Disability Resource Services

Learn more about our health and safety plans for the semester. 


To schedule a phone, video or in-person appointment, download the new Madison College Navigate app, email the Student Success Center or call 608-246-6076. 

Do you have a concern or complaint regarding a college process, system, service, etc?

Submit a Concern/Complaint

Disability Resource Services (DRS) creates conditions that empower and support students with disabilities to reach their chosen learning goals. DRS works in partnership with faculty, staff and wider communities on behalf of students with disabilities. Our mission is to ensure equal access to all programs at Madison College. We also support students through a variety of other non-mandated services to encourage successful completion of their education.

  • Accommodations

    In order to assure accommodations are in place when classes begin, students with disabilities must complete the following process at least four weeks before the first day of the semester:

    1. Submit documentation (find information on Documentation tab)
    2. Have current ACT scores or take a placement test
    3. Meet with a disability resource specialist

    The DRS specialist will issue an accommodation plan to you based on your documented disability and functional limitations. You will show the plan to all instructors and the Testing Center (if applicable) in order to begin receiving your accommodations.

    The accommodation plan is valid for one calendar year.


    Specific Accommodation Support

    The Accommodated Testing Coordinator is available for support with testing.

    The Note-Taking Coordinator is available for note-taking or note-taker questions.

    The Sign Language Interpreting Coordinator is available or questions regarding sign language interpreting services

    The Closed Captioning Coordinator is available for questions related to required accessible video content for your course(s).

    The Assistive Technology Coordinator is available for support for software such as Kurzweil 3000 and Firefly and direct support for faculty that have a blind or visually impaired student or student with complex communication barriers in your course(s).

  • Confidentiality

    Disability Resource Services (DRS) will maintain the confidentiality of all student disability related records as required or permitted by law. Any information collected is used by DRS for the benefit of the student. This information may include, but is not limited to:

    • test data
    • evaluations
    • transcripts
    • grades
    • biographical history
    • disability information
    • performance reviews
    • case notes, and
    • correspondence

    No one has immediate access to DRS student files except authorized DRS and Madison College Counseling staff. A student has the right to review their own file. Otherwise, information regarding the student's disability will be considered confidential and will be shared with others within the college on a need-to-know basis only.

    The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates disclosure of disability documentation and educational records maintained by DRS. FERPA does not require a postsecondary agency or institution to make education records available to anyone other than an eligible student. In accordance with FERPA, College faculty and staff do not have a right or a need to access diagnostic or other information regarding a student's disability. They only need to know what academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services are necessary or appropriate to meet the student's disability-related needs. Faculty members are not responsible for making decisions about accommodations. DRS staff recommend the accommodations which will be most effective in assuring the student's access to academic programs.

    For faculty members, providing reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids and services is one way to prevent discrimination. Faculty and staff will be informed of the functionally inhibitive manifestations of the student's disability and the accommodations necessary or appropriate to meet the student's needs and compensate for the aforementioned deficiencies. When a student requests an accommodation, they will be informed as to what information will be provided to the faculty or staff regarding the request.

    A student's file may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena. In addition, a student may give written authorization for the release of educational information when he or she wishes to share it with others. Before giving such authorization, the student should understand the information being released, the purpose of the release, and to whom the information is being released.  However, please note that DRS will not release medical, mental health or other disability documentation held in DRS files from a third party provider.  We can only release documentation that was generated by DRS after the student has provided written authorization. 

    When it is necessary to copy a file, DRS may charge a reasonable fee for the costs incurred in connection with the copying of information. DRS will retain a copy of all information provided. If a student wishes to have a record expunged, they must make a written request to the DRS administrator, who will decide whether it is necessary for the office to retain the record.

    In an effort to support disability-related research, including projects designed to assess the efficacy and needs of disability services, DRS may collaborate on a wide range of research initiatives with investigators within and outside the Madison College. In such instances, students registered with DRS will be contacted by DRS staff to ascertain their willingness to participate. Students may refuse participation or withdraw from such studies at any time or for any reason without penalty.

  • Documentation

    The first step to receiving accommodations is to provide proof or documentation of a disability as defined by the law.

