Reasonable Accommodations and Appeals Information – test page

Employees and Job Applicants

The university-wide Divisional Disability Representatives handle employee and job applicant requests for reasonable accommodations. Further information about the accommodation request and appeals process, along with applicable university policies are contained in the information tabs below. Questions may be directed to the Director in the Employee Disability Resources Office or the ADA Coordinator in the Office of Compliance.

Current Employees

All employee requests for individual disability-related reasonable accommodation(s) are made under the appropriate employee disability accommodation policy or to the Employee Disability Resources Office when the employee is not covered under one of the policies.

Those policies currently in place include:

    1. Faculty Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedures
    2. Academic Staff Disability Accommodation Policy
    3. University/Classified Staff Disability Accommodation Policy
FACULTY
  1. If an individual faculty member disagrees with a reasonable accommodation request decision, the faculty member may appeal by filing with the UW-Madison ADA Coordinator as provided for in the Faculty Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedures at Section IV.
  2. A faculty member who has a complaint of disability discrimination, unrelated to a request for an accommodation, may, as appropriate, (i) pursue a grievance under FPP 8.15, or (ii) pursue a discrimination complaint with the Office of Compliance Equal Opportunity Investigation Administrator
ACADEMIC STAFF
  1. If an academic staff member disagrees with a reasonable accommodation request decision, the academic staff member may file an appeal with the ADA Coordinator as provided for in the UW-Madison Academic Staff Disability Accommodation Policy at Section VII.
  2. An academic staff member who has a complaint of disability discrimination, unrelated to a request for an accommodation, may, as appropriate, (i) pursue a grievance under Academic Staff Policies and Procedures (ASPP) Chapter 7, or (ii) pursue a discrimination complaint with the Office of Compliance Equal Opportunity Investigation Administrator.
UNIVERSITY STAFF
  1. If a university staff member disagrees with a reasonable accommodation decision, the university staff member may file an appeal with the ADA Coordinator as provided for in the UW-Madison University/Classified Staff Disability Accommodation Policy at Section VII.
  2. A University staff employee who has a complaint of disability discrimination, unrelated to a request for an accommodation, may, as appropriate, (i) pursue a grievance under the university staff grievance procedure (HR Policy 17.01) or (ii) pursue a discrimination complaint with the Office of Compliance Equal Opportunity Investigation Administrator.
OTHER EMPLOYEES (i.e., LIMITED APPOINTEES, TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES)

Individuals not included in any of the above classifications or covered by the above described appeal or grievance policies or processes should contact the ADA Coordinator in the Office of Compliance. The ADA Coordinator will determine whether to refer an individual to one of the existing processes for handling appeals regarding an individual’s request for an accommodation, or refer the individual to the Office of Compliance Equal Opportunity Investigation Administrator.

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 appeal process may include:

  1. The decision to deny the accommodation is upheld.
  2. 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.
  3. The ADA Coordinator returns the issue to the interactive process with instruction to reevaluate reasonable accommodations.
  4. 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.

Applicants for Employment

FACULTY APPLICANTS

Applicants for faculty positions may make requests for individual disability accommodations under the UW-Madison Faculty Reasonable Accommodation Policies and Procedures (Section II).

ACADEMIC STAFF OR UNIVERSITY STAFF APPLICANTS

Applicants for academic staff or university staff positions may make requests for individual disability accommodations under the UW-Madison Academic Staff Disability Accommodation Policy (Section III.A.), or the UW-Madison University/Classified Staff Disability Accommodation Policy (Section III.A.), respectively.

FACULTY, ACADEMIC, AND UNIVERSITY STAFF APPLICANTS 

If an applicant for a faculty, academic staff, or university staff position has been denied a reasonable accommodation request in the application process, the applicant must follow external complaint procedures to file an appeal. No internal appeals process for job applicants is available through the university.

The following links are provided as resources:

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Equal Rights Division;

Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Students and Academic Program Applicants

Students with disabilities are served through the McBurney Disability Resource Center for all accommodation needs ranging from academic to campus housing to digital and physical campus accessibility. Further information about the accommodation request and appeals process, along with applicable university policies are contained in the information tabs below. Please review these carefully. Questions may be directed to the McBurney Disability Resource Center or the ADA Coordinator in the Office of Compliance.

Academic program applicants apply to UW-Madison via an accessible online process. Accommodations for programs that require an audition for admission to that academic program (i.e., School of Music) are made to and arranged by the program contact. Disability information pertaining to an accommodation request for audition purposes is not considered in the admissions decision to UW-Madison.

Applicants who have a question about an accommodation or encounter an accessibility barrier in the application process should contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center or the ADA Coordinator.

Current Students

Students seeking reasonable accommodations can complete an online application through the McBurney Disability Resource Center by reviewing the Apply for Accommodations information on the McBurney Center’s website.

For more information about the accommodation request process, contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center.

UW-Madison’s policy on providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities was recently updated and is available through the Access for Students with Disabilities policy.

Students who have been denied an accommodation related to their status as a student (not a student employee) may initially attempt to resolve matters by contacting the McBurney Disability Resource Center to discuss the nature of the complaint, factors to consider as part of the interactive process, and whether an alternative resolution process with the individual or program that denied the accommodation could be engaged. Often, an alternative resolution process is sufficient to address the accommodation concern. Additionally, the ADA Coordinator (ADAC) may refer a student concern back to the McBurney Center if the interactive process has not been fully engaged before accepting an appeal request.

Students should note that engaging in the alternative dispute resolution process does not stop the 30-calendar day clock by which to file an appeal with the ADA Coordinator as noted per the Access for Students with Disabilities policy.

