Accommodations/Academic Adjustment Grievance and Appeal Process
Point Loma Nazarene University prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. PLNU has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints by any member of the PLNU community alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (§29 U.S.C. 794) of the U.S. Department of Education regulations implementing the Act, and the Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990 Title II & III (§42 U.S.C. 126). Section 504 and the ADA, Sections Title II & Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. The Law and Regulations may be examined in the office of the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator who has been designated to coordinate the efforts of PLNU to comply with Section 504 and the ADA.
Kimberly Joy Bogan, PsyD
Associate Dean Student Success and Wellness
Any participant who believes she or he has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability (or is unsatisfied with accommodation/academic adjustment plans) provided by the Disability Resource Center may file a grievance under this procedure. It is against the law for PLNU to retaliate against anyone who files a grievance or cooperates in the investigation of a grievance. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator should be notified immediately if anyone associated with the grievance procedure is subjected to retaliation as a result of that person's participation in the grievance process.
PLNU has both informal and formal mechanisms in place to resolve concerns about disability discrimination, denial of access to services, accommodations and/or academic adjustment plans required by law, or an auxiliary aid they believe they should have received ("disability-related issues"), such as:
- Disagreements regarding a requested service, accommodation, academic adjustment plan, modification of University practice or requirement, or denial of a request
- Inaccessibility of a program or activity
- Violation of privacy in the context of a disability
Informal Grievance Process
PLNU encourages anyone with concerns about a disability-related issue to first discuss the matter with the Disability Resource Center, who will attempt to facilitate a resolution. Individuals are not required to pursue the informal process first and may engage the formal grievance process as their first step if preferred. The Disability Resource Center can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the Disability Resource Center is not successful in achieving a satisfactory resolution, within ten working days from the date the disability-related issue is raised, or the complaint is against the Office itself, a formal grievance may be filed as described below.
The purpose of the informal process is to make a good faith effort to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently; however, the individual may ask to implement the formal process at any time during the informal resolution or instead of the formal resolution.
Formal Grievance Process
A formal grievance must be filed with the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator within 21 working days of the date of the Informal decision, if applicable, or within 30 calendar days of the occurrence of the disability-related issue. The grievance must be in writing and include the following:
- The grievant's name, address, email address and phone number
- A full description of the situation
- A description of the efforts which have been made to resolve the issue informally, if any
- A statement of the requested remedy, e.g. requested accommodation/academic adjustment plan
If the grievance involves confidential medical information, the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will maintain the confidentiality of that information and will not release that information without the individual's permission, except as allowed by law.
The ADA/ Section 504 Coordinator will review the grievance for timeliness and appropriateness under this grievance procedure and notify the grievant if the grievance has been accepted.
The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator either commences an investigation or will select a trained investigator who will promptly initiate an investigation. The investigator will be an individual who is trained on disability or civil rights issues. In undertaking the investigation, the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator or investigator may interview, consult with and/or request a written response to the issues raised in the grievance from any individual the investigator believes to have relevant information, including but not limited to faculty, staff, students, and visitors to PLNU. All parties will have an opportunity to provide the investigator with information or evidence that the party believes is relevant to his or her grievance. All parties involved will receive a fair and equitable process and be treated with care and respect. The investigator will respect the privacy of all parties.
The investigation will be completed within thirty calendar days of the filing of the written complaint. At the request of the grievant, the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will determine whether the formal grievance process can and should be expedited.
Findings and Notification
Within five working days of the completion of the investigation, the investigator will make a recommendation regarding appropriate actions to be taken. The investigator will summarize the evidence that supports the recommendation, and the grievant will be advised in writing of the outcome of the investigation.
Within five calendar days of receiving the determination from the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, the grievant or the party against whom the grievance is directed, if any, may appeal the determination. To appeal, the party must file a written request for review with the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator. The written request for appeal must be based on the grounds of improper procedure, or new evidence that was unavailable at the time of the investigation. The Coordinator will convene an Appeal Board to conduct a formal review of the appeal.
The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will provide the person appealing with a copy of the appeal written decision within five calendar days of the filing of the appeal. The appeal decision will be the final determination of the PLNU. The individual also may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, at any time before, during or after the University's ADA/Section 504 grievance process.