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Pima County Community College District Standard Practice Guide

SPG Title:  Disabled Students’ Complaint Procedure
SPG Number:  SPG-1501/AG
Effective Date:  1/7/08
Approval Date:  1/7/08
Review Date(s): 12/14/07
Revision Date(s): 12/14/07
Schedule for Review & Update: Annually
Unit Responsible for Review & Update:   
Sponsoring Unit/Department:  EEO-Affirmative Action Office
Regulation Title & No.:  Standards for ADA/504 Compliance, RG-1501/A
Board Policy Title & No.:   Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity, BP-1501
Legal Reference:   
Cross Reference:  Disabled Student Resources, BP-3603 and RG-3603/A


I.       GENERAL SCOPE

The purpose of this SPG is to provide a complaint procedure for disabled students under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504”). Under this procedure a disabled student may file a complaint regarding any determination that has been made by the College, or its employees or agents, concerning a student’s disability, including the following: (1) whether a student is a disabled student; (2) whether an accommodation, academic adjustment and/or an auxiliary aid or service is reasonable and/or timely; (3) whether a student is being discriminated against in violation of the ADA and/or Section 504; or (4) whether a student is being subjected to unlawful retaliation in violation of the ADA and/or Section 504.

Any of the time frames set out below may be extended for good reason, such as (but not limited to) when classes are not in session or upon mutual agreement by the student filing the complaint and the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.

II.      PROCEDURE

2.1.    Informal Resolution of Complaints

The College encourages informal resolution of student concerns and complaints.  If a student has a concern or complaint regarding any of the matters set forth in the first paragraph of Section I above, the student must first attempt to resolve the problem through an informal discussion with the student’s DSR Specialist. To be timely, the student must initiate this informal discussion with his or her DSR Specialist within twenty (20) school days of the alleged act that gave rise to the complaint. If within five (5) business days of the student’s informal discussion with his or her DSR Specialist, the student’s complaint cannot be informally resolved to the satisfaction of the student, the student has the right to file a written complaint under the formal procedure set forth below.

In situations where a student does not have an assigned DSR Specialist (for example, when it has been determined that a student is not a disabled student entitled to receive ADA/Section 504 services), a student may proceed directly to the formal resolution of complaints procedure set forth below.

2.2     Formal Resolution of Complaints

A student may file a formal complaint by contacting the College’s ADA/504 Coordinator for Students (hereafter “the ADA/504 Coordinator”) and filing a written complaint. To be timely, the student must file the written complaint with the ADA/504 Coordinator within thirty (30) school days of the alleged act that gave rise to the complaint. A complaint must be dated, in writing or e-mail, and set forth the action, decision or occurrence that forms the basis of the complaint, as well as the solution/outcome that the student seeks. A student is encouraged, although not required, to indicate in any filing that the filing is intended as a formal written complaint when such is the intention of the student.

The ADA/504 Coordinator shall assign the matter to an investigator (hereafter “Investigator”) that has not had any prior significant involvement in the matter. The Investigator shall review the complaint, conduct any necessary fact finding, and render a decision with respect to the complaint.

The Investigator shall issue a written decision concerning the complaint within ten (10) business days of receipt of the complaint. The Investigator shall provide a copy of his or her decision to the student making the complaint, the student’s assigned DSR Specialist and the ADA/504 Coordinator.

2.3     Appeal of Investigator’s Decision

A student who is not satisfied with the decision of the Investigator has 5 (five) school days from receipt of the investigator's decision to request, in writing, that the ADA/504 Coordinator review the decision of the Investigator. The ADA/504 Coordinator may conduct additional investigation of the student’s complaint, or may make a determination of the appropriateness of the Investigator’s decision based on the information provided by the student and the Investigator. The ADA/504 Coordinator may sustain the decision of the Investigator, overturn the decision in whole or in part or modify the decision.

The ADA/504 Coordinator shall issue a written decision concerning the appeal within five (5) business days of receipt of the appeal. The ADA/504 Coordinator shall provide a copy of his or her decision to the student-and the student’s assigned DSR Specialist.

2.4     Appeal of the ADA/504 Coordinator’s Decision.

A student may appeal the decision of the ADA/504 Coordinator to the Chancellor or designee within five (5) business days of receipt of the decision. The Chancellor or designee will issue a written decision concerning the appeal within five (5) business days. The Chancellor or designee who renders the decision shall not have had any prior significant involvement in the matter. The Chancellor or designee shall provide a copy of his or her decision to the student, the student’s assigned DSR Specialist and the ADA/504 Coordinator. The Chancellor or designee’s resolution shall constitute a final decision on the grievance by the College.

2.5     Miscellaneous

2.5.1     Documentation resulting from each level in the complaint procedure will be forwarded to and maintained by the ADA/504 Coordinator. Investigative records are not to be maintained with or considered a student record. Documentation regarding corrective action is considered part of the student’s record.

2.5.2     Every effort will be made by the College to protect the confidentiality of the parties under this procedure. Records will be maintained in a confidential manner to the extent permitted by law and insofar as it does not interfere with the College’s legal obligation to investigate and resolve issues of discrimination.

2.5.3     Retaliation against a person who has filed a complaint or against any witness questioned during an investigation is strictly prohibited. Any retaliatory action by instructors, academic professionals, administrators, or other employees who have the authority to take adverse action against a student who has made a complaint or a witness is prohibited and may be grounds for disciplinary action.

2.5.4     Any individual who knowingly provides false information pursuant to filing a complaint or during the investigation of a complaint will be subject to appropriate discipline.

2.5.5     The College encourages individuals to use this internal complaint procedure. Individuals also have the right to file civil rights complaints with appropriate external agencies, in addition to or instead of filing an internal complaint. No retaliation will be taken against a person for filing a complaint with an external agency.

2.5.6     If a student believes that he or she has been discriminated against by another student in violation of the ADA or Section 504, the student should bring the matter to the attention of the College's ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (206-4539). The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator shall review the matter and take such action as deemed appropriate, which may include a disciplinary referral for any student alleged to be engaging in discriminatory conduct.