The accommodations process is collaborative one between the student, the instructor, and ODS. Students should review the steps and procedures listed below, noting the difference between each.
Accommodation Dispute Process
The following process applies to accommodation requests that are denied by ODS.
In order to offer a good faith discussion of the student’s needs in conjunction with The University of Alabama’s course and/or program requirements, the following process will be followed in the case that a student’s request for an academic accommodation is denied.
Step 1: The student can provide a written appeal to ODS or schedule an appointment with the assigned Accommodations Specialist, seeking a formal review of the request.
Step 2: The assigned Accommodations Specialist will present all pertinent information (i.e., student’s documentation of disability, history of academic accommodations, the accommodation request, course information and/or course syllabus) to the ODS Director or designee.
Step 3: The ODS Director or designee will review the request and accompanying documentation with a selection of individuals who are trained, knowledgeable, and experienced in the relevant area. Consideration will be given as to whether the accommodation requested can be offered to this specific student, or if other effective accommodations exist.
Step 4: Following the review process, the student will be informed, in writing, of the decision by the ODS Director or designee. If the accommodation is denied, the reasons for the denial and an offer of alternative accommodations (if available) will be provided.
Step 5: The student will be offered an opportunity to respond and provide additional documentation to support the accommodation request.
Step 6: Notice will be provided to the student of the right to file a grievance or complaint.
Reporting Accommodation Issues
The following process applies to students who have been approved to receive accommodations, and believe that an instructor or staff member has not provided an approved accommodation.
Step 1: If informal discussions with instructor/staff member have not resolved the issue, the student should contact their assigned Accommodations Specialist. The Accommodations Specialist will attempt to resolve the issue by communicating with the instructor/staff member. Other ODS personnel and/or the ODS Director may be consulted in order to develop a resolution.
Step 2: If Step 1 provides no resolution, the student should submit a written or recorded complaint to the ODS Director or designee as soon as possible following the event(s) that triggered the complaint. The appeal should clearly state the basis and rationale for the concern. The ODS Director or designee shall contact the appropriate UA personnel, which may include the academic department and/or Dean’s Office, in order to attempt to resolve the issue.
Step 3. If Step 2 does not resolve the complaint, the ODS Director or their designee will forward the complaint to the Provost or designee within the Office of Academic Affairs.
Step 4. The Provost or designee will gather information and render a final decision that will be communicated to all parties.
ODS Staff Complaint
The following process applies when a student wishes to file a complaint against an ODS staff member.
ODS is a part of UA’s Office for Academic Affairs. All complaints related to services and/or experiences with ODS should be reported to the ODS Director. If the complaint is not resolved through this process, students, faculty, and staff may file a complaint with the Associate Provost for Administration:
Associate Provost for Administration
Office of Academic Affairs
254 Rose Administration Building
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0114
The following process applies to students who wish to grieve a grade or academic decision. This process rests with the academic department, and ODS has no jurisdiction over this process.
If you disagree with an academic decision, grade, or application of course policy that is unrelated to the receipt of accommodations, you may file an Academic Grievance. The Academic Grievance procedures can be found in the UA Faculty Handbook.
ADA/Section 504 Complaint
The following process applies when a student believes they have been discriminated against on the basis of disability.
The University of Alabama is committed to ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Students alleging discrimination, or who believe that their request for a non-academic, disability-related accommodation was improperly denied, in whole or in part, may appeal that decision to the UA Compliance Officer/ADA Coordinator:
Dr. Gwen Hood
Office of Equal Opportunity Programs
107 Mary Burke Hall – West
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0300
Phone: (205) 348-5855
Fax: (205) 348-7153
TTY: (205) 348-5573
Students also have a right to file a formal complaint with the Regional Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Atlanta Office, 61 Forsythe St. SW, Suite 19T70, Atlanta, GA 30301-3104 (404-562-6350; 1-800-621-3115).
This information is also available in PDF format.