Grievance Procedures for Persons With Disabilities
These Grievance Procedures are established to meet the legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They may be used by anyone who thinks they have experienced discrimination on the basis of disability in employment practices or policies or in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by Calvin College.
Our goal at Calvin College is to be the kind of community that follows Christian principles as we seek to resolve any conflicts that may occur between persons with disabilities and other members of the campus community. We are motivated by love and justice. Our hope is that the procedures described below will be needed rarely; and when used, that they will lead to restoration of community whenever it has been broken.
On occasion a student or employee of the college who has a disability may have criticism with regard to matters such as failure to provide reasonable accommodation in courses; barriers in attitude, architecture, or communication; or discrimination in employment. The first step is for the student or employee to present his or her concern and request for action directly to the faculty member or other college employee who is involved. The professor or other college employee should listen, giving serious attention to the complainant’s concern, and attempt to resolve it in a mutually satisfactory way.
If the faculty or staff member’s response does not satisfy the complainant, or if the complainant does not feel safe in approaching the faculty or staff member, then the complainant must file a formal grievance with the Campus ADA Compliance Officer, the Vice President for Administration and Finance. To file a grievance, the complainant, and only the complainant, must fill out an ADA Grievance Form, which is available in the Office of Administration and Finance. Alternative means of filing the ADA Grievance Form, such as a personal interview or a tape recording, will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request. The grievance must be filed no later than sixty days after the alleged violation.
Within ten working days of receiving the grievance, the ADA Compliance Officer will review the grievance, consult with necessary parties, and determine if the grievance shall be forwarded directly to the Campus Accessibility Advisory Committee (CAAC) for fact-finding and decision.
The criteria for not forwarding a grievance may include any of the following:
- The grievance could be handled through an alternate dispute resolution process agreed upon by both of the parties.
- Another appeal process exists, and is better suited, for handling the issue presented in the grievance.
- The grievance lacks sufficient grounds.
- The grievance lacks credible facts.
- In the event that the grievance is not forwarded to the CAAC, the ADA Compliance Officer will notify the complainant in writing of the decision not to forward the grievance. Said denial may be appealed to the CAAC within three business days following receipt of the written notification.
- In the event that the grievance is forwarded to the CAAC, the CAAC will meet with the complainant within ten working days of receiving the grievance to discuss and identify options for resolving the grievance. Within five working days after that meeting, the CAAC will send its advice on resolving the grievance to both the ADA Compliance Officer, the complainant, and other concerned parties. The complainant must receive the CAAC’s proposed resolution in a format accessible to the complainant.
- After receiving and considering the CAAC’s advice, the ADA Compliance Officer will rule on the grievance and notify the CAAC, the complainant, and other concerned parties of his ruling within five working days.
- If the complainant does not accept the ADA Compliance Officer’s ruling, then the complainant may appeal to the President of the College within five working days.
- If the complainant does not accept the decision of the President of the College, then the complainant may appeal the matter, by way of the President, to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
Note: These grievance procedures are designed to protect the due process rights of complainants while at the same time resolving disputes at a personal level in the spirit of Matthew 18. Following the College’s grievance procedures shall in no way substitute for or impair the complainant’s right to file an ADA complaint with the appropriate agency or department of the federal government of the United States. However, if the complainant does file a complaint with the federal government before this grievance procedure is completed, then the procedures stated above will be abrogated.
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