St. Edward’s University and Student Disability Services support students in their right to file a grievance when they believe they have been denied equal access in the form of appropriate accommodations, modifications, auxiliary aids or effective communication, or suffered discriminatory harassment as described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 amended 2008 or the Fair Housing Act of 1988.
It is university policy that no qualified person be excluded from participating in any university program or activity or otherwise be subjected to discrimination with regard to any university program or activity. This policy derives from the commitment to non-discrimination for all persons in employment, access to facilities, student programs, activities and services.
Students with a complaint are entitled to prompt and equitable resolution and may choose the appropriate university process below. If you are unsure which process to use or where to begin, please contact the ADA coordinator.
SDS Accommodation Decision Appeal Process
Description: The accommodations process is collaborative between the student, the instructor or appropriate staff, and SDS. To offer a good-faith discussion of the student’s needs in conjunction with St. Edward's University's course and/or program requirements, the following process will be followed when a student wishes to appeal an SDS decision regarding their qualification for disability services or denial of a specific accommodation request.
The student is encouraged to provide a written appeal to SDS or schedule an appointment with their disability counselor, seeking a review of the request. The disability counselor will present all pertinent information (i.e., student’s documentation of disability, history of accommodations, the accommodation request, course information and/or course syllabus) to the director of SDS or designee.
The director of SDS or designee will review the request and accompanying documentation, and will engage a selection of individuals who are trained, knowledgeable, and experienced in the relevant area if needed. Consideration will be given as to whether the accommodation requested can be offered to this specific student in this situation, or if other effective accommodations exist. The student will be informed of the decision made by the director of SDS. If the accommodation is denied, the reasons for the denial and an offer of alternative accommodations (if available) will be provided.
In the event that the student is not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint, the student may fill out the ADA Complaint Form. The ADA coordinator, in consultation with the appropriate ADA team members, will review the determination and make a final decision on the complaint. Additional member(s) with content knowledge in the area of disability may be included as needed.
Accommodation Implementation Dispute with Faculty
Description: When a student wishes to appeal a faculty member’s implementation of an approved accommodation (i.e. timeliness, responsiveness, reasonable application)
Students are encouraged to first discuss their concerns with the faculty member and/or disability counselor. The disability counselor will attempt to resolve the issues by assisting the student in discussing issues with the faculty member, department or program. In some instances, the director of Student Disability Services may be consulted in order to develop a resolution. Most situations are positively resolved through disability counselor support and mediation.
STEP 2 If either the student or the disability counselor feels that a satisfactory resolution is still not reached through mediation, the disability counselor will notify the director of SDS of the complaint. The director of SDS will notify the appropriate academic program official and seek to find a resolution. The student will be notified of the outcome of the complaint in writing within ten business days of receipt of the complaint.
If either the student or the disability counselor feels that a satisfactory resolution is still not reached, the student should notify the ADA Team by filling out the ADA Complaint Form. The ADA Coordinator, in consultation with the appropriate ADA Team members, will evaluate the complaint and determine an appropriate resolution.
Formal Complaints/Grievances outside St. Edward's University
Students with grievances or complaints against the university based on violations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA) also have the right to file a complaint with a designated federal agency.
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street, Suite 1169, Dallas, TX 75202
U.S. Department of Education
1100 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Room 316
P.O. Box 14620, Washington, D.C. 20046-4620
Reporting an Incident of Bias or Harassment Based on Disability
The Dean of Students Office oversees the response to incidents of bias/harassment for students. Students should review the Student Complaint Policy to determine the appropriate process depending upon the nature of the concern and whom the complaint is about. Students can also reach out to their disability counselor to discuss their concerns and seek guidance about the university’s procedures regarding incidents of bias/harassment.