Disability Information Student Handbook

Section Two: Using Disability Services and Accommodations

Concerns and Complaints

Accommodation Disputes

Academic accommodation requests may be authorized only when the student has completed the college’s disability documentation and intake process, has formally requested an accommodation, and the accommodation is determined not to alter course content or present an undue burden.

The Special Education Division, which administers De Anza's DSP& S programs, uses state and federal regulations to determine that
  •  an individual is a qualified person with a disability, and
  •  the individual has an educationally-related functional limitation that qualifies for         accommodation.
  •  the academic adjustment is appropriate.

The college is charged adopting procedures to handle accommodation disputes. A student may initiate the Steps outlined below, considered to be an informal process, to mediate a resolution in the event of a

  • disagreement about an accommodation determination
  • denial of or dispute about an accommodation
  • accommodation provided is inadequate
  • a complaint about DSP&S services

The student may elect instead to pursue recourse at any point by filing a college Grievance complaint, or a Harassment and Discrimination Complaint with the Foothill De Anza Community College District, as appropriate.  For more information and contacts, see the DISH section “Student Complaints and Resolution Process.”  Students may also file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights/San Francisco, U.S Department of Education, in accordance with procedures available on the website at 

Students are encouraged to employ these Steps first in order to have a disagreement mediated without (or prior to) initiating an internal college or external Formal Complaint procedure.

Steps to Address an Academic Accommodation or DSP&S Services’ Complaint

1. If a student is dissatisfied with an accommodation decision or a service of a Disabled     Students Program and Services (DSP&S) program at De Anza:

    1.1 Discuss the issue with the specific staff member involved, or the counselor/advisor.
    1.2 If the concern is unresolved, speak to the program Executive Head.
    1.3 If unresolved at this point,
          1.3.1 Contact the DSP&S Coordinator and, if necessary
          1.3.2 Bring the concern to the campus 504/ADA officer who will proceed according to 2.2.

 2. If an instructor disagrees with the professional recommendation of a professional DSP&S (Special Education program) staff member or if an instructor denies an accommodation to a student, either the student or instructor may

     2.1 Contact the DSP&S department that originally authorized the accommodation.  The   Executive Head or designee will set up an informal meeting.
            2.1.1 The meeting shall proceed within five (5) instructional days.
            2.1.2 The purpose will be to determine a mutually agreed upon resolution, if possible.
            2.1.3 The meeting may include, as deemed appropriate by the Executive Head or

  • the concerned parties
  • the Dean of the academic division involved or the Dean's designee
  • the DSP&S Coordinator or Dean of Special Education or his/her designee.

            2.1.4 Once a resolution is agreed upon, all parties will be informed and the resolution will   be implemented.
      2.2  In the event that no resolution is reached or if the instructor or student disagree with the decision, the student, instructor or the DSP&S (Special Education) professional can refer the matter to the college 504/ADA  officer.
            2.2.1 The matter should be referred within five (5) instructional days for review.
            2.2.2 The 504/ADA officer will take those actions necessary to render a decision and will                         inform all parties of that decision within five (5) instructional days.

Accommodation Provision During Resolution Period

 3. The accommodation originally authorized by DSP&S (Special Education) will be permitted for at least a three (3) week period while the matter is being considered, per Section 2.
      3.1  In the case of a dispute with a DSP&S program in the Special Education Division, the  accommodation will be authorized for this period, if it does not represent an undue burden to do so.
      3.2  The 504/ADA officer will make any necessary determinations to extend the time period.


4. Parties who wish to appeal a decision made by the 504/ADA officer at the conclusion of the resolution process can proceed with, as appropriate:

  • the formal college Grievance Process, or
  • the District Procedures to Resolve Complaints Regarding Harassment and Discrimination (Board Administrative Policy 4640)

Students may also file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights/San Francisco, U.S Department of Education, in accordance with procedures available via the website at             

The college’s Grievance Procedure is outlined in the College Catalog under Fees, Policies and Guidelines (PDF) and reprinted in the appendix.  Students may also contact the Office of Student Development. 

For more information and contacts, see the DISH Section Two, Concerns and Complaints, Student Complaints and Resolution Process.


DISH Building:

Last Updated: 1/19/10