Disability Services at Lakeland University

Disability Services

Lakeland University collaborates with students, faculty and staff to ensure equal educational and programmatic access for eligible students with documented disabilities. We provide students the opportunity to reach their full potential by developing academic accommodations and support services along with promoting independence and self-advocacy for all students.

To be eligible for disability-related services, students must have a documented or visible impairment as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADA-AA, 2008). The ADA regulations broadly define disability impairments to include a wide variety of disorders or conditions including: ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Medical/Health Conditions, Sensory Impairments, Learning Disabilities, Mobility/Physical Disabilities, and Psychological Disabilities.

Disability Services

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Students who require disability-related accommodations should contact the ADA coordinator, Karen Eckhardt, for further assistance. Karen Eckhardt can be contacted by phone at 920-565-1021 ext. 2115 or by email to EckhardtKL@lakeland.edu.

Lakeland University campus with tulips

Additional Resources

To learn more about the application process, the required documentation needed for applications, and other support services Lakeland University offers - please use the drop down menus below. If you would like additional information, contact Karen Eckhardt at 920-565-1021 ext. 2115 or EckhardtKL@lakeland.edu!

Student must make their request to the ADA coordinator in writing using the Disability Accommodation Request Form for Academic/Educational Accommodations. The request form can be obtained from the ADA coordinator or downloaded from this website.

The ADA coordinator will oversee the interactive process of meeting with the student, verifying all documentation, and developing a reasonable accommodation plan. Requests for disability accommodations can be made at any time during the calendar year. It is generally advised to begin the request process at least four weeks in advance, to allow Lakeland University time to review the documentation and to implement an approved accommodation plan. Accommodations are in effect from date of approval and are not retroactive.

Once the Request Form and the Verification of Disability Forms have been received, the ADA coordinator will review the documentation and make a determination as to which accommodations are reasonable and appropriate.

Accommodations will be individually determined and will be continuous for the student, unless a review is requested by the student or the ADA coordinator.

Student will be notified in writing of the decision in the determination process no later than 14 days following receipt of the Request and Verification forms.

Appeals Process:

Students who are denied accommodations due to a lack of sufficient documentation of their disability may resubmit their request when they have additional documentation. Students wishing to appeal the ADA coordinator’s decision may file an appeal with David Simon, Title IX Coordinator. The grievance procedure can be found at https://lakeland.edu/title-ix/policy-process

Confidentiality and Recordkeeping:

In processing requests for reasonable accommodations, Lakeland University will take all steps required by federal, state, and/or local law to protect the confidentiality of any information or documentation disclosed in connection with the requests. Such measures may include limiting access to such information to individuals specifically designated to determine and implement requests for reasonable accommodations. Those individuals will disclose the information only to the extent necessary to determine whether to grant the request, determine if the request is unreasonable, and implement any request granted.

All written requests and accompanying documentation will be kept in a secure area to which only those designated individuals have access, except as otherwise required by law. Confidential records will be destroyed five years following student’s last date of enrollment at Lakeland University.

Lakeland University will not retaliate against any individual because that individual has requested or received an academic/educational accommodation.

Lakeland University relies on documentation and verification from appropriate, licensed professionals as part of the interactive review process in determining the need for academic accommodations.

Diagnostic information will be accepted from the following providers:

DSM-V Diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, or LD must be made by a:

  • Ph.D. level Clinical or Counseling Psychologist
  • Medical Doctor
  • State-licensed and certified School Psychologist (for Educational Diagnosis)

Diagnoses of depression, anxiety and other psychological disorders must be made by a:

  • Master’s or PhD level Clinical or Counseling Psychologist or Social Worker
  • Medical Doctor

Diagnoses of physical or medical conditions that substantially interfere with a major life function must be made by a licensed medical doctor.

    The diagnosis must be current, (i.e. within the last three years) unless the Disabilities Office extends the time period, or the disability documented is of a permanent and unchanging nature.

    A student may also submit a prior Individualized Education Plan/504 Plan, or accommodations from a prior college/university as verification of the disability, provided the documentation falls within the three-year guidelines.

    All evaluators contributing diagnostic and assessment information must be licensed/accredited in the area they are assessing or evaluating. Documentation must include:

    • A clear statement of the DSM-5 or ICD-10 diagnosis
    • A summary of the procedures and instruments used to assess, evaluate and diagnose the disability
    • A summary of the evaluation results, including standardized test scores
    • Past and present symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosis
    • Description of the student’s functional limitations in an educational setting as a result of their disability
    • Recommendations for specific academic/educational accommodations

    Lakeland University is unable to perform evaluations or assessments that diagnose, certify, confirm, or verify that a student does or does not have a disability condition or impairment.

