NCU Catalog - April 2021 
    May 22, 2022  
NCU Catalog - April 2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ADA/Section 504 Grievance Procedure

Northcentral University is committed to full compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities, as well as other federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to individuals with disabilities.

Under the ADA and its amendments, a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. 

The ADA also protects individuals who have a record of a substantially limiting impairment or who are regarded as disabled by Northcentral University, regardless of whether they currently have a disability. A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, walking, or caring for oneself.

Nicole Vanegas, the Title IX Coordinator, has been designated as Northcentral University’s ADA/504 Coordinator responsible for overseeing efforts to comply with these disability laws, including responding to grievances and conducting investigations of any allegation of noncompliance or discrimination based on disability.

Grievances related to disability status and/or accommodations will be addressed using the procedures below. For details relating to disability accommodations in Northcentral University’s resolution process, please contact

a. Students with Disabilities

Northcentral University is committed to providing qualified students with disabilities with reasonable accommodations and support needed to ensure equal access to the academic programs, facilities, and activities of Northcentral University.

All accommodations are made on an individualized basis and must be supported by sufficient documentation. A student requesting any accommodation should first contact the ADA/504 Coordinator, who coordinates services for students with disabilities with the Student Disability Manager to review documentation provided by the student and, in consultation with the student, determines which accommodations are appropriate for the student’s particular needs and academic program(s) in accordance with Northcentral University’s applicable policies.

b. Employees with Disabilities

Pursuant to the ADA, Northcentral University will provide reasonable accommodation(s) to all qualified employees with known disabilities when their disability affects the performance of their essential job functions, except when doing so would be unduly disruptive or would result in undue hardship to Northcentral University.

An employee with a disability is responsible for submitting a request for an accommodation to the Director of Compensations, Benefits, and ADA and providing necessary documentation. The Director of Compensations, Benefits, and ADA or designee will work with the employee’s supervisor to identify which essential functions of the position are affected by the employee’s disability and what reasonable accommodations could enable the employee to perform those duties in accordance with Northcentral University’s applicable policies.

NCU has both informal and formal mechanisms for students and employees to resolve concerns about disability discrimination, denial of access to services, accommodations required by law, or an auxiliary aid they believe they should have received (“disability-related issues”). Any person who believes they have been subjected to discrimination based on a disability may file a grievance under this procedure. It is against the law to retaliate against anyone who files a grievance or cooperates in the investigation of a grievance.

Informal Process

If a student or employee has concerns about a disability-related issue, the student or employee should, but is not required to, in general, first discuss the matter with the ADA/504 Coordinator, or with the individual(s) most directly responsible, such as the faculty or Team member, who has decided regarding the student or employee’s disability-related issue. If the student or employee chooses to speak first with the individual(s) most directly responsible, but the discussion does not yield an outcome acceptable to the student or employee, or if the circumstances of the complaint are such that it would be inappropriate for the student or employee to contact the individual responsible, the student or employee should, but is not required to, consult with NCU’s ADA/504 Coordinator, who will attempt to facilitate a resolution.

If the ADA/504 Coordinator is not successful in achieving a satisfactory resolution, generally within ten working days from the date of the student or employee raised the disability-related issue, the ADA/504 Coordinator will inform the student or employee of their efforts, and his or her right to file a formal grievance.

The purpose of the informal process is to make a good faith effort to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently; however, the individual may ask to implement the formal process at any time during the informal resolution or instead of the formal resolution.

ADA/504 Coordinator

Nicole Vanegas

Office/Location: Remote employee

Address: 11355 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037


Phone: (928) 457-0298

Formal Grievance

Should a student or employee feel they have not been treated in a fair or professional manner regarding access and accommodations or feels they have been discriminated against based on disability, they are encouraged to follow the formal grievance procedures outlined below.

A formal grievance must be filed within 21 working days of the date of the Informal decision, if applicable, or within 30 calendar days of the occurrence of the disability-related issue.

The grievance must be in writing and include the following:

  • The grievant’s name, address, email address and phone number
  • A full description of the situation
  • A description of the efforts, if any, which have been made to resolve the issue informally
  • A statement of the requested remedy, e.g. requested accommodation or remedy to address the alleged discrimination

If the grievance involves confidential medical information, the ADA/504 Coordinator will maintain the confidentiality of that information and will not release that information without the individual’s permission, except as allowed by law.

The ADA/504 Coordinator will review the grievance for timeliness and appropriateness under this grievance procedure and notify the grievant if the grievance has been accepted.

The ADA/504 Coordinator either commences an investigation or will select a trained investigator who will promptly initiate an investigation. The investigator will be an individual who is trained on disability or civil rights issues. In undertaking the investigation, the ADA/504Coordinator or investigator may interview, consult with and/or request a written response to the issues raised in the grievance from any individual the investigator believes to have relevant information, including but not limited to faculty, staff, students, and visitors to Northcentral University. All parties will have an opportunity to provide the investigator with information or evidence that the party believes is relevant to his or her grievance. All parties involved will receive a fair and equitable process and be treated with care and respect. The investigator will respect the privacy of all parties.

The investigation will be completed within thirty calendar days of the filing of the written complaint.

Findings and Notification

Within five working days of the completion of the investigation, the investigator will recommend appropriate actions to be taken. The investigator will provide a summation of the evidence that supports the recommendations, and the grievant will be advised in writing of the outcome of the investigation.


Within five calendar days of receiving the determination from the ADA/504 Coordinator, the grievant or the party against whom the grievance is directed, may appeal the determination. To appeal, the party must file a written request for review with the ADA/504 Coordinator. Appeals are based on the following grounds:

  1. To consider new evidence unavailable during the original investigation, that could substantially impact the original findings. A summary of the new evidence and its potential impact must be included in the request for appeal; or
  2. The grievance procedure was not followed which significantly impacted the outcome.

If the ADA/504 Coordinator finds the decision establishes standing for appeal consideration, the appeal will be sent for review to the Appeal Board.

The Section ADA/504Coordinator will provide the person appealing with a copy of both the appeal and written decision within five calendar days of the filing of the appeal. The appeal decision will be final.

Northcentral University does not discriminate in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex. Northcentral University also prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internally or externally. Reports of misconduct, questions regarding Title IX, and concerns about noncompliance should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator. For a complete copy of the policy or for more information, please contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Assistant Secretary of Education within the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

The availability and use of this grievance procedure does not prevent a person from filing a complaint of discrimination on the basis of disability with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

EEOC Field Office in San Diego

555 West Beech Street, Suite 504

San Diego, CA 92101

United States

Phone: 1-800-669-4000

How to file complaint:

OCR District/Field Office for California


Office for Civil Rights,

San Francisco Office

U.S. Department of Education

50 United Nations Plaza

San Francisco, CA 94102

Telephone: (415) 486-5555

Facsimile: (415) 486-5570


How to file complaint: 

Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

Office for Civil Rights, National Headquarters

U.S. Department of Education

Lyndon Baines Johnson Dept. of Education Building

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-1100

Telephone: 800-421-3481

Fax: 202-453-6012; TDD: 800-877-8339


Northcentral University will complete its investigation and make findings on a complaint filed at the University, even if a complaint has also been filed with the Office for Civil Rights.