    Criteria for All Documentation

     Any documentation for any disability must:

    • Be provided by a licensed professional, qualified in the appropriate specialty area; the report should be on letterhead, dated and signed.
    • Include diagnostic information, a description of how the disability affects the student and an explanation of the current functional limitations of the condition.
    • Be current. A suggested guideline is to use documentation from the past three years. Documentation of conditions that are permanent or non-varying (e.g., a sensory disability) may not need to be as recent, but some chronic and/or changing conditions require information to be even more current than three years to provide an accurate picture of functioning.
    • Address the impact of medication or other treatments on major life activities.

    Special Note About IEPs

    An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) alone is NOT sufficient for documentation! Depending on the type of disability, the IEP along with the most recent evaluation (based on adult norms) and the Summary of Performance may meet our documentation needs. Many disabilities will also require documentation from a medical or psychiatric doctor. Please click on the links below for specific disability documentation requirements.

    Guidelines for Specific Disability Documentation

    In addition to the above criteria, there are specific guidelines for the following disabilities:

    • Learning Disability (LD)
    • Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
    • Psychiatric or Mental Health Disability
    • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) (closed or open)
    • Physical/Sensory/Other Health Impairments (i.e. deafness, visual disabilities, etc.) 
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder

    How to Get the Documentation to Us

    Once you have what you need according to the information above, scan and email it to DRSTransition@madisoncollege.edu. We cannot accept faxes at this time. Your healthcare provider can also email documentation to us directly or post it in your online healthcare chart account for you.

  • Events

    View All Events

    College Success - Transition First

    (3-credit course offered each summer for freshmen)

    The Transition First course explores the critical issues linked to the transition to college for students with disabilities (SWD). SWD often experience significant barriers transitioning to college life and as a result, the success of students with disabilities in higher education relies upon their ability to understand the impact of their disability on learning and living independently. Learn more about Transition First.

    Focus Forward

    (held yearly in August)

    The DRS staff members are here to help you reach your academic goals by becoming an independent, confident and efficient learner. We are proud to offer Focus Forward. This is a half-day transition orientation program aimed at assisting students with disabilities to transition from high school to Madison College. You probably have already attended another orientation specific to your academic program here at Madison College. This event is specifically for students with disabilities with the intent to help you get ready for your first day of college.
    Register Now

    Disability Awareness Month

    (held yearly in October)

    Disability Awareness Month aims to increase awareness and promote independence, integration and inclusion of all people with disabilities in society. During Disability Awareness Month, Madison College celebrates the ways in which individuals with disabilities strengthen and diversify our society by embracing the talents and skills that individuals with disabilities bring to our college, workplaces and communities.

    Find Your Future

    (held yearly in March)

    Find your Future is a special event at Madison College for Dane County high school students with disabilities. Through a variety of speakers, breakout sessions and classroom activities, students will learn what it takes to attend Madison College and what careers are available. This is a great opportunity for students to be exposed to amazing programs at Madison College. Breakout sessions include presentations from Student Life, Advising, Disability Resource Services, a campus tour, technology demonstrations and the opportunity to complete a FREE admission application! 

    Looking Forward

    (held yearly in November)

    Join us for an evening with representatives from organizations offering a variety of post-high school opportunities and support for individuals with disabilities. Even if you have not yet reached your senior year of high school, this event provides an opportunity to start planning for your future. This event is sponsored by area school districts and Madison College. 

    Parent Preview

    (held yearly)

    Parent Preview event is focused on helping parents and guardians become learn about Madison College and the support services they will be receive. It is intended to help parents understand the differences between high school and college and to ease concerns they may have about their son or daughter attending college. Please note that this event is not intended for students; students should attend Focus Forward in August.

  • FAQs


    You will need to submit the DRS Application for Services along with documentation. Within two weeks after we receive your documentation, we will send you an email. The email will explain what testing accommodations you are eligible to use for the placement test and how to schedule the test. To ensure sufficient turnaround time, we request that you submit your application and documentation at least two weeks before your scheduled Advising and Registration session, or at least four weeks before your classes start. Please note: If you have ACT scores less than two years old, you do not need to take the placement test. You will, however, still need to submit the application and documentation to receive accommodations.


