Section 504 and Disabilities Complaint Procedure
Section 504 and Disabilities Complaint Procedure
In accordance with Federal regulations, the New York State Human Rights Law and Section 504 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Westchester Community College does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap in educational programs, activities and employment. Section 504 and ADA state, in part, that “no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.”
Westchester Community College has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by federal regulations implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as attended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
A student who wishes to file a grievance about a faculty member, a staff member, or another student regarding alleged discrimination based on disability, he or she must register a complaint with the ADA Coordinator in writing. This formal grievance must be filed within thirty (30) working days following the alleged discriminatory act, or when the complainant first become aware of the alleged act. All such grievances should be submitted to:
Dr. Ruben Barato
Associate Dean of Student Life
Student Center Room 203
914 606-6777 (private voicemail)
- A grievance should be filed in writing, with the name and address of the person filing it.
- A brief description of the alleged violation of the regulations.
- A grievance should be filed within 30 days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.
- An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow a filing of a complaint. The investigation shall be conducted by the ADA Coordinator. These rules contemplate through investigations affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the complaint.
- A written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, shall be issued by the ADA Coordinator and a copy forwarded to the complainant no later than 60 working days after its filing.
- The ADA coordinator shall maintain files relating to the complaints filed.
- The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed here under shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies such as filing of a section 504/ADA complaint with the responsible federal department or agency. Utilization of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
- These rules shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, to meet appropriate due process standards, and to assure that Westchester Community College complies with section 504/ADA and implementing regulations.
Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
(29 U.S.C. § 701)
Section 794. Nondiscrimination under Federal grants and programs; promulgation of rules and regulations
(a) Promulgation of rules and regulations
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 705 (20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service. The head of each such agency shall promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the amendments to this section made by the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Development Disabilities Act of 1978. Copies of any proposed regulations shall be submitted to appropriate authorizing committees of the Congress, and such regulation may take effect no earlier than the thirtieth day after the date of which such regulation is so submitted to such committees.
(b) “Program or activity” defined
For the purposes of this section, the term “program or activity” means all of the operations of —
(1)(A) a department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or of a local government; or (B) the entity of such State or local government that distributes such assistance and each such department or agency (and each other State or local government entity) to which the assistance is extended, in the case of assistance to a State or local government;
(2)(A) a college, university, or other postsecondary institution, or a public system of higher education; or (B) a local educational agency (as defined in section 8801 of Title 20), system of vocational education, or other school system;
(3)(A) an entire corporation, partnership, or other private organization, or an entire sole proprietorship –
(i) if assistance is extended to such corporation, partnership, private organization, or sole proprietorship as a whole; or
(ii) which is principally engaged in the business of providing education, health care, housing, social services, or parks and recreation; or
(B) the entire plant or other comparable, geographically separate facility to which Federal financial assistance is extended, in the case of any other corporation, partnership, private organization, or sole proprietorship; or
(4) any other entity which is established by two or more of the entities described in paragraph (l), (2) or (3); any part of which is extended Federal financial assistance.
(c) Significant structural alterations by small providers
Small providers are not required by subsection (a) to make significant structural alterations to their existing facilities for the purpose of assuring program accessibility, if alternative means of providing the services is available. The terms used in this subsection shall be construed with reference to the regulations existing on March 22, 1988.
(d) Standards used in determining violation of section
The standards used to determine whether this section has been violated in a complaint alleging employment discrimination under this section shall be the standards applied under title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq.) and the provisions of sections 501 through 504, and 510, of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12201-12204 and 12210), as such sections related to employment.
Section 794a. Remedies and attorney fees
(a)(1) The remedies, procedures, and rights set forth in section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-16), including the application of sections 706(f) through 706 (k) [42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(f) through k)] shall be available, with respect to any complaint under section 791 of this title, to any employee or applicant for employment aggrieved by the final disposition of such complaint, or by the failure to take final action on such complaint. In fashioning an equitable or affirmative action remedy under such section, a court may take into account the reasonableness of the cost of any necessary work place accommodation, and the availability of alternative therefor or other appropriate relief in order to achieve an equitable and appropriate remedy.
(2) The remedies, procedures, and rights set forth in title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.) shall be available to any person aggrieved by any act or failure to act by any recipient of Federal assistance or Federal provider of such assistant under section 794 of this title.
(b) In any action or proceeding to enforce or charge a violation of a provision of this subchapter, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.
(United States Department of Labor Website, 2014)