    All applicants must submit the Verification of Disability Form for Academic/Educational Accommodations.

    Complete and return all documentation to:

    Lakeland University Disabilities Office
    Attn. Karen Eckhardt, ADA Coordinator
    Hayssen Academic Resource Center
    W3718 South Drive
    Plymouth, WI 53073

    Phone: 920-565-1021 ext. 2115
    Email: EckhardtKL@lakeland.edu
    Fax: 920-565-1068

    Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act (1973), the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990, 2008), and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Housing Act (1968, 1988, 2020) require that colleges and universities do not discriminate against otherwise qualified applicants and students with documented disabilities. Lakeland University recognizes the importance of providing reasonable accommodations in its housing policies and practices where necessary for individuals with disabilities to fully participate in the housing program.

    Reasonable housing accommodations may include single room dwellings, certain accessibility features, and Emotional Support Animal requests.

    Procedure for Requesting Reasonable Housing Accommodations (Excluding Requests for Service Animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act)

    In evaluating requests for housing accommodations, the Disabilities Office will consult with the Office of Residence Life to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary and reasonable. Individuals with a disability who reside or intend to reside in University housing, who believe they need a reasonable accommodation, must contact Karen Eckhardt, ADA Coordinator, to initiate the verification process.

    Policies and practices for reasonable housing accommodations are governed by the following requirements:

    Complete and return all documentation to:

    Lakeland University Disabilities Office
    Attn. Karen Eckhardt, ADA Coordinator
    Hayssen Academic Resource Center
    W3718 South Drive
    Plymouth, WI 53073

    Phone: 920-565-1021 ext. 2115
    Email: EckhardtKL@lakeland.edu
    Fax: 920-565-1068

    1. Requesting a housing accommodation
      1. An individual with a disability must complete the Disability Accommodation Request Form for University Housing to request a reasonable housing accommodation. Copies of the Request Forms are available from Disability Services, Residence Life Services, and can be found at https://lakeland.edu/title-ix#policy-for-providing-accommodations-to-students-with-documented-disabilities

        If the individual requires assistance in completing the Request Form because of their disability, Disability Services will provide assistance in completing the form.

      2. Lakeland University will accept and consider requests for reasonable accommodation in University housing at any time. The individual making the request for accommodation should complete and provide the Disability Accommodation Request Form to Disability Services as soon as practicably possible before moving into University housing. However, if the request for accommodation is made fewer than 60 days before the individual intends to move into University housing, Lakeland University cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the individual's accommodation request during the first semester or term of occupancy.
      3. If the need for the accommodation arises when an individual already resides in University housing, they should contact Disability Services and complete the Disability Accommodation Request Form as soon as practicably possible. Lakeland cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the accommodation request during the semester or term in which the request is received.
      4. Housing accommodations from previous academic years are not guaranteed. Verification and documentation for housing accommodations are in place for the duration of one academic year and must be renewed prior to the start of each new academic year.
      5. The University will attempt to provide a written response to a reasonable housing accommodation request within fourteen (14) business days of receiving the information described in the verification process.
    2. Information that may be requested as part of the verification process for reasonable housing accommodation

      Verification of Disability Form for Housing Accommodations

      Disability Services shall limit its requests for information to only the information necessary to verify whether the individual making the request has a disability and/or to evaluate if the reasonable accommodation is necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and participate in University housing.

      1. Obvious Disability
        If the individual's disability and the necessity for the accommodation are obvious (e.g. an individual with a physical disability using a wheelchair needs an accessible room), the individual need only explain what type of accommodation they are requesting. No verification of disability and/or necessity is required under these circumstances.
      2. Non-Obvious Disability/Necessity
        1. If the disability is obvious but the need for the accommodation is not obvious, the University may require the individual to complete the Verification of Disability Form and designate a health care provider who can verify that the requested accommodation is necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and participate in University housing.
        2. If the disability and necessity for the accommodation are not obvious, Disability Services will require the individual to complete the Verification of Disability Form and designate a health care provider who can verify that the individual has a disability and that the requested accommodation is necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and participate in University housing.
        3. A health care provider is someone who is familiar with the individual, their history, their disability, and the necessity for the requested accommodation. A reliable health care provider includes, but is not limited to, a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner.
        4. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has determined that many websites offer (for sale) documentation from health care professionals who have had limited contact with the individual requesting such documentation. These professionals lack direct knowledge of the individual's disability and are rarely found to provide appropriate and reliable information in support of a request for housing accommodations.
        5. Lakeland University counseling staff is unable to perform evaluations or write letters in support of housing accommodations.

