Accommodation for Disabilities: Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504

In accordance with equal education opportunity laws, Franklin & Marshall College arranges to provide reasonable academic accommodations for students whose disabilities limit their participation in academic programs for which they are qualified. Students are required to notify the College if they will need special services or accommodations in the classroom or if they want faculty, academic advisers, or administrative offices notified of a disability. Reasonable academic accommodations for students with disabilities are determined on an individual basis utilizing the required documentation of the disability.

The College does not have a special program for students with disabilities. For example, there are no special classes or tutors for students with learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The academic support system for a student with a disability is the same as the academic support system for all students.

 The College has designated Alison Hobbs, Psy.D. as the Director of Student Accessibility Services. In this role, Dr. Hobbs coordinates services and accommodations to meet the needs of students with disabilities that limit their participation in the programs and activities of the College. Dr. Hobbs reviews all required documentation of disability and determines the reasonable academic accommodations for each individual student. Every student at the College has the opportunity to complete a Disability Notification Form available throughout the year at the Office of Student Accessibility Services and on its web site, www.fandm.edu/office-of-student-accessibility-services. The College considers information provided on this form as confidential and uses it to provide reasonable accommodations for qualifying students.

Students who wish to appeal an accommodation or file a complaint arising under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act should use the following procedures:

PROCEDURE FOR APPEAL OF ACCOMMODATIONS OR FILING OF COMPLAINT UNDER THE REHABILITATION ACT OR AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

I. Jurisdiction

This procedure may be used by students to report discrimination based on disability in any College program or activity. Employees who wish to report disability discrimination should contact Human Resources.

II. Covered Conduct

       1.   Discrimination (including harassment): Individuals who experience negative or adverse treatment based on disability that is sufficiently serious to deny or limit their ability to participate in a College program or activity may file a complaint under this procedure. Examples of disability discrimination include verbal or physical harassment based on disability and disparate treatment based on disability.

      2.   Disagreements regarding accommodations: In some instances, concerns related to the provision of academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services (commonly called accommodations or modifications) may constitute disability discrimination. Disagreements regarding the denial of requested accommodations and the sufficiency of approved accommodations, for example, may be raised under this procedure.

      3.   Retaliation: The College does not tolerate retaliation against individuals who complain about disability discrimination or otherwise assert their rights under Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act. Individuals who experience retaliation, intimidation, or retaliatory harassment may file a complaint using the process outlined below.

III. Time Frame for Filing

Complaints of disability discrimination should be made promptly. The passage of time between the date of the alleged discrimination and the filing of a complaint may impair the College’s ability to look into the complaint and provide appropriate relief, as key witnesses and evidence may no longer be available. A student who wishes to appeal an accommodation because the accommodation is felt to be inadequate or inappropriate is encouraged to contact Student Accessibility Services within 90 days of receiving the accommodation to discuss their concerns.

IV. Informal Resolution

Individuals who experience disability discrimination, who disagree with an approved accommodation, or who have difficulty obtaining approved accommodations are encouraged to contact Dr. Alison Hobbs to discuss their concerns. If the actions of Dr. Alison Hobbs are at issue, individuals may choose to contact the Dean of Students. The informal process is voluntary. A complainant may conclude the informal process at any time and file a formal complaint.

V. Formal Resolution

Complaints must be made in writing to the Office of Student Affairs within 90 days and should include a description of the nature of the alleged discrimination and the parties. If the participation of the Dean of Students in the process would create a conflict of interest, written complaints may be made to the Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs.

Within 30 business days of receipt of the complaint, the Dean of Students or designee will look into the complaint and may conduct a formal investigation, as appropriate. This process provides for the prompt, reliable, and impartial investigation of complaints, including an equal opportunity for the parties to present witnesses and evidence. Investigations generally will be completed within the aforementioned time frame.

Within 5 working days of the conclusion of the inquiry or investigation, the Dean of Students will provide written notice of the outcome to the parties.

VI. Appeal

Either party may appeal the outcome of the formal process by filing a written appeal within 15 days of the date that written notice of the outcome is sent to the parties. Appeals should be made to Margaret Hazlett, Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs.  In the event that the participation of Dean Hazlett would present a conflict of interest, appeals may be filed with the Vice President for Finance and Administration, Michael Todd.

Appeals will be decided within 30 days of the date they are filed. The appeal of an accommodation that involves the waiver of an academic requirement must be presented to the Committee on Academic Status in consultation with Student Accessibility Services. The parties will receive written notice of the outcome of the appeal process within 5 working days of the conclusion of the process.

VII. Role of the Section 504/ADA Coordinator

The Section 504 Coordinator will receive notice of any complaints that are filed under this procedure and will receive updates regarding the status of complaints. The Section 504 Coordinator will maintain documentation related to complaints, reports, and investigations of disability discrimination.

VIII. Anti-harassment Statement

In cases of disability harassment, the College will take prompt and appropriate steps to end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent the recurrence of any harassment, and correct discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate. Individuals who experience disability harassment may receive interim remedies, as appropriate, such as academic assistance and other appropriate relief. The College takes seriously complaints of disability harassment and will take prompt disciplinary action against individuals who engage in disability harassment.

IX. Confidentiality

The College will maintain the confidentiality of the parties to disability discrimination cases and related records, consistent with applicable federal and state laws.