Grievances & Accommodation Appeals
Any student who disagrees or is dissatisfied with the DSP’s denial of their request(s) for accommodation(s) or academic adjustment(s), or is dissatisfied with the implementation of approved accommodation(s) or academic adjustment(s), may use this grievance process for prompt and equitable resolutions of their concerns. This process applies to:
- DSP’s denial of accommodations or academic adjustments
- DSP’s approval of alternative accommodations or academic adjustments other than those requested
- Faculty or staff members' implementation of an approved accommodation or academic adjustment
To the extent permitted by state or federal law, students may also file complaints with applicable state or federal agencies. Complainants must initiate this grievance process within sixty (60) business days after becoming aware of the event(s) that prompted the grievance.
DSP Grievance Policy
During the grievance process, except when the Director of DSP notifies the parties otherwise, all parties are expected to continue to implement the accommodation(s) as specified in the original DSP decision until the grievance process is complete.
If the complaint involves charges of unlawful discrimination, rather than using this grievance process, the student should report their concerns to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX by phone at 303-871-7016, or by email at TitleIX@du.edu.
This process does not apply to University employees’ requests for accommodations. Employees with concerns about their requests should contact the ADA Coordinator at ADA.Coordinator@du.edu in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX.
Complainants should initiate an attempt to resolve their concerns beginning at the lowest level (Accommodations Specialist who reviewed the initial request) and progressing to higher levels if necessary. Therefore, the complainant should first discuss the issue with the DSP Accommodations Specialist most familiar with the situation. Often the complainant and DSP can reach a resolution after scheduling an appointment with the DSP staff member and communicating concerns or frustrations in a clear and respectful manner. For cases in which the Associate Director served in the capacity of an Accommodations Specialist in making the initial decision about the accommodation or academic adjustment, and the complainant is not satisfied with the resolution achieved in the first level, the complainant should initiate the attempt to resolve their concerns at the third level.
If, in the opinion of either the complainant or the Accommodations Specialist, the parties have not reached a satisfactory resolution at the first level, the party who is not satisfied with the resolution should then make an appointment to discuss the matter with the Associate Director of the DSP. The complainant and the Accommodation Specialist should be prepared to share (via email or during the scheduled meeting) the following with the Associate Director during the meeting:
- The nature of the complaint
- Relevant dates
- Information about attempts to resolve the complaint
- Results of the attempts to resolve the complaint
The Associate Director will notify relevant parties within five (5) business days of their decision unless the Associate Director extends this deadline as needed to allow for gathering and reviewing relevant information. If the parties fail to resolve a complaint at the second level, the complainant may proceed to file a grievance with the Director of the DSP or the Director's designee.
If a complainant chooses to file a grievance with the Director of the DSP or their designee, the complainant must file within fifteen (15) business days of the second level meeting with the Associate Director or within fifteen (15) business days of the first level meeting if the Associate Director served in the capacity of an Accommodations Specialist at the first level. The complainant must submit the grievance in writing and, at a minimum, include the following:
- A clear description of the issue
- The identity of any party or parties involved in the complaint
- The specific remedy or remedies requested
- Information about previous attempts to resolve the complaint
- Results of the attempts to resolve the complaint
The Director of the DSP or their designee will issue a decision in writing within five (5) business days unless the Director of the DSP extends this deadline as needed to allow for gathering and reviewing relevant information. In such circumstances, the Director will provide written notice to the complainant of the need for an extension and provide an updated deadline for a decision, which is not to exceed fifteen (15) business days from the submission date of the complaint.
Should the Director of the DSP fail to issue a timely decision to the complainant’s grievance, the complainant may inform the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. The Vice Chancellor or their designee has the discretion to assign another University administrator to rule on the complainant’s grievance.
If in the opinion of the complainant, the Director of the DSP or their designee does not provide a satisfactory resolution, the complainant may appeal the decision made at the third level. The complainant must file the appeal with the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs or their designee within ten (10) business days of the date of the decision by the Director of the DSP or their designee. The appeal must be in writing and, at a minimum, include the following:
- A copy of the grievance filed at the third level
- The complaint’s detailed rationale for why the decision of the Director of the DSP or their designee was erroneous
The purpose of the appeal is to review the record on which the Director of the DSP or their designee based their decision. The complainant should not submit new information or supporting documentation with the appeal. If a student has new information or supporting documentation related to the request for an accommodation or academic adjustment that is at issue in the grievance, the student should submit that material to DSP and ask that DSP reevaluate the previous decision based on the new information or supporting documentation. The Associate Vice Chancellor or their designee will issue a decision in writing to the complainant and the Director of the DSP within fifteen (15) business days of the date on which the complainant submits the appeal. This decision shall include the following:
- Relevant findings of fact
- The resolution of the appeal
- The rationale for the decision
- Any additional action required by DSP or the complainant
- The remedy and/or alternative remedies
The decision of the Associate Vice Chancellor or their designee is final and not subject to further appeal.