Services for Students with Disabilities

Grievance Policy

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (Public Law 110-325), Southwestern University prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of disability in its programs, services, and activities.

The complaint resolution process at Southwestern University for accommodating the academic needs of students with disabilities is meant to address complaints about the provision of appropriate academic accommodations in classes in which students with disabilities are currently participating.  The complainant must be able to establish that they appropriately requested the desired accommodation in accordance with the Policy on Program and Classroom Modifications for Students with Disabilities set forth in the Student Handbook

If a complaint is brought by a student regarding denial of an accommodation needed in an ongoing class, the decision of the Associate Director of Academic Success to provide or deny said accommodation shall be implemented until such time as a formal resolution of the grievance process is achieved.

In situations where there is disagreement concerning the appropriateness of a particular accommodation, every effort should be made to resolve the disagreement as expeditiously as possible.

In the event that a student at Southwestern University believes that they are being denied a reasonable academic accommodation, discriminated against within the academic environment based on a disability, or retaliated against due to an academic accommodation, the following grievance process is in place:

  • A meeting with the Associate Director of Academic Success must be scheduled no later than 10 working days* after the denial, alleged discrimination within the academic environment based on a disability, or retaliation due to an academic accommodation. In this meeting, a discussion of individual needs will take place in an attempt to address the complaint and work toward an appropriate resolution.
  • If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the Associate Director of Academic Success, they must, within 10 working days* of this meeting, contact the Director of Academic Success at 512-863-1286 to schedule an appointment.  The Associate Director of Academic Success will make all documentation of the student’s disability available to the Director.
  • If an academic accommodation and/or resolution of the complaint cannot be mutually agreed upon following the meeting with the Director, the student must, within 10 working days* of this meeting, submit in writing a petition to the Academic Standards Committee. In the petition, the student should set forth in writing the basis for the complaint, including, but not limited to, a description of any academic accommodations sought by the student.  All documentation of the student’s disability will be made available to the Committee.  The Committee will make a recommendation to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.  A written response by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs will be provided within 10 working days* from the day the student submits their petition to the Committee.
  • Students also have the right to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Education.  In accordance with federal law, if a complaint is made to the Office of Civil Rights, all relevant records would be made available upon their request.

*Note: Working days are considered Monday through Friday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) when an academic term is in session.  It does not include Southwestern University holidays or breaks between semesters.