Student Academic Accommodation Grievance Procedures
Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) determines academic accommodations through a deliberative and interactive process involving the appropriate members of the university community, and, of course, the individuals with disabilities themselves.
We recognize that disagreements may occur about the appropriateness of accommodations. We also acknowledge that even with the best efforts a problem may occur. To this end, we recommend a range of options to resolve concerns about accommodation and eligibility decisions, services received, treatment by university staff and faculty, and university policies related to students with disabilities.
Issues often occur as a result of misunderstandings, miscommunication, or lack of education around disability. In these instances, clarification and effective communication can lead to a quick and effective solution. If a problem arises regarding the delivery of your accommodations, determination about accommodations, or other issues of access, we encourage you to reach out to the Associate Director of Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy (HFCDHP) immediately.
WesternU will attempt to serve our students’ needs and concerns through internal resolution as a first step. Of course, students have multiple options available for grieving their concerns. Throughout any of these procedures, students can expect to be treated with respect, receive a timely response, not experience any form of retaliation, and have their concerns dealt with in a confidential manner to the greatest extent possible. The university encourages students to bring up any concerns early, give clear and detailed information, and alert the Associate Director of CDHP in writing.
Sandra Rainwater-Lawler, MA
Associate Director, HFCDHP
Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy
Office of Mission Integration
Western University of Health Sciences
309 E. Second Street
Pomona, CA 91766
Internal Grievance Process
If a student believes
- they were wrongfully denied accommodation(s),
- the final accommodation(s) provided was not reasonable,
- the approved reasonable accommodation(s) was not provided or implemented, or
- any other reason that unlawful discrimination, harassment, or a violation of rights with respect to the granting or implementation of an academic accommodation(s) under the ADA and/or Section 504 have occurred they should follow the process set below. During the process set forth below, any accommodations or services that have already been implemented will continue uninterrupted.
WesternU will endeavor to complete the review process as expeditiously as possible and typically in no longer than thirty (30) days; however, the individual circumstances of each situation will dictate the timing of the entire process. WesternU will update the student regarding the status of the process. Students seeking an accommodation for this policy and process should contact the Associate Director of CDHP as soon as possible.
Step 1: A student with a concern covered by this policy (described above) may first attempt to resolve it at the informal level. This is accomplished by the student discussing the concern with the individual with whom the concern arose or with the supervisor of the individual with whom the concern arose, in the event the student is not comfortable discussing it directly with the individual. The student should also simultaneously inform the Associate Director of HFCDHP. Students are not required to engage in this informal resolution and may proceed directly to Step 2 below at any time.
Step 2: A student with a concern covered by this policy (described above), who does not wish the attempt to resolve the concern at the informal level, or who has attempted unsuccessfully to informally resolve a concern, should contact the Associate Director of HFCDHP to schedule a meeting to discuss the concern as soon as possible after the concern arises. During this meeting, the student should provide all information to the Associate Director of HFCDHP that he or she would like considered related to his or her concern. The student shall provide this information in written form and include his or her desired resolution and outcome.
The Associate Director of HFCDHP, or designee, will then undertake the review of the student’s concern. During the review, the Associate Director will review all relevant evidence, documents, and information provided.
At the conclusion of the review, the Associate Director of HFCDHP, or designee, will communicate the determination of the review via written notification to the student and the College (if applicable). The written notice will include a summary of findings.
In cases where the Associate Director of HFCDHP determines that no issues of access exist, or when the Associate Director denies the requested accommodation or remedy, the Associate Director’s designee will conduct Step 2.
Step 3: If a student is dissatisfied with the determination of the Associate Director of HFCDHP, the student may appeal this determination to the Associate Vice President of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning or their designee. Appeals may only be based on the following: (1) there is a substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time information was provided during the review conducted by the Associate Director, would result in a different decision; (2) there was a procedural error significant enough to call the outcome into question; (3) there was an improper bias or prejudice influenced the outcome of the review by the Associate Director.
Appeals must be received in writing by the Associate Vice President of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning within fourteen (14) business days of the date the Associate Director of HFCDHP issues its determination. Appeals may be submitted by email to Dr. Tim Wood, Associate Vice President of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org. Appeals must contain, at a minimum, an explanation of why the determination is improper and a detailed statement of the basis for the appeal, including the specific facts, circumstances, and arguments in support of the appeal.
The Associate Vice President of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will review the (1) information provided by the student for the appeal; (2) review and determination of the Associate Director of HFCDHP; and (3) any other additional information that may be relevant to evaluating the matter and reaching a decision.
The Associate Vice President of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will resolve the appeal and reach a decision within thirty (30) business days of receipt of the appeal request and may take any actions determined to be in the interest of a fair and just decision. The decision of the Associate Vice President of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is final and not appealable. The Associate Vice President of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning shall issue a written notice of the resolution of the appeal to the student and the other party (if applicable), including changes, if any, made to the Associate Director’s review determination.
Issues of Perceived Discrimination:
An individual who believes he/she has been discriminated against on the basis of disability, or who feels that the university is out of compliance with their obligations to people with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended (ADA AA), is encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator and discuss available reporting options. Information regarding WesternU’s Non-Discrimination policies can be found here: https://www.westernu.edu/hr/title-ix/policies-procedures/