General Appeal Procedures


Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources Reasonable Accommodation Decisions

It is the responsibility of CADR to analyze all information when making equal access decisions. On occasion, a student may not agree with the identified accommodations made available and offered to the student. As required by Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, CADR includes a process for prompt review and resolution in such situations.

If a student does not agree with an approved/not approved accommodation decision made by the student’s CADR Accessibility Specialist, the student may file an appeal through the CADR Appeal Process. The following steps outline this process:

Step 1 (Student Submits an Appeal Request):
If informal discussions with the accessibility specialist have not resolved the issue, the individual shall complete the appeal form received in an email communication from CADR personnel or submit a written complaint to the Director of CADR ( within ten (10) working days of the event(s) that led to the concern. (In some cases, the Director may need to defer the complaint to a designee if timelines cannot be met).

Step 2 (CADR Director Reviews Appeal Request):
The Director of CADR, or their designee, shall meet with the individual within seven (7) working days of the receipt of the complaint if the student desires a meeting. The CADR Director, or designee, will provide the student with a written decision via NDSU email within three working days of the meeting with the student.
Process Note: When an appeal is being reviewed during Steps 1 – 2 and the student shares new personal information or documentation that was not provided at an earlier step in the process, the Director, or designee reserves the right to refer the student back to the student’s initial accessibility specialist for reassessment of the situation. The presence of new information may have impacted the original decision if shared initially.

Step 3 (NDSU ADA Coordinator Reviews Appeal):
If the process set forth in Steps 1-2 does not resolve the issue, the individual may request a review of the appeal by the NDSU ADA Coordinator by submitting an email to the CADR Director within ten (10) working days of the CADR Director’s written decision. Upon receipt of this request, the CADR Director will forward all relevant documentation, including the complaint submitted to the CADR Director in Step 1 of the process.
The NDSU ADA Coordinator shall be in contact with the student within seven (7) working days of receipt of the complaint. The Deputy ADA Coordinator will make a final decision on the appeal and will provide the student with a written decision via NDSU email within three (3) working days of communicating with the student.

Disability Grievance Procedures

Students may file a Discrimination Grievance with the Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Compliance at any time if the student believes that NDSU’s faculty or staff discriminated against the student on the basis of disability. Information on Accessibility and Discrimination can be found on the NDSU Opportunity and Title IX Compliance webpage or the student may contact them directly via email ( or phone (701-231-7708).

Specific Access and Accommodation Use within the Classroom

Students Accessibility Services (CADR) staff members aim to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to participate in educational opportunities at NDSU. Determining equal access requires both consideration of a disability along with consideration of the fundamental aspects of academic programs, courses, policies and practices.
If a professor and/or CADR determines that a specific accommodation would not be reasonable accommodation in the classroom because it would fundamentally alter an academic program or course and the student disagrees with this decision, the student’s appeal will be reviewed pursuant to the Procedure for Conducting Fundamental Alteration Assessments set forth below, which includes having a faculty panel review the situation and render a decision. The student should email the CADR Director ( to initiate this process. The CADR Director will work with the student through the review process and indicate what, if any, information the student will need to provide as part of the review. More details on the process of a Fundamental Alteration Assessment review can be found below.

Procedure for Conducting Fundamental Alteration Assessments

The North Dakota State University conducts an Individualized Assessment when an accommodation requested by a student presents the issue of whether the accommodation would “fundamentally alter” a course or academic program because the accommodation would result in the student not successfully completing an essential academic requirement of the course or program.

1.    CADR (CADR) will be the entity that initially assesses the accommodation question.
2.    An accessibility specialist will consult with the student and the faculty member, conducting an interactive, collaborative process to determine accommodation options. When a faculty member is inclined to deny the request on the basis that a requested course or program modification would fundamentally alter the course or academic program, and there is no other effective accommodation that is agreeable to the faculty member, CADR should advise the student of the faculty member’s assessment and their (the student’s and/or CADR’s) ability to submit the request to a faculty panel for review and final decision (Faculty Review Panel).
3.    If the student or CADR requests utilization of the Faculty Review Panel, the following will occur:
4.    The Director of CADR will convene a Faculty Review Panel to review the request.
5.    The review panel will review information from the student and faculty member. The panel will review the following information:
•    Course syllabus, assignment sheets and other materials establishing course/program requirements;
•    All written statements provided by the faculty member, CADR and/or the student;
•    Any medical documentation provided to support the request; and,
•    Any other relevant information that CADR, the faculty member and/or the student presents to the panel. 
In addition to the requested accommodation, the Faculty Review Panel will discuss with CADR, the faculty member, and the student whether there are other accommodations that could enable the student to meet the essential academic requirements of the course.
6.    The Faculty Review Panel will meet and deliberate in person or via synchronous conferencing to determine whether the requested accommodation would fundamentally alter the course/program and whether there are other accommodations that would be effective and would not fundamentally alter the course/program. 
7.    The panel will issue a written decision providing the reasons for the decision, including identification of other accommodations discussed with the parties and considered by the panel. This decision will be issued within seven (7) business days of CADR’ notification that the Faculty Review Panel process is being utilized. This timeframe may be extended for good cause, which includes but is not limited to the need to obtain additional medical documentation.
8.     If the student, faculty member, or CADR representative is dissatisfied with the Faculty Review Panel’s decision, they may ask the NDSU ADA Coordinator to review the panel’s decision.
9.    If the student, faculty member, or CADR representative is dissatisfied with the NDSU ADA Coordinator’s decision, they have the option to file a Discrimination Grievance with the Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Compliance (see above).

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