The University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) within the Office of Accessibility & Disability Services under the Division of Academic Affairs is committed to ensuring that all University courses, programs, and activities are accessible to UMBC students with disabilities through the provision of reasonable accommodations, modifications, or adjustments when necessary for access and participation that has been limited due to a disability barrier. UMBC prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of disability.
A UMBC student who feels they have not received or have been denied accommodations or access, or has been the recipient of discrimination based on disability under the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended, has the right to pursue a prompt and equitable resolution. The SDS office has adopted the following internal appeals process to allow for the resolution of concerns reported by UMBC students with disabilities. ocumentation of a student’s disability and UMBC SDS-approved accommodations must be on file in the SDS office.
- Students registered with SDS with an accommodation letter are encouraged to attempt to resolve disability-related concerns informally first by contacting a UMBC Disability Specialist/staff person to discuss the circumstances of the situation.
- The Disability Specialist and student will discuss possible solutions to the concerns. The Disability Specialist may need to contact the instructor(s)/persons involved and will also ask the student for copies of any correspondence related to the matter (emails or summaries of conversations between involved parties or supporting medical documentation may be asked for).
- If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of their meeting or the proposed resolution plan recommended by the Disability Specialist, the student may request to meet with an SDS Assistant Director for a review of the concerns and to explore additional solutions or options that might be available to remedy the concerns or access barriers.
- If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting or resolution plan proposed by the Assistant Director and would like to appeal the Assistant Director’s resolution or decision, or if the student wants to appeal/report concerns to the Director, the student will be asked to submit a statement (email or hard copy) to the Director of Student Disability Services/Assistant Vice Provost for Accessibility & Disability Services. The statement should outline as specifically as possible the actions or inactions that precipitated the grievance including dates and persons involved, alleged violation or discriminatory behavior, efforts or actions made to settle the matter informally whether through the instructor/department, disability specialist, or Assistant Director, and then indicate the resolution/outcome that is being sought.
- The SDS Director/AVP will schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the concerns (in-person or virtually), investigate the circumstances, review supporting documentation or correspondence, and attempt to resolve the problem through the creation of an access solution, mediation, and/or a corrective action plan. This process may include additional discussions with the parties involved, meetings with the department chair, supervisor, or Dean over the person(s) directly involved, and/or the campus ADA/Section 504 Coordinator as appropriate to develop a reasonable resolution. If desired, a support person is welcome to attend the meeting with the student. A final resolution (finding) will be provided to the student in writing/email within 14 days of the meeting.
- If a student is not satisfied with the Assistant Vice Provost’s internal resolution determination or does not believe the disability-access-related concern has been effectively resolved and feels that they have been the subject of disability-based discrimination, the student has the right to submit a formal complaint to UMBC’s Office of Equity & Inclusion for investigation (https://oei.umbc.edu/).
- Students also have the right to seek information or to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (https://www2.ed.gov/policy/rights/guid/ocr/disability.html).
Office of Student Disability Services (SDS)
Accessibility & Disability Services Department, Division of Academic Affairs