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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 9 - General Provisions
Publication Date: July 18, 2013
Responsible Executive: VP for Business Affairs


9.02 Persons with Disabilities

  1. The University of Texas at San Antonio is committed to providing students, faculty, staff, and visitors access to all university programs, activities, and facilities in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.
  2. The university prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all programs, services and activities.
  3. University facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. The university strives to promote an environment that is barrier free: free from both physical barriers and barriers of attitude.
  4. Service Animals - In accordance with the ADA and ADAAA, individuals with service animals are to be provided the same services and access to all areas of the UTSA campuses and to any activities or events that pertain to the curriculum or job duties as individuals without service animals.  Service animals are defined as dogs (and miniature horses) which are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.  For additional information regarding service animals, please contact Student Disability Services (SDS) or the ADA Coordinator.  
  5. The Office of Equal Opportunity Services (EOS) receives and investigates complaints alleging discrimination or harassment on the basis of a disability, including complaints regarding service animals or other issues pertaining to access.  The EOS investigates these complaints and processes them in accordance with Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) 9.01, Nondiscrimination and Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct.
  6. Reasonable Accommodations
    1. For Students: SDS coordinates support services, accommodations, and equipment for students with disabilities. SDS works to ensure equal access to all university programs, services, and activities for students with disabilities. SDS certifies eligibility for services, determines reasonable accommodations, and develops plans for the implementation of accommodations. The SDS director also assists students in the informal resolution of complaints. Information regarding support services, accommodations and equipment for students may be found at the Student Disability Services website.
    2. For Faculty, Staff and Visitors: The ADA Coordinator assists faculty, staff, and visitors in the certification process and in the informal and formal resolution of complaints related to accommodation requests. The Human Resources Department serves as liaison for faculty and staff with disabilities in ensuring reasonable accommodation by the university. The procedure to request an accommodation under this policy can be found at http://www.utsa.edu/hr/EmployeeRelations/ada.html.
    3. Grievance Procedures regarding Reasonable Accommodations
      [*Note: Complaints regarding Service Animals are not considered complaints regarding Reasonable Accommodations; they are considered complaints of discrimination and should be directed to EOS (See (E) above).]
      1. For Students:
        1. Informal Grievance Procedures

          When a student has a complaint concerning the provision of services, accommodations, or equipment, the student shall first discuss the complaint with the director of SDS within ten (10) calendar days after the date of the action or condition giving rise to the complaint. Within five (5) calendar days after that discussion, the SDS director shall verbally inform the student of the decision. Once all efforts have been made to resolve a verbal or informal complaint, the student has the right to initiate the formal grievance procedure.

        2. Formal Grievance Procedures
          1. A complaint becomes a formal grievance once the student submits it in writing to the ADA coordinator. The written complaint should be submitted within ten (10) calendar days after the date on which the student was informed of the SDS director's decision. The complaint should contain the name and address of the student filing it, and accurately set out the factual basis for the complaint.
          2. The ADA coordinator shall meet with the student to discuss the grievance and shall provide a written decision to the student within ten (10) calendar days after the meeting.
          3. Grievances not resolved by the above process may be appealed by the student to the vice president for student affairs (VPSA) in writing, within ten (10) calendar days after the date the student received the written decision from the ADA coordinator. The appeal should specifically state the nature of the grievance and indicate why the decision of the ADA coordinator is not acceptable. All correspondence shall be sent through registered mail with a receipt requested. As he or she deems necessary to consider the merits of the appeal, the VPSA shall meet with one or more of the parties. A written decision shall be made by the VPSA within fifteen (15) calendar days after the final meeting with the parties involved in the grievance.
          4. The written decision of the VPSA shall be final.
          5. There can be an extension of time in any step if the student is notified by the ADA coordinator.
          6. Failure of a student to process his or her grievance to the next step within the specified time limit shall constitute abandonment of the grievance unless the student and the ADA coordinator or VPSA agree upon an extension of time.
          7. Failure of university personnel to give an answer within the prescribed time limit, unless an extension has been previously agreed upon by the student and the ADA coordinator and/or VPSA, shall authorize the student to process his or her grievance to the next step.
      2. For Faculty, Staff, and Visitors:
        1. Informal Grievance Procedures

          When a faculty member, staff member, or visitor (hereinafter "grievant") has a complaint concerning the provision of services, accommodations, or equipment, the grievant shall first discuss the complaint with the associate vice president of human resources or his/her designee within ten (10) calendar days after the date of the action or condition giving rise to the complaint. Within five (5) calendar days after that discussion, the associate vice president of human resources or his/her designee shall verbally inform the grievant of the decision on the complaint. Once all efforts have been made to resolve a verbal or informal complaint, the grievant has the right to initiate the formal grievance procedure.

        2. Formal Grievance Procedures
          1. A complaint becomes a formal grievance once the grievant submits it in writing to the ADA coordinator. The written complaint should be submitted within ten (10) calendar days after the date the grievant was informed of the decision of the associate vice president of human resources. The complaint should contain the name and address of the grievant and accurately set out the factual basis for the complaint.
          2. The ADA coordinator shall meet with the grievant to discuss the grievance and shall provide a written decision to the grievant within ten (10) calendar days after the meeting.
          3. Grievances not resolved by the above process may be appealed by the grievant to the appropriate vice president in writing, within ten (10) calendar days after the date the grievant received the written decision from the ADA coordinator. The appeal should specifically state the nature of the grievance and indicate why the decision of the ADA coordinator is not acceptable. All correspondence will be sent through registered mail with a receipt requested. As the he or she deems necessary to consider the merits of the appeal, the VPSA shall meet with one or more of the parties. A written decision shall be made by the appropriate vice president within fifteen (15) calendar days after the final meeting with the parties involved in the grievance.
          4. The written decision of the appropriate vice president shall be final.
          5. There can be an extension of time in any step if the grievant is notified by the ADA coordinator.
          6. Failure of a grievant to process his or her grievance to the next step within the specified time limit shall constitute abandonment of the grievance unless the grievant and the ADA coordinator or the appropriate vice president agrees upon an extension of time.
          7. Failure of university personnel to give an answer within the prescribed time limit, unless an extension has been previously agreed upon by the grievant and the ADA coordinator and/or appropriate vice president, shall authorize the grievant to process his or her grievance to the next step.
      3.