Policy Number: I-26
Last Reviewed: October 13, 2022
Responsible Dept.: Dean of Student Affairs/ADA Coordinator
A signed copy of this policy is available in the President’s Office.
Consistent with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Virginia Western Community College guarantees that no qualified individual shall by reason of disability be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of college. Each qualified person shall receive appropriate, reasonable accommodations upon request to insure full and equal access to educational opportunities, programs, and activities.
26.1 Determining Eligibility
In order to determine eligibility for services on the basis of a self-disclosed disability and to evaluate specific needs for requested accommodations or auxiliary aids, Virginia Western’s Office of Disability Services will need documentation of the disability. Such documentation must include an evaluation by an appropriate professional, as well as a description of the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodation request. As appropriate to the disability, the documentation should include, but not limited to, the following elements:
- A diagnostic statement identifying the disability, date of the most current diagnostic evaluation, and the date of the diagnosis if known.
- A description of the diagnostic test, methods, and/or criteria used.
- A description of the current functional impact of the disability, which includes specific test results and the examiner’s narrative interpretation.
- Treatment, medications or assistive devised/services currently prescribed or in use, including a description of the mediating effects and potential such effects from such treatments.
- The credentials of the diagnosing professional if not clear from the letterhead or other forms.
- The diagnosing professional cannot be a family member.
- The diagnosis must be on official letterhead or agency forms.
- No prescription pad diagnosis will be accepted.
26.2 Diagnostic Evaluation
Virginia Western Community College and the Office of Disability Services assume no responsibility for the cost of medical or educational testing for the purposes of diagnosing a disability. The Office of Disability Services will provide referrals to area agencies and other professionals. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange for professional services and to pursue necessary steps in securing all documentation of his/her/their disability.
26.3 Use of a Personal Attendant or Aide
Virginia Western Community College and the Office of Disability Services will ensure access is provided of the attendant/aide to a qualified student with a disability, however, the responsibility of securing a Personal Attendant or Aide belongs with the student. Every attempt should be made to have these arrangements set in advance of the starting date of each semester or class. Virginia Western Community College and the Office of Disability Services assume no coordination or financial responsibilities for the use of a Personal Attendant or Aide by a qualified student.
26.4 Grievances related to Alleged Violations of the ADA Amendments Act or 504 Regulation
Students with disabilities who believe they are the subject of discrimination should review the following college policies. If, after reading the assurances listed below, the student believes that discrimination has occurred, the student is entitled to pursue a formal written grievance.
Retaliation against any individual who files a complaint or participates in the grievance process is prohibited.
- The College assures that all qualified students with disabilities are eligible for modifications of the College’s academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that requirements do not have the effect of discriminating against them.
- The College assures that alternate testing and evaluation methods for measuring student achievement may be necessary for students with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (except where these are the skills being measured).
- The College assures that auxiliary aids and services will be provided to students when necessary to assure that such students are not denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination under the College’s programs and activities. All accommodations will be made in the most integrated setting possible.
- The College assures there will be no limit placed on the number of students with disabilities being admitted to the institution.
- The College assures that pre-admission inquiries as to whether an applicant is disabled are prohibited.
- The College assures that no student may be excluded from any curriculum of study solely on the basis of a disability.
- The College assures that prohibitive rules such as those barring audio recorders from the classroom must be waived for certain students with disabilities.
- The College assures that no student may be excluded from any courses or curriculum of study solely on the basis of a disability, provided the student can perform the essential functions of the course or curriculum with reasonable accommodations.
- The College recognizes that it is discriminatory to counsel students with disabilities toward more restrictive careers than non-disabled students; nevertheless, the College shall provide factual information about licensing and certification requirements that may present obstacles to persons with disabilities in their pursuit of particular careers.
