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ADA Complaint Resolution Procedures for Students with Disabilities

The University of Maryland, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The University of Maryland is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

The ADA/504 Coordinator coordinates compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and all applicable federal and state regulations.

The University of Maryland has adopted internal complaint resolution procedures providing for prompt, equitable and impartial resolution of grievances alleging any action prohibited by the ADA or Section 504.

Students who have concerns or complaints about University-provided disability accommodations, denials, the accommodation process, or who have complaints regarding compliance with approved accommodations by University employees, are directed to this complaint procedure.

While students are strongly encouraged to follow the steps in this procedure, a student need not go through each step herein before making a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education or the Department of Justice

In order to file an ADA Complaint Resolution under these procedures, there must be a failure to accommodate. A failure to accommodate may include:

  • Requested accommodation not approved (i.e. the condition/documentation does not support accommodation);
  • Requested accommodation is not reasonable (i.e. Fundamental Alteration, Undue Administrative or Financial Burden, Direct Threat);
  • Individual contends that effective alternative accommodation approved is not effective;
  • Accommodation is not properly implemented (i.e. Failure to provide notes, Inappropriate test conditions, Failure to provide approved schedule adjustments);
  • Inaccessible Environment (i.e. Facilities and Grounds, Digital, Communications);
  • A discriminatory policy or procedure; and/or
  • Disclosure of sensitive disability information.

Reporting Concerns

A. Informal Resolution

Depending on the nature of the complaint, there are several steps that can be considered:

  1. Students with disabilities who have met with an ADS Disability Specialist and are not satisfied with their approved accommodation(s) or have additional concerns can appeal the decision by emailing the Assistant Director of ADS to schedule a meeting. This meeting is an opportunity for the student to engage in additional conversation and if necessary, provide supplemental documentation to support a request.
  2. Students with disabilities who have met with the ADS Assistant Director and are not satisfied with their approved accommodation(s) or have additional concerns can appeal the decision by emailing the Director of ADS.
  3. Students with disabilities who do not feel they are receiving their approved accommodations from a faculty member, can go to their ADS Disability Specialist and/or the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Graduate Director in the department where the course is offered. ADS and Undergraduate Studies will work together to try to resolve the issue.
  4. Other issues not related to academics, should first be directed to the department involved to determine if an informal resolution can be obtained.

Before filing an ADA complaint with the University, students are asked to make a good faith effort to speak directly with Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS) staff in order to resolve the student’s concern. Every reasonable effort should be made to resolve such an issue at this level.

The Director will meet with the student as soon as possible and attempt to resolve the concern through support and informal resolution. If the matter is resolved, the student and involved parties will be notified by the ADS Director by email of the resolution.

If the matter is not resolved informally or if the student’s concern pertains to the ADS Director, the student should make an appointment with the ADA/504 Coordinator.

B. Review by ADA/504 Coordinator

If a student’s concern is not resolved through informal resolution, the student may file a written appeal to the University’s ADA/504 Coordinator that clearly articulates the concern and the resolution sought. The grievance must be in writing and include the following:

  • The student’s name, UID# , address, email address and phone number;
  • a full description of the student’s concern(s);
  • a description of the efforts made to resolve the concern through any other parties; and
  • a statement of the remedy requested.

The request must be submitted electronically through our online system: Report accommodations complaint. If this is not accessible to an individual, the request may be sent by email to adacoordinator@umd.edu.

The grievance should be filed within 30 university business days after the grievant becomes aware of the alleged violation and as soon after all other informal processes have been exhausted.

Upon receipt of the request , the ADA/504 Coordinator (or Designee) will provide an acknowledgement of receipt within 2 university business days and schedule a meeting with the individual making the complaint for no later than 7 university business days from the date the complaint was submitted. The ADA/504 Coordinator will then promptly review the information provided and engage with other named individuals or departments to determine whether the denial of accommodation was appropriate.

The ADA/504 Coordinator will review the student’s concern, reach a determination, and communicate that determination in writing to the parties involved within a reasonable time period, but no longer than 30 university days.

Should the student raise other concerns of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation in accordance with the University’s Non-Discrimination Policy, they will be directed to OCRSM and will be handled in accordance with the University of Maryland’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Procedures.

C. Discrimination Complaint

At any time, if the student believes they have been discriminated or retaliated against, the student may file a complaint with The Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct. The Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM) supports the University of Maryland’s commitment to a working and learning environment free from sexual misconduct and discrimination.

The Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM)
Telephone: 301-405-1142
Email: civilrights@umd.edu
Website: https://ocrsm.umd.edu/

D. Additional Complaint Options

Students also have the right at any time to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education. The Office of Civil Rights investigates timely complaints for which they have jurisdiction.

Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education
Philadelphia Office (Regional Office for Maryland)
The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323
Phone: 215-656-8541
FAX: 215-656-8605
TDD: 800-877-8339
Email: OCR.Philadelphia@ed.gov
Website: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html

Students can also file an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint through the US Department of Justice alleging disability discrimination.

US Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section 1425 NYAV
Washington, D.C. 20530
Fax: (202) 307-1197
Website: www.ada.gov/complaint/
If you have questions about filing an ADA complaint, please call:
ADA Information Line: 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383(TTY).

Finalized May 19, 2022