Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Student Complaint Policy

The Board of Trustees of Carroll College support the right of students with disabilities to have access to appropriate avenues for complaint when they believe their rights according to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) as amended, or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended have been violated. The College has adopted this policy and the procedures below to address such alleged violations promptly and equitably.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Student Complaint Process

Any Carroll College student who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of this policy may file a complaint as outline in this complaint process.

The following rules are constructed to protect the substantive rights of interested people, meet appropriate due process standards, and assure that Carroll College complies with Section 504 and the ADA and their implementing regulations.

Any accommodations or services already granted to the student will remain in place throughout the complaint process and any subsequent appeal.

The student's right to pursue other remedies, such as filing an ADA Section 504 complaint with an appropriate state or federal agency or department, will not be impaired by the internal complaint procedures of the college. i.e., using this complaint procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies (see External Agencies, below). Likewise, the student’s right to a prompt, equitable internal resolution of the complaint filed under these rules will not be impaired by the student’s pursuit of an external remedy.

A. Informal Complaint Procedures
The informal complaint procedure is a verbal process a student may, but is not required to, engage in. In order to be timely and to ensure appropriate accommodations are in place as early as possible, it is recommended that an informal complaint is initiated as close to the time the alleged discrimination is detected by the student, and no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the end of the semester in which the alleged discrimination took place.

  1. Students may discuss any complaint they have with the instructor or employee that is responsible for the program or class in which the student believes the alleged discrimination is occurring. Most misunderstandings and problems can be resolved in this manner. If the student wishes to file an informal complaint under these procedures, the complaint should be made to the Access Services Coordinator. The Access Services Coordinator has ten (10) working days from the date of notification to work to resolve the complaint. A written record of thecomplaint and resolution will be filed in the Access Services Office.

B. Formal Complaint Procedure
If the complainant has been unable to resolve the complaint or problem using the Informal Complaint Procedure, or decides to move straight to a formal complaint, the complainant may proceed with the steps below:

  1. The Formal Complaint Procedure begins with a written (or alternate format) statement, which must be filed within thirty (30) calendar days after the failure to resolve the complaint informally. If the complainant elects not to use the Informal Complaint Procedure, the Formal Complaint Procedure should be initiated by the student as close to the time the alleged discrimination is detected by the student, and no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the end of the semester the discrimination took place.
  2. The written (or alternate format) statement from the complainant to the ADA Coordinator shall contain the following:
    1. A description of the alleged events and action(s) of all parties involved
    2. The date(s) of the alleged occurrence(s)
    3. Solutions which were proposed and why they were unacceptable
    4. Detailed description of the remedy sought
    5. The complaint should be addressed to:
      Carroll College ADA Coordinator
      Office of the Dean of Students
      1601 N. Benton Avenue, Helena, MT 59625
  3. In reviewing the complaint, the ADA Coordinator shall request written (or alternate format) statements from the respondent or anyone else directly involved. These individuals have five (5) working days after the date the request is received from the administrator to submit any statements they wish to be considered. The ADA Coordinator has the right to request and collect additional relevant information as needed. A decision of the findings will be sent to the complainant in an accessible format and respondent within ten (10) working days of the receipt of submitted and requested information.
  4. The ADA Coordinator will maintain files and records of the complaint.
    1. The decision of the ADA Coordinator is final as pertains to this complaint process.

C. Waivers
Any step of this complaint policy, and the time frames in the procedure, may be waived upon written agreements of all parties. The written agreement shall become a permanent part of the complaint file.

All information and discussion of the case is confidential and must remain within the parties to the complaint.

External Agencies
Complaints regarding discrimination on the basis of a disability may be resolved through the college. However, an aggrieved individual also has the right to file a complaint with and/or seek additional information from one or more of the following:

Montana Human Rights Bureau
P.O. Box 1728
Helena, MT 59624
(406) 444-4356
(800) 542-0807

US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section - 1425 NYAV
Washington, DC 20530

Office for Civil Rights, Seattle Office
U.S. Department of Education
915 Second Ave., Room 3310
Seattle, WA 98174-1099
Telephone: (206) 607-1600
Fax: (206) 607-1601
TDD: (206) 607-1647

Proposed by Judy Hay, Interim Dean of Students, September, 2020