Academic Accommodations: Disputes

The University of Pittsburgh provides both informal and formal processes to attempt to resolve disagreements regarding academic accommodations. The University's formal grievance procedure for challenging a decision regarding academic accommodations can be found at Section 504/ADA - Grievance Procedure. The University also strongly encourages individuals to attempt to resolve issues informally, though the informal process need not be pursued prior to filing a formal grievance. In addition, pursuing the informal process will not delay the time within which a formal grievance must be filed, which is within 30 days after a complainant becomes aware of the disputed decision.

The procedure to be followed for the informal process is as follows:

Informal Process

  1. The student requests accommodation(s) and provides supporting documentation according to University guidelines to Disability Resources and Services (DRS).
  2. In instances where there is disagreement concerning the appropriateness of the requested accommodation, the student, instructor teaching the course for which the accommodation has been requested, and the Director of DRS will make every effort to resolve the disagreement.
  3. If agreement cannot be reached, the student, instructor, or University administrative staff may seek informal resolution by submitting a Request for Review of the disputed decision to the Academic Accommodations Review Committee, which will convene within seven (7) working days of receiving the Request for Review.
  4. The Committee will review the Request for Review and any additional relevant information from University personnel in order to render a decision within ten (10) working days from the date of receiving the Request for Review.
  5. If the individual is not satisfied with the decision of the Committee, a formal grievance must be filed under the Section 504/ADA - Grievance Procedure.
  6. While a Request for Review is under consideration by the Academic Accommodations Review Committee or the Provost, the instructor will provide the reasonable accommodation as indicated by Disability Resources and Services. Staff from Disability Resources and Services will provide general information regarding determination and implementation of accommodations. The faculty chairperson or designated representative of the Department offering the course(s) in which the accommodation is requested may be asked to provide information to the committee. Faculty representatives from the Departments of Psychology, Psychology in Education, and Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, or another department or program with specific expertise may also be asked to provide relevant information. The Academic Accommodations Grievance Committee is appointed by and under the jurisdiction of the Provost. The purpose of this Committee is to assist the Provost, and to serve as a resource for faculty, academic administrators and University students, on a case-by-case basis, in resolving disagreements that arise concerning requests for academic accommodations.