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702 W. Johnson Street, Suite 2104
Madison, WI 53715-1007

Main Office Numbers: 608-263-2741(voice)
608-225-7956 (text)
608-265-2998 (fax)

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Office Hours:
8:00 am - 4:30 pm, M-F

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McBurney Disability Resource Center

Mission and Goals

  1. Mission
  2. Vision
  3. Our Six Primary Objectives
  4. Who We Serve
  5. Strategic Priorities 2004-09
  6. Partnerships
  7. McBurney Center Core Values

I. Mission

The McBurney Center mission is to utilize our expertise in disability and higher education, and work in partnership with the University of Wisconsin community to:
  • deliver innovative and high quality services and classroom accommodations to UW students with disabilities
  • facilitate and advocate for reasonable accommodations so that students have equal access to the programs, activities and services of the institution
  • cultivate opportunities for students to articulate their strengths and advocate for necessary accommodations
  • identify and respond to the dynamic nature of student needs and learning environments.
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II. Vision

Our vision is a universally accessible educational community that fosters the full participation and contribution of every member, with individual accommodation needed only in unique or uncommon situations.

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III. Our Six Primary Objectives

  1. Evaluate eligibility for disability-related services and accommodations; determine reasonable accommodations and develop individualized services plans; provide advocacy, guidance and on-going support to students with disabilities.
  2. Provide federally-mandated direct support services to students with disabilities, including but not limited to: adapted materials, testing accommodations, interpreting and captioning, notetaking, and document conversion.
  3. Consult and collaborate with university faculty, staff and administrators to provide technical assistance, advice and information on providing students with equal access to educational activities and opportunities. Assist departments, committees and administrators with developing and implementing policies and procedures consistent with disability law and regulations.
  4. Resourcefully and effectively manage and cultivate our human, financial, and technological resources and physical space to provide exceptional student services. Consistently measure program effectiveness.
  5. Serve as an information and referral service on disability issues. Provide current and accurate information on disability products, programs, and services to all inquiring customers.
  6. Provide an accessible, open and welcoming atmosphere, as well as employment opportunities, for students with disabilities. Create a place for students to meet, share, study, organize or merely congregate.
The mission, vision and objectives of the center are fluid and ever-changing. Ongoing evaluation of customers and services provides an opportunity for a responsive change to contemporary issues and needs. Faculty, staff, student and community feedback is critical to maintain pace with a heterogeneous and diverse client base.

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IV. Who We Serve

Student Clients

We serve UW-Madison students with physical, learning, sensory or psychological disabilities substantially affecting a major life activity (e.g., walking, communicating, learning, seeing, or breathing). Many clients have hidden disabilities such as diabetes, arthritis, HIV/AIDS, depression, learning disorders, or other health impairments.

Faculty, Staff and Non-Employee Clients

We assist faculty and staff by verifying disabilities and identifying appropriate classroom accommodations, clarifying student and faculty roles and responsibilities; and providing information and training on disability issues.

Faculty and staff with disabilities are accommodated within the employing department. A campus network of Divisional Disability Representatives (designated employees to assist employees with disability-related issues) is available to assist with accommodation concerns. Additionally, the Office for Equity and Diversity (263-2378) employs a disability consultant who assists departments and employees with disabilities in identifying and implementing reasonable accommodations.

In general, guests and visitors are accommodated by the program or activity in which they are participating. For example, guests attending sporting events or theatrical productions can make requests when purchasing tickets. The McBurney Center provides technical assistance to university programs on providing accommodations to the general public.

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V. Strategic Priorities 2004-09

Overall Strategic Ambitions:
  1. Create a well-planned physical and accessible environment.
  2. Market and promote our role on campus.
  3. Deliver exceptional student service.
  4. Increase our expert base.
  5. Develop a fiscal plan to support our mission.
  6. Automate processes to increase efficiencies.
  7. Foster a positive work environment with a shared vision.
  8. Retain and graduate students at a rate comparable to the university average.

(These priorities adapted from the UW Office of the Registrar. The Registrarís strategic objectives were precisely what weíve been trying to articulate. Thus, after a thorough review we concluded we could not develop a more appropriate or meaningful set of ambitions. Our thanks go out to the Registrarís Office.)

