Disability Resource Center Student Handbook
Mission Statement - Student Responsibilities - Policies and Procedures
Guidelines for Documenting Disabilities - Grievance Procedures - Additional References
Whole Student Handbook in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Format
Persons who feel aggrieved because of alleged acts of discrimination in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 should try to resolve the complaint(s) within the following procedures.
A. Filing Complaint(s) of Discrimination
- Formal complaint(s) must be filed with the Special Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action by the complainant(s) on the institutional complaint form available through that office for this purpose. Additional information regarding the disability and its impact on the incident/situation may be submitted as part of the initial complaint form or may be volunteered/requested at a later time in the investigation.
- Complaints of discrimination in the employment process, hiring, promotion, demotion, evaluation, transfer or termination must be filed with the Special Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action within 180 calendar days after the discovery of the alleged act of discrimination. Likewise, complaints of discrimination in the provision of services/support shall be filed within 180 calendar days after the discovery of the alleged act of discrimination.
- If a complaint is filed against the Special Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action, the institutional President shall appoint a person other than the Special Assistant to handle the complaint, and all references in these procedures to the Special Assistant shall refer to that person.
B. Notification of Respondent(s)
- The Special Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action, within five (5) working days of receipt of the written complaint, shall notify the person against whom the complaint is filed, hereinafter referred to as the respondent(s), and shall forward a copy of the complaint(s) to said respondent(s). Confidential disability‑related information submitted as part of the complaint will be shared only to the extent that it is necessary for the respondent to know in order to understand the complaint and prepare a response.
- If a complaint is brought by a student regarding denial of an accommodation needed in an ongoing class, the decision of the Disability Specialist on the campus of that student's enrollment to provide or deny said accommodation shall be implemented until such time as a formal resolution of the grievance process is achieved.
C. Preliminary Review by Institutional Special Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action
- If the Special Assistant does not believe there are reasonable grounds to support a complaint, the Special Assistant will recommend in writing to the President that the complaint be dismissed.
- If the Special Assistant believes, after mediation and investigation, that there are reasonable grounds to support a complaint, a recommendation will be made in writing to the President to affirm the charge and take appropriate corrective action as required.
D. Grievance Committee
- The Special Assistant shall organize the grievance committee and shall serve as secretary, without vote, to the committee.
- The grievance committee shall be composed of no less than three persons and no more than five. The Special Assistant shall determine the number of members of the grievance committee and shall recommend the names of persons to be appointed to the committee to the President who shall be the appointing authority. If either the complainant or the respondent is a student or a classified employee. A person or persons from that category should be present on the grievance committee if at all possible. If such representation in NOT possible, the Special Assistant shall recommend such persons for appointment to the committee as are available and willing to serve. Individuals with knowledge/understanding of disability and the accommodation process (including the Disability Resource Specialists on each campus) should be considered for membership on such grievance committees whenever possible.
- The grievance committee shall convene within three (3) days after notice of the appointment, no more than 30 days after the initial complaint(s) filing.
a) The committee shall select a chairperson.
b) The committee shall establish a hearing date, which shall be no more than
Five (5) working days from the day the grievance committee is convened.
Written notice shall be given to all parties involved.
c) The Special Assistant shall provide to the grievance committee a
summary of the key elements of the complaint to be reviewed by the committee and
any supplementary information necessary (such as definitions of disability, copies of
appropriate statutes or relevant institutional policy, and so on).
d) The committee shall hear testimony and study other evidential materials.
The hearing shall be informal.
e) The committee shall make recommendation(s) to the institutional president as soon as possible,
but no later than five (5) working days after completion of the hearing. The committee shall
recommend the dismissal or affirmance of a complaint and, if recommending affirmance, shall also
recommend appropriate action.
f) A majority report must be filed and a minority report may be file.
g) The Special Assistant shall request, and when necessary require, members of the institutional
community to present evidence at the hearing on behalf of the respondent or the complainant.
- The President is not bound by the recommendations of the Special Assistant, but shall review the report of the grievance committee and, within five (5) working days may:
a) Dismiss the charges or
b) Affirm the charge and take appropriate corrective action as required.
- The President shall cause notification of the action to be sent to the respondent, the complainant, and the Special Assistant.
- Once the decision has been forwarded to the complainant, the complainant will have exhausted all grievance or appeals procedures within CSN.
- Neither the complainant nor the respondent shall arbitrarily delay action of the grievance procedure.
- The proceedings shall be closed to everyone other than the Special Assistant, the respondent; the complainant (and advisor or legal counsel, if any, for each party), and testifying witnesses.
- A record will be kept of the fact finding. Complainant and respondent, upon written request to the President, shall have access to the records of the proceedings, which shall remain in the custody of the Special Assistant. In case the Special Assistant is the person charged, the records of the proceedings shall be in the custody of the office of the President.
G. Right of Individual(s)
- Either party in the grievance shall have the right to call witnesses.
- The purpose of the hearing by the Special Assistant is to discover all the relevant facts and to encourage the parties to freely discuss the issues in as information a setting as is possible. Therefore, while the right to counsel by either part shall not be precluded, provided that appropriate prior notice of such counsel's attendance shall be given to the other party and the Special Assistant at least three (3) working days prior to the hearing, the extent of the participation by legal counsel at the hearing shall be determined at the sole discretion of the Special Assistant.
- All evidence and proceedings are confidential and shall not be made public by any participant during mediation and hearings.
- This stated procedure shall not preclude an employee's or a student's right to seek other avenues of redress outside of CSN.