Disability Information Student Handbook

Section Two: Using Disability Services and Accommodations

Concerns and Complaints

The First Approach To Resolving Problems

If a problem arises during your period of attendance at De Anza College, there are various avenues for recourse

Experience has shown that using good human relations principles, communication skills and problem-solving techniques means that often parties can resolve disagreements without having to initiate a formalized complaint procedure.  While these procedures may sometimes be necessary, it is important to recognize that they can also be time consuming, and potentially trying and costly.

When misunderstandings or miscues in communication are not identified,  problems may then unnecessarily escalate.  Promptly dealing with an issue in a calm and open way provides everyone an opportunity to clarify and resolve the problem.

If this approach does not work, then all official procedures, as outlined later in this section, are available and at the disposal of the student. These include internal college processes, both informal and formal, and external options.

Staff members in the disability programs at De Anza are receptive to hearing student concerns and helping to mediate in the belief that by doing so solutions can be found that are satisfactory to all parties and energies can be focused back on educational objectives.  Students are encouraged to contact their counselor or advisor for this assistance. 

However, students may initiate at any point, as appropriate, an official College Grievance or the District Procedure to Resolve Complaints Regarding Harassment and Discrimination, or may contact the Office for Civil Right in San Francisco.  See the DISH Section Two: Concerns and Complaints, "Student Complaints & Resolution Process," for more information and contacts. 

The College endorses making a good faith, collaborative effort to resolve differences, if possible.  Here are some suggestions to do so.

A Problem-Solving Strategy

  1. Speak first to the person involved.
    • Present your concern. 
    • Explore any potential alternative solutions.
    • If you want help to formulate an approach, see your counselor/advisor.

  2. If a mutually satisfactory solution is not reached, the proper channel is to talk to the administrator directly responsible (see below, “Who to Contact for Assistance”).
    • With this approach, your concern can then be raised to a higher level manager or administrator which may then result in a satisfactory outcome.
    • If you are unsure about who to see or how to proceed, meet with your counselor/advisor.

  3. If the matter is not resolved after employing these steps, you will be advised about how to proceed through an official complaint process, as described in the next DISH section,  "Student Complaints and Resolution Processes"

Who to Contact for Assistance

 If the issue involves or concerns an instructor or college staff member:
  • Contact the appropriate manager who will be one of the following:
    • Supervisor of the specific college program
    • Department chair of the academic area or, if none, the Dean of the Division
If the issue involves or concerns a DSPS employee or DSPS program policy, guideline or action:
  • Contact the Executive Head of the program first.
  • Contact the DSPS Coordinator or Dean if the issue remains unresolved.

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Last Updated: 1/30/12