Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Section 504 Grievance Process for Students
Bristol Community College has adopted this grievance process for prompt and equitable resolution of student grievances alleging any action prohibited by federal regulations in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended. Issues that are grievable include, but are not limited to,
- a denial of a requested accommodation,
- the inadequacy of an accommodation,
- the inaccessibility of a program or activity,
- or discrimination or harassment based on a disability.
A reasonable effort should be made resolve disputes before entering into the grievance process. The BCC Student Grievance Procedure, outlined in the student handbook, provides direction for resolving disputes.
The procedure and guidelines for filing a grievance are as follows:
How to File a Grievance:
- Grievances must be submitted in writing (unless an alternate provision has been made) and should contain the name and address of the individual (and/or representative) filing the grievance and briefly describe the nature of the grievance and the alleged violation of the regulations. The letter must be signed by the grievant or his/her authorized representative.
- Grievances should be addressed to :
Bristol Community College
Director of Counseling/ADA Compliance Officer
Suite G 211, ext. 2379
Fall River, MA 02720
- Confirmation of the receipt of a grievance will be made in writing via email or letter within five (typically) business days of receipt of the grievance. Follow up should be made by the student if no confirmation is received.
How a Grievance is Processed:
- An investigation will follow the filing of a grievance. The investigation shall be conducted by the College’s ADA Compliance Officer (or designee), to give the grievant, the subject of the grievance, other interested persons (and their representatives), an opportunity to submit documents and information relevant to the consideration of and resolution of the complaint.
- The ADA Compliance officer may confer with an ad-hoc ADA Grievance Committee, the Disability Concerns Committee, legal counsel, and with the Senior Officers who are directly responsible for the service, program, or activity that is at issue.
- A written determination as to the validity of the grievance, the reasons supporting the decision, and a description of the resolution, if any, shall be issued by the College’s ADA Compliance Officer (or Senior Officer, acting at the Compliance Officer’s request, who is deemed to be the College's designated decision maker), and a copy will be forwarded to the grievant no later than twenty (20) working days after receipt of the complaint. If a resolution cannot be reached within the twenty (20) day period, the grievant will be given a status update and an opportunity to meet with relevant parties to discuss temporary measures or short-term resolutions.
- At any point in the process, the student or Compliance Officer may request (via email or letter) an in-person meeting to clarify any aspect of the written grievance.
- The ADA Compliance Officer will maintain the files and records relating to the grievances filed for a period of three years.
- The grievant or the affected department/division can request reconsideration of the resolution if dissatisfied with the resolution. Requests for reconsideration should be made within seven (7) days of the receipt of the decision to the Senior Officer who has supervisory authority over the designated decision maker. The Senior Officer has thirty (30) days to respond to the request for reconsideration. Decisions of the Senior Officer are final.
- Retaliation against any grievant under this grievance procedure or against any person who assists a grievant in his/her pursuit of a grievance under this grievance procedure is prohibited.
The ADA Compliance Officer maintains confidentiality with regard to complaints, grievances, consultations, and mediations; exceptions may be made to comply with the requirements of litigation, court proceedings, or campus officials having an official need to know. If the disclosure of information to another person is necessary to proceed with an investigation, the grievant will be advised first and consulted on whether and/or how to proceed.
Any person who wants to have this information explained or would like to receive it in an alternate format may make a request to the ADA Compliance Officer.