ADA/Section 504 Student Grievance Process

Brandeis University is committed to providing students with disabilities equal access to the University’s programs, services and activities. Some of the applicable laws regarding the rights of individuals with disabilities include the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Acts (ADAAA) and Section 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO), Sonia Jurado (sjurado@brandeis.edu; 781-736-4802), is the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator for Brandeis University. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator is available to address concerns regarding the University’s policies and compliance with the applicable laws, statutes, and regulations regarding disabilities. Inquiries about these laws and about compliance may also be directed to the Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Education, 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109, 617-289-0111.

Accommodation Requests

All applications for disability accommodations for students should be submitted to Student Accessibility Support (SAS) (access@brandeis.edu; 781-736-3470) for review. Disability accommodations cannot be granted to a student unless they have registered with SAS. The decision to grant or deny a requested accommodation is made by SAS by engaging in the interactive process with the individual. This grievance process provides the procedures by which an individual can appeal the denial of a requested disability accommodation or bring a complaint regarding how an approved disability accommodation has (or has not) been implemented. For concerns about discrimination based on disability, please see the University’s Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Harassment.

If an individual has a concern about a disability accommodation that was denied or only partially granted by SAS, that individual should first discuss their concerns with the Director of SAS. If an individual has a concern about how a disability accommodation (approved by SAS) is being implemented in the classroom, that individual should first discuss their concerns with the staff or faculty member responsible for putting the disability accommodation into place. The individual may also reach out to SAS (access@brandeis.edu; 781-736-3470) for assistance in having the approved disability accommodation put into effect. If these conversations do not resolve the matter, the individual may then contact the Office of Equal Opportunity (oeo@brandeis.edu; 781-736-4806), to discuss these concerns and whether to initiate a grievance regarding this situation.

Grievance Process

When a grievance is initiated, the individual who brought the concern forward will become the complainant in that process. The Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (or their designee) will assign one investigator to the grievance, who will be responsible for gathering information regarding the concerns raised. The investigator will begin an investigation into the complaint which may include (but is not limited to) a review of the information submitted by the complainant to the SAS, interviews with any relevant witnesses, a review of any accommodation(s) offered, a chronology of events, information regarding any undue burden or hardship on the operations of the University’s programs or activities and information regarding the fundamental nature of the program in which the accommodations are sought. The complainant has the right to identify any witnesses and/or information which they believe may be relevant to the resolution of this grievance. The investigator will determine the scope of the investigation, at their discretion. The goal will be to complete any grievance process within 30 business days from the receipt of the grievance. Depending on the complexity of the investigation, more or less time may be required to complete the process.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will issue a decision regarding the grievance. This decision will be communicated to the complainant in writing. The matter may then be referred back to SAS for a review of the findings and to implement any recommendations. The grievance process is final once the investigator issues a written decision on the grievance. There is no appeal from a grievance decision.