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Appeal and Grievance Procedures

Accommodation Appeal Process

Informal Appeal Process

If a University student requests a particular academic accommodation and the request has been denied by an AccessibleNU(ANU) Advisor the student may informally appeal the decision by requesting a review of the determination. The informal appeal will be reviewed by the Assistive Technology Director in ANU. In order to move forward with an informal appeal regarding accommodation determination, please contact Jim Stachowiak (e. james.stachowiak@northwestern.edu; p. 847-491-2960). Students are advised to talk with the Assistive Technology Director in AccessibleNU before filing a formal appeal with the Associate Dean of Students and Director of ANU. The majority of disagreements can be handled at this level. 

Formal Appeal Process

If a University student requests a particular academic accommodation and the request has been denied by an AccessibleNU(ANU) Advisor the student may formally appeal the decision by requesting a review of the determination. The appeal will be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Students and Director of ANU. In order to move forward with appealing an accommodation determination, please login to the ANU Formal Appeal Form with your Northwestern University NetID and Password. Information requested in this form includes the accommodation determination you are appealing, the basis for your appeal, a description of your concerns, and the resolution that you are seeking in the appeal process. Within this form, you will also have the opportunity to upload supplemental documents or information. Once your ANU Formal Appeal Form is submitted, the Associate Dean of Students and Director of ANU will follow up with you by email to set up an appointment to have a conversation about your appeal prior to a determination of your appeal.

A determination in writing will be provided by the Associate Dean of Students and ANU Director within twenty (20) business days of receipt of a completed accommodation appeal, including all supplemental documentation. The determination may have one of three outcomes:

  1. Upholding the determination as listed in your original accommodation notification letter sent to you by your ANU Advisor
  2. Sending information back to your ANU Advisor for reconsideration and re-engagement in the accommodation determination interactive process
  3. Reversing or amending the accommodation notification letter in part or in whole

Once a determination is made, you will be notified of the status of your appeal via email, unless another method of communication is requested.

Grievance Procedures for Discrimination Complaints

Northwestern University has adopted internal grievance procedures providing for prompt, equitable and impartial resolution of grievances alleging any action prohibited by the ADA or Section 504. These procedures apply to complaints of discrimination or harassment on the basis of disability by staff, faculty, students and applicants for both University employment and academic admission, vendors, contractors, and third parties. Such a complaint is referred to in these procedures as a “grievance.”

To file a grievance follow the procedures outlined by the Office of Equity.