ADA Student Grievance Procedure
Student Grievance Procedure under Section 504 and Title II (WKU Policy #6.1010)
“No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, program, or activities of a public entity, or be subject to discrimination by any such entity.”
– Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [ADA]
“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” – Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
WKU is committed to providing equal access for students with disabilities, and has a responsibility to monitor and manage ADA compliance. A student alleging noncompliance with the terms of Title II of the ADA may lodge a complaint alleging disability discrimination and seek a satisfactory resolution.
Western Kentucky University (WKU) has adopted an internal grievance procedure for prompt and equitable resolution of grievances of alleged conduct in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C., Section 701) and Title II of the ADA of 1990 (42 U.S.C., Section 12102 et. seq.).
Under this policy and procedure, a student alleging noncompliance with terms of Section 504 and Title II of the ADA may lodge a grievance against a student, employee, or third party alleging discrimination, harassment, and/or a failure to accommodate on the basis of a disability, and seek a prompt and equitable resolution of the grievance.
This policy can be viewed in its entirety at https://www.wku.edu/policies/docs/71.pdf. It is published in part on this page.
Policy and Procedure for Filing a Grievance
Western Kentucky University has designated Mr. Robert Unseld, Director of the Student Accessibility Resource Center (SARC), to serve as the University’s Section 504 Coordinator.
Mr. Robert Unseld
Downing Student Union, Room 1074
Individuals with disabilities who have experienced discrimination or harassment by students, employees, or third parties, or who have been denied an accommodation after complying with the process provided in WKU Student Disability Accommodations/ Section 504 and ADA Compliance Policy (#6.1010), can file a written grievance with the Section 504 Coordinator. [A grievance can also be made by complete an online form, the Student Grievance Form.] The grievance should contain the name and contact information of the person filing the grievance, a summary of the alleged action/violation of Section 504 and Title II, and the proposed remedy or relief sought. Click here to access the Student Grievance Form.
The Section 504 Coordinator will conduct an investigation of the allegations contained within the grievance. This investigation may be informal, but it will be thorough, affording all interested persons an opportunity to present witnesses and submit other evidence relevant to the grievance. The Section 504 Coordinator will maintain documentation submitted in support of the grievance. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Section 504 Coordinator will issue a written decision, in an accessible format, to the involved parties along with the basis for the decision; if appropriate, the Section 504 Coordinator will provide a description of remedies afforded to the aggrieved party. A copy of the grievance and notice of outcome will be provided to WKU’s ADA Coordinator, Dean of Students, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Experience, and other WKU employees, as necessary.
Individuals accused of violating this or other WKU policies may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct or Human Resources, when appropriate. The University will take steps to prevent recurrence of any prohibited actions, and correct discriminatory, harassing, and/or retaliatory effects on any party involved in this grievance process, including witnesses.
Timeframe Governing the Grievance Process
As may be appropriate, every effort will be made to begin an investigation within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving the grievance. The length of time necessary to complete an investigation will depend on the nature of the allegations, the amount of evidence presented in support or defense of the grievance, and other factors; however, a written decision by the Section 504 Coordinator will be distributed to individuals involved in the grievance within forty-five (45) business days after its filing.
The University reserves the right to modify and/or amend the procedure or timeframe as circumstances may require. Individuals involved in the grievance process will be notified if circumstances arise in which this timeframe must be extended.
Right of Parties to Appeal Findings
After receipt of the written decision, any party to the grievance may appeal the decision of the Section 504 Coordinator. The appeal should be made in writing to the ADA Coordinator, whose contact information is set forth below, within fifteen (15) calendar days of receiving the Section 504 Coordinator’s decision.
Mr. Joshua Hayes Wetherby
Administration Building, Room G33
The ADA Coordinator shall review all documentation provided to the Section 504 Coordinator, and issue a written decision in response to the appeal within thirty (30) calendar days after its filing. A copy of the appeal and notice of outcome will be provided to the Section 504 Coordinator, Dean of Students, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Experience, and other WKU employees, as necessary.
Inquiries about allegations of discrimination and/or harassment for individuals with disabilities may also be made directly to the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, The Wanamaker Building, Suite 515, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 656-8548; the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, 832 Capital Plaza, 500 Mero Street, Frankfort, KY 60601, (502) 564-3550; or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 600 Martin Luther King, Jr. Place, Suite 268, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, 1-800-669-4000; TTY (800) 669-6820.