Disability Services at UMass Amherst

Complaint Resolution

The University has established a system of grievance procedures to address complaints of alleged discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, creed, age, marital status, national origin, veteran status, and disability. Grievants are encouraged to resolve complaints informally by working with the relevant parties and administrators. The Ombuds Office and the Dean of Students Office together with the Equal Opportunity & Diversity Office are available to assist in this resolution process.

The Executive Director for Equal Opportunity and Diversity, or designee, is the Section 504 and Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator for the campus. This person will provide information about the University's obligations with respect to the provisions of nondiscrimination statutes including information about the requirement to provide program accessibility for persons with disabilities.

ADA Compliance Officer
Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office
243 Lederle GRC Lowrise
740 North Pleasant Street
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003-9306
(413) 545-3464

Grievance Policy and Procedures

Formal charges of discrimination should be directed to the campus Equal Opportunity & Diversity Office, 243 Lederle GRC Lowrise Building, (413) 545-3464. The University Grievance Policy and Procedures outlines the procedures to be used in filing a grievance alleging discrimination.

Employees

Employees with disabilities are responsible for contacting Disability Services if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely way. Disability Services works with University personnel and employees with disabilities to resolve disagreements regarding recommended accommodations. Employees with disabilities who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability may file a grievance with the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity.

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Disability Services
PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITY
August, 2014

Meeting accessibility requirements is accomplished by providing reasonable accommodations. Students or employees who know or suspect they may have a disability are required to register with Disability Services if they wish to receive reasonable accommodations.

  1. Enrolling as a person with a disability
    1. Contact: Disability Services at 545-0892 (V/TTY)
    2. Provide demographic information
    3. Provide documentation of disability
  2. Accommodation Development
    1. Working with Consumer Manager in Disability Services, accommodations are designed to meet the needs of the person with the disability following procedures outlined in Accommodations and Services For Students (http://www.umass.edu/disability/students.html ) and Resources For Employees With Disabilities (http://www.umass.edu/disability/employee.html).
    2. Consumer Manager sends letter to appropriate department personnel recommending type/s of accommodations.
  3. Dispute Procedure
    Informal procedure for accommodations in dispute
    1. Student/Employee speaks to Consumer Manager see if issue can be resolved
    2. If Faculty, Staff, Student, Employee and/or Disability Service cannot agree about accommodation, it is considered in dispute.

STUDENT DISPUTE PROCEDURES

It is important that accommodation issues be resolved before academic performance is significantly affected. Use the following procedures to ensure there is a timely resolution of request in dispute:

Accommodations for Classroom Environments:

Step One: Within THREE working days of recognition that classroom accommodations are in dispute, the instructor must contact the department head or chair or the departmental designee to make a suggestion about accommodations based on knowledge of departmental practices. After such a request is made, the department head, chair, or designee will have FIVE working days to communicate the recommendation to all parties.

Step Two: If the suggestion arising from Step One does not produce a mutually acceptable resolution, or if there is no suggestion arising from Step One, any of the parties may, within THREE working days of the end of Step One, request a resolution by the Associate Director of Disability Services. The Associate Director of Disability Services working directly with the Director of Disability Services in consultation with the affected student and instructor, appropriate academic administrators, will make a decision about the resolution of the situation within TEN working days of receipt of a request.

NOTE: In order to ensure that a student’s ability to succeed in a course is not irretrievably and unlawfully compromised during the period when the accommodation request is under consideration, classroom accommodations requested by Disability Services will be in effect during Step One and Step Two. Instructors who do not provide requested classroom accommodations during this period will be considered to be in violation of University policy, and recommendations for appropriate disciplinary measures, consistent with applicable union contractual provisions, may be invoked.

Accommodations for Graduate Program Requirements:

Qualified Graduate Students with disabilities who have encountered a conflict with any University department, program, service or policy should work with Disability Services to resolve a potential grievance and get prompt resolution. Accommodations may include the need for more time to complete program requirements such as oral and written comprehensive exams, proposal and dissertation or other issues related to a student’s disability. Disability Services will work with the appropriate academic personnel to create an on-going plan to complete program requirements. Reasonable accommodations regarding extension of statute of limitation are determined by Disability Services and the individual’s committee chair, the department chair, the graduate school and the ADA Compliance Officer depending on circumstances.

If an acceptable resolution is not provided by these procedures, the student may appeal through the campus formal discrimination grievance process through the Grievance Policy and Procedures (http://www.umass.edu/eod/grievance.html )administered by the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office at 243 Lederle Lowrise GRC. A student may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Right, 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor/Suite 900 Boston, MA 02109-3921, (617) 289-0111, TTY (800) 877-8339. Or in certain circumstances with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) Massachusetts Association Against Discrimination, One Ashburton Place, Room 601, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 994-6000 TTY (617) 994-6196

EMPLOYEE DISPUTE PROCEDURES

Disability Services works with both the employee and immediate supervisor to identify reasonable accommodations which will enable successful performance in various employment settings. If an acceptable resolution is not provided by these procedures, the employee may appeal through the campus formal discrimination grievance process through the Grievance Policy and Procedures (http://www.umass.edu/eod/grievance.html )administered by the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office at 243 Lederle Lowrise GRC. An employee may also file a complaint with an outside agency such as the complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) Massachusetts Association Against Discrimination, One Ashburton Place, Room 601, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 994-6000 TTY (617) 994-6196