Rights and Responsibilities

Students with disabilities at Gardner-Webb University have the right to:

equal access to courses, programs, services, and facilities offered through the University

equal opportunity to work and to learn, and to receive reasonable accommodations

appropriate confidentiality of all information regarding their disability (ies) and to choose to whom information about their disability (ies) will be disclosed, except disclosures that are required or permitted by law

information available in accessible formats

Students with disabilities at Gardner-Webb University have the responsibility to:

meet qualifications and maintain essential standards for course, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities

identify themselves as an individual with a disability when an accommodation is needed and to seek information, counseling and assistance

provide documentation (from an appropriate professional) that states how the disability limits their participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities

follow institutional procedures for obtaining reasonable accommodations

secure personal independent living aids or provide for other personal disability related needs

assume personal responsibility for meeting with faculty, requesting assistance through supplemental service, and meeting university standards

Gardner-Webb University has the right to:

identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, knowledge and standards for courses, services, jobs, activities and facilities and to evaluate faculty, staff and students on this basis

request and receive current documentation that supports the need for accommodations

deny a request for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services if the documentation demonstrates that the request is not warranted, or if the individual fails to provide appropriate documentation

Gardner-Webb University has the responsibility to:

provide information to students with disabilities in accessible formats upon request

ensure that courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities, when viewed in their entirety, are available and usable

provide or arrange reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services for students with disabilities in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities and facilities maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication

provide accommodations to ensure equal access, not to guarantee success in academics


If the student has a complaint or concern regarding services provided by a professional staff member, the student should try to resolve the issue with the staff member. If the concerns cannot be resolved, an Informal Grievance Form should be filed with the Associate Dean of the Noel Center. If the issue cannot be resolved at this level, the student may file a complaint following the grievance policy as outlined in the Gardner-Webb University Student Handbook.

The above procedures should be followed if the student has a grievance regarding his/her student workers.

The above procedures should be followed if the student has a grievance regarding his/her accommodations.

Gardner-Webb University’s Grievance Policy

Student Grievance Policy

Any student who believes he/she has been discriminated against by a member of the faculty, an employee of the University, or by a fellow student is encouraged to file a complaint. If a student believes he/she has been discriminated against in accordance with policies and practices listed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, or section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, he or she may make a claim that his or her rights have been denied. Claims or grievances should be filed with the appropriate University official. To determine the appropriate University official, view this page of the GWU’s current Student Handbook.

Grievances Related to Disability

Gardner-Webb University is committed to complying with all requirements of the ADA of 1990 (ADA) Title III and its amendments and the Rehabilitations Act of 1973 (Section 504). The University is committed to ensuring that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability is denied reasonable accommodations or denied access to courses, programs, activities, services, jobs or facilities.

A student who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of a disability is encouraged to file a complaint with the University. The University will treat all information related to the grievance as confidential. However, The Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other applicable privacy laws permit the investigating official to provide information as necessary to those persons who have a legitimate need to know in order for the official to conduct a meaningful and thorough investigation. Gardner-Webb University prohibits retaliation for submitting a grievance. Retaliation includes threats, intimidation, reprisals and adverse actions. A student can voluntarily choose to begin the process with an informal grievance by submitting an electronic Student Complaint Form located on WebbConnect.

If the student is not satisfied with the resolution of the informal grievance, or elects not to use the informal process, a Formal Grievance may be initiated by submitting a written statement to the Provost and Executive Vice President. The Provost will then instruct the ADA/504 Coordinator who will then begin an investigation of the grievance. If deemed necessary the investigating official may refer documentation issues to the Documentation Review Committee and deference will be given to the committee’s decision.


Complaints should be filed in accordance with the procedure appropriate to the specific type of grievances. For grievances not covered by a specific policy (e.g. “non-harassment policy”), students may use the following general procedure.

Complaints should be presented orally to the appropriate University officials described above. If an informal discussion of the matter is not satisfactory, a written statement of the complaint will be requested. A written statement should contain the following:

  • The exact nature and details of the grievance.
  • The date, time, and place of the grievance.
  • The names of witnesses or persons who have knowledge of the grievance.
  • Any available written documentation or evidence that is relevant to the grievance.

The University official who receives the written complaint will investigate the complaint and take whatever action is deemed necessary and appropriate and will respond to the student in a timely manner. If a student has followed the grievance policy process and remains dissatisfied with the response to the complaint, the student may appeal to the Educational Policies and Standards Committee for academic matters and to the University Appeal Board for non-academic matters. Decisions by the Educational Policies and Standards Committee and the University Appeal Board are subject to review by the Provost. The Provost may take whatever action he deems necessary and appropriate. The provost’s conclusions and actions regarding the complaint are final.

An electronic Student Complaint Form can be found on WebbConnect.

If discrimination is established, the University will take appropriate corrective and remedial actions and steps will be taken to prevent recurrence of any discrimination.

The above procedure does not prevent or substitute for a student’s right to file a complaint with the Federal Office of Civil Rights. A student who believes he/she has been discriminated against by the University based upon violation of the ADA and its amendments and/or Section 504 can file a complaint with the Department of Education, The Office of Civil Rights.

The Office of Civil Rights US
Department of Education 400
Maryland Ave, SW Washington, DC 20202
Telephone: (202) 245-8300
Fax: (202) 245-8301; TTD: (887) 521-2172
Email: [email protected]

Grievances Related to Discrimination

If a student believes he/she has been discriminated against because of race, gender, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service, the student should contact the University’s Title XI Coordinator. In the case of harassment, the complaint should be made in accordance with the University’s Non-Harassment Policy as stated in the current student handbook. If a student is not sure how to file a complaint, the Provost and Executive Vice President will assist the student.