Consistent with the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the University of Vermont determines disability accommodations through a deliberative, interactive process involving disability services professionals, appropriate members of the University community, and the individual student with disabilities themselves.

However, a student may disagree about the appropriateness of an accommodation decision as part of the deliberative process. Often these disagreements arise because of some misunderstanding or miscommunication. Often, more dialogue between the parties, or obtaining more documentation, can clear up any confusion and can lead to a quick and effective solution.

Accommodations Appeals Processes

The University will provide reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Occasionally, students may disagree with decisions made by Student Accessibility Services (SAS) regarding the reasonableness of requested accommodations. Students who feel they were denied reasonable accommodations may appeal these decisions by submitting an appeal in writing to the SAS’s Program Director within ten (10) business days of the denial.  SAS will work with students to try to informally resolve any concerns. If the Informal Appeals Process does not result in a mutually agreeable outcome, students may appeal unresolved issues by following the Formal Appeals Process.

Informal Appeals Process

The Program Director for SAS will review any written appeals and the students’ files. The Program Director may meet with students to discuss their requests. To reach a decision, the SAS Director may also ask for more disability documentation, ask to consult with treating healthcare providers, or collaborate with other faculty/staff or outside experts. Review processes are conducted quickly. Students will receive written responses from the SAS Director upholding or rescinding accommodations decisions generally within ten (10) business days of the written appeal.

If students disagree with later appeals decisions or are unsatisfied with the Informal Appeals Process, they can submit written notice to the SAS Director of their decision to continue with the Formal Appeals Process.

Formal Appeals Process

Students can begin the Formal Appeals Process by sending an appeal in writing to the ADA Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity

The Letter of Appeal must include the following information:

  • Student’s name, address, and University ID number
  • Description of the accommodations denial
  • Explanation of why they believe the accommodation(s) should be considered reasonable
  • Additional supporting information
  • Desired outcome
  • Date when the informal appeals decision was issued by the SAS

After receiving the Letter of Appeal, the OEO Director or another designee will consider the appeal and decide within ten (10) business days. The determination will be provided to the student in writing. The determination is final and cannot be appealed within the University.

Accommodations Grievances Process

Grievances are complaints or allegations made by students who feel that an action (or lack of action) by the University is unfair; is arbitrary, capricious, or unjust; or does not follow University policies. Students with disabilities may consider filing grievances if they are denied approved accommodations by staff or faculty or they have experienced significant delays in the implementation of their approved accommodations.

Students are encouraged to work with University to resolve their concerns informally by contacting the Program Director of SAS. In the event that such cannot be resolved informally, students should follow up grievance procedures for academic accommodations via the University Operating Procedure for Process for Resolution of Academic Accommodations.

Disability Discrimination

Students who believe that they have been discriminated against based on their disability, or feel that the University is out of compliance with their obligations to people with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADA AA), should follow the University Operating Procedure for Handling and Resolving Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Complaints.