A10: Student Requests for Accommodation Under the ADA and Section 504 and Grievance Procedure

Responsibility for Maintenance: Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR)

Date of most recent changes: June 19, 2015 

I. Policy Statement 

Onondaga Community College is committed to providing individuals with disabilities access to educational programs and activities in accordance with the ADA and applicable state law. The College -- through the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) -- will work with each student who requests an accommodation. OAR will determine the appropriateness of a requested accommodation on an individualized, case-by-case basis. The College will comply with all applicable laws which prohibit disability discrimination and provide for reasonable accommodation obligations.

II. Reason for Policy 

This policy ensures Onondaga is in compliance with applicable laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. As a matter of policy, the College also desires to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to equal educational opportunities. This policy also exists to provide a venue for the filing of grievances.

III. Applicability of the Policy 

This policy applies to all applicants and students with disabilities. Requests for accommodations related to employment should be made under the College’s ADA Policy (I3). Requests for accommodation by the public shall be made under this policy to the Events Office and will be considered in accordance with applicable policies and statutes, and this policy.

IV. Related Documents 

V. Contacts 

Subject  Office Name  Title of Position  Telephone Number Email/URL 
General questions regarding policy and requests for accommodations and appointments by students, and college-wide events  

Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR)

Director, Office of Accessibility Resources (315) 498-2834 carrn@sunyocc.edu 
  Events Management Events Specialist (315) 498-2289 e.t.bartowski@sunyocc.edu  
  Campus Safety and Security Director of Campus Safety and Security (315) 498-2478                                j.h.peckins@sunyocc.edu 
Request for accommodations by members of the public for the SRC Arena SRC Arena Assistant Director of Events     (315) 498-6050 s.j.conway2@sunyocc.edu  
Compliance Office of the President Assistant to the President (315) 498-2214 hartj@sunyocc.edu  


VI. Definitions 

Term  Definition
Disability With respect to an individual, means (i) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities; (ii) a record of such impairment; or (iii) being regarded as having such an impairment.
  In the educational setting, means an accommodation designed to provide applicants and students with disabilities access to educational experiences at the College. Examples of accommodations include note-taking services, alternate formats of educational materials, etc. The reasonableness of an accommodation request must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Because each disabled person has different impairments and different access requirements, it is not possible to set forth any definitive outcome concerning any given request. For example, a request for physical access for a person with a physical disability could be ensured by relocating a class to a more accessible classroom, altering physical barriers to the existing classroom, etc.  Requests for accommodations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Other Definitions  Other definitions as contained in applicable statutes and regulations may apply.


VII. Request for Accommodation 

A. Students and Applicants 

Requests for accommodations by students will be subject to the following procedures:

  1. It is the responsibility of the applicant or student to self-identify as an individual with a disability. Individuals are not obligated to self-identify a disability if they do not want an accommodation.
  2. The process is initiated when the applicant or student completes and submits a Student Accommodation Request Form to OAR. Current medical documentation substantiating the disability is always required along with the completed form. Once the form and medical documentation are received, a representative of OAR will contact the individual to make arrangements to discuss the request, the individual’s circumstances, and potential accommodations.
  3. All documentation submitted in support of a requested accommodation is considered confidential and will be shared outside of OAR only on a “need to know” basis, which means that only those individuals who, in the judgment of appropriate College officials, need to know the confidential information so that the College may fulfill its legal duties and will be privy to reasonable accommodation documentation and information. Determinations regarding which College employees must be made aware of a specific request for accommodation and related information will be made, where disputes arise, by the Dean of Students or his/her designee.
  4. Requests for accommodation will be considered at any time during the academic year. However, it may take several weeks or longer to process some requests. For this reason, applicants and students are encouraged to make requests -- especially those which necessitate significant time to process (e.g., alternative format of academic materials) -- as soon as possible.
  5. Students may discuss accommodation requests with their advisors and professors, but they are not required to do so. In appropriate cases (which will ordinarily be rare), OAR may consult with student’s advisors, professors and/or other College officials in making their determination.
  6. The student will be notified of accommodations by OAR via an accommodation sheet.

B. Members of the Public 

Requests for accommodation by members of the public will be subject to the following procedures:

  1. Requests for accommodations should be made to the Office of Advancement Communications. Requests that are made of other individuals should be re-directed to that office.
  2. Requests will be evaluated as expeditiously as possible. The College may, if appropriate, require follow-up information or documentation.
  3. Individuals will be notified of the College’s response to their request as expeditiously as possible.

VIII. Complaint Procedure 

Informal Resolutions 

If an individual with a disability is not satisfied with accommodations, or otherwise feels there has been discrimination on the basis of disability, the individual can bring his/her complaint to the Director of OAR or whoever is in charge of the department allegedly responsible for being discriminatory.  The parties can attempt to resolve the complaint informally.

Formal Complaint 

Step I - If the complaint is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction at the informal level, then the student may complete a Disability Grievance Procedure form and submit it to the Dean of Students or his/her designee as soon as possible but no later than 90 calendar days after the alleged violation.  A copy of the form will immediately be forwarded to the President's office to make him/her aware of the complaint.  The Dean of Students or his/her designee will investigate the complaint.  The investigation will include interviewing the complainant as well as the person(s) accused of the discriminatory conduct.  The complainant will be notified in writing of the College’s position and proposed resolution.

Step II - If the complainant is not satisfied with the resolution then he/she may bring a final appeal to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs within 15 days of receipt of the College’s position.  Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal, the Provost or his/her designee, will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions.  Within 15 days of the meeting with the Provost or his/her designee, the Provost, or his/her designee, will respond in writing with a final resolution of the complaint.

Step III - If the complainant is not satisfied with the resolution at the Step II level then the complainant may choose to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.  For more information: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html.


IX. Forms/Online Processes 


Approved by OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2006

Updated and approved by the President January 25, 2010

Updated and approved by the President September 3, 2010

Updated and approved by the President June 19, 2015