Students are entitled to appeal accommodation decisions of Student ADA Services, the Gordon Kelley Academic Success Center, faculty, or other University entities.
I. Policy Statement
UA Fort Smith is committed to a policy of ensuring that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in the University programs or activities due to his or her disability. The University is fully committed to complying with all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and to providing equal educational opportunities to otherwise qualified Individuals with disabilities.
II. Informal Grievance Procedure
Students should make every attempt to informally resolve problems they encounter through discussion with other personnel involved and in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation. If potential problems are addressed early, they are less likely to escalate into grievances. Therefore, as a prerequisite to initiating formal grievance procedures, students shall first attempt to resolve their complaints informally by meeting with the Student ADA Coordinator. If the grievance is not resolved informally, then each student shall have the right to invoke the formal grievance procedure outlined below.
III. Scope and Application of Grievance Procedure
Any student who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability or has been denied access or accommodations required by law shall have the right to invoke this Grievance Procedure. In general, this procedure is designed to address the following types of concerns:
Step 1. Disagreements or denials regarding requested services, accommodations, or modifications to University practices or requirements;
Step 2. Alleged inaccessibility of a University program or activity;
Step 3. Alleged harassment or discrimination on the basis of a disability;
Step 4. Any other alleged violations of the ADA.
IV. Formal Grievance Procedure
Step 1. An effort to resolve a grievance informally is required by University policy and is considered the first step in this procedure.
Step 2. If the Student ADA Coordinator cannot provide information or suggestions that resolve issues involving disability rights issues, the student may contact the Dean of Student Success to request assistance. This must be done within two weeks of the incident.
Step 3. The Dean will schedule a consultation among the Dean, the Student ADA Coordinator, the student, and the faculty member (if applicable) as the second step in resolving concerns.
Step 4. If an agreement concerning disability rights is not reached at his point, the Dean will notify the student in writing of the decision within one week of the meeting.
Step 5. The third step in the grievance process is a formal appeal filed by the student to the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. This must be done, in writing, within one week of receiving notice from the Dean.
The written complaint must include:
- A detailed explanation of why the student believes that he or she has been denied an academic accommodation, service, or modification as required by law. It is important to be specific with regard to any facts or policies supporting the student's position, including specific dates, names, and numbers of courses and instructors, and the names of any other persons with information relevant to the specific grievance.
- In addition, the student should specifically identify the remedy or resolution he or she is seeking.
Step 6. The Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor will notify the student of the findings.
Step 7. The student has the right to appeal the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor's decision to the Chancellor. The Chancellor has the final authority to uphold, reduce, or reverse the decision of the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor.
V. OCR Complaint
Although a student is encouraged to attempt to resolve complaints pertaining to disabilities by utilizing this Grievance Procedure, he or she has the right to file a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Information regarding applicable time lines and procedures is available from OCR.