Conflict Resolution - Complaints
Students with disabilities are responsible for contacting the Office of Student Accountability, Advocacy and Disability Services if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective and timely manner. The Office will work with University personnel and the students to resolve disagreements regarding recommended accommodations.
Conflict resolution should be attempted at the lowest level possible. Faculty members and students with disabilities should first consult with the Director when accommodation-related concerns arise. If the dispute cannot be resolved, the Assistant Provost would be advised and a meeting scheduled. Faculty members who question the legitimacy of an accommodation recommended by ODS should continue to afford the accommodation to the student while the appeals procedures are implemented. At this meeting, the documentation would be reviewed and the reasoning for and against the requested accommodations reviewed. If upon this review, the accommodations are determined to be warranted, the faculty member would be required to accommodate the student.
The following procedures will be used to review student complaints or grievances alleging violations of the ADA or Section 504:
- All complaints alleging violation of the ADA or Section 504 must be made in writing to the Office of Student Accountability, Advocacy and Disability Services within sixty (60) calendar days of the alleged violation or claim of failure to provide reasonable accommodation. The written complaint should specify the time, place, and nature of the act claimed to be in violation and may be supplemented by supporting documents and/or affidavits from persons having firsthand knowledge of the facts. A student complaint must be filed within thirty (30) school days of the beginning of the first term in which enrolled, following that in which the alleged violation occurred.
- The appropriate department will investigate all pertinent facts and circumstances in support of the alleged violation within twenty (20) working days of receipt of the complaint, to include review and verification of all documentation and testimony by involved and/or knowledgeable parties.
- The investigating department may attempt resolution of a complaint through mutual agreement of the affected parties at any point during the course of the investigation. Should such resolution be achieved, the investigation shall be ended. The terms and conditions of the resolution agreement shall be issued to the charging party and the appropriate administrator of the party or department charged within ten (10) working days for review and signatures.
- Where resolution through mutual agreement is not achieved, written findings from the investigation regarding probable cause, along with a recommendation for resolving the complaint, shall be forwarded simultaneously to the charging party, the responsible administrator of the charged department, and the Director of the Office of Student Accountability, Advocacy and Disability Services immediately upon completion of the investigation.
- The responsible administrator shall take final action on the recommendation within ten (10) working days after receipt of the recommendation. Consultation will be provided by the University ADA Compliance Officer and Section 504 Compliance Officer as requested.
- Either party may appeal the findings of the investigating department to the University President (or the President's designee) by filing a request for a review of a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability or failure to provide reasonable accommodation within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the finding.
- Within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the initial findings, the University President may render a final decision on the complaint or choose to employ a hearing panel to review the appeal. If the hearing panel is employed, a three to five-member hearing panel (of which one member will be a student) will be convened to review the case. The hearing panel will conduct a hearing, consider evidence (and testimony if necessary), in justification of the appeal, and render its decision within twenty-one (21) days of appointment. The President may accept, reject or modify the decision of the review panel.
- Upon final resolution of a complaint, copies of records will be forwarded to and maintained by the Director of the Office of Student Accountability, Advocacy and Disability Services. All records relating to complaints of failure to provide reasonable accommodations are evaluative in nature and all medical information contained in complaint records shall be deemed confidential. (If the hearing panel is brought in to review a case, it is at this point that the documentation can be disclosed to the panel).
- A complainant with a disability who believes that his or her grievance has not been handled appropriately should bring this to the attention of the Director of the Office of Student Accountability, Advocacy and Disability Services.