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.
Accommodation Dispute Process
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 accommodation requests denied by SDS.
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 Human Resources, Risk and Compliance and Student Disability Services, 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.
Resolving Complaints with Faculty and/or Staff, Academic Department, Program or Organization
Students are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their 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.
The director of Student Disability Services will attempt to resolve the issues by assisting the student in discussing issues with the faculty member, department, program or staff member within ten (10) business days of receiving 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 Human Resources, Risk and Compliance and Student Disability Services, will evaluate the complaint and determine an appropriate resolution.
Resolving Conflicts with Student Disability Services or specific SDS Staff Member
The procedure for resolving conflicts with Student Disability Services and/or a staff member is similar to the steps explained above. Initially, the student should discuss the complaint with their disability counselor. If the complaint is not resolved, or there is a specific reason the situation cannot be discussed with the disability counselor, the student should meet with the Director of Student Disability Services. If the Director is serving as the student's disability counselor, the student should contact the Deputy ADA Coordinator.
If either the student, Director, or the Deputy ADA Coordinator feels that a satisfactory resolution is still not reached, the student may fill out the ADA Complaint Form. The ADA team includes, but is not limited to, the senior director of Business Services (or designee), the director of Human Resources, and the ADA coordinator. In the case that a conflict of interest exists, the ADA coordinator (also the director of SDS) will not participate in this piece of the deliberation. Additional member(s) with content knowledge in the area of disability may be included as needed.
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
Harassment or Discrimination Grievance Procedures
Any student who believes they have been a victim of harassment or discrimination in class or in another campus setting, should bring this matter to the Dean of Students, 512-448-8408. For more information about the Harassment and Discrimination policy and procedures, see the Student Code of Conduct.