Students have two ways to express their concerns:
- an informal resolution procedure available through the DAS Director
- a more formal grievance procedure through the Section 504/ADA Compliance Officer.
Although students are encouraged to solve disputes at the lowest possible level and to use internal procedures to the fullest extent, a student may choose to initiate a formal grievance at any time.
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), encourages individuals first to use internal grievance procedures, and when such procedures meet OCR’s investigative standards, OCR will generally defer to the results reached if the process provided for fair consideration of the grievance http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/prevention.html).
Informal Resolution Procedure
Clear communication between students, faculty/staff, and DAS is vital to utilizing DAS services effectively. Where possible, students are encouraged to first address concerns and problems with the individuals most directly involved in the situation: the DAS Director regarding eligibility for accommodations and specific accommodations; the individual faculty or staff member in the cases of implementation or lack of approved accommodations.
Students are encouraged to express any concerns with the DAS Director, Lisa Ladanyi (985-3327, 111 Lincoln Hall, email@example.com). If for a specific reason the grievance cannot be discussed with the DAS Director, or if the complaint is about the DAS Director, contact DAS supervisor, Linda Strong-Leek (985-3205, 320 Lincoln Hall, Linda_Leek@berea.edu).
Students who are experiencing difficulty in receiving authorized accommodations by a faculty or staff member, department, or program should first address their concerns with the faculty or staff member charged with providing the accommodation.
DAS is available to offer assistance by discussing and exploring options with the student and/or faculty or staff member, contacting the concerned party in an effort to clarify issues, facilitating a meeting with the concerned parties, and/or advocating for the student’s right to receive appropriate and effective accommodations to the extent required under either the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA.
The Kentucky Department of Education State ADA Coordinator is available for consultation in regard to any questions or concern a student may have about one’s accommodations (1-877-423-2933 or www.ada.ky.gov).
A student who is not satisfied with the resolution on this level may choose to file a formal complaint.
Formal Grievance Procedure
The student may submit a formal written grievance to the Berea College Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Joslyn Glover (985-3606, 006 Lincoln Hall, Joslyn_Glover@berea.edu). When making a formal complaint, a student should include specific information about the concern or problem (describe the issue(s), incident(s) and the action(s) taken; state the name of the individual(s) or office(s) involved; and show documented efforts to resolve the complaint). The Section 504/ADA Coordinator will meet with the student to discuss the complaint and will conduct any necessary investigation.
The Section 504/ADA Coordinator will issue a written decision including findings and remedial actions, if any, to be taken by Berea College and/or the student. This decision shall be issued to the student and any others deemed appropriate within fifteen (15) calendar days of the Section 504/ADA Coordinator’s receipt of the complaint. Files and records on all formal grievances shall be maintained by the Section 504/ADA Coordinator.
If a student is not satisfied with the formal grievance procedure, the student may appeal to the President for de novo review of the Section 504/ADA Coordinator’s decision. The appeal must be made in writing within five (5) calendar days of the decision. The determination of the President on any such appeal is final.
If the grievance is not resolved internally at the College, the student may choose to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education (100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107; Tel: (215) 656-8541; Fax: (215) 656-8605; OCR.Philadelphia@ed.gov. How to file a complaint of discrimination with OCR.