Amherst College is committed to promoting an equitable and respectful environment for all community members. Discrimination and harassment based on a person’s legally protected identity can cause both individual and community harm, is unlawful, and is contrary to the College’s mission.
The purpose of this procedure is to provide anyone in the College community with options to resolve a disability discrimination concern. If you believe that you have been subject to discrimination based on your disability, you may use these procedures in response to situations such as:
In most instances, you can resolve your concerns quickly through informal discussions. You can seek informal resolution by reaching out to: for students - Accessibility Services, 201 Converse Hall, 413-542-2337, email@example.com; for faculty and staff - Human Resources, 200 79 South Pleasant St, 413-542-2372, firstname.lastname@example.org; for visitors - Accessibility Barrier Reporting Form. For more information, visit the Accessibility at Amherst College website.
To initiate a formal grievance, you must submit it in writing to Amherst College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (referred to as Coordinator going forward), Jodi Foley, Director of Accessibility Strategy and Resources email@example.com. You must submit the grievance within 60 days of the alleged discriminatory action. However, the College may extend the filing time frame for delays due to circumstances beyond your control, such as illness.
The grievance must contain:
Determination of Applicable Procedures
The College may investigate a grievance filed under this procedure through other applicable policies/procedures, including (but not limited to) the Staff Grievance Policy, Trustee Appointed Employee Grievance Policy, and Faculty Grievance Procedures. If the College investigates the grievance under any of these other policies/procedures, those policies/procedures will govern the process and the outcome.
If there is ambiguity regarding which policy/procedures apply to a particular discrimination complaint, the Coordinator and the appropriate college administrator will decide which process to use. For example, the Coordinator and the Chief Student Affairs Officer will decide which is the appropriate policy/procedure for grievances against a student; the Coordinator and Provost and Dean of the Faculty will decide which is the appropriate policy/procedure for grievances against a faculty member; the Coordinator and Chief Human Resources Officer will decide which is the appropriate policy/procedure for grievances against a staff member.
If the Coordinator decides to investigate the grievance under the Section 504 Grievance Procedure, the Coordinator will determine the scope of the investigation. The Coordinator will investigate the grievance in a prompt, effective, fair, and impartial manner. The investigation may include (but is not limited to) a review of the information you’ve submitted to either Accessibility Services, Human Resources, or through the Accessibility Barrier Reporting Form; interviews with you and any relevant witnesses; a review of any accommodation(s) previously offered; a chronology of events; and any additional information relevant to the accommodations sought. You may identify any witnesses and information that you believe may be relevant to the resolution of the grievance.
The Coordinator will aim to complete the grievance process within 30 business days from the receipt of the grievance. Depending on the investigation’s complexity, the Coordinator may need more or less time to complete the process.
The Coordinator will use the information gathered in the investigation to determine the outcome and will send you the results in writing.
Examples of possible conclusions and outcomes include:
The Coordinator may designate someone to fulfill any or all of the responsibilities identified in this procedure, such as when the Coordinator had a part in advising or determining the accommodation(s) the grievance seeks to address.
Retaliation against an individual who, in good faith, initiates this grievance process or otherwise alleges discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited.
As applicable under the Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy, any member of the Amherst College community who believes they have been discriminated against on the basis of their identity may pursue educational outcomes through The Center for Restorative Practices. The educational outcomes of bias incidents include facilitated engagement, education, and community outreach.
If you have questions about applicable laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability at Amherst College, you may direct them to the Coordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Education, 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109, 617-289-0111.