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Home » Rackham Life » Students with Disabilities » Accommodations for Graduate Students with Disabilities » Complaints or Disputes Related to Requests for Reasonable Accommodation

Complaints or Disputes Related to Requests for Reasonable Accommodation

If you believe that you have been unlawfully discriminated against or treated unfairly because of a disability, talk to someone.

It is the policy of the University of Michigan to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination and harassment for all students, faculty, and staff. Discrimination and harassment are contrary to the standards of the university community. They diminish individual dignity and impede educational opportunities, equal access to freedom of academic inquiry, and equal employment. Discrimination and harassment are barriers to fulfilling the university’s scholarly, research, educational, patient care, and service missions.

Policies

Nondiscrimination Policy Notice

The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity, and Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388. For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.

Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination can occur whenever a qualified individual with a disability is denied the same equal opportunities afforded to other similarly situated individuals on the basis of his or her disability status. Under applicable disability laws, an individual with a disability is a person who:

  1. has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  2. has a record of such an impairment; or
  3. is regarded as having such an impairment.

Temporary, non-chronic impairments that do not last for a long time and that have little or no long-term impact usually are not disabilities. The determination of whether an impairment is a disability is made on a case-by-case basis.

Hostile Environment Disability Harassment

The university will not tolerate the creation or existence of an environment that is hostile on the basis of disability. Such a hostile environment is defined as harassing conduct (e.g., physical, verbal, graphic, or written) related to disability that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as:

  1. to interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the university’s programs and activities or
  2. to unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work or academic performance by creating an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment. Whether the harassing conduct is considered sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive so as to constitute harassment depends upon the context in which the behavior occurred.

Policy Prohibiting Retaliation

The university is committed to ensuring that its learning and working environments are free from all forms of discrimination and harassment. The university strictly prohibits and will not tolerate reprisals or retaliation against persons due to their assertion of their protected civil rights, including the filing of internal complaints of discrimination, filing complaints with Federal or State civil rights enforcement agencies, or participation in an investigation of such a complaint (for example, serving as a witness). Individuals who believe they are experiencing this form of retaliation are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Institutional Equity.

Complaint Procedures

Students may have concerns related to their academic program, their employment or appointment status, their access to public accommodations, or their participation in university programs, services and events. Similarly, students may have concerns regarding their treatment by faculty, staff members, administrators, other students or members of the public engaged in university programs, services, and events. Regardless of the source or context of the concern, students are encouraged to raise concerns when they become aware of them to increase the likelihood of a prompt and effective resolution.

A student who has questions or concerns regarding the university’s legal obligations under federal or state disability laws, who believes that the university is not meeting its legal obligations and responsibilities, or who believes that he/she has been discriminated against because of a disability may follow the following avenues to resolution. When an allegation is found to have merit, the university will take steps to prevent recurrence of the discrimination and to correct discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, as appropriate.

Whom to Talk To

There are several resources available for consultation related to discrimination and harassment.

Formal complaints of discrimination and harassment should be filed with the Office of Institutional Equity.

Other Resources

  • Rackham graduate students may consult with the Rackham Resolution Officer.
  • Non-Rackham graduate or professional students may consult with their School or College Student Services office or administrative designees.
  • Students with GSI or GSSA appointments may also consult with GEO.
  • If you prefer to talk to someone in a confidential setting, visit the section on Confidential Counseling for suggested resources.

Helpful Information

Rackham Graduate School will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21. We will return at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, November 26. During the holiday, there will be no processing of application materials and no updates to your Wolverine Access account. After we reopen, there will be a delay in processing application materials. Thank you for your patience as we process the high volume of materials.