Disability Services Grievance Policy

Introduction

Bellarmine University does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its programs or activities, or with regard to employment. In the event that the University determines discrimination has occurred, it will take steps to prevent its recurrence and will correct its effects on the student and others, if appropriate. The Grievance Procedure is not a legal proceeding but an internal process to enable the University to discover and remedy the effects of any alleged discrimination. Students who believe they have experienced disability discrimination may utilize these disability discrimination grievance procedures.

Preliminary Steps

To initiate or pursue a grievance based on discrimination related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the following steps must be observed to address the alleged discrimination.

  1. Students should attempt to resolve disputes informally with either the party alleged to have committed the violation, and/or with the head of the department or unit in which the alleged violation occurred. There is no requirement that a student alleging disability discrimination utilize these informal procedures before filing a formal report. However, experience has shown that the majority of reports can be effectively resolved through the informal process. Students are encouraged to resolve disputes via these informal procedures when possible. The Director of Disability Services and the Dean of Students are available to provide advisory and mediation services to students.

Formal Resolution Procedures

  1. Students alleging disability discrimination must contact the Director of Disability Services (or the Dean of Students if the Disability Services staff is directly involved) or file a report through the Student Concern Report Form to initiate their grievance.
  2. The report must include the following: the specific act(s) or circumstance(s) alleged to constitute the discriminatory action that is the basis of the report, including the time and place of the alleged discrimination, the student’s basis for believing that it was motivated by disability discrimination, and the remedy requested.
  3. Upon receipt of the formal report, a University official designated by the ADA coordinator will initiate an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation of the report. During the course of the investigation, the student will be given the opportunity to present witnesses and other information.
  4. The University investigator will complete the investigation within 60 days after submission of the written report. The decision will include findings of fact, and if discrimination is found, 1) a determination of action to be taken to resolve the effects of the discrimination; and 2) appropriate action to be taken with regard to the discriminating individual. The student and all other parties will be advised of the outcome of the grievance to the fullest extent allowed by state and federal law.
  5. The decision may be appealed within 7 business days of its issuance. The appeal must be made in writing to the ADA coordinator or designee, and must include the basis for the appeal.
  6. The ADA coordinator or their designee will issue a decision after receiving the appeal. The appeal decision is final. The student and all other parties will be advised of the outcome of the appeal to the fullest extent allowed by state and federal law.
  7. Timeframe for this process may be extended if there are extenuating circumstances including college breaks, etc.
  8. It is prohibited for any University employee, official, or student to retaliate against or hinder the testimony of any individual because they have filed a report under this procedure or who have otherwise assisted in the investigation of a grievance. Such retaliation may result in a variety of sanctions, including termination or dismissal.