for high school environments, where students go home every night to their own home. Now that they are in college, they are living on campus usually. So instead of just needing help in the school, they need help in their everyday living outside of school. This would include living in the dorms, getting meals at the different buildings on campus, and also just getting around the campus to all their classes. Unlike high school, not all of their classes are going to be in the same building and they also won't have as much time to get to other classes. They only do accommodations, because unlike high school they can't change the curriculum the student is learning or give them extra time to get to their classes.

What link does the agency have to the transition process?

They are the end of it. If the student has a high school who does a good transition plan, then the student has a smooth transition to college life. It is important for the student to have a good transition plan for when they are coming to college, because it is very hard for the college to help the student if they weren't ready to be on their own as a student.