      If the health care provider returns the Verification Form without sufficient information to determine whether an accommodation is necessary, Disabilities Services will inform the individual in writing of the verification's insufficiency and may request additional information, including speaking directly with the individual supplying the verification, within seven (7) business days of receiving the verification.

      The individual making the request for accommodation must cooperate with Disability Services in a timely manner in providing all information needed to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary.

    3. Determination of Reasonableness
      1. Disability Services may deny the requested accommodation if it is unreasonable. Disability Services shall consult with Residence Life to determine if implementing the requested accommodation is reasonable.
      2. An accommodation is unreasonable if it: (1) imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden; (2) fundamentally alters university housing policies; (3) poses a direct threat to the health, safety and well-being of others; (4) causes substantial damage to the property of others, including University property; and/or (5) is otherwise unreasonable to the operation of the University and its residential occupants.
    4. Approval of Accommodation

      If Disability Services determines a requested accommodation is necessary and is not unreasonable, they will contact the individual, in writing, within seven (7) business days of its determination, to arrange a meeting to discuss the implementation of the accommodation.

    5. Denial of Accommodation/Appeal
      1. If Disability Services determines a requested accommodation is necessary but unreasonable, Disability Services will contact the individual, in writing, within fourteen (14) business days of its determination and engage in an interactive process with the individual to determine if there are alternative accommodations that might effectively meet the individual's disability-related needs.
      2. Following the interactive process, if the individual is unwilling to accept any alternative accommodation offered by Disability Services and the Office of Residence Life, or there are no alternative accommodations available, Disability Services will provide a verbal explanation and written notification to the individual of the denial, the reasons for the denial, the right to appeal the decision, and the procedures for that appeals process. The notification shall be in writing and made within seven (7) business days of the notification from the individual of their unwillingness to accept any of the alternative accommodations offered or the determination that there are no alternative accommodations available.
      3. Students wishing to appeal the decision of their housing accommodation request should contact David Simon, Title IX Coordinator. The grievance procedure can be found at https://lakeland.edu/title-ix/policy-process The Owner will be afforded all rights of due process and appeal as outlined in that policy.
    6. Confidentiality and Recordkeeping

      In processing requests for reasonable accommodations, the University will take all steps required by federal, state, and/or local law to protect the confidentiality of any information or documentation disclosed in connection with the requests. Such measures may include limiting access to such information to individuals specifically designated to determine and implement requests for reasonable accommodations. Those individuals will disclose the information only to the extent necessary to determine whether to grant the request, determine if the request is unreasonable, and implement any request granted.

      All written requests and accompanying documentation will be kept in a secure area to which only those designated individuals have access, except as otherwise required by law. Confidential records will be destroyed five years following student's last date of enrollment at Lakeland University.

    7. Non-retaliation Provision

      Lakeland University will not retaliate against any individual because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation in University housing.

    Student is responsible for submitting the following items as part of the application process:

    Disability Accommodation Request Form for Emotional Support Animal

    Verification of Disability Form-Emotional Support Animal

    Lakeland University Emotional Support Animal Policy and Agreement

    Emotional Support Animal Roommate Agreement Form

    Overview:

    Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act (1973), the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990, 2008), and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Housing Act (1968, 1988, 2020) require that colleges and universities do not discriminate against otherwise qualified applicants and students with documented disabilities. Lakeland University recognizes the importance of providing reasonable accommodations in its housing policies and practices where necessary for individuals with disabilities to fully participate in the housing program.

    Although it is the policy of Lakeland University that individuals are generally prohibited from having animals of any type in University housing, Lakeland will consider a request by an individual with a disability for reasonable accommodation from this prohibition to allow an Emotional Support Animal that is reasonable and necessary because of a mental health disability.