Students who have been denied an accommodation by the McBurney Disability Resource Center may contact the ADA Coordinator directly without engaging in the alternate dispute resolution process.

Students who have been denied an accommodation in their status as a student employee (including as a teaching, research or project assistant or post-doctoral trainee) follow the appeals procedures for employees).

When an alternative resolution process is not successful, students may formally appeal an accommodation denial or modification. To do so, the appealing party (appellant) must address in writing one or more of the following bases for appeal to the ADA Coordinator (please hyperlink this to the ada_coordinator@wisc.edu email):

  • 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.

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 appeal process may include:

  1. The decision to deny the accommodation is upheld.
  2. 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.
  3. The ADA Coordinator returns the issue to the interactive process with instruction to reevaluate reasonable accommodations.
  4. 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 ADAC 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 for all parties other than students who have the right to appeal to the Chancellor under Chapter 36.12. For more information, visit the Appeal to the Chancellor tab.

The ADA Coordinator’s decision to uphold a disability accommodation denial or modification may be appealed by the student to the Chancellor, as per UWS 36.12. The deadline for submitting an appeal to the Chancellor is 14 calendar days from the date of the written decision as specified in the ADA Coordinator’s decision, which may or may not be the date the decision is sent to or received by the student. Students should send their written appeals to the Chancellor at chancellor@news.wisc.edu.

The Chancellor shall sustain the decision of the ADA Coordinator to uphold the denial or modification unless the Chancellor finds any of the following:

  • The information in the record does not support the findings or decision of the ADA Coordinator;
  • Appropriate procedures were not followed by the ADA Coordinator and material prejudice to the student resulted; or
  • The decision was based on factors proscribed by state or federal law.

The Office of the Chancellor has 30 calendar days to respond to the appeal from the date the appeal is filed. The decision is based on a review of the record only – no meetings or oral arguments will take place. If the Chancellor determines one or more of the above factors exist, the Chancellor may return the matter to the ADA Coordinator with further instruction or invoke an appropriate remedy of their own.

As per 36.12(2)(b), the Chancellor’s decision may be appealed to the Board of Regents, consistent with the Bylaws of the Board of Regents, Section 7(c).

Academic Program Applicants

Applicants for admission apply to UW-Madison via an accessible online process. If an accommodation is needed as part of the application process (e.g., audition as part of an application to the School of Music), applicants should contact the program contact to request a reasonable accommodation. Applicants may also contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center or the ADA Coordinator for further information or guidance or to provide notification about an application accessibility barrier.

Applicants may formally appeal an accommodation denial or modification. To do so, the appealing party (appellant) must address in writing one or more of the following bases for appeal to the ADA Coordinator (please hyperlink this to the ada_coordinator@wisc.edu email):

  • 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.

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 appeal process may include:

  1. The decision to deny the accommodation is upheld.
  2. 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.
  3. The ADA Coordinator returns the issue to the interactive process with instruction to reevaluate reasonable accommodations.
  4. 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 ADAC 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 for all parties other than current UW-Madison students also applying as an academic program applicant, who have the right to appeal to the Chancellor under Chapter 36.12. For more information, visit the Appeal to the Chancellor tab.

The ADA Coordinator’s decision to uphold a disability accommodation denial or modification may be appealed by the student to the Chancellor, as per UWS 36.12. The deadline for submitting an appeal to the Chancellor is 14 calendar days from the date of the written decision as specified in the ADA Coordinator’s decision, which may or may not be the date the decision is sent to or received by the student. Students should send their written appeals to the Chancellor at chancellor@news.wisc.edu.

The Chancellor shall sustain the decision of the ADA Coordinator to uphold the denial or modification unless the Chancellor finds any of the following:

  • The information in the record does not support the findings or decision of the ADA Coordinator;
  • Appropriate procedures were not followed by the ADA Coordinator and material prejudice to the applicant resulted; or
  • The decision was based on factors proscribed by state or federal law.

The Office of the Chancellor has 30 calendar days to respond to the appeal from the date the appeal is filed. The decision is based on a review of the record only – no meetings or oral arguments will take place. If the Chancellor determines one or more of the above factors exist, the Chancellor may return the matter to the ADA Coordinator with further instruction or invoke an appropriate remedy of their own.

As per 36.12(2)(b), the Chancellor’s decision may be appealed to the Board of Regents, consistent with the Bylaws of the Board of Regents, Section 7(c).

Visitors and Program Participants

The University of Wisconsin-Madison provides specific processes for visitors and program participants who are neither employees nor students of the institution to request an accommodation, or to file a formal appeal when an accommodation request is denied, or to 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 action prohibited by the U.S. Department of Justice regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Title II states, in part, that “no otherwise qualified disabled individual shall, solely by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination” in programs, services or activities sponsored by a public entity.

Visitors and program participants may make a request for disability accommodations to the department or program sponsoring 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.

The ADA Coordinator may be contacted for general questions regarding the accommodation request process for visitors and program participants.

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 otherwise appropriate to address the concern, the visitor or program participant can file a form appeal with the ADA Coordinator within 30 calendar days after the appellant was informed of the alleged violation. To appeal an accommodation denial, the appealing party (appellant) must address in writing, to the ADA Coordinator (please hyperlink to my ADAC email) 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 ADAC’s discretion to decline an appeal review when the appellant does not provide sufficient information to detail any basis for the appeal.

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 appeal process may include:

  1. The decision to deny the accommodation is upheld.
  2. 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.
  3. The ADA Coordinator returns the issue to the interactive process with instruction to reevaluate reasonable accommodations.
  4. 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.