ADA Grievance Procedures
Mid Michigan College (Mid) is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment that is nondiscriminatory in nature, in which all individuals are treated with respect and equality. Mid does not discriminate or permit discrimination on the basis of disability in matters of admission, employment, services, educational programs, or activities.
Mid has adopted internal grievance procedures which provide a venue for a prompt, equitable, and impartial resolution of grievances alleging any action prohibited by the ADA or Section 504. These procedures apply to complaints of discrimination or harassment on the basis of disability and pertain to all members of the campus community including: students, faculty, staff, employment and admission applicants, vendors, contractors, and third parties. Under this Policy, complaints alleging discrimination or harassment on the basis of disability are referred to as ‘grievances’ and the individual alleging such discrimination or harassment is referred to as the ‘Grievant.’ The office, department, or individual whom the grievance is made is referred to as the ‘Respondent.’
The paramount objective of the grievance procedure is resolution and a key component to resolution is communication. Initially in an effort to reach resolution, students should address their concern with the Office of Student Accommodation Services; Faculty should direct their concerns to the appropriate Dean; Staff should communicate their concern to their immediate supervisor. In the event that a resolution cannot be reached, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to file a grievance with one of the College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinators, following the process outlined below.
Filing a Grievance
Grievances should be filed with the appropriate ADA/Section 504 Coordinator within 30 calendar days after the Grievant becomes aware of the alleged violation, using the online ADA Grievance Form. Paper copies of the ADA Grievance form may also be obtained from the Director of College Compliance & Ethics, Martricia Farrell, (989) 386-6622 ext. 394 or email@example.com .
The written grievance should include the name and address of the person filing, a clear and concise statement of the problem or issue to be reviewed, and any steps taken to resolve the problem or issue prior to filing.
Also, inclusion of a reasonably detailed description of the relevant facts, names of persons with information, and a description or copies of relevant documents or other evidence applicable to the grievance.
Investigation and Determination
The grievance will be routed to the appropriate ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, for review. The review will be conducted as expeditiously as possible. This review encompasses an informal but thorough review which shall provide interested persons with an opportunity to submit statements and relevant evidence to the grievance.
If the Coordinator determines that a fact-finding investigation process is required, both the Grievant and Respondent will be given written notification. During the fact-finding investigation, the Grievant and their representative, if any, will have the opportunity to describe the allegations and present supporting witnesses and/or other evidence. The Respondent and their representative, if any, will have the opportunity to acknowledge the allegations and present supporting witnesses and/or other evidence.
The Coordinator will review evidence and will approve and meet with additional witnesses identified by the Grievant, Respondent, or third parties.
Within 45 business days after the filing, the Coordinator will issue a written Determination of Finding, using the preponderance of the evidence standard (more likely than not). The determination will include a conclusion summary, the finding, and any recommendations or resolutions. Copies will be forwarded to the Grievant, the Respondent, and the appropriate College authority, if necessary. If needed, the appropriate College authority will review the recommendation or resolution outlined by the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator to determine any corrective action plans. If there are circumstances that affect the Coordinator’s ability to reach witnesses, review documents, or reach a determination (e.g., school breaks, the availability of persons/witnesses with information), the timeline may be extended. If this should occur, both the Grievant and Respondent will receive written notice with an explanation.
The office of College Compliance and Ethics will maintain the files and records relating to the grievance.
In the event that a Grievant or Respondent is dissatisfied with the determination by the Coordinator, a request for reconsideration (appeal) may be filed. The petition must be filed within five (5) business days of receiving the written determination from the Coordinator. The petition should be submitted in writing to the Coordinator and should specify the substantive and/or procedural basis for the Appeal. The non-filing party will be notified that an Appeal has been filed and forwarded to the Appeals Board for consideration. Within fifteen (15) business days, the Appeals Board will determine if the request is timely and has merit; the Appeal decision will be rendered by the Board within an additional fifteen (15) business days. The Parties will be provided with written notice.
The original determination is acknowledged to be reasonably and appropriately determined. Therefore, the only grounds for appeal are:
- If a procedural [or substantive] error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.)
- To consider new evidence that was unavailable during the investigation and could substantially impact the determination. A summary of this new evidence and its potential bearing on the matter must be included
- The recommendations and/or resolution is disproportionate to the severity of the violation.
Mid will endeavor to maintain the confidentiality of information that is shared throughout the grievance process. However, disclosure may be required for the purposes of the fact-finding investigation or in efforts to resolve the grievance. In the limited occurrences where disclosures must be made, disclosure will be confined to persons necessary in the fact-finding investigation or to further address the grievance. The persons involved will be apprised of the relevance of confidentiality in the process and will be asked to maintain the confidentiality of the Grievant’s identity and information discussed.
A Grievant should be cognizant that when a grievance is specifically directed against one or more individuals, the grievance itself, or portions thereof, will be disclosed to the accused individual(s) for purposes of response.
Mid prohibits retaliation against any person who requests accommodations, files a grievance alleging disability discrimination, or participates in the grievance process. Any concerns about retaliation related to this process should be immediately disclosed to the appropriate ADA/Section 504 Coordinator or designee.
ALTERNATIVE AVENUES FOR FILING A GRIEVANCE
While Mid encourages persons who believe they have been discriminated against to use the College’s disability-related grievance process, all persons have a right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR). OCR’s contact information is as follows:
Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
1350 Euclid Avenue, Suite 325
Cleveland, OH 44115-1812
Telephone (216) 522-4960; Fax (216) 522-2573; TDD: 800-877-8339
(Updated AUGUST 2021)