Grievance Procedure

Bradley University

Center for Learning Assistance

Disability Policy

 I.          Policy Statement

             Bradley University is committed to providing an accessible and supportive environment for all its students. In accordance with this philosophy, the University offers a variety of accommodations that are available to students who have documented disabilities.  Accommodations are adjustments or modifications which will provide a student with a disability equal access to the educational and/or co-curricular process.  Accommodations can include, but are not limited to, auxiliary aids such as interpreters, provision of materials in alternate format, test accommodations, academic adjustments and physical modifications.

             A student is responsible for submitting all necessary documentation of a disability for review prior to receiving any accommodations.  The University requires documentation be comprehensive and reflective of the students current functioning.  To this end, there are established documentation standards, which must be met in order to evaluate the need for a student to receive accommodations.   Documentation guidelines used at Bradley are based upon the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) guidelines and can be found on the Center for Learning Assistance (“CLA”) webpage:  http://www.bradley.edu/offices/student/cla/support/guidelines/ 

             A student who requests and is denied accommodations, or who does not receive the recommended accommodations, may seek review of such decisions made by following the appeal procedures in this Policy.

 II.        Procedures for Obtaining Accommodations for Students

             Depending on the nature of the disability and the accommodations requested, the amount of advance notice a student provides may impact the University’s ability to provide accommodations in a timely manner.  To ensure that accommodations and auxiliary aids and services are provided in a timely fashion, students are directed to contact the CLA as early as possible prior to the start of the semester.  Student cooperation is essential to the process of providing accommodations.

The following procedure should be followed for students requesting accommodations:

To register with the CLA, the student should call for an appointment with the Director (309-677-3654) or stop by the third floor of the library.  Bring appropriate documentation of disability if not provided prior to appointment. The CLA reserves the right to request additional documentation or testing.

  1. Once the appropriate documentation is submitted, the student and Director determine an accommodation plan and student signs a release of information.
  2. The Director creates an Accommodation ID Card specific to the students agreed upon accommodations.  A scanned copy of the card is emailed to the student.  The student then picks up the laminated card in the CLA.
  3. The student is responsible for communicating with his/her instructors.  It is suggested that the student make an appointment with the instructor during office hours to discuss specific accommodations and classroom considerations.  The CLA will not disclose any information to an instructor without written permission.  It is the student’s responsibility to identify him/herself to instructors and to discuss the recommended accommodations.  The Director is available for consultation in regards to any problems or concerns faced during the implementation process.  Students are advised that it is unfair to expect the instructors to make last-minute changes in arranging for classroom modifications or testing arrangements, so disclosing and meeting in the first two weeks of the semester are strongly encouraged.

III.       Alternate Format Policy

            With appropriate notice, classroom documents will be made available in alternate format for students whose documentation of disability supports the need for alternate format.  No student will be required to pay more for alternate format of materials than nondisabled students pay for such materials in their original format.  The University will not allow the process to be delayed while arrangements are made for third parties, who are unrelated to the student, specifically to purchase textbooks and other educational materials on behalf of students with visual or other impairments.  To ensure that alternative materials are provided in a timely fashion, students are directed to contact the CLA as early as possible prior to the start of the semester.  Requests should be made using the Alternative Format Textbook Request which is available on the CLA webpage.

The following procedure should be followed for students requesting alternative textbook(s):

1.    Student submits completed Alternative Format Textbook Request form to the Director for the Center for Learning Assistance.

2.    Director will then verify ISBN and information is correct. If necessary, the Bradley bookstore will be contacted to obtain correct ISBN.

3.    Director searches online repositories for textbook.  These repositories include Accesstext Network and Learning Ally for which Bradley maintains a paid annual institution membership.  Free repositories which Bradley is a member include Bookshare, Project Gutenberg, Audio Books for Free, Bartleby, as well as electronic sources that do not require membership such as Google.  If book is located, a request is made for etext.

4.    If book is not available through repository, the director locates the publisher website and makes a direct request to the publisher.  When necessary the publisher is phoned or request is made via fax.

5.    The alternate text is then delivered to the Director either through email, repository download, or sent through post.

6.    Texts that are converted to audio (MP3) format are then edited, converted, and burned to CD for student.

7.    If no electronic version available from previous resources, the textbook is purchased from bookstore, binding cut off, and pages scanned.  The scanned documents are converted using Optical Character Resolution (OCR) if necessary, edited, and the audio file created.  The audio file is burned to a CD and provided to student.  This process is also implemented if repository or publisher response is delayed.

     A detailed database documenting when request made for alternative format by student, publisher or repository contact, receipt of etext or textbook purchased, and conversion is kept by the Director.  The CLA staff is also trained in the process and disability policy.

       To receive educational materials furnished by instructors or take examinations in alternate format, students must identify themselves to the instructor and make any requests for alternate format accommodations as soon as feasible prior to or upon commencement of the class.  Instructors will work with the CLA to provide such accommodations. 

 IV.       Accommodation Grievance and Appeal Procedures

             Students with disabilities may file a grievance if they believe reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner.  Faculty members may file a grievance when it is believed that a requested accommodation alters academic requirements that are essential to the instruction being provided. 

1.   Students and faculty members must first submit their grievance in writing (electronic communications are writings under these Procedures) to the Director of the CLA who is also the coordinator of Bradley’s efforts to comply with legal requirements relating to students with disabilities.  Grievances should be submitted within thirty days of the time the grievant becomes aware of the issue. 

2    The Director will investigate the grievance and seek an informal resolution by facilitating discussion of the issues among students, faculty members, departments, or programs and determining if an agreed resolution can be achieved.  This process will be completed within thirty days of the submission of the grievance.   

3.   If there is no agreed resolution, the Director will issue a written proposed resolution of the grievance to all interested parties within five days of the conclusion of the informal resolution process.  The Director’s proposed resolution will become final if it is not timely applied to the Vice President for Student Affairs. 

4.  Appeals to the Vice President of Student Affairs must be submitted in writing within five day of the issuance of the Director’s proposed resolution.  The Vice President will decide the appeal by issuing a written decision within thirty days of the submission of the appeal.