DAR Accommodations Concerns, Informal Resolution, & Grievance Procedures
Reed College is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities in an environment free from harassment and discrimination. The following resolution options and grievance procedures apply to concerns regarding disability accommodations decisions and/or delivery. All other allegations of disability discrimination or harassment alleged to have occurred in any college program or activity may be reported directly to the Section 504 Coordinator, and will be addressed under the Discriminatory Harassment and Sexual Misconduct (DHSM) Policy.
These procedures are primarily intended to provide students with options to resolve disability-related accommodation concerns. These concerns may include, but are not limited to:
- Disagreement with a DAR decision related to your request for accommodations
- A concern that an approved housing, academic or student work related accommodation has not been provided
- A concern regarding the quality or timeliness of a provided accommodation
- Any other accommodation-based concerns
Options for Resolution
In most instances, DAR-related accommodations concerns are able to be resolved quickly through informal discussion and students are encouraged to attempt to resolve the matter informally. In some cases, students may wish to engage in this discussion through DAR, as described in the “Informal Resolution” section, below. Students are also free to speak directly with the faculty or staff member involved in providing the accommodation. While both of these approaches are encouraged, attempts at informal resolution are not required, and at any time students may elect to move directly to the formal grievance procedure.
To resolve the matter informally, students are encouraged to meet with:
- Director of Disability & Accessibility Resources
Or, if the matter involves a decision made by the Director of Disability & Accessibility Resources, with:
- Associate Dean of Students for Academic Life
Informal resolution will typically involve meeting with the student as well as the faculty or staff members involved in the delivery of the accommodation(s). If the Director or Associate Dean of Students is unable to assist in resolving the concern(s), they will refer the student to the formal grievance procedure.
If a student chooses to file a formal grievance, they may do so verbally or in writing with the Section 504 Coordinator (Chris Toutain, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-517-4842). The formal grievance must be submitted within 30 business days of the student’s knowledge of their concern. However, the college may extend the filing time frame for delays due to circumstances beyond a student’s control, such as illness.
The grievance must contain the name and contact information of the person filing it, a description of the problem or action that is alleged (including what happened, when it occurred, and who was involved), a summary of steps, if any, that have already been taken to attempt to resolve the issue or concern, and the remedy or relief the student is seeking.
Notice of Receipt and Applicable Procedures
Upon receipt, the Section 504 Coordinator will review the formal grievance and provide the complainant with acknowledgment of its receipt. The college may investigate a formal grievance filed under this procedure concurrent to other applicable policies/procedures, including (but not limited to) the DHSM. In instances where these procedures run concurrently, the Section 504 Coordinator will coordinate with the Dean of the Faculty, the Director of Human Resources, the Vice President for Student Life, and/or the Dean of Institutional Diversity to determine applicable policy and provide necessary notice to those involved.
Based on the information provided in the formal grievance, the Section 504 Coordinator will determine the scope of the investigation and assign an investigator. The investigation will be conducted in a prompt, fair, and equitable manner. The investigation may include meeting with individuals and gathering information from relevant college offices. The complainant, and any relevant parties as appropriate, will be provided with the opportunity to present witnesses and other information. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will produce an investigative report.
Conclusion & Outcome
Upon receipt of the investigative report, the Section 504 Coordinator, or designee, will determine the outcome. The outcome will typically be determined within 30 business days of the filing of the formal grievance. This timeline may be extended for good cause, in which case the Section 504 Coordinator will promptly notify the parties of the delay and the reason for the delay. Examples of good cause include, but are not limited to, delays caused by the complexity of the allegations, the number of witnesses involved, the availability of the parties or witnesses, illness, or an intervening school break.
The outcome will include whether the grievance is substantiated, based on a preponderance of the evidence standard. When a grievance is substantiated, appropriate resolutions will also be assigned. Resolutions will be individualized and may include, but will not be limited to, approval and/or administration of a particular accommodation; remediation to address previously available opportunities; college directives, training, or other supports designed to prevent recurrence. Resolutions will normally include timeframes for completion and those responsible for verifying implementation, as appropriate. The outcome will be provided to the student and any relevant parties in writing.
Outcomes that include remedy, directive, or other accommodation-related instruction may be forwarded to the appropriate supervisor, department chair, or Dean to ensure the facilitation of the resolution. When the outcome indicates that a violation of college policy may have occurred, the outcome and investigative report may be forwarded for resolution under the appropriate grievance procedures:
- For alleged staff violations – Human Resources and the Human Resources Formal Complaint Procedures for Staff.
- For alleged faculty violations – The Dean of the Faculty and the Faculty Rules of Procedure.
- For alleged student violations – The Vice President for Student Life and the Student Judicial Board Code.
Retaliation against an individual who initiates a grievance or otherwise participates in any matter under these procedures is prohibited by college policy. Reports of retaliation may be made to the Section 504 Coordinator who, in collaboration with the Dean of the Faculty, the Director of Human Resources, the Vice President for Student Life, and/or the Dean of Institutional Diversity will determine the applicable policy under which the report will be addressed.