Southern New Hampshire University has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints regarding any action prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and by the Department of Education regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794). Section 504 states, in part, that "no otherwise qualified handicapped individual...shall solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance...."
Complaints should be addressed to the following:
ADA/504 Compliance Officer, Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 N. River Road, Manchester, NH 03106-1045
Phone 603-645-9623 Fax 603-645-9717
Grievance Procedure Steps:
The University encourages the informal resolution of concerns and will assist any individual with that process. The University is also committed to the prompt investigation and resolution of concerns pertaining to the civil rights of individuals attending the University, employed by the University or participating in University functions, of which it is aware regardless of the filing of an actual complaint. If an individual is dissatisfied with that resolution attempt or wishes to forego an informal resolution, an individual may follow the more formal process below.
A complaint must be filed in writing, contain the name and address of the person filing it, and briefly describe the alleged violations of the regulations. The Compliance Officer will provide assistance to any person whose disability interferes with filing a grievance in writing.
A complaint must be filed within 30 working days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation. (Processing allegations of discrimination that occurred before this grievance procedure was in place will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)
The ADA/504 Compliance Officer or his/her designee will conduct an investigation, as may be appropriate, following the filing of a complaint. These rules contemplate informal but thorough investigations, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the complaint.
The ADA/504 Compliance Officer will issue written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, and forward a copy to the complainant no later than 20 working days after the complaint is received.
The ADA/504 Compliance Officer will maintain the files and records of Southern New Hampshire University relating to the complaints filed.
The complainant can request a reconsideration of the case in instances where he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration must be made within 10 working days to the ADA/504 Compliance Officer who will involve other university officials as deemed necessary.
The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder will not be impaired by the person's pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of a Section 504 or ADA complaint with the responsible federal agency or department. Using this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
These rules will be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, meet the appropriate due process standards, and assure that Southern New Hampshire University complies with the ADA and Section 504 and their implementing regulations. Any of the above time frames for the University may be extended if the University determines there are extenuating circumstances. Examples of extenuating circumstances include university holidays, vacations of witnesses or compliance personnel, or illness of witnesses or compliance personnel. Under such circumstances, the ADA/504 Compliance Officer will notify the complainant in writing as to the delay and a projected date for resolution.