The University of Wisconsin-Madison provides specific processes for visitors and program participants who are not employees or students to request a reasonable accommodation, file a formal appeal when an accommodation request is denied, or file a discrimination complaint unrelated to an accommodation denial when there is alleged disability discrimination.
These processes provide a prompt response to reasonable accommodation requests and an equitable resolution of complaints alleging any disability discrimination prohibited under the ADA and other federal and state laws.
Visitors & Program Participants
Reasonable Accommodation Requests
Visitors and program participants make disability accommodation requests directly to the department or program hosting the event. For example, requests for accommodations at an athletics event are made to the Athletics Department. Requests for accommodations at a Wisconsin Union event are made to the Wisconsin Union.
Visitors and program participants are strongly encouraged to make their request for accommodations as far in advance as possible or in accordance with the parameters determined by the hosting unit. Accommodations may be denied if the hosting unit does not have sufficient time to review, determine, or plan for a reasonable accommodation.
Hosting units are supported in reviewing disability accommodation requests by the McBurney Disability Resource Center’s Visitor and Program Participants Access Consultant. While requests can be made directly to the hosting unit, individuals needing a reasonable accommodation may email the Visitor Access Consultant for assistance.
This table provides a list of some departments and their contact information for reasonable accommodations:
|Department||Contact Email or Webform Link||Contact Telephone|
|Recreation and Wellbeing “Rec Well”||email@example.com||(608) 262-0297|
|Wisconsin Union||Wisconsin Union Disability Accommodation Request Form||N/A|
|Chazen Museum of Artfirstname.lastname@example.org||(608) 262-9677|
|Office of Admissions and Recruitment/Visit Buckyemail@example.com||N/A|
|Division of Extension||Disability Accommodation Process for Division of Extension Program Participants||(608) 265-6248|
If further assistance is needed identifying the event host, email the Visitor Access Consultant. The ADA Coordinator may be contacted for general questions regarding the accommodation request process for visitors and program participants.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Visitors and program participants who have been denied an accommodation or believe there has been a policy violation regarding the accessibility of a university-sponsored program or event should first contact the ADA Coordinator. The ADA Coordinator will review the concern and work with the program or event sponsor and other campus resources appropriate to the issue to determine whether the concern can be resolved through means other than a formal appeal review.
When an alternative resolution process is not successful or appropriate to address the concern, the visitor or program participant can file a formal appeal with the ADA Coordinator within 30 calendar days of the accommodation denial. To appeal, the appellant must address in writing, to the ADA Coordinator, one or more of the following bases for appeal:
- Identify the facts in the record which do not support the accommodation denial and explain why those facts warrant a different outcome.
- Identify new facts that were not known and could not have been discovered during the interactive process and state how these new facts would change the analysis and decision.
- Identify how the denial was based on factors proscribed by state or federal law.
The appellant must also identify any other internal university appeals, grievances or complaints that have been filed related to the same facts.
It is within the ADA Coordinator’s discretion to decline an appeal review when the appellant does not provide sufficient information to detail any basis for the appeal.
ADA Coordinator Review Process for Appeals
The ADA Coordinator’s review will determine whether:
- proper procedures were followed and all relevant information was gathered and fairly considered,
- the requested accommodation fundamentally alters the nature of the program or an essential program standard,
- the requested accommodation presents an undue hardship, financial or administrative burden to the institution,
- the denial is supported by the record and was not arbitrary or capricious,
- the denial is in compliance with the law,
- any other factors the ADA Coordinator deems relevant to the matter.
The ADA Coordinator may request detailed information from the appellant and the unit denying the request, and may solicit additional information from or consult with those previously involved in the accommodation decision, the overall unit head (dean, director, vice chancellor), the McBurney Disability Resource Center, Employee Disability Resources Office, Office of Human Resources—Workforce Relations, Office of Legal Affairs, and/or others as appropriate.
Maximum possible confidentiality will be maintained and information will only be shared on a “need to know” basis, if it appears necessary in order to decide the appeal.
The potential outcomes of the ADA appeals process may include:
- The decision to deny the accommodation is upheld.
- The decision to deny the accommodation is overturned and the appealing party and the relevant unit return to the interactive process to determine implementation of the accommodation.
- The ADA Coordinator returns the issue to the interactive process with instruction to reevaluate reasonable accommodations.
- The appeal is dismissed for untimeliness or because insufficient information was provided by the appealing party initially or during the course of the review.
The ADA Coordinator shall provide written notification of the appeal decision within 30 calendar days to the Appealing Party, the unit that originally denied the accommodation, and other relevant parties (e.g., McBurney Disability Resource Center, Disability Divisional Representative, Employee Disability Resources Office, Dean/Director, department chair, etc.). If the 30 calendar day time limit cannot be met, the ADA Coordinator will inform the Appealing Party, the unit, and relevant other parties of an alternative time limit, not to exceed an additional 60 calendar days.
This is the final internal appeal process for accommodation denials or modifications for visitors and all program participants.