PLNU and the DRC are committed to full compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008. However, the university provides a process for students to appeal a policy or decision they feel is not in compliance. Students have the right to appeal decisions regarding accommodations. To provide prompt and equitable resolution, students must submit a written statement to the Associate Dean for Student Success & Wellness, who will conduct the appeal process in consultation with the vice president for Student Development.
Students are encouraged to work with the person most directly involved to resolve the matter informally before beginning a formal process. If the matter is not resolved informally, students have the right to initiate a formal appeal.
The written formal appeal must:
- Describe the complaint and include a narrative of the incident and how it violates Section 504 and/or the ADA.
- State what has already been done to resolve the issue.
- Include the desired outcomes.
- Include any additional supporting documentation (i.e., communications, etc.).
The written statement must be submitted to the Associate Dean for Student Success & Wellness within five school days of the decision/complaint.
The Associate Dean for Student Success & Wellness will notify the appropriate parties in writing with the final decision within 15 school days of receipt of the formal appeal. The final appeal for decisions is with the Associate Dean for Student Success & Wellness or designee.
If a student feels he/she has been discriminated against or denied access because of a disability, the student should immediately contact the director of the DRC to discuss the situation. If the problem has not been resolved within 10 working days, an appeal may be made to the Associate Dean of Student Success & Wellness. If the student feels the resolution offered through the Associate Dean of Student Success & Wellness continues to deny him/her equal access to an education, a complaint may be filed with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights Disability Division or the Department of Justice according to their guidelines.
Formal Appeals for Academic Accommodations
Students who wish to formally appeal an accommodation are to follow these procedures:
- The student shall inform the director of the DRC that he/she would like to appeal an accommodation decision and may request that the director of the DRC provide him/her with a written explanation for the denial. The director will provide this explanation to the student within 10 working days.
- The student will submit a written appeal to the director of the DRC. This appeal, along with the written explanation of the denial from the director of the DRC, will be forwarded to the Associate Dean of Student Success & Wellness. In making a written appeal, the student is permitting the DRC to release all pertinent information from the student’s DRC file.
- The Associate Dean of Student Success & Wellness will determine the format of the review process. If the accommodation denial is based on clinical reasons (e.g., accommodation not supported by clinical documentation), a qualified health or mental health clinician is to be involved in the review process.
- Once a decision has been made regarding the accommodation appeal, the student and the director of the DRC shall be informed in writing.