Accommodation Appeal and Grievance Process for Students with Disabilities
Berea College is committed to promoting equal access to all programs, services, and activities. Disability & Accessibility Services (DAS) determines accommodations through an interactive process involving DAS, the student and appropriate community members. However, at times, a student may disagree about the decision. Students who are concerned that they have been denied equal access as described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and do not agree with an approved or denied accommodation are encouraged to follow the process as outlined below for a prompt and equitable resolution of disputes relating to disability accommodations.
Students with disabilities who believe that they have been mistreated, harassed, or discriminated against on the basis of a disability should contact the Berea College Title VII/IX Coordinator.
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.
- an informal resolution procedure available through the DAS Director
- a more formal grievance procedure through the Section 504/ADA Compliance Officer
Informal Resolution Process
Clear communication between students, faculty/staff, and DAS is vital to utilizing DAS services effectively. When possible, students are encouraged to first address concerns and problems with the individuals most directly involved in the situation:
- the DAS Specialist (email@example.com, 859-985-3237, 110 Lincoln Hall) regarding eligibility for accommodations and specific accommodations;
- the individual faculty or staff member in the cases of implementation or lack of approved accommodations.
Should the student be unable to discuss an issue with the DAS Director, or if the complaint is about the DAS Director, the student should contact DAS supervisor VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Dr. Dwayne Mack (859-985-3369, 301 Lincoln Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Students who are experiencing difficulties 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. The DAS Director is available for assistance by discussing and exploring options with the student and/or faculty or staff member, contacting all concerned parties in the 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 regarding questions or concerns a student may have about accommodations (1-877-423-2933 or email@example.com).
A student who is not satisfied with the resolution on this level may choose to file a formal complaint.
Formal Grievance Process
The student may submit a formal written grievance to the Berea College Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Joslyn Glover (985-3606, 006 Lincoln Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org). 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 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 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. Instructions: How to file a complaint of discrimination with OCR.