Grievance Procedure

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Access and Disability Resources
Wheelock Library Building, Suite 205A
132 Riverway
Boston, MA 02215

Director: Jennifer Pike
Tel:
617-879-2030
Confidential Fax: 617-879-2163
Email: adr@wheelock.edu

Note: If content is needed in an alternate format, please contact ADR at adr@wheelock.edu so that accessible content can be provided.

Wheelock College is committed to providing its students with equal access to its academic program and other College programs and opportunities. Part of this commitment includes the College's prohibition against discrimination on the basis of disability, and its goal of complying with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, specifically Section 504 ("Section 504") and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 ("ADAAA").

All Wheelock students have a responsibility to meet the academic, technical, and institutional standards of Wheelock College and its academic programs with or without accommodation.

Any student registered with Access and Disability Resources (ADR) with concerns about accommodations provided or who otherwise feels discriminated against on the basis of disability is encouraged, without fear of reprisal, to use the procedures outlined in this policy. Students with questions or concerns about disability discrimination, including students that are not registered for services with ADR, may also contact ADR at 617-879-2030, by e-mail at adr@wheelock.edu, or the College's ADA Compliance Officer, Michele Crews, Director of Human Resources, Tel: 617-879-2193 or by e-mail at mcrews@wheelock.edu.

Wheelock College prohibits retaliation against any person who requests a reasonable accommodation, files a grievance alleging disability discrimination, participates in a fact finding process relating to this procedure, or otherwise engages in protected conduct under the law.

As with all aspects of ADR services, Wheelock will strive to maintain the confidentiality of students engaged in the grievance process. However, disclosures may be required for the purpose of fact finding or to resolve a grievance. Where disclosures must be made, they will be limited to those persons necessary to proceed in the fact finding process or to otherwise address the grievance, and only in limited circumstances. A student bringing forward a grievance should understand that where a grievance is specifically directed against one or more specific individuals, the grievance itself or portions of the grievance will be disclosed for purposes of response. Any concerns about retaliation or the confidentiality of a student's grievance and/or disability related information should be raised immediately with the College administrator responsible for the matter or directly to the College's ADA Compliance Officer.

Filing a Grievance

A student registered with ADR who has a disability-related grievance is strongly encouraged to participate in the College's grievance procedure and to bring forward the grievance in a timely fashion. Although the College may extend the time frame for filing on a case by case basis, such as where a delay in filing is caused by circumstances beyond the student's control, students are asked to bring forward grievances under this policy no later than ninety (90) days from the last date of the alleged discrimination. In cases where a student has concerns with an academic accommodation or other time sensitive accommodation, students are encouraged to raise concerns immediately so that the College can take prompt and appropriate action.

Depending on the matter(s) raised, a student may take a number of different steps to address a grievance, including, among others, steps outlined below as part of the College's informal and/or formal process.

General Procedural Guidelines

Informal Process

  1. A student with a disability-based grievance is encouraged to seek the assistance of ODS when they have a grievance as soon as possible. ODS staff will respond to the student grievance by offering guidance, mediation, by providing information about classroom accommodations and campus accessibility, and/or other information or assistance as appropriate. With the student's permission, ODS may address allegations directly with the person/s in question if and where appropriate.
  2. The ODS will document the student's allegations in writing and encourage the student to file a written statement describing the allegations and will advise the student of other available options, including the right to file a formal complaint.
  3. If the student does not feel satisfied with the decision of ODS, the student may pursue the formal grievance process described below.

Formal Process

  1. A student may choose to file a formal grievance at any time. Specifically, a student may choose to terminate the informal grievance process and file a formal grievance or file a formal grievance following the conclusion of the informal process. If a formal grievance is filed as a result of a decision made by ADR, the formal grievance shall be handled by the Associate Vice President for Student Success or a designee. Otherwise, the formal grievance process will be conducted by the Director of Access and Disability Resources, the College's ADA Compliance Officer, Michele Crews, Director of Human Resources, or a designee.
  2. The formal complaint should be filed as soon as possible but no later than ninety (90) days from the last date of the alleged discrimination.
  3. Students are encouraged to provide a detailed written statement which provides a clear and concise statement of the grievance and a summary of the steps taken by the student to date to address the concerns. The statement should include the student's disability, the name of persons with information, a chronology of events if available, and copies of any relevant documents or other supporting information. Download the Grievance Form (pdf).
  4. If and where appropriate, the College will gather facts relating to the disability-related grievance as described in the informal process using a fact-finding process.
  5. If a fact-finding process is initiated, the College will advise the student of the fact-finding process and assign an investigator or investigative team. The investigator or investigative team will endeavor to complete the fact finding process within thirty (30) working days, unless the period is extended due to circumstances beyond the control of ADR and the investigator or investigative team (i.e., availability of witnesses, leaves of absence, vacations). Following the conclusion of the fact-finding process, the investigator or investigative team will reach a final decision on the grievance filed and make recommendations, as appropriate.

Other Complaint Options

Students are encouraged to attempt to remediate any grievance with students or staff with the help and guidance of the ADR office and other possible appropriate personnel, through the informal and/or formal grievance procedure at Wheelock College. However, students also have a right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"). Students should be aware that in most cases, OCR requires that Complaints be filed within one hundred and eighty (180) days of the last date of discrimination. OCR's contact information is below:

Office for Civil Rights, New England Office
U.S. Department of Education
33 Arch Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02110-1491
Telephone: 617-289-0111 | TDD: 877-521-2172
Email: OCR.Boston@ed.gov

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