DS Student Greivance Procedure

Disability Services Student Grievance Procedure
in Cases of Alleged Disability Discrimination

The University of California, Merced prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of physical or mental disability. This policy extends to all rights, privileges, programs and activities, including housing, employment, admissions, financial assistance, educational and athletic programs. It is also the policy of the University of California, Merced (UC Merced) to provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities unless such accommodations would impose an undue burden or fundamental alteration to the program in question. The purpose of these procedures is to ensure that all complaints of discrimination based on disability are thoroughly and fairly investigated by the authorized units of the University. UC Merced will conduct a fair and impartial investigation of all allegations of discrimination, with due regard for the rights of all parties. Retaliation against any individual who has filed a complaint of discrimination, or who has cooperated in the investigation of such a complaint, is unlawful and in violation of University policy.

When a student believes that he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of disability, he or she may file, in writing a formal grievance with the Disability Services Director, Office of Disability Services, who is the University's compliance officer for ADA Title II/Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The statement should be as specific as possible regarding the actions(s) or inaction(s) that precipitated the grievance: date, place, persons involved, efforts made to settle the matter informally, and the remedy sought.

If a student with a grievance alleging disability discrimination is also employed by the University, and the grievance arises out of the student's employment, the grievance may be filed under the University's Complaint Procedures in Cases of Alleged Unlawful Discrimination or Harassment. If the Disability Services Director receives a grievance which appears to allege disability discrimination arising out of a student's employment, the grievance may be referred to the appropriate office to be handled under the policy applicable to employees.

Where the grievance arises out of a decision made by the Office of Disability Services regarding a student's eligibility for academic or other accommodations, the grievance will be forwarded for investigation to the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Health & Wellness. Grievances otherwise involving academic matters, for example, cases in which grades are disputed, will also be forwarded to the Provost, who will determine which office(s) should conduct the investigation. Otherwise, the Director of Disability Services shall investigate the matters set forth in the written grievance. In conducting this investigation, the investigator may forward a copy of the grievance statement to the persons whose actions (or inactions) are the subject of the grievance, and may request a written response from appropriate individuals in the University. The investigator may also choose to interview witnesses, to meet with concerned parties, to receive oral or written statements, and to make other appropriate inquiries.

After completing the investigation, the investigator will forward a copy of a report and recommendation to the appropriate University official. If the complaint arises out of an academic unit, the report will be forwarded to the dean of the appropriate school or college, unless he is the subject of the grievance. In such cases, the report will be sent to the Provost. If the complaint arises from a nonacademic unit, the report will be forwarded to the administrative head of the unit, unless he is the subject of the grievance. In such cases, the report will be forwarded to the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Health and Wellness, who will forward it to the Vice Chancellor, Student Affair, who in turn will forward it to the appropriate officer of the University.

Within forty-five (45) days of the filing of the grievance, the Provost, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health & Wellness (AVC – HW), or administrative head will render a decision on the merits of the student's complaint. If resolution is not possible within forty-five (45) days, the Provost, AVC - HW, or administrative head shall inform the student of the status of the investigation.

Copies of the decision by the Provost, AVC - HW, or administrative head will be sent to the student, the Provost (when not issued by him), and the Director of Disability Services. A copy may also be sent to the department and/or the persons whose actions (or inactions) are the subject of the grievance, as appropriate.

In the event that the student is not satisfied with the resolution of the grievance, an appeal may be made. The appeal should be filed with the Office of Disability Services, who will direct the appeal and all appropriate records to the appropriate office of the University for review and disposition.

Copies of the decision will be maintained in the Office of the Provost and the Office of Disability Services.

These procedures shall constitute the grievance procedure mandated by regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (34 CFR Part 104), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (28 CFR, Part 35), and the University of
California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students (Section 140: Guidelines Applying to Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability).

Questions about the University's Student Grievance Procedures in Cases of Alleged Disability Discrimination should be addressed to the Office of Disability Services.

Exceptions to these procedures may be granted by the President, Provost, Executive Vice President & Provost, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, or the University General Counsel.