Any student with a documented disability who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of that disability may use this process to file a grievance with the college. The following process is designed to help the student and the College reach an understanding of the situation and resolve any differences in as cooperative, respectful and timely a manner possible.
1. Informal Attempt to Resolve
A student who has a grievance with a College employee is encouraged to first attempt to resolve the matter by meeting with that individual. The purpose of the meeting is to reach a mutual understanding of the student’s situation and the employee’s actions. The student has five (5) business days from the date of the action being grieved, or the date the student learns of the aggrieved action, to initiate this discussion.
If the meeting with the allegedly non-compliant employee proves unsatisfactory, or if it is impractical to consult with that individual, the student should seek the assistance of the employee’s supervisor within ten (10) calendar days of the aggrieved action. The purpose of this interaction is for the supervisor to attempt to work with both parties to reach a resolution.
It is strongly recommended the student keep a written record/log of all attempts to reach a resolution.
2. Formal Attempt to Resolve
If no resolution is reached after informal attempts to resolve are made, or if the student chooses to bypass informal attempts, the student may file a formal complaint in writing with the Chairperson of the College’s Americans with Disabilities Act/504 Advisory Committee. A formal complaint should be submitted as soon as possible, but certainly within a reasonable amount of time after the problem occurred.
The written complaint should be as brief and factual as possible, citing the date/time of occurrence and the precise nature of the problem, along with the hoped-for outcomes or relief. A listing of all meetings in which attempts were made to resolve the problem must also be included.
Within five (5) business days of receipt of the request for a hearing, the ADA/504 Committee will convene. The Committee will review written submissions and provide the student with an opportunity to present his/her complaint. The Committee may interview the person(s) against whom the complaint is made as well as other members of the College community as deemed necessary. Every reasonable effort will be made to preserve confidentiality. Members of the College community asked to provide information are mandated to cooperate with the Committee. The student who has filed a complaint may be accompanied by an advisor who is a member of the College community. Advisors may not be attorneys, and certain employees may be precluded from serving as advisors. The advisor’s role is limited to providing support and consultation; the advisor may not actively participate in the hearing. The hearing will be closed to persons other than those who are directly involved. Within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the hearing, the Committee will submit its recommendation in writing to the respective divisional vice president.
Within five (5) business days of receipt of the recommendation, the divisional vice president, who is not required to conduct a hearing and who may consider the matter on written submission, will issue a decision to the student and provide a copy of the decision to the Committee chairperson.
If the student is not satisfied with the divisional vice president’s decision, the student may, within five (5) business days, submit a written appeal to the College’s executive vice president, who is not required to conduct a hearing and who may consider the matter on written submission. Within five (5) business days, the executive vice president will issue a decision to the student and provide a copy to the Committee chairperson. The decision of the executive vice president is final.
The above procedural steps do not limit the student or any of the College community members directly involved with the problem from attempting to resolve the matter at any time during the formal complaint process. The time frames listed above may be adjusted for compelling reasons with explanation and notification to the student (i.e., essential individuals and /or information are not readily available).
Use of this grievance procedure does not limit an individual’s pursuit of other remedies, including the right to pursue a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights by visiting their webpage or calling 800.421.3481.