Section Two: Using Disability Services and Accommodations

Student Complaints & the Resolution Process

Student Complaints & Resolution Process

Student disputes regarding actions or policies may fall into one of several categories:

  • Accommodation disagreement or complaints about DSPS services
  • Academic Regulation exceptions (unrelated to disability or other legally protected category),
  • Violation of Student Rights (unrelated to disability or other legally protected category) such as:
    • Grade disputes based on error, bad faith or incompetence or
    • Alleged arbitrary actions without regard to academic due process, 
  • Harassment or Discrimination, due to disability or other legally protected category

The process to resolve complaints and concerns varies, depending on the type. You may utilize a campus resource person in Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) Division, Counseling, Student Development, or another advisor for assistance.

Information about procedures may be found in the current college Catalog and Schedule of Classes, or other locations, as noted below:

Denial of, or Disagreement about, Accommodations or other Complaints regarding DSPS Services

Often, a solution may be obtained in a straightforward manner by using the suggestions in the DISH Section Two: Concerns and Complaints, The First Approach to Resolving Problems.

If not, see the next DISH Section Two: Concerns and Complaints, Accommodation Disputes”.

Requests for Exceptions to the Academic Regulations or Requirements

Exceptions to college regulations are generally appealed by completing a General Petition or other specific Admissions and Records exception's forms.  A DSS Counselor or LD Specialist can assist in the preparation of a request and can advise students of the proper procedure to carry a request forward. 

Course substitutions or waiver requests based on disability follow a special procedure, as outlined in the DISH Section Two: Academic & Classroom Accommodations & Services, "Academic Adjustment & Course Substitutions".  You may also see your DSS Counselor or LD Specialist for information.

Violation of Student Rights

All students at De Anza College have Student Rights and Responsibilities as established in Board Policy 5500.  These are delineated on line in the De Anza College Student Handbook.

The Student Grievance Procedure is a vehicle to file a complaint that one's student rights have been violated. 

The Grievance Process recommends that an initial attempt be made to resolve an issue directly with the staff member involved and his or her supervisor, if necessary. (See  Step 1 and 2 of the Student Grievance Procedures in the DISH Appendix or at  Helpful suggestions to consider are  in the DISH Section Two: Concerns and Complaints, The First Approach to Resolving Problems.

The college’s Grievance Process is outlined in the College Catalog under Student Grievance Procedures and reprinted in the DISH appendix.   The De Anza College Cataloge is available online in "flipbook" format or to be downloaded (PDF).  A print copy is available for purchase in the college bookstore. Students may also contact the Office of Student Development for information on the Student Grievance Procedure.

Complaints about Discrimination or Harassment

The District has adopted a Diversity Vision Statement and conducts regular workshops on Diversity in the Workplace.   Policies on Cultural Diversity, Mutual Respect, Anti-Discrimination, Harassment and Discrimination and Definition of Sexual Harassment have been delineated.  These can be viewed in detail at 

Discrimination and harassment complaints follow the Procedures to Resolve Complaints Regarding Harassment and Discrimination (Board Policy 4640).  For complete information about District policy on Harassment and Discrimination, see

Because the procedures encourage following a specified established Informal Process prior to filing a formal written and signing an Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination Complaint form, students are advised to first contact the Campus 504/ADA Coordinator, who is an administrator charged with implementing the policy and procedure.  De Anza’s Campus Coordinator is the Dean of Student Development, who will provide advisement to the student and information about the informal and formal complaint procedures.  

The Procedures to Resolve Complaints Regarding Harassment and Discrimination (Board Policy 4640) may be obtained from the:

Should a decision be made to file a formal Harassment and Discrimination Complaint, the District’s forms are a the District Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity on the Foothill Campus

A Harassment and Discrimination Complaint can be filed with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office instead of the FHDA District. 

In the event that the FHDA District or State Chancellor's Office due process procedures are deemed unsatisfactory, or if an individual wishes to, he or she may pursue recourse at any point by filing with the Office for Civil Rights/San Francisco.


Return to DISH Table of Contents

DISH Table of Contents

- (Quick Links)

Section One: Coming to De Anza College

Section Two: Using Disability Services and Accommodations

General / College-Wide Accommodations and Services

Instructional / Classroom Accommodations and Services:

Alternate Media Services:

Deaf or Hard of Hearing Services:

Legal Aspects

Concerns and Complaints

Section Three: Disability Support Programs & Services Instruction

Section Four: Success Strategies

Section Five: Campus and Community Life

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