Disability Discrimination in Higher Education
State law prohibits publically funded universities, technical colleges, vocational schools and other institutes offering training or continuing education from discriminating against students and prospective students because of a physical impairment or developmental disability. In addition, if testing is required for admission, which a prospective student is unable to take because of a physical condition or developmental disability, a good-faith effort must be made to assist that student in demonstrating aptitude.
The statute of limitations for filing a complaint is 300 days from the date the action was taken or the individual was made aware the action was taken.
Exceptions under the law
- The law does not apply in the handling or operating of hazardous substances, machines or appliances when there is no feasible way to ensure the safety of a student with a disability or others.
- A student may be denied admission if they do not meet the physical standards necessary for the course, program or activity. However, the school, university or institution has the burden of proving those physical standards are reasonable and necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What am I entitled to if my complaint is successful?
A person filing a successful complaint with the Equal Rights Division may be entitled to be "made whole". Such a remedy aims to make a person "whole" in the aftermath of discrimination and may include application costs, tuition, student fees, materials and possibly other expenses lost as a result of discrimination.
What if I suffered a form of discrimination other than disability?
The Wisconsin law prohibiting discrimination in higher education only covers disabilities, such as a physical impairment or developmental disability. Other types of discrimination in higher education, such as race, color, national origin, or sex, may be addressed by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division or the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.
Does the law apply to private colleges or schools?
If an education institute receives some form of public funds it may be subject to the Wisconsin law even if it is privately owned.