Accommodation Appeal Process and Grievance Procedures

Massasoit Community College strives to provide an inclusive environment for all students, including students with disabilities, and is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities have equal, effective and meaningful access to all academic programs, community events, and goods and services provided by the college in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Access and Disability Resources (ADR) is the office responsible for determining reasonable accommodations for eligible students. Students are deemed eligible for accommodations based on a review of current and relevant documentation, student interview and history of accommodation use. Specific accommodations are approved on a case by case basis with consideration given to the correlation between the student’s requested accommodation and the functional limitations experienced by the disability. In addition, accommodations must not substantially alter the educational program, intent, or process or be an administrative burden for College personnel to execute. Requests for accommodations must be submitted in a timely manner and cannot be enacted retroactively. If a student has requested an accommodation and the accommodation gets denied by ADR staff, the student has the right to appeal the decision of a denied accommodation. Appeals can be resolved informally or formally.

Informal Appeal: An informal appeal can be initiated with the ADR staff who denied the accommodation(s) request. If the student is not satisfied with the response provided by the ADR staff, the student can informally appeal the decision with the supervisor of ADR, the Director of Academic Support Services.

Formal Appeal: A formal appeal can be initiated by filing a grievance through the College’s ADA/504 Coordinator under the  Affirmative Action Policy and/or the student can choose to go directly to the Office of Civil Rights to file a grievance with the U.S.Department of Education at OCR Complaint.

Informal Appeal Process:

If a Massasoit Community College student believes they have had a request for an accommodation denied by an ADR staff, the student should contact the ADR staff who signed the Accommodation Letter for the current semester to initiate the informal appeal process with that staff. The appeal should be initiated soon (suggested within two weeks) after the receipt of the Accommodation Letter for the semester. During the discussion between the student and the ADR staff regarding the appeal, the student has the responsibility to inform the ADR staff of the nature of the appeal and why they believe the decision to deny the requested accommodation was incorrect. The student may be asked to further explain the correlation between the functional limitations experienced as a result of the disability and the requested accommodation(s). Additional documentation from a licensed practitioner may be requested to support the student’s request. ADR staff will reconsider the requested accommodation(s) and will make an updated determination based on any updated information provided. ADR staff will inform the student in writing, in a timely manner, regarding the appeal decision.

If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial appeal, they may contact the Director of Academic Support Services, Marie McDonnell,or at 508-588-9100 x1082 as the next step in the informal appeal process. Marie can be reached at mmcdonne2@massasoit.mass.com or at 508-588-9100 x 1082. This contact should occur shortly after the initial appeal was denied. Appeals at this step may require the Director of Academic Support Services to review disability documentation previously submitted to ADR. The student may be asked to explain the correlation between the functional limitations experienced as a result of the disability and the requested accommodation(s). The student has the responsibility to inform the Director of Academic Support Services, the nature of the appeal and why they believe the decision to deny the requested accommodation was incorrect. In a timely manner, the Director of the Academic Support Services will provide a written response regarding the outcome of the appeal.

Formal Grievance Process:

If the student is not satisfied with the Informal Appeal Process outcome a formal grievance can be filed with the College’s ADA/504 Coordinator, Yolanda Dennis, or at 508-588-9100 x1309. The formal grievance process can be found in the college’s Affirmative Action Policy.

In addition, or instead of filing a grievance through the Affirmative Action Policy, the student can choose to go directly to the Office of Civil Rights to file a grievance at OCR Complaint with the U.S.Department of Education.

A formal appeal may be filed in addition to filing an informal appeal, or instead of filing an informal appeal. Students are not required to start with the informal appeal process before moving to the formal appeal process, however it is encouraged in situations where an accommodation(s) have been denied.