ADA Complaint & Grievance Procedure for Students
Effective July 1, 2013, as Revised
Union Institute & University supports students’ rights to file a grievance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when they believe they have been denied equal access in the form of appropriate accommodations, modifications, auxiliary aids, effective communication, or suffered discriminatory harassment. In order to file a grievance under ADA, the student must have first requested accommodations through the Accessibility Office. The grievance procedures that follow apply to students with documented disabilities who feel their rights have been violated under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). There are two grievance procedures described below. The first procedure is for complaints and grievances against the university as a whole, or a university employee, academic or non-academic department, academic program, and/or university organization. The second procedure applies to grievances against the accessibility coordinator.
Informal ADA Complaints and Resolutions
Resolution of any complaint regarding accessibility must begin with a sincere attempt at informal resolution. Students are encouraged to discuss their concerns with the accessibility coordinator | 800-461-6400 x1325. The accessibility coordinator (AC) will attempt to resolve the issue(s) by assisting the student in discussing it with the other involved individuals, either participating in the discussions or contacting the involved parties in an effort to clarify and resolve issues. It is expected that most students’ concerns will be positively resolved through this process of support and mediation. The student and involved parties will be notified by the AC of progress, findings, and a proposed resolution within 10 business days. Due to the urgency of many issues, it is likely that many problems will be resolved sooner.
ADA Grievance Procedure
If the student or the accessibility coordinator does not believe that a satisfactory resolution has been reached, the accessibility coordinator will make an appointment (within 10 business days) with the ADA compliance officer to allow the student to present her/his concern. According to the student’s desires the AC may or may not be at this appointment. At this meeting, the student may present evidence and/or witnesses. The ADA compliance officer will seek consultation as necessary and deliver a decision to all concerned within 10 business days. Because Union Institute & University is an at-distance university, most meetings will be by teleconference.
If the student does not concur with the resolution proposed by the ADA compliance officer, s/he may choose to bring her/his issue(s) to the vice president of academic affairs (VPAA) by filing a formal grievance. The student must notify the ADA compliance officer and the VPAA in writing of her/his intent to file a formal grievance. Within 10 business days of receiving this notification, the ADA compliance officer will make an appointment for the student with the VPAA. The ADA compliance officer will also attend the meeting. The VPAA will have 10 business days to respond with a resolution after the meeting.
Should the student not concur with the VPAA’s decision s/he may file a complaint with the Federal Office for Civil Rights or The Ohio Civil Rights Commission. UI&U is legally registered in Ohio and student concerns should be addressed in Ohio. Students who do not live in Ohio may choose to contact their state civil rights commission office. These entities will take complaints and will investigate when appropriate.
If a student has a complaint against the accessibility coordinator (AC), the student has the option of discussing the complaint with the ADA compliance officer or going directly to the VPAA. However, students must first make a sincere attempt to resolve the conflict informally, either directly with the AC or with the ADA compliance officer.
If the complaint cannot be resolved informally with the AC or ADA compliance officer to the student’s satisfaction, the ADA compliance officer will make an appointment within 10 business days of receiving the complaint for the student to meet with the VPAA to discuss the issues and explore resolution. The student may also choose to bypass the ADA compliance officer and contact the VPAA directly. At the meeting with the VPAA, the student may present evidence and/or witnesses. After investigating the situation, the VPAA will inform the student and other involved parties of progress, findings, and/or resolutions within 10 business days. Because Union Institute & University is an at-distance university, this meeting may be by telephone.
If the student is not satisfied with the solution, s/he may choose to file a complaint with the Federal Office for Civil Rights or The Ohio Civil Rights Commission. These entities will take complaints and will investigate when appropriate. Students may choose to contact the office of their state civil rights commission if they do not live in Ohio.
In a situation where a student with a documented disability alleges discrimination or harassment by another student, s/he has the option of filing formal charges in accordance with the university’s policy and procedure on discriminatory harassment.
800 461-6400 x1135 | Fax 802-828-8519
Union Institute & University Compliance Officer
800 294-8884 x2140
Ohio Civil Rights Commission
Federal Office for Civil Rights
800-421-3481 | 202-245-6800