    An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal that provides therapeutic, emotional support for an individual with a diagnosed mental health disability. Unlike a service animal that is trained to perform specific tasks that are important to the independence or safety of their disabled handler, an ESA is generally not trained to perform disability-specific tasks. Their therapeutic support is a function of their presence and interaction with the person with the disability. An ESA is not a pet but is typically an animal commonly kept in households as a pet. An ESA may be a dog, cat, small bird, rabbit, hamster, gerbil, fish, turtle, or other small domesticated animal that is traditionally kept in the home for pleasure. Under guidelines from Housing and Urban Development (HUD), reptiles, barnyard animals, monkeys and other non-domesticated animals are not considered common household animals. Exceptions to these guidelines regarding animals serving as ESAs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    The question in determining if an Emotional Support Animal will be allowed in University housing is whether or not the ESA is necessary because of the individual's disability to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and participate in University housing and its presence in University housing is reasonable. However, even if the individual with a disability establishes necessity for an ESA and it is allowed in University housing, an ESA is not permitted in other areas of the University (e.g. dining facilities, libraries, academic buildings, ecumenical buildings, athletic buildings and facilities, classrooms, labs, individual centers, etc.).

    Lakeland University will accept and consider requests for reasonable accommodation in University housing at any time. The individual making the request for the ESA should complete and provide the Disability Accommodation Request Form for Emotional Support Animal to Disability Services as soon as practicably possible before moving into University housing. However, if the request for accommodation is made fewer than 60 days before the individual intends to move into University housing, Lakeland University cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the individual's accommodation request during the first semester or term of occupancy.

    Under no circumstance may an Emotional Support Animal be brought into residential housing without full approval of the ADA coordinator. Guests of any resident may not bring an Emotional Support Animal into any residential dwellings.

    Lakeland University reserves the right to restrict Emotional Support Animals to one per dwelling.

    Verification and documentation for ESA approval is good for the duration of one academic year and must be renewed prior to the start of each new academic year.

    Please complete and return all documentation to the Disabilities Office by mail, email, or facsimile.

    Disabilities Office
    Attn. Karen Eckhardt, ADA Coordinator
    Hayssen Academic Resource Center
    W3718 South Drive
    Plymouth, WI 53073

    Phone: 920-565-1021 ext. 2115
    Email: EckhardtKL@lakeland.edu
    Fax: 920-565-1068

    Disability Accommodation Request Form for Emotional Support Animal

    Verification of Disability:

    An identifiable relationship must exist between the symptoms of the disability and the specific therapeutic benefits provided by the requested Emotional Support Animal. The ESA must be a specific component of a student's full mental health care plan. Please have your medical doctor, clinical/counseling psychologist, or other qualified care provider complete this form or use it as the basis for their narrative summary.

    Verification of Disability Form-Emotional Support Animal

    Criteria for Determining if Presence of the Emotional Support Animal is Reasonable:

    1. University housing is unique in several aspects including the mandatory assignment of roommates for many individuals and the mandate that individuals must share a room or suite in certain residence halls. To ensure that the presence of an ESA is not an undue administrative burden or fundamental alteration of University housing for all involved parties, Lakeland University reserves the right to assign an individual with an ESA to an alternative dwelling.

      *Roommates of the ESA Owner will be asked to sign an ESA Roommate Agreement Form.

    2. For all requests for an Emotional Support Animal, Disability Services shall nonetheless consult with Residence Life in making a determination on a case-by-case basis of whether the presence of an ESA is reasonable. A request for an ESA may be denied as unreasonable if the presence of the animal 1) imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden; (2) fundamentally alters university housing policies; (3) poses a direct threat to the health, safety and well-being of others; (4) causes substantial damage to the property of others, including University property; and/or (5) is otherwise unreasonable to the operation of the University.

    3. Lakeland University may consider the following factors, among others, as evidence in determining whether the presence of the Emotional Support Animal is reasonable or in the making of housing assignments for individuals with an Emotional Support Animal:

      1. The space needed for the crate/cage in which the ESA will be housed is too large for available assigned housing space;
      2. The animal's presence would force another individual from individual housing (e.g. serious allergies);
      3. The animal's presence otherwise violates residents' right to peaceful and quiet environment that is conducive to studying and enjoyment
      4. The animal is not fully housebroken;
      5. The animal's vaccinations and ordinances/regulations are not up-to-date;
      6. The animal poses health risks from zoonotic diseases or safety concerns regarding containment that cannot be sufficiently mitigated for inclusion in the communal living environment
      7. The animal poses or has previously posed a direct threat such as aggressive behavior towards or injuring the Owner or others; or
      8. The animal causes or has caused excessive damage to housing beyond reasonable wear and tear.

    Owner's Responsibility for the Emotional Support Animal:

    1. The Owner must abide by current city, county, and state ordinances, laws, and/or regulations pertaining to licensing, vaccination, and other requirements for animals.

