ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act Grievance Procedure
As stated in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, qualified students with disabilities have the right to request accommodations and to receive fair treatment within the educational system. AHED is dedicated to resolving conflicts and disagreements regarding requests for reasonable accommodations. Please note all other complaints not based on request for accommodations or academic adjustments due to a disability are processed pursuant to the College’s general Grievance and Appeals policy set forth in the College Catalog & Student Handbook.
If you feel that you have been subjected to unfair or improper treatment with respect to a request for a reasonable accommodation due to a disability you may contact your campus Disability Services Coordinator. The process and timeline for filing a grievance are as follows:
Students shall express their concern initially with the appropriate faculty/staff member involved in the conflict in an informal manner. The campus Disability Services Coordinator should be contacted at the same time by the student to clarify rights and procedures for both parties.
The campus Disability Services Coordinator will keep detailed notes as to the date each step of the accommodations or disability grievance process has occurred in order to ensure that the student’s request has been fairly addressed. The grievance process will be fully documented including notes recorded of pertinent discussions.
The campus Disability Services Coordinator will further retain all requests for accommodation, and complaints of discrimination supporting documentation, including the date(s) of the request(s) for academic adjustments or services, the nature of each request, the final determination and the reason(s) for any denials in the student’s file.
If the complaint is unresolved after the informal discussion, the student may file a formal, written statement of the problem with the campus Disability Services Coordinator’s Office. The written complaint to the campus Disability Services Coordinator must clearly state the basis for the complaint (i.e., the who, what, where, when and why), and must:
•Clearly state the nature and basis of the grievance;
•Be signed and dated;
•Provide the name(s) of the person(s) alleged to have engaged in unfair or improper treatment due to a disability;
•Document specifics of the incident(s) in question; and
•Identify any known witness(es) who have knowledge of the allegations.
Note: In cases of alleged illegal discrimination based on race, sex, or handicap, the campus Disability Services Coordinator will contact AHED's Compliance Officer prior to advising the student about course of action.
The campus Disability Services Coordinator, in consultation with AHED's Compliance Officer, will conduct an investigation. AHED's Compliance Officer will respond in writing to the student within 14 days of the filing date of the complaint. As appropriate, AHED may designate different persons to review cases or may consolidate complaints when such action is consistent with administrative efficiency and a fair resolution of the problem. Written notification will be provided to the student in such a case.
If the student feels that the decision is arbitrary and capricious, or if they have new evidence to present, the student may appeal in writing to AHED's Compliance Officer within 14 days of the decision. If no appeal is made in writing to AHED's Compliance Officer within 14 days of the decision, then the decision shall be final. Upon appeal to AHED'S Compliance Officer, the following must be done:
• A copy of the appeal must be submitted to the campus Disability Services Coordinator and to AHED's Compliance Officer; and
• Upon appropriate review, the appellate determination must be communicated in writing to all parties involved within 14 days of the date of the appeal.
At any stage of the grievance procedure, if it was determined that law and/or college policy was violated, a remedy to the problem will be offered. If it is determined that there was no violation, the complainant will be notified within 14 days and other options for possible resolution of the complaint will be explained, including the right of the student to contact the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, 500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475, Chicago, Illinois 60601. The office can also be reached at 312-730-1560.