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Rights, Responsibilities and Discrimination Complaint Procedure

Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act Amendments, 1973 states:

“No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States….. shall, solely by reason of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

All students have the right:

  • To receive necessary reasonable accommodations and support services to allow equal access to Southwest Minnesota State University.
  • To be treated by faculty and staff with dignity and respect.
  • To have discussions of their disability kept in confidence until permission of disclosure is given.
  • To report a grievance to Accessibility Services if they feel that their disability related needs are not being met.

All students have the responsibility:

  • To identify themselves as an individual with a disability when seeking an accommodation
  • To provide current (within 3 years) documentation from an appropriate professional source that verifies the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the need for specific accommodations.
  • To follow specific procedures for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations including initiating certain services each semester in a timely manner. Accommodation procedures are described in the Accessibility Services handbook or through review by appointment with staff in Accessibility Services. 
  • To meet the University’s qualifications including essential technical, academic and institutional standards.

Discrimination Complaint Process

University policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex (gender, sexual harassment), age, national origin, ethnicity, physical or mental disabilities, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam Era, and any other group protected by civil rights laws. Discrimination means unequal treatment or harassment based upon any of these group characteristics.  Retaliation against a complainant for filing a complaint, or against witnesses for providing testimony during an investigation, is also prohibited and can be filed as a separate charge under these procedures.

This grievance process shall apply to situations where a student has followed the established procedures to request accommodations on the basis of disability and the request has been denied or otherwise not provided.

  1. Complaints may be filed within 30 days to Accessibility Services. Usually concerns can be resolved at this informal level.
  2. If informal resolution is not reached, the student should file a grievance with the Title IX Coordinator 
  3. File a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, by calling 1-800-421-3481 or the Minnesota Department of Human Rights by calling 651-296-5663 (voice) or 651-296-1283 (YYT). The Statute of Limitations for filing a complaint with the OCR is 180 days from the time the incident occurred.

Disability law, Minnesota State and Southwest Minnesota State University disability related policies can be read at these links:

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Last Modified: 9/6/23 10:39 AM | Website Feedback