Hampshire College and the office of disability services recognize the right of students to file a grievance if they believe they have been denied equal access to the college’s academic programs, resources or other services because of a disability. In order to establish the basis for such a grievance, students must first register with the office of disability services and provide documentation of their disability.
The college always encourages students to enlist the aid and intervention of the disability services coordinators in order to resolve complaints informally. If informal procedures do not satisfactorily address the student’s concerns, she/he may file a written grievance. The written grievance should include the student’s identifying information, a detailed account of the way in which the college has denied equal access to the student with reference to the relevant legislation and college policies, and the steps that the student has already taken in an attempt to resolve the problem.
The formal grievance shall be presented to the appropriate disabilities services coordinator who shall be charged with investigating such complaints and convening meetings with the parties cited in an attempt to resolve the grievance. Within ten working days after the filing of the grievance, the disabilities services coordinator will make recommendations to the student and all other parties involved.
If that resolution is unacceptable to the student or to the other principals in the grievance, either party may then appeal to the dean of student services. The dean shall consult with the college’s ADA compliance officer to ascertain if violations of relevant federal or state laws have occurred. The dean of student services shall review all of the documents pertaining to the case and convene such meetings as required to resolve the complaint. If no consensual resolution is reached, the grievance will be referred to the president of the college who shall, within ten working days, render a decision that will be binding on all parties to the grievance. The college recognizes the right of students to file grievances with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights if they believe that their rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 have been violated.
If one of the disabilities services coordinators is the subject of the grievance, the complaint should be filed directly with the dean of student services, who will attempt to reach an informal resolution and/or investigate the grievance as in paragraph three above.
All information regarding such grievances is considered confidential. The college reserves the right to consult with legal counsel, relevant faculty or staff, and/or experts in the field of disability services in order to obtain information or advice regarding the presenting problem. Any individual consulted agrees to be bound by the rules governing disclosure of confidential information.
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