Appealing Accommodations Decisions

Guidelines for Filing a Grievance or Appeal Based Upon a Disability

If a student believes they have been denied equal access in the form of appropriate accommodations, modifications, auxiliary aids, or effective communication, or suffered discriminatory harassment as described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, they have a few options by which to file a grievance. 

Although the law does not require a student to first use the college’s grievance procedure before filing a complaint with The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education, both the OCR and Macalester encourages using internal grievance procedures before filing a complaint with OCR.

Students with disabilities are responsible for contacting the Director of Disability Services if they feel reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner. The Director of Disability Services works with students to resolve disagreements regarding recommended accommodations. If students feel that a professor or staff person is not providing accommodations to which they are entitled, they should contact the Director of Disability Services to discuss their concern.

If the concern is related to grade evaluations, the student should follow the appeals process for grades found in the Grading Policies and Appeals portion of the student handbook.

Appealing Accommodation Decisions Made by Disability Services

Students wishing to appeal a disability accommodation decision by Disability Services staff should follow the procedures outlined below:

  1. Within seven (7) calendar days after the receipt of the decision by the Director of Disability Services, the student may request in writing an appeal review by the Director of Academic Programs or their designee. The request to the Director of Academic Programs shall be in writing and shall include a brief statement of the grounds for appeal. The grounds for appeal shall be that:
    a. There was a substantial failure by the Director of Disability Services to comply with the procedures so as to deny a fair review of the request, or

    b. The decision of the Director of Disability Services was not supported by the evidence.
  2. The appeal review will be based on the information and materials in the case file, the Director of Disability Services findings and recommendations, and the student’s written request for an appeal review.
  3. The Director of Academic Programs may affirm, modify, or reverse the decision of the Director of Disability Services, or at their discretion, refer the matter to the Dean of Students for further review and decision. The Director of Academic Programs shall notify the student in writing of their decision within 15 working days after the appeal is received. The decision of the Director of Academic Programs shall be final and not subject to further review.