Grievance Policy

If you have any concerns regarding discrimination on the basis of a disability, you have the right to file a discrimination grievance.

Filing a Discrimination Grievance Based On Disability

The University makes every effort to provide equal access to programs, courses, and college life by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations. If a student disagrees with the approved accommodation or has a concern involving discrimination on the basis of a disability, s/he has the right to file a discrimination grievance.

These guidelines provide information on how to proceed if a student believes s/he has been denied equal access in the form of appropriate accommodations, modifications, auxiliary aids, or effective communication or suffered discriminatory harassment as described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its amendments.

These guidelines are not mandatory and students may proceed with their complaint at any of the levels listed below. Although a complainant is not legally required to use the institutional grievance procedure before filing a complaint with The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) both the OCR and the university encourage using internal grievance procedures before filing a complaint with OCR.

Grievance Procedure

  • A complaint of discrimination on the basis of disability, including complaints about the denial by the University of requested accommodations should be filed in writing with the Director of Disability Services within 30 calendar days of the allegedly discriminatory act.
  • A complaint shall contain the name and address of the person filing it and a brief description of the alleged violation. If the complainant needs an accommodation in order to file the complaint, s/he should inform the Director of Disability Services.
  • An investigation as may be appropriate shall follow the filing of a complaint.
  • Every reasonable effort will be made to complete each stage of the grievance process within 10 working days unless circumstances require a more rapid response. Due to the urgency of many issues, it is likely that many problems will be resolved much sooner.
  • In some circumstances it may be appropriate to provide accommodations on a provisional basis without obligation to continue the accommodation if it is found to be unreasonable or inappropriate.
  • The Director shall maintain the files and records for Rivier University relating to the complaints filed.

Level One Grievance

Discuss concerns with the Director of Disability Services. The Director will attempt to resolve the issues causing concern by assisting the student in discussing issues with the faculty member, department, or program, participating in such discussions, or calling the faculty member and/or head of the department in an effort to clarify and resolve issues. Most situations are expected to be resolved through support and mediation.

When a student has a grievance against the director and/or a staff member in the Office of Disability Services, the student should first discuss the grievance with the Director or the Office of Disability Services. If for a specific reason the grievance cannot be discussed with the Director, the student may proceed directly to Level Two. A student, who is not satisfied with the resolution at Level One, may choose to proceed to Level Two.

Level Two Grievance

If a student believes that a satisfactory resolution has not been reached regarding his/her grievance at Level One, the student may contact the Office of Disability Services to request a committee review. The committee will be comprised of the Registrar, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Director of General Education Programs, and as a nonvoting member, a disability services staff member. The committee may contact the instructor, program managers or other appropriate personnel to discuss the requested accommodations as needed. The committee may also request additional medical documentation or an independent medical evaluation on the request for accommodation. A student who is not satisfied with the resolution at Level Two may choose to proceed to Level Three.

Level Three Grievance

If the grievance is not resolved at the university level, the student may choose to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights. Generally, a complaint must be filed within 60 days of the termination of the internal grievance process or appeal process and within 180 calendar days of the last act that the complainant believes was discriminatory. Any individual can file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights. For information about filing an ADA complaint with the Office of Civil Rights and other disability rights information please visit Questions and Answers on OCR’s Complaint Process or the ADA website.


The complainant may request a reconsideration of the case if s/he is dissatisfied with the committee’s resolution. The request for reconsideration should be made within 10 calendar days to the Director of Disability Services. In most circumstances, the Director of Disability Services will not overturn the committee decision without presented with new information or other grounds that warrant a different outcome.


Office of Disability Services