      Dogs:

      • Proof of up-to-date rabies and distemper vaccinations
      • All dogs must have a Wisconsin license and wear it on a collar at all times
      • Dogs must be at least four months old to receive state of WI license

      Cats:

      • Proof of up-to-date rabies and distemper
      • Cats must be at least four months old to receive full rounds of vaccines
    2. The Owner is only permitted to have the ESA in the University housing to which they have been assigned. The ESA is not permitted in other areas of the University (e.g. other residential buildings, dining facilities, libraries, academic buildings, ecumenical buildings, athletic buildings and facilities, classrooms, labs, individual centers, etc.).
    3. The Owner is required to clean up after and properly dispose of the animal's waste in a safe and sanitary manner (outside trash receptacles) and, when provided, must use animal relief areas designated by Lakeland University.
    4. The Owner is required to ensure the animal is well cared for at all times.
    5. The Owner is liable for all actions of the ESA (including but not limited to injuries to other people and animals, property damage, running away, and/or disruptive behaviors).
    6. The Owner may not leave the ESA overnight in University Housing to be cared for by any individual other than the Owner.
    7. The ESA is allowed in University housing only as long as it is necessary because of the Owner's disability.
    8. The Owner will provide the name of an emergency contact person, who does not reside in University housing, who would be able to safely retrieve the ESA in case of an emergency.
    9. The Owner is expected to fulfill their housing obligations for the remainder of the housing contract, should the ESA be removed from the premises for any reason.

    Removal of the Emotional Support Animal:

    Lakeland University may require the Owner to remove the Emotional Support Animal from University housing if:

    1. the animal poses a direct threat to the health, safety, or well-being of others
    2. the animal causes substantial damage to the property of the University and/or others
    3. the animal's presence results in a fundamental alteration of a University program
    4. the Owner does not comply with the Owner's Responsibilities set forth above
    5. the animal or its presence creates an unmanageable disturbance or interference with the University community (noise, odors)

    Lakeland University will base such determinations upon the consideration of the behavior of the particular animal at issue, and not on speculation or fear about the harm or damages an animal may cause. Any removal of the animal, based on conduct and behavior, will be done in consultation between Residence Life, Campus Safety and the Disability Services Coordinator, and may be appealed to the Title IX Coordinator. The grievance procedure can be found at https://lakeland.edu/title-ix/policy-process The Owner will be afforded all rights of due process and appeal as outlined in that policy.

    The Owner will have 48 hours to comply with the University decision to remove the ESA.

    Should the ESA be removed from the premises for any reason, the Owner is expected to fulfill their housing obligations for the remainder of the housing contract.

    Emotional Support Animal Policy and Agreement:

    Please complete and return the Lakeland University Emotional Support Animal Policy and Agreement and the Roommate Agreement Form (if applicable) to:

    Disabilities Office
    Attn. Karen Eckhardt, ADA Coordinator
    Hayssen Academic Resource Center
    W3718 South Drive
    Plymouth, WI 53073

    Phone: 920-565-1021 ext. 2115
    Email: EckhardtKL@lakeland.edu
    Fax: 920-565-1068

    Information coming soon.

    All residential students enter into a contractual agreement with the university through the room and board application. The contract is valid for one full academic year, not including winter and summer. Students will complete room and board contracts for each winter and summer stay. All residential students must have a meal plan selected when completing the contract, as this portion is a part of the room and board application. Students may request an exemption from the University meal plan under these circumstances only:

    • Student requires a special diet due to a disability or medical condition
    • Student requires a special diet based on religious observance or practice

    Meal plan exemption requests and supporting documentation must be submitted to Karen Eckhardt, ADA Coordinator, at eckhardtkl@lakeland.edu

    Disability Accommodation Request Form for Academic/Educational Accommodations

    Lakeland University collaborates with students, faculty and staff to ensure equal educational and programmatic access for eligible students with documented disabilities. We provide students the opportunity to reach their full potential by developing academic accommodations and support services along with promoting independence and self-advocacy for all students.

    To be eligible for disability-related services, students must have a documented or visible impairment as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADA-AA, 2008). The ADA regulations broadly define disability impairments to include a wide variety of disorders or conditions including: ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Medical/Health Conditions, Sensory Impairments, Learning Disabilities, Mobility/Physical Disabilities, and Psychological Disabilities.

    Lakeland University offers a variety of support services to students with disabilities. To help us best meet your specific needs, please complete the following form. The ADA Coordinator, Karen Eckhardt, will review the form, and contact the student regarding next steps. 

    Please contact the ADA Coordinator at 920-565-1021 ext. 2115 with any questions.

    By submitting this form, I acknowledge that Lakeland may contact me regarding the programs in which I am interested.

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