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Arrow Disability Services Processes

Disability Services Office
Accommodation Appeal Process

If a student is in disagreement about the Disability Services Office (DSO) decision regarding offered accommodations due to grounds found in Section B (below) they may file an appeal.

  • The student filing the appeal must submit a letter of appeal to the Chair of the Accommodation Appeal Board. This letter must state which ground(s) set forth in Section B below is the basis for the appeal and the evidence and/or reasons supporting this position. Failure to state the grounds for the appeal may result in a dismissal of the appeal.
  • An appeal hearing will be scheduled.  This hearing will include the student filing the appeal, an Accommodation Appeal Advocate if desired (see Section D), a Disability Services Office administrator, and the Accommodation Appeal Board.
  • Upon conclusion of the appeal hearing, a decision concerning the appeal will be emailed to the student filling the appeal within seven (7) business days of the date of the hearing.
  • If desired, the decision of the Accommodation Appeal Board may be appealed within seven (7) business days following the emailing of the decision. The student filing the second appeal must submit a second, new letter of appeal to the Chair of the Accommodation Appeal Board. This letter must state which ground(s) set forth in Section E below is the basis for the second appeal and the evidence or reasons supporting this position. Failure to state the grounds for this appeal may result in a dismissal of the appeal.
  • If requested, a second appeal hearing will be scheduled.  This second hearing will include the student filing the appeal and the Assistant Vice President for Student Learning, Support & Assessment (AVP).
  • Upon conclusion of the second appeal hearing, a decision concerning the appeal will be emailed to the student filling the appeal within seven (7) Business Days of the date of the hearing. The decision rendered by the AVP is final and may not be appealed further.
  • If a student presently has accommodations, those will remain in place while the appeal progresses. If this is an initial request, accommodations related to the appeal will not be offered while the appeal is in progress.

Chair of the Accommodation Appeal Board:
Joshua Bauroth 
jpbcst@rit.edu
475-4894

2751 Student Life Center

Assistant Vice President for Student Learning, Support & Assessment (AVP):
Dr. Nicole Boulais
nabcst@rit.edu
475-4895

2114 Monroe Hall


A. Accommodation Appeal Board
The Accommodation Appeal Board consists of a pool of trained RIT employees, from which three are chosen by the Chair of the Accommodation Appeal Board to serve at an Appeal Board hearing. The pool may consist of staff, faculty or administrators from these representative groups:

  • DSO liaisons from each college
  • Housing Operations
  • Division of Student Affairs
  • National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)

Members serve on the Board for two-year terms ending June 30, with the opportunity for renewal of their term. Members who do not fully serve their term will be replaced by another individual from their representative group to complete the term. The Chair of the Accommodation Appeal Board, a non-voting member who ensures process is followed, is appointed by the AVP. Members of the Board must attend mandatory training at the beginning of each academic year and periodically as offered throughout the year. Training is conducted by the Chair of the Accommodation Appeal Board.

B. Grounds for Appeal
An appeal shall be limited to a review of the initial DSO accommodation decision only for one or both of the following grounds or purposes:

  1. To determine whether the decision-making process used by the DSO administrator was conducted fairly in light of the request and documentation presented and was in conformity with the accommodation request review process routinely used at RIT.
  2. To determine whether the deciding DSO administrator was biased or otherwise not able to consider the request objectively and completely.

C. Appeal Procedure

  1. An appeal must be filed in writing or email with the Chair of the Accommodation Appeal Board within seven (7) business days of the communication of the accommodation decision by the DSO. The appeal must state which ground(s) set forth in Section B (above) is the basis for the appeal and any evidence or reasons supporting this position.
  2. The student filing the appeal must sign a consent to release copies of their original request for accommodation, documentation of disability, and relevant emails or other communications between the student and DSO relevant to the DSO decision to members of the Accommodation Appeal Board for use in the appeal process. Members will treat this information as confidential and will return all materials to the Chair at the conclusion of the appeal. Failure to sign a consent to release copies of the original request for accommodation, documentation of disability, and relevant emails or communications may result in dismissal of the appeal.
  3. The student filing the appeal will provide the Chair a schedule of their availability.
  4. The Chair will discuss with the student the role of the Accommodation Appeal Advocate (See Section D below) and assist the student as needed in obtaining an Advocate if desired.
  5. The Chair will assemble the Accommodation Appeal Board for a meeting with the student (and his/her Advocate if desired) and DSO administrator on a day and time when the student filing the appeal and all other attendees are available.
  6. Appeal hearings are conducted in private. Admission of any person to the appeal hearing shall be at the discretion of the Chair of the Accommodation Appeal Board.
  7. The appeal hearing will be audio recorded for later use as needed by the Accommodation Appeal Board or AVP; the recording will be erased thirty (30) days after the final decision regarding the appeal is communicated.
  8. The student filing the appeal (and his/her Advocate if desired) will meet with the Accommodation Appeal Board and present the grounds for the appeal. The student will be given up to twenty (20) minutes for this presentation.
  9. The DSO administrator who made the original decision will be given up to twenty (20) minutes to respond to the appeal and provide the rationale for the original accommodation decision.
  10. The Board members will ask questions and have a discussion with the student and DSO administrator as needed to gather and clarify information.
  11. The student filing the appeal, their Accommodation Appeal Advocate, and the DSO administrator will be dismissed from the appeal hearing; the Board will review the presentations and materials and make their determination regarding their findings relevant to the identified ground(s) set forth in Section B. Their decision will be to:
    1. Uphold the original decision made by the DSO administrator; or
    2. Return the request back to the DSO with suggestions for consideration due to information relevant to the grounds set forth in Section B.
  12. The decision of the Accommodation Appeal Board will be based upon the following points of information:
    1. the student's written appeal letter and statements made during the appeal hearing
    2. any additional relevant material submitted by the student prior to or during the appeal hearing
    3. the student's original accommodation request, documentation and relevant emails maintained by DSO
    4. the original decision made by DSO and statements made by DSO during the appeal hearing
    5. any additional relevant material submitted by DSO prior to or during the appeal hearing
  13. In making a determination on the appeal, the Accommodation Appeal Board will not substitute their judgment about reasonable and appropriate accommodations for the original judgment of the DSO. The appeal will be reviewed only on the grounds set forth in Section B.
  14. The student will receive the decision from the Accommodation Appeal Board Chair within seven (7) Business Days of the appeal hearing in an email to their RIT email account.

