Disability Services

The purpose of Upper Iowa University Disability Services is to provide support to students, faculty and staff through our disabilities service personnel in compliance with ADAAA guidelines.

Information for Students with Disabilities

Information for Parents with Disabilities

Disability Services Handbook 2016-17 (pdf)

Guidelines for Acceptable Documentation (pdf)

Accessible Documents:

The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability. It is essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities.  (Reference: W3C Accessibility Page)

Tools and resources for students, faculty and staff that can help ensure documents are accessible can be found on myUIU.  Login to myUIU and look for "Disability Services" under the "Academics" tab.

For more information, contact:

Kellie A. Blanchard M.Ed.
Director of Disability Services
Upper Iowa University

Cameron M. Vinsand
Graduate Assistant for Disability Services
Upper Iowa University

Information for Students with Disabilities

Upper Iowa University Disability Services (UIUDS) is committed to ensuring equal access to and full participation in educational and co-curricular activities to students with disabilities.  The University will make accommodations for only those students who report a disability and provide appropriate documentation. For appropriate accommodations to be made, current documentation must be on file with the Director of Disability Services (DDS). Documentation is required to establish both the presence of a disability and the need for accommodations.  Current IEP's or Section 504 Plans may or may not be sufficient. If not sufficient, further documentation from external sources, such as an evaluation by a licensed psychologist or doctor may be required. In some cases a student may not have an IEP or 504 plan depending on the type of disability, in these cases a medical note describing the disability the student is being treated for will be considered.  Documentation must support the requested accommodations. It is the student's responsibility to arrange and pay for all needed disability assessments.
Services for students with disabilities are tailored to meet individual needs in order to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.

The procedure for requesting and receiving services through the Office of Disability Services is as follows:

  • Any student enrolled in Upper Iowa University with a documented disability requesting services should complete the following forms:
            Voluntary Disclosure - Request for Services Form (pdf)
            Release and exchange of Information Certifying Disability Form (pdf)
            Student Acknowledgement of Responsibility Form (pdf)
  • Students must provide appropriate documentation to the Director of Disability Services (DDS), Kellie A Blanchard M.Ed., in the Office of Disability Services in order to apply for accommodations (see Guidelines for Acceptable Documentation (pdf)).
  • Once all of the above forms have been received, students will schedule an appointment with the DDS for an intake interview. During the interview, the DDS will get a personal narrative from the student as to what his/her needs are and what accommodations can be provided for him/her at UIU.
  • Following the interview, the DDS will evaluate all documentation and information collected to determine the reasonable accommodation needs.
  • The accommodation letters will be created and dispersed to the professors of the student's semester courses.
  • At the beginning of each semester there after the student must contact the Director of Disability Services to request accommodation letters for the upcoming semester.
  • For further explanations on policies and procedures, please refer to the UIU Disability Services Handbook (pdf).

The Director of Disability Services, Kellie A Blanchard M.Ed., is located in the Office of Disability Services (2nd floor of the Student Center – Fayette Campus) and can be reached by dialing 563-425-5949 or at disabilityservices@uiu.edu

Information for Parents

The Importance of Self-Advocacy

Upper Iowa University Disability Services (UIUDS) values self-advocacy.  In fact, it is central to the services we provide to our students.  Strong self-advocates acknowledge their disability and understand how it impacts their lives, express both their strengths and limitations, and ask for assistance when necessary.  Students need to be proactive immediately following their acceptance to UIU.  This involves contacting the Director of Disability Services (DDS), submitting a Voluntary Disclosure—Request for Services Form (pdf) (download or contact Disability Services for this form), and submitting current, appropriate documentation completed by a licensed professional.  When students receive their letter of acceptance for services from UIUDS, it is their responsibility to contact the DDS to set up the first in-take appointment, during which an academic contract will be cooperatively completed for each of the students’ upcoming courses.  Students should schedule additional appointments each term to continue receiving accommodations.  If at any time during their learning experience at UIU students feel they are not receiving reasonable accommodations, they should contact the DDS to discuss necessary modifications.   

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act(FERPA)

Another reason UIUDS encourages self-advocacy is a result of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, commonly known as FERPA.  FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ education records.  Although parents had access to their child’s rights during their years of K-12 schooling, these rights transfer to students when they reach the age of 18 or attend a postsecondary institution.  As a result, UIUDS cannot legal share any confidential information with parents without the consent of the student.  If a student chooses to complete a Release/Exchange of Information Certifying Disability Form, then the DDS can communicate with parents/guardians (this form is completed by the student in the presence of the DDS).  Otherwise, confidential information can only be discussed with the student.  

How Can Parents Help?

By offering the right balance of challenge and support, parents can significantly impact the growth of students during their learning experience at UIU. 

Challenge students by…

  • Allowing them to make mistakes
  • Encouraging them to meet with their professors outside of the classroom
  • Suggesting they get involved in at least one new extra-curricular activity
  • Advising them to stay at college for the first few weeks as they may be tempted to return home the first weekend
  • Questioning them in an effort help them find their own answer, rather than simply providing an solution to problems

Support students by…

  • Maintaining regular contact, but not too often (checking-in with your son/daughter is beneficial, even if they say otherwise)
  • Offering advice when asked and simply listening when they  need to vent
  • Encouraging them to utilize the multiple services offered at UIU
  • Sending notes/letters of encouragement throughout the semester
  • Reminding them that it is common for college students not to have all of the answers, that’s why there are so many resources on campus