Consistent with the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), TTUHSC El Paso determines disability accommodations through a deliberative and interactive process involving disability services professionals, appropriate members of the university community and, of course, the individuals with disabilities themselves.
We recognize that there is the possibility of disagreement about the appropriateness of accommodations in any deliberative process. We also acknowledge that even with the best efforts of everyone involved with your service delivery at TTUHSC El Paso, a problem may occur. To this end, the Office of Disability Support Services in the Office of Student Services recommends a range of options to resolve concerns about accommodation and eligibility decisions, services received, treatment by institutional staff and faculty, and institutional policies related to students with disabilities.
Occasionally, a problem arises because of a misunderstanding or miscommunication; clarification can lead to a quick and effective solution. It is often best to discuss the issue with the person(s) most closely involved with the decision or incident first, and then the person’s supervisor or department chair if a satisfactory resolution has not been provided. We strongly encourage students to let DSS know about any problems as soon as possible so that we can work together to solve the problem as quickly as possible.
Though attempts at internal resolution are always recommended first, external means for resolution are available and may be exercised at any time.
Throughout any of these procedures students should expect to be treated with respect, receive a timely response, have issues dealt with in a confidential manner to the greatest extent possible, and should not fear any form of retaliation.
The institution expects students to address any problems early, give clear and detailed information, and be respectful of those people who are working with you. If students wish to know more about their rights as a person with a disablity person under federal and state law and institutional policy, DSS can refer students to the appropriate entity. Disability-related law and institutional policy prohibit retaliation in any form against persons who file complaints.
Appeals of DSS Decisions
Occasionally, an accommodation initially recommended by the student's provider may not be considered feasible or appropriate for a specific course or program requirement when the accommodations would result in a fundamental alteration of an essential aspect of the student’s program. This decision would have been made through an interactive process involving the student, their program, and possibly outside experts.
If a student disagrees with the outcome of such a decision, they are encouraged to consult informally with the DSS director. If this does not resolve the concern, the student may formally appeal the decision.
Students who wish to appeal a decision made by DSS must do so in writing by submitting an appeals form located on the DSS website within 20 days after the receipt of the letter of accommodation from the DSS director.
Appeals are considered by the assistant vice president for student services (AVPSS), as the vice president of academic affairs’ designee. Completed accommodation appeal forms may be submitted by email or in person to Dr. Kathryn Horn (email@example.com, MEB 2140D). Refer to OP 77.14 (http://elpaso.ttuhsc.edu/opp/_documents/77/op7714.pdf).
Once the appeals form is received, the assistant vice president for student services will have 10 institutional days to review the accommodation appeal form, the student’s file, and to meet with the student to discuss their request. In order to reach a decision, the AVPSS may also request additional documentation of a student’s disability, request to consult with their treatment team or diagnostician, or consult with outside experts. The review process will be concluded five days after receiving any additional information. The decision of the AVPSS is the final ruling.
An individual who believes they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability, or who feels that the institution is out of compliance with their obligations to people with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American’s with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADAAA), is encouraged to work with TTUHSC El Paso to resolve their concerns informally. In the event that such difficulties cannot be resolved informally, students can avail themselves of TTUHSC El Paso's formal grievance processes, or the external process for resolution.
Informal resources for resolving grievances:
- Tammy Salazar, Ph.D.
Office of Disability Support Services
- Jessica Calderon-Mora, M.P.H., MCHES
Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Global Health
Formal means for resolving grievances:
- File a grievance via the Institution’s Grievance Procedure
- TTUHSC El Paso Institutional Handbook:
- Kathryn Horn, M.D.
Assistant Vice President of Student Services
Associate Academic Dean of Student Affairs