Disability Resource Center

UNCW provides a process by which students may seek resolution of grievances due to disability-related discrimination or who believe the accommodations and services afforded them are inappropriate to provide access.  The University has adopted internal procedures designed to provide prompt and equitable resolution to disability-related complaints.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS & GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

PURPOSE

Consistent with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the University of North Carolina Wilmington protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability, and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to enable qualified students with documented disabilities to accomplish their educational goals.

RESPONSIBILITY

Reasonable accommodations are provided based on individual need as assessed through appropriate/qualified documentation using an interactive process. It is the responsibility of the student who desires a reasonable accommodation to notify the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and to provide appropriate/qualified documentation as necessary.

Students are not required to identify themselves as disabled if they do not want to avail themselves of accommodations.

COMPLAINT & APPEAL PROCEDURES

Any student who believes that they have been the subject of discrimination based on their disability or who believes that the accommodations and services afforded are inappropriate to provide access should seek resolution. The university has adopted internal procedures designed to provide prompt and equitable resolution to disability complaints at the earliest and lowest level possible.

When appropriate, informal resolution with the individual, organization, or department giving rise to the complaint is encouraged and should be attempted prior to formal filing of a grievance.

If not resolved, students with complaints concerning alleged discrimination or inappropriate accommodations should make these complaints known to the Director of the Disability Resource Center. The Director will investigate the complaint and suggest solutions.

If resolution is not achieved or the individuals involved are not satisfied with the resolution, the student may follow the Grievance Procedures found in this policy.

There are three categories of complaint for grievances:

  1. Physical Barriers Preventing Access
  2. Failure to Accommodate; Attitudinal Discrimination; Disability-based Harassment
  3. Policy and Procedures Preventing Access

Determining discrimination or harassment is based on evidence that the conduct was sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough to deny or limit the complainant’s ability to participate in or benefit from UNCW’s programs, activities, or services.

 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

I. PURPOSE

This grievance procedure is established to meet the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended) and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (amended 2008). It may be used by any student who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by UNCW, except where ability represents a bona fide educational or occupational qualification. In accordance with academic freedom in an academic setting, expression that is reasonably designed or reasonably intended to contribute to academic inquiry, education or debate on issues of public concern shall be exempt from coverage.

These procedures are intended to encourage resolution of the student’s grievance informally and expeditiously.

II. PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES

  1. Informal resolution through direct contact with the individual(s) whose action gave rise to the matter is encouraged and should be attempted prior to any formal grievance. The informal procedure, including seeking assistance in resolution from the Director of the Disability Resource Center, affords all interested persons an opportunity to respond and make modifications if necessary.
  2. If resolution is not achieved or the individuals involved are not satisfied with the resolution, the student may discuss their complaint with the ADA Coordinator, who will advise the student of the steps in the grievance process and receive their formal written complaint.
  3. The formal, written complaint must be submitted by the grieving student as soon as possible but no later than 60 calendar days after the alleged violation, except when extenuating circumstances prohibit such submission (i.e., hospitalization, incapacitation) to:
    Dr. Brian Victor
    ADA Coordinator/504 Compliance Officer
    Campus Box 5985
    DePaolo Hall 2015
    Wilmington, NC  28405
    (910) 962-3282
  4. The written complaint must contain information about the alleged discrimination including:
    1. the name, address, phone number of complainant;
    2. the identity of the respondent – the individual or organization whose action gave rise to the matter;
    3. the type of discrimination alleged and category of complaint;
    4. a description of the injury and resolution sought; and
    5. a summary of the time, place and results of the discussion that took place to attempt to clarify or resolve the question at the lowest level through direct contact with the individual(s) who gave rise to the matter (a copy of the form is included below).

    Individuals unable to file a written complaint due to a documented disability will be given the option of responding through alternate means in order to establish their grievance.

  5. Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the formal written complaint, the ADA Coordinator or designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the allegations and the possible resolutions. 

If a student seeks personal redress for an attitudinal discrimination or disability-based harassment, the student must be willing to be identified to the person charged. The ADA Coordinator will notify, in writing, the person charged, stating the nature of the complaint and indicating that an informal inquiry will be conducted. If the student is not willing to be identified or ceases to seek personal redress, the institution may pursue an inquiry on the institution’s behalf and in its name rather than the student’s, if it determines that such action is necessary. These latter administrative procedures are initiated by the institution to assure appropriate conduct by its employees (e.g., when the institution seeks to prevent recurrence of apparent improper conduct, even though no individual complainant wishes to pursue a personal grievance).

F. Within 15 calendar days after reviewing the formal written complaint and meeting with the grieving student, the ADA Coordinator/designee will conduct an investigation and offer options for a substantive resolution. The ADA Coordinator will provide a resolution in written form and, where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant.

APPEAL

 If the resolution by the ADA Coordinator/designee does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, either party may file a formal appeal within 15 calendar days after receipt of the ADA Coordinator’s resolution with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (VCSA). The vice chancellor will review the complaint and proposed resolution.   

Within 15 calendar days the VCSA will render the final resolution in writing to both the complainant and respondent, and where appropriate in the format accessible to the complainant.  The VCSA will also inform the appropriate vice chancellor who has administrative jurisdiction over the respondent.

RECORDS

All written complaints received by the ADA Coordinator/designee, appeals to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and all resolutions from the offices involved will be retained for at least three years. 

EXTERNAL REMEDIES

At any point, the student complainant has the right to file a complaint with the appropriate federal or state agency. The use of the internal grievance procedure shall not be a prerequisite to other external remedies.

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1475

Telephone: 800-421-3481
FAX: 202-453-6021;

TDD: 800-877-8339
Email: 
OCR.DC@ed.gov

Civil Rights Division

N.C. Human Relations Commission
1318 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1318

Telephone:  919-431-3035

RETALIATION PROHIBITED

 Retaliation (including intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating) against a person who files a complaint of discrimination or participates in an investigation is prohibited under university policy and by state and federal law.

ADA Grievance Form

 

Grade Appeal

A student seeking to appeal a grade should consult information provided in UNCW's Academic Catalogue, except in situations in which they feel it falls within one of the three categories identified for a disability grievance or appeal.