George Mason University is committed to a policy of ensuring that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in university programs or activities due to his or her disability. The university is fully committed to complying with all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (section 504) and to providing equal educational opportunities to otherwise qualified students with disabilities.
Any university student who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability, or has been denied access or accommodations required by law shall have the right to invoke the Grievance Procedure. This Grievance Procedure is designed to address disagreements or denials regarding requested services, accommodations, or modifications to university academic practices or requirements.
The Grievance Procedure is not intended and shall not supersede other university policies and procedures, which may exist for addressing alleged violations of ADA and/or Section 504, and other issues of concern for which separate university policies and procedures exist, including for example, grade appeals. Students are encouraged to consult with the Director of the ODS or his or her respective designees regarding the most appropriate university policy or procedure to address a particular concern.
Informal Grievance Procedure
With respect to any grievance covered under this policy and as a prerequisite to initiating one of the formal grievance procedures, a student shall first attempt to resolve his or her complaint informally by meeting with the Director of the ODS or with his or her designee. If the grievance is not resolved informally, then the student shall have the right to invoke the appropriate formal grievance procedure detailed below.
Formal Grievance Procedure for the Denial of Academic Accommodations and Services
- A student with a disability, as defined by the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, shall have the right to request that the ADA coordinator (Office of Equity and Diversity Services) review the denial of any requested academic accommodation or service.
- The ADA coordinator or his/ her designee shall assess the formal complaint and review all information necessary to render a written determination. If requested, the student shall supply any additional information and/or documentation as requested by the ADA coordinator or designee. The ADA coordinator or designee will issue a written Letter of Determination on the student’s Review Request.
- If the student disagrees with the ADA coordinator’s determination, the student may seek a review with the provost or designee. The student shall submit a written letter requesting a review of the complaint.
- The provost or designee shall review the student’s letter, all pertinent records, and documentation. After completing the review, the provost or designee will provide a letter of determination to the student.
Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Complaint
Although students are encouraged to attempt to resolve complaints pertaining to disabilities by using this Grievance Procedure, they have the right to file a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
Related University Policies and Procedures
University Policy 1201: Nondiscrimination Policy
University Policy 1203: Nondiscrimination and Reasonable Accommodation on the Basis of Disability
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Grievance Procedures (Office of Equity and Diversity Services)
Individuals with Disabilities Policy
George Mason University is committed to providing equal access to employment and educational opportunities for persons with disabilities. George Mason University recognizes that individuals with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to have equally effective opportunities to participate in or benefit from university educational programs, services, and activities, and to have equal employment opportunities. George Mason University shall adhere to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as necessary to afford equal employment opportunity and equal access to programs for qualified persons with disabilities. Applicants for admission and students requesting reasonable accommodations for a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services at 703 993-2474. Employees and applicants for employment should contact the Office of Equity and Diversity Services at 703-993-8730 or 703-993-8787 (TTY). Visitors and participants in nonacademic programs should contact the sponsoring department or the Office of Equity and Diversity Services at 703-993-8730 or 703-993-8787 (TTY). Questions regarding reasonable accommodations and/or discrimination on the basis of disability should be directed to the ADA coordinator in the Office of Equity and Diversity Services.
Statement on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action
George Mason University is committed to providing equal opportunity and an educational and work environment free from any discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or age. George Mason University shall adhere to all applicable state and federal equal opportunity/affirmative action statutes and regulations.
The university is dedicated to ensuring access, fairness, and equity for minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans (as covered by law) in its educational programs, related activities, and employment. George Mason University shall thus maintain a continuing affirmative action program to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices in every phase of university operations.
Retaliation against an individual who has raised claims of illegal discrimination or has cooperated with an investigation of such claims is prohibited.