    DRS provides reasonable accommodations based on an individual's disability and how it affects them. Typical accommodations may include testing accommodations, instructional materials in an alternative format or adaptive equipment. We also provide some additional services, such as case management, and ongoing supportive and retention services. 


    DRS does not provide devices or services of a personal nature, such as personal assistants, wheelchairs or specially certified tutors. Modifications, substitutions or waivers of courses or degree requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis. Such accommodations need not be made if the institution can demonstrate that the changes would substantially alter the essential elements of the course or program. 


    Madison College does not perform disability assessments. For any disability, the evaluation/assessment must be provided by a licensed professional, qualified in the appropriate specialty area for the type of disability that the student has. Please see our list of Disability Assessment Resources (PDF, 179KB). The list is not comprehensive, but contains professionals who have indicated an interest in providing assessments.  


    Please complete the Documentation Request Form (PDF, 150KB). The form can be emailed, faxed or dropped off (DRS Box in Truax,  Room C1434). Your documentation will be sent to the indicated address within five business days of your request. 


    Madison College is not obligated to provide services to students with temporary, non-chronic impairments that last less than three months and are not covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. However, with timely communication from a treating physician about the nature and length of the condition, we often are able to provide needed accommodations for the duration of the impairment or injury.


    A person with a disability who has a state-issued disabled identification card or license plate can park in any designated Madison College disabled parking stall. The identification card must be displayed in plain view (i.e. hung from a rearview mirror). If it is a temporary disabled identification card and will expire prior to the end of the semester, you will be required to purchase a Madison College parking permit at that time. See the Student Parking tab on the Parking page.

    *If you have difficulty opening any PDF document, try saving it to your computer first. Then open it in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader.

  • Parents

    As a parent of a student with a disability, you probably have questions and concerns about your son’s or daughter’s future college experience. The Handbook for Parents of Students with Disabilities (PDF, 191KB) was written with you in mind to answer questions, address concerns, describe the new roles you and your son or daughter will play in the accommodation process, and explain how post-secondary disability services differ from high school services and support.

    The handbook also introduces some of the legal and philosophical changes that occur for students with disabilities upon graduation from high school and entrance into Madison College.

    We encourage you to read it and contact us with any questions you have. 

  • Policies

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by recipients of federal funds and requires recipients to make their programs and activities accessible to everyone.

    Disability laws define a person with a disability as an individual who:

    • has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or
    • has a record of such impairment; or
    • is regarded as having such an impairment

    The determination that a condition is a disability depends on whether the impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities and must be assessed by examining the extent, duration and impact of the impairment. A major life activity is an everyday activity that an average person can perform with little or no difficulty.

    Persons who do not have disabilities but who are treated in a discriminatory manner because they are “regarded as” having a disability also are protected by disability laws.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 broadened the scope of Section 504 to include public accommodations, state and local governments, telecommunications, transportation and employment. The ADA prohibits discrimination in nearly every sector of life.

    The ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) was signed into law on September 25, 2008, and took effect on January 1, 2009. The major revision of the law was that disability should be considered broadly to include persons with a wide range of physical and mental impairments. It is the intention of Congress that the focus of the determination of disability should be on how a major life activity is substantially limited, not on what an individual can do in spite of the impairment.

    College Policies

    Federal Disability Laws and Guidelines

  • Devi Bhargava Award

    In 1999, the Devi Bhargava memorial fund was established by her family and is used to provide two awards annually:

    1. We recognize a Madison College faculty or staff member who has consistently demonstrated empathy, creativity, and partnership in educating students with disabilities.

    2. We recognize a graduating student with a disability that has achieved distinction in their education and/or service to the college.

    Both awards include a cash prize and a certificate of recognition.

    Nominate a student or staff

Guidelines for Technology Access

Madison Area Technical College is committed to providing equal access to website, information technology, instructional material including video and other multimedia products.

Madison College will:

  • Use hardware and software products that promote universal and disability access

  • Design and implement digital technologies in instructional and work environments that accommodate all users.

  • Use and purchase multimedia and video materials that are accessible (captioned).

  • Follow the Federal 508 standards in regards to web accessibility. Create internal and external web pages that improve accessibility for all, including those with disabilities.

  • Strive to use concepts of Universal Design when purchasing, developing and updating informational technology, instructional media and other materials. College council 6/17/08