Goal 1: Increase financial resources for program development through private giving.
  1. Develop a promotional presentation to move towards establishing a Board of Visitors.
  2. Target parents of McBurney clients as donors to raise money so McBurney can fund Kurzweil technology so it is available for students lacking funds to obtain Kurzweil.
  3. Improve McBurney budget process: a. Use WiscCal annual calendar b. Include all staff feedback and needs.
  4. Search for funding for the "I AM" project.
  5. Develop a multimedia promotional presentation.
  6. Work with Wisconsin Alumni Association in contacting former McBurney clients.
  7. Increase budget.
  8. Raise $1-3 million.
Goal 2: Nurture human resources.
  1. Complete real-time captioning service eligibility criteria, pay scale, FTE if warranted.
  2. Develop "Student Advisory Board".
  3. Revise pay rate formula for D/HH staff.
  4. Improve our multicultural competencies.
  5. Encourage the employment of students with disabilities at the Center and in the campus community.
  6. All staff participates in self-determined professional development.
  7. Individual staff completes annual reports for performance review and McBurney Center report.
  8. Hire LTE to work with students with physical and psychological disabilities and do transition.
Goal 3: Improve Services
  1. Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH) Services
    1. Integrate D/HH services more fully into McBurney.
    2. Review and revise all D/HH program policies including pay scales (or develop new policies as needed).
    3. Develop D/HH student support group (include outreach to deaf community).
    4. Develop eligibility criteria for CART vs. C-Print
  2. Document Conversion Services
    1. Train students eligible for document conversion audio on use of newly acquired technologies (Kurzweil 3000, Victor Reader Soft etc).
    2. Learn more about contemporary learning software (e.g. Kurzweil) that has broad use across disability/learning styles.
    3. Improve document conversion services.
    4. Develop professional document conversion services in collaboration with DoIt.
Goal 4: Develop training systems.
  1. Implement consistent student training for new services for D/HH.
  2. Complete alternative testing training video and put it on streaming server for faculty and student use.
  3. Develop alternative testing training video (on-line).
  4. Improve Disability Program Aide knowledge base by improving access to resources: a. Disability Program Aide cross training, b. Training for data base accuracy
  5. All staff continues to participate in professional development.
Goal 5: Develop campus-wide relationships.
  1. Address the issue of "students with impairments that are not substantially limiting."
  2. Evaluate and identify existing campus committees that McBurney staff could participate on.
  3. Develop more specific faculty training programs through Access and Accommodation Resource Coordinators, Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Office, etc.
  4. Support Testing and Evaluation Office's continued coordination of alternative testing services.
  5. Evaluate distance education options for accessibility.
Goal 6: Better living through technology.
  1. Get web page revised and up.
  2. On line service requests up.
  3. Set up an "Electronic Suggestion Box".
  4. Make progress on our "5 Year Technology Plan".
  5. Improve our technology skills.
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VI. Partnerships

  • Access and Accommodation in Instruction Committee
    • Formal UW committee serves as consultant to McBurney and addresses disability issues affecting curriculums.
  • ADA Task Force
    • Chaired by Vice Chancellor of Administrative Legal Services, addresses all disability issues that are not academically related.
  • Counseling and Consultation Services
    • Liaison for crisis situations and on-going mutual referral system.
  • Department of Kinesiology
    • Administers the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program
  • Division of Information Technology
    • Administers the Technology Accessibility Program for people with Disabilities
  • Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
    • Provides funding for clients enrolled at UW.
  • Educational Psychology
    • Provides learning disability assessment services to students, McBurney provides partial funding.
  • Facilities, Planning and Management
    • Accessibility Specialist provides barrier removal consulting services.
  • Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
    • UW Create Program helps develop ways for people with disabilities to be independent.
  • Office of Equity and Diversity
    • Disability Specialist provides consultation to departments on accommodating disabled employees.
  • Rehabilitation Psychology
    • Provides counseling interns to McBurney.
  • Secretary of the Faculty
    • Coordinates accessibility services for commencement.
  • SOAR
    • Provides accommodations for guests.
  • Student Financial Services
    • Serves as member of McBurney Scholarship committee.
  • Testing and Evaluation
    • Provides alternative testing services, we provide financial support,
  • Transportation Services
    • Administers disabled parking and transportation services/issues.
  • UW Foundation
    • Assists with identifying donors.
  • UW System
    • We provide guidance to UWS on disability issues.
  • Vice Chancellor for Administrative Legal Services/ADA Coordinator
    • Processes discrimination appeals.
  • Wisconsin Council for the Blind
    • Outsource for mobility services.
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VII. Our Core Values

The McBurney Disability Resource Center adheres to a series of core values to achieve its mission:
  • Provide services that will treat students as dignified individuals who have rights and responsibilities.
  • Encourage students to manage their own services to the greatest extent possible.
  • Provide the necessary information so students can make informed decisions.
  • Offer quality services on timely basis.
  • Advocate for reasonable accommodation, understanding the balance between student needs and the university's desire not to fundamentally alter the nature of its programs.
  • Promote a diverse clientele and work force.
  • Recognize students' rights to privacy, confidentiality and self-determination.
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File last updated: June 29, 2009. 11:02:46 am
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