46. Disability Accommodations in Academic Programs (Revised: 1997)
The decision as to which procedure to utilize for a grievance filed by a student shall be made solely by the university and shall be based on the fact pattern of each particular case. Each grievance shall be directed to a specific procedure and shall be accorded only one opportunity to be adjudicated unless the appeal body remands for further review.
When a student alleges that he or she has been subjected to an act, rule, procedure, class requirement or practice in an academic program that involves discrimination based on the student's legitimate disability, the following procedures apply:
Texas A&M University at Galveston provides academic adjustments and auxiliary aids to students with disabling conditions, as defined under the law, who are otherwise qualified to meet the institution's academic requirements. The Director of Counseling coordinates Texas A&M University at Galveston's programs and efforts for the benefit of disabled students.
Students who have documented disabilities or believe they have a disability should be referred to the Counseling Office. This office has the responsibility for verifying the existence of a disability and for suggesting what accommodations/modifications are appropriate.
When there is a need for accommodation of a student's academic program, the Director of Counseling will contact the student's classroom instructors regarding this need and direct the student to work directly with the classroom instructors to work out specific arrangements. As needed, personnel from the Texas A&M University Office of Services for Students with Disabilities may be asked to participate in discussion with the classroom instructor.
It is Texas A&M University at Galveston's position that faculty members do not have the right to contest the existence of disabilities that have been properly verified, nor do they have the right to refuse to provide reasonable accommodations. Classroom instructors do have the right and responsibility, however, to participate in the decision-making regarding the type and range of accommodation that will be provided as it relates to classroom instruction.
In the event a student believes a classroom instructor is not implementing an agreed-upon accommodation, or in the event that no agreement is reached on reasonable accommodation, the student should seek advice from the Director of Counseling about resolution of the disagreement. Dispute resolution should involve the student, the classroom instructor, and the Director of Counseling. If that discussion does not resolve the dispute, the following procedures apply:
46.2 Grievance Procedures
46.2.1 A student who feels that he or she has been subjected to discrimination in an academic program based on disability may file a written grievance with the head of the academic department in which the alleged discrimination took place or is taking place. The written grievance must be filed within one semester (long term) after the decision being appealed was made.
46.2.2 The department head will investigate and attempt to resolve the complaint using the following steps:
Review the grievance report from the student.
Gather any additional pertinent information from the student.
Gather any pertinent information from the Director of Counseling.
Obtain a response and any additional information from the classroom instructor.
Consult with the Texas A&M University at Galveston's ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Coordinator and an attorney from the Office of General Counsel regarding applicable rule and legal requirements, as appropriate.
Document and assess the finding of facts, including those agreed upon and those disputed.
Attempt a resolution of the grievance between the student and the classroom instructor, if appropriate.
Make a decision regarding the requested accommodation with respect to the academic program.
46.2.3 The department head should complete the investigation and produce a written report within 10 working days. A copy of the report is provided to the student, the President and CEO for Texas A&M University at Galveston and the Director of Counseling. All documentation related to the grievance should be placed in an Appeal Summary File.
46.2.4 To appeal the decision of the department head, the student must file a written request for a review with the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer review shall normally be based only on a review of the Appeal Summary File. The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer may choose to conduct an informal hearing. If so, an informal hearing must be held within five working days of receipt of the written requests. Within five working days after receiving the request or the date of the informal hearing, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer shall make a decision either upholding or modifying the decision of the department head and notify the student in writing of the decision. A copy of the decision should go to the President and CEO for Texas A&M University at Galveston, the Director of Counseling and the Appeal Summary File.
46.2.5 To appeal the Associate Vice President for Academic Affair's decision, the student must file a written request for an appeal hearing with the chair of the Discrimination Appeals Panel within 10 working days of receipt of the decision.
46.2.6 Within five working days after receiving a hearing request, the chair shall obtain a complete copy of the Appeal Summary File and shall set a hearing date for the Discrimination Appeals Panel. The date should be the earliest available time at which all parties and panelists are available.