The University of San Francisco Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Student Disability Services (SDS) strives to provide equal access and reasonable, appropriate assistance and services to qualified students with disabilities. The appeal process is designed to address disagreements, denials, or grievances regarding services, accommodations, or modifications to university academic practices or requirements.

Appeal Process 

If a student is dissatisfied with an accommodation decision, they are encouraged to resolve the matter by communicating with their disability specialist. Equitable resolution of the matter should be sought through this interaction. If after communicating with their specialist the student is denied an accommodation, and believes the decision was made improperly, they can request a reconsideration of the decision from the Reconsideration Panel. The Reconsideration Panel will be comprised of SDS specialists and directors, and will not include the student’s specialist. The Reconsideration Panel will review the student’s request and render a decision via email within [10] working days of receipt of the complaint. SDS reserves the right to extend this review/investigation period if conditions warrant. To request a reconsideration of the accommodation decision please make your request in writing to sds@usfca.edu. If the student wishes to appeal the Reconsideration Panel’s decision, the student may request that the appeal be referred to the University Appeals Board (UAB).

To initiate the UAB process contact:

University Appeals Board (UAB)
UC 5th Floor

The University Appeals Board (UAB) is responsible for managing all appellate matters including ADA-related cases.

A formal request for appeal must be submitted to the UAB in accordance with the criteria described below. The appeal process is not a hearing – it is a review of the record and process only.

University Appeals
Board: deanofstudents@usfca.edu
Ph: (415) 422-4099

Criteria for Appeal

An appeal will only be considered by the UAB if at least one of the following criteria for appeal is met:

1. Procedural irregularities occurred which were sufficient to affect the determination and/or the decision of the Director of Student Disability Services (SDS) or designee. The student must describe how the procedures were not followed and/or how the process was not conducted fairly.

  • The Director of SDS or designee is expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University. Deviations from those policies and procedures that  render their actions fundamentally unfair constitute a sufficient basis for an appeal to the University Appeals Board.
  • Procedural irregularities that are considered by the UAB to be harmless and did not, in the judgment of the Board, adversely affect the process, are not a basis for reversing the determination and/or the decision of the Director of SDS or designee.

2. New evidence exists that was not reasonably available for presentation at the time of the original complaint, the introduction of which could reasonably be expected to affect the determination of the Director of SDS or designee. The student must submit, provide, and describe the new and relevant information and explain why it was not available at the time of the original complaint.

  • All available evidence, including testimony of witnesses, is expected to be presented at the time of the original complaint - only on that basis can the Director of SDS or designee render fair and reasonable decisions. A student who seeks to introduce new evidence has the burden of demonstrating that the evidence was not reasonably available at the time of the original complaint and that the introduction of such new evidence can be reasonably expected to affect the determination of the Director or designee.
  • If the UAB determines that the student has satisfied this burden, the Board will reconsider the complaint in light of the new evidence.

Appeal Decision

The University Appeals Board (UAB) will review the request for appeal to determine if it meets any of the criteria described above.

If the UAB determines the request for appeal does not meet any of the criteria, the request will be denied and the student will be notified via email.

If the request for appeal meets the criteria, the UAB will proceed with a review of the original process and all case file information (incident reports, witness statements, case notes, documents, etc.). The Board will consult with the Office of Human Resources if they feel they need an expert on ADA matters and/or compliance. The Board will make a final determination within ten (10) business days from submission of the request. The Board reserves the right to extend this time frame if necessary.

The Board has the authority to:

  • Affirm the original decision, including the outcome(s) imposed.
  • Refer the case back to the resolution staff member for further investigation and consideration if new relevant information was not reasonably available at the time of the initial investigation has been presented.
  • Reverse part or all of the original decision and resolve the incident with no additional action.
  • Reduce or increase the assigned outcomes(s).

The written decision of the UAB shall be final.

For complaints related to non-academic program accommodations, contact the Program Director or Department Chair of the program involved.

For complaints related to Employment contact:

Human Resources
LM 339
(415) 422-6707


Office of Civil Rights (OCR)

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
50 Beale Suite 7200
San Francisco, CA 94105

Telephone: (415) 486-555
Fax: (415) 486-5570
Email: OCR.SanFrancisco@ed.gov
Website: http://www.ed.gov.ocr

Retaliation against any persons filing a complaint is prohibited under state and federal law.