Disability Accommodation Appeals Policy

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Category Name: Academic Affairs & Research
Responsible Unit: Student Accessibility Services
Responsible VP: VP/Provost for Academic Affairs
Adoption Date: July 2015
Last Revision Date: 2020-10-09
Last Review Date: 2020-10-09
Shared governance: none

Policy Statement

Students as well as faculty have the right to protest the decisions of the Section 504 Coordinator in regard to academic accommodations using established appeal procedures.

Purpose/Scope

Applicability

This policy applies to students as well as faculty.

Definitions

There are no definitions for this policy at this time.

Policy Procedures

Informal Appeal Process for Students

The determination of reasonable accommodations is a collaborative process between the student and the coordinator of Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. If a mutually acceptable accommodation cannot be determined, or a second opinion seems warranted, the student may request that the coordinator consult with members of the SAS Advisory Board before reaching a final decision. At any time a student may opt out of the informal process and move directly to the formal appeal process.

Formal Appeal Process for Students

If a student disagrees with the decision of the coordinator of Student Accessibility Services to deny services through this office, or with the specific accommodations approved by the office, they can protest the coordinator's decision through the following formal appeal process:

An appeal must be submitted in writing to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (or their designee). The student's appeal must set forth the specific action disputed and the specific accommodation(s) sought by the student. The Vice Provost for Academic Affairs will notify the coordinator of Student Accessibility Services and obtain a copy of the student's file, including the documentation of the disability and any appropriate accommodation(s) recommended by the evaluator and the coordinator. The Vice Provost for Academic Affairs will convene a meeting to discuss the appeal with the student and the coordinator within five working days of receiving a written appeal. The Vice Provost for Academic Affairs will make a decision on the appeal within three working days, after meeting with the student and reviewing the file and documentation.

If an acceptable accommodation cannot be determined through the appeals process, an internal grievance may be filed with the College's affirmative action officer.

More information regarding grievance procedures can be found in the Harassment and Discrimination Policy or by contacting the Office for Affirmative Action at (585) 395-2126.

Faculty/Staff Role in Arranging for Academic Accommodations

Disability Statement

Faculty are asked to provide the following disability statement in course syllabi and to read it on the first day of class:

SUNY Brockport is committed to fostering an optimal learning environment by applying current principles and practices of equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are a student with a disability and want to utilize academic accommodations, you must register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to obtain an official accommodation letter which must be submitted to faculty for accommodation implementation. If you think you have a disability, you may want to meet with SAS to learn about related resources. You can find out more on the Student Accessibility Services website, or by contacting SAS via sasoffice@brockport.edu or (585) 395-5409. Students, faculty, staff, and SAS work together to create an inclusive learning environment.

The Letter of Accommodations

The coordinator of Student Accessibility Services will provide eligible students with a letter listing the accommodations to which the student is entitled at the beginning of each semester. This letter will inform faculty that the student has a documented disability and set forth any accommodations approved by the coordinator. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, special testing (extended time, reader/scribe, distraction-reduced room), note-taking or assistive technology. Students must present this letter to the appropriate faculty in order to receive accommodations. When faculty receive this letter of accommodation, they are then obligated to provide the accommodations as listed.

Formal Appeal Process for Faculty/Staff

If faculty have reservations about the approved accommodations, they should consult with the coordinator to discuss their reservations or concerns. This consultation must take place within two working days of receipt of the letter of accommodation. If an understanding cannot be reached after a conversation with the coordinator, the coordinator will consult with the College's affirmative action officer / ADA officer. The coordinator will convene a meeting with the appropriate supervisor (department chair and/or dean, etc.) and the student. The coordinator may make a redetermination of the accommodations, taking into consideration any new information received. If a resolution of the disagreement cannot be reached, the coordinator may need to present the case to the school dean and/or vice provost to ensure compliance with the College's legal responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974.

Faculty must not provide any accommodations on the basis of disability until they receive the accommodation letter and they must not provide accommodations on the basis of disability other than those listed in the letter. If a student claims accommodations in addition to those listed in the letter, the student should be referred to the coordinator to request another interactive meeting to discuss potential revisions to the letter.

NOTE: This policy refers only to accommodations offered to persons with disabilities protected by Civil Rights Law under ADA/504. It is not intended to limit the faculty member's right to respond as appropriate to general student requests for special consideration as a result of an occasional illness or injury.

While discussions about additional accommodations are taking place, the student will be provided accommodations originally recommended by the coordinator of Student Accessibility Services unless otherwise arranged by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Disability accommodations are normally not grounds for grades appeals. For this reason, students and faculty are advised to deal with accommodations issues as they arise.

Role of the Coordinator of Student Accessibility Services in the Appeals Process

At all stages of the appeals process, the coordinator of Student Accessibility Services will be available to provide information regarding:

  1. The student's needs supported by documentation.
  2. Relevant legal guidelines and precedents.
  3. Accommodations appropriate for given circumstances.

The role of the coordinator of Student Accessibility Services is to assess the documentation of disabilities and to approve the appropriate accommodations in an objective manner on behalf of the College. The coordinator also assists faculty and staff in understanding the need for appropriate accommodations and how best to relate to students with disabilities.

Links to Related Procedures and Information

Harassment and Discrimination Policy

Student Accessibility Services

Contact Information

Coordinator of Student Accessibility Services

History (in descending order)

Item Date Explanation
Next Review Date 2023-10-09 Three year review
Revision Date 2020-10-09 Policy reviewed; updated division, office, and links.
Revision Date 2019-01-08 Updated Student Accessibility Services email address (Web Request 855)
Adoption Date 2015-07-01 Policy Adopted
Draft Review Date N/A Draft Policy under 30-day Campus Review

Approval

This policy is approved by:

President's Cabinet

October 9, 2020

Last Updated 11/16/20

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