A. Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) and the Disability Resource Center (DRC) support students in their right to file a grievance when they believe equal access has been denied in regard to appropriate accommodations, modifications, auxiliary aids, or effective communication or when they believe they have been discriminated against as described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).
B. TAMUK has general grievance procedures that apply to all students, which of course include students with disabilities. These procedures can be found in the Student Handbook (http://www.tamuk.edu/dean/dean_files/studenthandbook.pdf), University Rule 08.01.01K1, Civil Rights Compliance (http://www.tamuk.edu/policy/rules/pdf/08.01.01.K1.pdf), and/or System Regulations 08.01.01, Civil Rights Compliance (http://policies.tamus.edu/08-01-01.pdf).
C. If a student believes he/she has been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of disability, he/she has two options: informal resolution or formal complaint.
Informal Resolution: No formal investigation is involved in the informal resolution process.
It is recommended for resolving disability-related conflicts with faculty, staff, campus organizations and/or other students.
- A student is encouraged to discuss his/her concerns with the DRC Coordinator who will contact the parties involved, as appropriate, to determine resolution. For example the DRC Coordinator may attempt to resolve the situation by assisting the student in discussing issues with a faculty member, by facilitating a meeting of the parties involved, or by calling the faculty member and/or head of the department in an effort to clarify and resolve issues. In some instances, other DRC staff may be consulted. The student, and other involved parties, will be notified by the DRC Coordinator of the resolution of the situation within 10 business days.
Note: A request for informal resolution must be made within 30 calendar days of the date of the alleged incident. An informal resolution meeting is not to be considered a pre-condition for the filing of written complaint.
Formal Complaint: A student who feels he or she has been subject to discrimination in an academic program based on disability may file a written grievance with the DRC which would be submitted to the Director of Compliance within five business days of receipt. A student’s complaint alleging discrimination must be filed within 60 calendar days of the most recent incident or it may be deemed untimely filed and dismissed.
The Director of Compliance will forward the complaint(s) to an investigative authority, if applicable, within five business days of receipt. The investigative authority will review each complaint and interview witnesses, if applicable. During this process, both parties will have the opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence. The investigator will provide a report on the merits of the complaint to the designated administrator within 15 business days of receipt of the complaint, unless unusual circumstances require more time. Extensions should not be for more than 15 additional business days. The designated administrator will render a decision in writing and provide that decision to the complainant, respondent(s), the investigative authority and the complainant’s and respondents’ supervisor and department head(s) within five business days after receiving the investigative authority’s report, unless unusual circumstances require additional time. This will be the final decision regarding the merits of the complaint.
Complaints with the DRC office and/or a particular DRC staff person:
- When a student has a complaint against the DRC office and/or one of its staff members, the student should first discuss the complaint with the DRC Coordinator. Resolution of the issue may be reached at this level.
- If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved or for a specific reason cannot be discussed with the DRC Coordinator, the student should contact the Student Health and Wellness (SHW) Director to discuss the issue further and explore resolution. After reviewing the situation, the SHW Director will inform the student and the involved parties of progress, findings or resolutions. The student has the right to bypass the DRC Coordinator and/or the Student Health and Wellness Director and go directly to the Senior Vice-President of Fiscal and Student Affairs.
Office of Civil Rights
A student may also choose to file a complaint with the Federal Office of Civil Rights. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “prior to filing a complaint with OCR against an institution, a potential complainant may want to find out about the institution’s grievance process and use that process to have the complaint resolved. However, a complainant is not required by law to use the institutional grievance process before filing a complaint with OCR. If a complainant uses an institutional grievance process and also chooses to file the complaint with OCR, the complaint must be filed with OCR within 60 days after completion of the institutional grievance process.” More information on how to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html.
Office for Civil Rights,
U.S. Department of Education
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620
Dallas, TX 75201-6810
Telephone: (214) 661-9600
Facsimile: (214) 661-9587
This page was last updated on: January 22, 2015