Complaints by the Public: Americans with Disabilities Act - Grievance Procedure 7-11.1

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 7-11.1


Complaints by the Public: Americans with Disabilities Act - Grievance Procedure

  1. Nondiscrimination and non-harassment policy

    In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the School Board does not discriminate and does not allow harassment on the basis of disability and is committed to equal access and opportunity in all services and employment. The School Board has established grievance procedures to address complaints of employment discrimination on the basis of a disability.

    If a School Board employee feels he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of disability, the employee may file a complaint through procedures outlined in Regulation 4-4.1 and Regulation 4-4.2.

    If members of the public believe they do not have access to, or feel they have been discriminated against or in accessing a School Board service, program, or activity, those persons may utilize the Americans With Disabilities Act grievance procedure described below.

    Students who believe that they have been discriminated against based on disability may file a grievance with the Director of the Office of Programs for Exceptional Children or the Director of Guidance Services and Student Records.

    Students, parents/legal guardians or employees may also file complaints with the Virginia Department of Education, Division of Special Education and Student Services, Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond Virginia 23218-2180 (804) 225-2013 or the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington DC 20202-1100.

  2. Assistance and Accommodations

    The School Division will provide reasonable accommodations and/or assistance to those persons who require it in order to access School Division services or facilities. Persons requiring such accommodations should file a request seven (7) calendar days before the accommodation is needed.

    1. Effective communication

      The School Board will generally, upon request, provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in School Division programs, services and activities, including qualified sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, and other ways of making information and communications accessible to people who have speech, hearing, or vision impairments.

    2. Modifications to Policies, Regulations and Procedures

      The School Board will make all reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of its programs, services and activities.

    3. Reasonable accommodations

      The School Division is not required to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, impose an undue financial or administrative burden. The School Division will not place a surcharge on a person with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of this Regulation.

  3. Procedure

    Complaints should be addressed to the following School Division staff members who are designated as ADA Compliance Coordinators:

    1. Complaints regarding students

      Director of the Office of Programs for Exceptional Children, Laskin Road Annex, 1413 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451 (757) 263-2400 or facsimile (757) 263-2067 for matters covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act or with the Director of Guidance Services, Plaza Annex, 641 Carriage Hill Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462 (757) 263-1980 or facsimile (757) 493-5437 for matters under the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974.

    2. Complaints regarding members of the public

      Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer, 2512 George Mason Drive, Building 6 Municipal Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456 (757) 263-1075 or facsimile (757) 263-1009. Complaints regarding persons with hearing disabilities may also be directed to Virginia Relay at 711.

    3. A complaint should be filed in writing or verbally, contain the name, address, and telephone number of the person filing it, and briefly describe the alleged violations.
    4. A complaint should be filed as soon as possible but no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.
    5. The ADA Compliance Coordinator, or her designee, will contact the complainant within fifteen (15) calendar days of the date that the complaint is filed to discuss resolution of the issue. An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow a filing of the complaint. The investigation shall be conducted by the ADA Compliance Coordinator or designee. Informal but thorough investigations will be conducted that will afford all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence or witnesses relevant to a complaint.
    6. A written (or another format accessible to the complainant) determination as to the validity of the complaint, the position of the School Division, and a description of the resolution or options offered, if any, shall be issued by the ADA Compliance Coordinator and a copy forwarded to the complainant within thirty (30) business days of the date of receipt of the complaint. Should extenuating circumstances exist, this date may be continued for an additional thirty (30) business days upon notice to the complainant.
    7. The complainant can request a reconsideration of the case in instances where he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration should be made within ten (10) calendar days to the Superintendent, and a decision will be made within thirty (30) calendar days of the Superintendent's receipt of the complaint. The decision of the Superintendent is final. The Superintendent may designate another person to handle the reconsideration provided that such person was not previously involved in the matter.
    8. The ADA Coordinator shall maintain the files and records of the School Division relating to the complaints filed pursuant to this grievance procedure for a period of three years after the resolution.
    9. This Regulation shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons to meet appropriate due process standards and to ensure that the School Board complies with the ADA and its implementing regulations as promulgated by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  4. Right to Alternative Remedies

    Nothing in this Regulation precludes the complainant from seeking other legal remedies including filing complaints with other agencies or pursuing civil or criminal remedies. The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed herein shall not be impaired by the person's pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of the ADA complaint other appropriate federal, state, or local agencies or the filing of a suit in state or federal court. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.

  5. Retaliation or false accusations prohibited

    Persons who use this grievance procedure for good faith complaints will not be retaliated against by the School Board or School Division staff. The School Board directs that appropriate action be taken against any person who retaliates against another person for reporting alleged discrimination or participating in related proceedings. Persons who knowingly file false discrimination complaints and any person who gives false statements or evidence in a related proceeding shall be subject to discipline or other appropriate action. Students may be subject to discipline up to and including suspension or expulsion. School Board employees may be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. Volunteers, nonemployee agents of the School Board or visitors/invitees may be subject to measures up to and including exclusion from School Board property, buses, communication systems and school sponsored events.

Approved by Superintendent: November 16, 1993
Amended by Superintendent: July 28, 2015
Amended by Superintendent: September 24, 2019