- The College has provided parking facilities for persons with disabilities that are located on the shortest possible accessible circulation route to an accessible entrance of each building. Standards for parking for individuals with disabilities at Virginia Western Community College comply with the standards of the American National Standards Institute, Inc. and 34 C.F.R. Section 104.23. In addition, the College acknowledges its compliance with, C.F.R. Sections 104.22 and 104.23 for facilities constructed before June 1977 and after June 1977. For facilities constructed after June 1977, the College acknowledges its compliance that each facility and each part of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
26.4.1 Formalizing a Grievance & Review of the Grievance by the ADA Coordinator
For the purposes of this policy, a grievance is a formal, written allegation by a student charging unlawful or unfair treatment with respect to the application of laws, rules, policies, procedures, or regulations under which the College operates; particularly, those laws, rules, policies, procedures, or regulations which may be discriminatory to students with disabilities. In accordance with the Section 504 regulation, at C.F.R. Section 104.7(b), Virginia Western provides for the resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by ADA Amendments Act or 504 Regulation. Any student who believes he/she/they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability status or has been denied access or accommodations required by law may make a complaint under this procedure. Students may make a complaint about, including but not limited to, any of the following:
- A requested service or accommodation, including appeals of determinations regarding accommodations
- Inaccessibility of a college program or activity
- Access of a service animal
- Harassment on the basis of disability in violation of college policy
- Any other alleged college violation of the ADA or the Rehabilitation Act
To initiate a formal grievance regarding any of these items, the student should follow the procedures outlined below:
- After an alleged violation, report the nature of the grievances and the details of the alleged violations to the ADA Coordinator using the Student Grievance Form (ADA/504). If the ADA Coordinator is the subject of the grievance, the review of the grievance as outlined in steps 2 through 5 will be managed by the college’s Behavioral Health and Wellness Advocate.
- The ADA Coordinator will review the remitted grievance, acknowledging receipt in writing within five (5) business days of receiving the complaint. The ADA Coordinator will arrange for a meeting with the student to discuss the alleged violation(s) within one calendar week of receipt of the written complaint.
- The meeting between the student and the ADA Coordinator will consist of a review of the alleged violation(s), per the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the ADA Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and any other pertinent information relevant to the grievance.
- After the meeting, a determination will be made by the ADA Coordinator as to the validity of the alleged violation(s). The ADA Coordinator will advise appropriate actions in writing to the student and other college officials involved in the matter no later than ten (10) business days after the initial meeting with the student.
- College officials will respond to the actions recommended by the ADA Coordinator within ten (10) business days of receipt of the recommended actions. The ADA Coordinator will then arrange a meeting with the student to review the measures and actions implemented in response to the grievance.
26.4.2 Appealing the Resolution of the Grievance provided by the ADA Coordinator
In the event the grievance cannot be satisfactorily resolved following the procedures outlined above, the student may appeal the outcome within five (5) business days of the final meeting with the ADA Coordinator by submitting an Appeal of Grievance Resolution Form (ADA/504). Should the student choose not to exercise the right to appeal, the matter will be considered resolved.
If submitted, appeals of the resolution provided by the ADA Coordinator (or Behavioral Health and Wellness Advocate) will be evaluated by the Dean of Student Affairs. Upon receipt of an appeal, the Dean of Student Affairs will review the alleged violations, inclusive of the information compiled during the initial review conducted by the ADA Coordinator. Following this appeal review, the Dean of Student Affairs will provide written notification to the student of the outcome of the appeal.
26.4.3 Final Resolution of the Grievance
If the student remains dissatisfied with the resolution of the grievance following the appeal review completed by the Dean of Student Affairs, the student may remit a final Appeal of Grievance Resolution Form (ADA/504) for review by the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. This final appeal must be remitted within five (5) business days of receipt of the written notification of the appeal outcome from the Dean of Student Affairs. Should the student choose not to exercise this final right to appeal, the matter will be considered resolved.
The decision of the Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs is final.
If a student has exhausted all available procedures established by Virginia Western Community College and did not receive satisfactory resolution, he/she/they may contact the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia as a last resort in the grievance process: https://www.schev.edu/students/resources/student-complaints.
Inquiries related to allegations of discrimination may also be made externally to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR): https://www.ed.gov/ocr.
Revised: 2/2013, 7/2014, 11/2020, 12/2020, 10/2022
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