Accommodation Complaint Resolution Procedure
Cypress College is committed to providing services to all students equitably and fairly. Cypress College provides disability-related accommodations and complies with all state and federal laws and regulations including Title 5 of the California Education Code, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If a student believes that there has been a violation of these regulations, the student is encouraged to discuss the matter with the Disability Support Services (DSS) staff.
Rights of Students
A college student with a disability is considered to be an adult under federal law and DSS regulations. As adults, students are expected to decide on their own about attending Cypress College and selecting classes. Information about a student with a disability will not be released to parents or family members unless such family members are legal conservators or the student gives DSS staff written permission to release information to specific individuals.
Cypress College strives to accommodate the needs of all qualified students with disabilities. “Qualified” students include those students with verified disabilities and demonstrated need for accommodations. The list of qualifying disabilities includes, but is not limited to, learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries, intellectual disabilities, deaf and hard of hearing, blind and low vision, mental health disabilities, physical disabilities, autism, ADHD, and other health conditions. A qualified student with a disability should contact the DSS office to request services. Among the most commonly provided accommodations are sign language interpreters, note-taking assistance, test accommodations, alternate media (e.g. Braille, e-text, large print, etc.), adaptive computers, and other assistive technology. Personal assistance services are not provided in postsecondary educational settings (beyond high school). A student needing assistance with activities of daily living (toileting, feeding, ambulating, etc.) must provide their own personal care attendants.
Complaint Resolution Procedure
Disability Support Services (DSS) prides itself on providing appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. However, there are rare instances in which students feel they have been treated unfairly. There are two processes: (1) an informal resolution process involving the DSS staff and student services administration; and (2) a formal complaint process through the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) Equity & Diversity Office.
Informal Resolution Process
If a student has a complaint about services or accommodations, they should contact the Disability Support Services (DSS) staff member responsible for that specific service. If preferred, a student may submit a letter of complaint or complete the DSS Concerns or Complaints form, located on the DSS website.
Step 1: The DSS staff member responsible for the service will investigate the complaint and make every effort to issue a response within a reasonable time (not to exceed two weeks) following the initial contact with the student.
Step 2: If the student is dissatisfied with the response from the DSS staff member, they may appeal in writing* or meet with the DSS Director, Celeste Phelps, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Director will also investigate the complaint and issue a written decision in a timely manner (not to exceed two weeks) following receipt of the appeal.
Step 3: If the student is dissatisfied with the Director’s decision, they may file a written appeal or meet with the Dean of Counseling and Student Development, Dr. Troy Davis, email@example.com.
Step 4: If the student is still dissatisfied, they may contact the Vice President of Student Services: Dr. Paul de Dios, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Vice President will investigate and render a decision.
Timelines shown for submitting and ruling on a complaint may be extended at the discretion of the DSS Director or the administrator investigating the complaint. In situations when the administrator is unavailable to review a complaint (e.g. ill, on vacation, and/or away on business), an alternate administrator will be designated to carry out the procedure. Questions about the Accommodation Complaint Resolution Procedure should be directed to the DSS Director.
*A student who has difficulty with writing or reading may request accommodations from the DSS office to assist in completing the complaint/appeal form.
Formal Complaint Process
The formal process is available to the student during or after any step in the informal process. For a detailed explanation of the formal complaint process, visit the NOCCCD Equity and Diversity webpage.