Appeal the decision of the Accommodation Appeal Board

  1. The student may appeal the decision of the Accommodation Appeal Board within seven (7) Business Days of the emailing of the decision by sending a new, second letter of appeal to the Accommodation Appeal Board Chair. The appeal must state which ground(s) set forth in Section E (below) is the basis for the appeal and the evidence or reasons supporting this position.
  2. The student filing the second appeal must sign consent to release copies of their original request for accommodation, documentation of disability, and relevant emails or other communications between the student and DSO relevant to the DSO decision to the AVP. The AVP will treat this information as confidential and will return copies to the Chair at the conclusion of the appeal. Failure to sign a consent may result in dismissal of the appeal.
  3. The student filing the appeal will provide the Chair with a schedule of their availability.
  4. The Chair will assist the student as needed in obtaining an Advocate if desired.
  5. The Chair will arrange an appeal hearing with the AVP, the student (and his/her Advocate if desired) and DSO administrator on a day and time when the student filing the appeal and all other attendees are available.
  6. The Chair of the Accommodation Appeal Board will give the AVP the following prior to the appeal hearing:
    1. the student’s original written appeal letter and second appeal letter
    2. the original decision of the Accommodation Appeal Board
    3. the recording of the original appeal hearing
    4. the student's original accommodation request, documentation and relevant emails maintained by DSO
    5. the original accommodation decision made by DSO
    6. any additional material submitted prior to or during the original or second appeal hearing
  7. Appeal hearings are conducted in private. Admission of any person to the second appeal hearing shall be at the discretion of the AVP.
  8. The student filing the appeal (and his/her Advocate if desired) and the DSO administrator who made the original decision will meet with the AVP and present the grounds for the appeal. The student will be given up to twenty (20) minutes for this presentation.
  9. The DSO administrator will be given up to twenty (20) minutes to respond to the appeal and provide the rationale for the original decision.
  10. The AVP will ask questions and have a discussion with the student and DSO administrator as needed to gather and clarify information.
  11. The AVP will review the presentations and materials and make his/her determination regarding their findings relevant to the identified ground(s) set forth in Section E. The AVP’s decision will be to:
    1. Uphold the original decision made by the DSO administrator; or
    2. Return the request back to the DSO with suggestions for consideration due to information relevant to the grounds set forth in Section E.
  12. The student will receive the decision from the AVP within seven (7) Business Days of the appeal hearing in an email to their RIT email account.
  13. The decision rendered by the AVP is final and may not be appealed further.

D. Accommodation Appeal Advocate
If desired, the student filing the appeal may request to be assisted by a trained Accommodation Appeal Advocate chosen from the RIT DSO college liaisons group or a RIT faculty or staff member who the student knows. The purpose of the Advocate is to assist the student in understanding the appeal process, preparing for the appeal hearing, and supporting the student during the appeal hearing. An Accommodation Appeal Advocate may not be an attorney admitted to practice before a bar.
The role of the Advocate prior to the appeal hearing is:

  • To meet with the student in preparation for the appeal hearing.
  • To assist the student in understanding the procedures of the appeal process.

The student filing the appeal is expected to take primary responsibility for managing their appeal.
During the appeal hearing, the Advocate's role may include "active participation" under the following guidelines:

  • "Active Participation" may range from silent support to assisting the student in making statements and responding to questions.
  • The Advocate may assist the student in clarifying information pertinent to their accommodation request and specified grounds for appeal.
  • The Advocate will not serve as an expert in disability law or student rights.

Students have options when choosing to work with an Advocate. A student may:

  • Select a specific person from the list of DSO liaisons trained to serve as an Advocate available from the Accommodation Appeal Board Chair.
  • Request that a selection be made for them from the list of trained DSO liaisons. The Accommodation Appeal Board Chair will then arrange the Advocate assignment.
  • Select a willing RIT faculty/staff member with whom they are familiar. Brief training will be provided to that person by the Accommodation Appeal Board Chair.

E. Grounds for Appeal of Decision of the Accommodation Appeal Board

An appeal shall be limited to a review of the initial Accommodation Appeal Board decision only for one or more of the following grounds or purposes:

  1. To determine whether the decision-making process used by the DSO administrator was conducted fairly in light of the information presented at the appeal hearing and was in conformity with the accommodation request review process routinely used at RIT.
  2. To determine whether the deciding DSO administrator was biased or otherwise not able to consider the request objectively and completely.
  3. To determine whether the Accommodation Appeal Board was biased or otherwise not able to consider the request objectively and completely.