Disability Policy and Procedures
Western Seminary is committed to responding to the needs of students with disabilities as outlined in both the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The seminary does not have a program into which all students with learning disabilities fit. Instead, Western students are assisted individually as their needs dictate. It is our goal to assist each Western Seminary student to reach their full academic and ministry potential. Some of the learning support services provided for students at Western include arrangements with professors for extended time on tests, helping to arrange for note takers and tutors, and assisting students to secure taped texts and other materials.
It is the responsibility of students with disabilities to identify themselves and the nature of the disability. Any student who has a disability which may require accommodation should contact Student Services Coordinator Ashley Mitchell. Appropriate forms will be provided and must be submitted to the Coordinator’s office.
Documentation for disabilities (including learning disabilities) may be provided only by qualified medical, educational, or psychological professionals. Except when there is a reasonable expectation that the nature and needs of the disability may not have changed, such documentation must reflect assessment done within the past three to five years. This will enable us to evaluate the information to make sure that our program will be able to support the student’s learning needs.
If a student feels they are being treated inappropriately based on disability by any department or employee and has been unable to resolve the issue, that student is encouraged to meet with the Student Services Coordinator. If a satisfactory solution cannot be reached with the Coordinator, the student may initiate formal complaint resolution with the Dean of Student Development by putting the complaint in writing to the Dean. Complaints should be submitted to the Dean’s office at the Portland campus.
A written complaint should include information regarding the action being complained of, the date it occurred, details about the action, and the relief requested. The complaint must be sent to the Dean within 90 days of the time the action occurred.
The Dean will investigate the complaint or assign an appropriate person to investigate the complaint. The investigation will include an interview with the student, review of any relevant written materials, and interviews with (or written statement from) relevant persons such as the person who took the action complained of and witnesses. The investigation will be completed within 30 days of the time the student submitted the complaint to the Dean.
The Dean will provide the student with a written decision on the complaint within 45 days of the time the student submitted the complaint to the Dean.
The student may appeal a decision by the Dean to the President in writing (and signed) within 21 days of the Dean’s decision. Appeals should be submitted to the President’s office at the Portland campus. The President will review the written appeal, the decision by the Dean, and the materials gathered during the investigation.
The President will provide the student with a written decision on the appeal within 14 days of the time the student submitted the appeal to the President. Please note: Time frames may be extended for reasonable cause with agreement of the complainant.