Muhlenberg College is fully committed to complying with all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and Section “504” of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (amended in 2008) and to a policy of ensuring that all qualified students with disabilities have full access to programs, activities, and services and are provided opportunities and reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services to ensure this access.
General Information Regarding the Grievance Procedure
Any Muhlenberg College student who believes that they have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability or has been denied access or accommodations required by law, have the right to invoke this Grievance Procedure. The Grievance Procedure addresses the following types of concerns:
*Denial of a requested accommodations, auxiliary aids, and/or services
*Claims of inaccessibility of a College program, activity, or facility
*Alleged harassment or discrimination on the basis of a disability
The Grievance Process is not intended to supersede other College policies and procedures which may exist for addressing alleged violations of the ADAAA and/or Section “504” or other issues for which separate policies and procedures exist. Students are encouraged to consult with the Director of the Office of Disability Services regarding the most appropriate College policies or procedures to address a particular concern. During the grievance process, all procedures, meetings, names, and related information will be confidential unless otherwise mutually agreed upon by all parties involved.
The word “days” as used in this procedure means “calendar days”. For good cause, such as illness, closings, or other circumstances, the College may extend the timeframes for resolving the student’s complaint.
Experience shows us that most issues can be resolved informally, therefore, prior to filing a formal grievance “complaint”, students are encouraged to resolve the matter informally by meeting with the appropriate campus administrator or designee. If the grievance is not resolved informally, then the student shall have the right to invoke the appropriate formal grievance procedure detailed below.
Regardless of the specific level of the grievance procedure elected by the student, all grievances must be filed within 60 days of the incident or action giving rise to the student’s complaint(s). The Grievance must contain critical information including a clear statement of the grounds for the grievance, the individuals involved, any attempts at prior remedies, etc. To facilitate a clear and prompt resolution, once initiated, a grievance cannot be expanded beyond the issues presented in the student’s initial complaint.
Informal Grievance Procedure
- The student should first discuss the problem with the appropriate professional. This may be a faculty member, Director/Coordinator of services, or a staff professional. If the student chooses to discuss the matter with a faculty member, Director/Coordinator of services, or a staff professional but remains dissatisfied with the resolution of the concern, the student may bring the matter to the Director of the Office of Disability Services who will work to resolve the issue.
- If the student remains dissatisfied with the resolution by the Director of the Office of Disability Services, they may file a formal grievance in accordance with steps listed below.
Formal Grievance Procedure
If the student is dissatisfied with the informal resolution of a grievance or chooses to initiate a formal grievance at the outset; they must do so by filing the grievance in writing within sixty (60) days of the alleged incident.
The student will present relevant information in writing on the to the Director of the Office of Disability Services, who will review the information and related materials, and forward them to the appropriate Muhlenberg College administrator:
- The Dean of Students, if the issue is related to student life, or
- The Dean of Academic Life, if the issue is related to academic life, or
The student’s formal grievance must clearly state:
- The basis and rationale for the grievance
- The specific facts and/or policies supporting the student’s position
- The remedy and resolution desired by the student
The appropriate Muhlenberg College Administrator will review the information, meet with the student, interview witnesses as appropriate, and issue a written decision within thirty (30) days after receiving the student’s complaint.
If the student’s grievance pertains to a decision made regarding a determination of disability under ADAAA standards, the student must file a grievance in writing with the Director of the Office of Disability Services, who will review the charge and the evidence presented by the complainant. After consultation with a committee comprised Directors with expertise in the identified disability, a review of the decision will be made regarding the student’s determination of eligibility.
In the event the student is dissatisfied with a resolution made by the Director of Disability Services, the Dean of Students, or the Dean of the College for Academic Life, the student may file a written appeal to the Vice President of Human Resources within fourteen (14) days of the decision. The student must present written statements regarding in what way they felt the decision was issued in error. The Vice President of Human Resources or designee will review the decision and issue a written determination within thirty (30) days of receipt of the appeal.
If the student is dissatisfied with a resolution made by the Dean’s Ad Hoc Committee regarding Exceptions to Academic Policies, they should follow the appeal procedure indicated above.
At any time in this process, students have the right to contact the Office of Civil Rights. Information for this area is listed below:
Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
Office for Civil Rights,
U.S. Department of Education
The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323
Telephone: (215) 656-8541
Facsimile: (215) 656-8605
For additional information on any of these procedures and processes, please contact:
Muhlenberg College Office of Disability Services: ODSadmin@muhlenberg.edu