Dispute Resolution Procedures
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) at Texas State University has adopted this procedure to provide a resolution of complaints to students who have a concern regarding disability status, accommodations or lack thereof, designation of disability status, any other issue pertaining to disability services, or students who believe they have been subject to discrimination. If a student believes that such an incident has happened to them, then they have the right to initiate the procedure outlined below.
1. Informal Dispute Resolution
Texas State University strives to resolve differences through informal resolution procedures whenever possible. It is the intent of the University that issues concerning students with disabilities first be expeditiously resolved directly between the student and department or service provider. Use of this informal dispute resolution process is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies but is strongly encouraged as the first course of action.
If a student believes that a faculty or staff member outside of the ODS has not provided equal access because of their disability or was not provided their accommodations they need, then the student should submit the Student Concern Form to the ODS. The ODS will discuss the situation with the student and, if necessary, the employee to find a resolution.
1.01 If a student disagrees with the accommodations that were determined by an ODS staff member, they can appeal to the ODS Director.
1.02 The ODS will contact the complainant within two (2) business days of receiving the complaint. Should a student not respond to the ODS within ten (10) business days of initially raising their concern, the case will be automatically closed. The student may resubmit the dispute, and the timeframes will restart.
1.03 The ODS will attempt to resolve all informal disputes within ten (10) business days of receiving the initial complaint.
1.04 If the dispute cannot be resolved through the steps listed above, then the complainant will be reviewed by the ADA Coordinator within Institutional Compliance and Ethics prior to rendering a final decision.
2. Formal Grievance Procedure
Most situations are resolved through the informal dispute resolution procedure. However, if the complainant feels no informal process results in a satisfactory outcome, then they should file a formal grievance as outlined in UPPS 04.04.46 – Prohibition of Discrimination. A student can initiate the formal grievance process at any point throughout this process. Should a complainant choose to initiate the formal grievance procedure, then the informal dispute resolution procedures cease.
3. Accommodations during the Process
The ODS will provide a complainant with necessary accommodations to participate in an informal or formal complaint. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, sign language interpreting services or information in alternative formats.
A student may be permitted to have an “advisor.” The role of the advisor is only to advise the student and explain information about the process to the student. The advisor may not have a direct role in the process itself. Should an advisor be requested, then, in accordance with FERPA, the student will need to sign a release form allowing the University to disclose the student’s educational records with the advisor.
The University will request information about an individual's disability only as it is necessary for the university representative to determine the manner in which the disability may be reasonably accommodated.
As indicated in UPPS No. 04.04.46, Texas State University prohibits retaliation against a person who, in good faith, files a discrimination complaint, assists, or participates in the investigation of a report of discrimination, or opposes discrimination.