Accommodations Appeals and Grievances Process for Students

Consistent with the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), University of the Sciences determines disability accommodations through a deliberative process involving disability services professionals, appropriate members of the University community, and the individual student with disabilities themselves.

At times, however, a student may disagree about the appropriateness of an accommodation decision as part of the deliberative process. Often these disagreements arise because of some misunderstanding or miscommunication. In many cases, additional dialogue between the parties, or obtaining additional documentation, can clear up any confusion and can lead to a quick and effective solution.

Accommodations Appeals Processes

The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Occasionally, students may disagree with decisions made by the OSA regarding the reasonableness of requested accommodations. Students who feel that they were denied reasonable accommodations may appeal these decisions by submitting an appeal in writing to the OSA’s Program Coordinator for Student Accommodations within ten (10) business days of the denial. The OSA will work with students to try to informally resolve any concerns. If the Informal Appeals Process does not result in a mutually agreeable outcome, students may appeal unresolved issues by following the Formal Appeals Process.

Informal Appeals Process

The Program Coordinator for Student Accommodations will review any written appeals and the students’ files. Then, the Program Coordinator will meet with students to discuss their requests. In order to reach a decision, the OSA may also request additional disability documentation, ask to consult with treating healthcare providers, or collaborate with other faculty/staff or outside experts. Review processes are conducted as quickly as possible. Students will receive written responses from the OSA upholding or rescinding accommodations decisions within ten (10) business days of the meeting.

If students disagree with subsequent appeals decisions or are unsatisfied with the Informal Appeals Process, they can submit written notice to the OSA of their decision to continue with the Formal Appeals Process.

Formal Appeals Process

Students can begin the Formal Appeals Process by sending an appeal in writing to the Associate Dean of Students within ten (10) business days of receiving a letter upholding the denial of accommodations.

The Letter of Appeal must include the following information:

  • Student’s name, address, and University ID number
  • Description of the accommodations denial
  • Explanation of why they believe the accommodation(s) should be considered reasonable
  • Additional supporting information
  • Desired outcome
  • Date when the informal appeals decision was issued by the OSA

Upon receiving the Letter of Appeal, the Associate Dean of Students or another designee from Student Affairs, will consider the appeal and render a decision within ten (10) business days. The determination will be provided to the student in writing at that time. The determination is final and cannot be appealed within the University.

Accommodations Grievances Process

Grievances are complaints or allegations made by students who feel that an action (or lack of action) by the University is unfair; is arbitrary, capricious, or unjust; or does not comply with University policies. Students with disabilities may consider filing grievances if they are denied approved accommodations by staff or faculty or they have experienced significant delays in the implementation of their approved accommodations.

Students are encouraged to work with University of the Sciences to resolve their concerns informally by contacting the Program Coordinator of the OSA. In the event that such difficulties cannot be resolved informally, students should follow the University of the Sciences’ Student Grievance Policy.

Disability Discrimination

Students who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability, or feel that the University is out of compliance with their obligations to people with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADA AA), should first contact the OSA. The OSA may refer the student to the University Affirmative Action Officer (AAO). The AAO and/or the Director of Human Resources may conduct an investigation into the allegation.

Resources for Students

If you would like assistance in resolving an issue related to accommodations, disability discrimination, or other accommodations-related grievances, please contact:

Kaitlyn Martin
Program Coordinator for Student Accommodations
Office of Student Accommodations
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-596-8758
kmartin2@usciences.edu
Whitecar Hall 1004

External Complaint

Students who feel that the University is out of compliance with their obligations to people with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADA AA), may seek resolution through private legal means. Students may file a formal grievance against the University or a written complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the Federal Department of Education.

Contact:

Kaitlyn Martin, Program Coordinator for Student Accommodations

Address:

University of the Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495

Phone:

215-596-8758

Email:

kmartin2@usciences.edu

Contact:

Marcia Conrad 

Address:

Office Location: 4100 Chester Ave, Room 3200
University of the Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495

Phone:

215-596-7533

Email:

m.conrad@usciences.edu