Appeals & Grievances

UCSF determines disability accommodations through an interactive process involving disability services professionals, appropriate members of the university community, and the individuals with disabilities themselves.

We recognize that in any deliberative process and with the best efforts of everyone involved with your service delivery at UCSF, disagreements may occur. UCSF offers a range of options to resolve concerns about accommodation and eligibility decisions, services received, treatment by University staff and faculty, and University policies related to students with disabilities.

Throughout the resolution process, you may expect to receive timely responses and have your concerns addressed in a respectful manner. Disability-related law and University policy prohibit retaliation in any form against persons who file complaints.

We strongly encourage you to let SDS know about any concerns as soon as possible and provide clear and detailed information so that we can work together to solve the problem as quickly as possible. If you wish to know more about your rights as an individual with a disability under Federal and State law and University policy, SDS can refer you to the appropriate entity.

Appeals & Grievances

Occasionally, a problem arises because of a misunderstanding or miscommunication and open communication can lead to a quick and effective solution. It is often best to work towards a satisfactory resolution with the person(s) most closely involved with the decision or incident first, before going to the person's supervisor.

In addition to the options listed below, a student may choose to discuss their concerns with the Office of the Ombuds, The Ombuds will listen and review matters; help identify options; make inquiries and make referrals as appropriate; and/or facilitate resolutions in an impartial manner. This is an informal, but confidential option. (415) 502-9600 -

Steps for resolving appeals and grievances:

Students have many options to resolve issues using UCSF’s grievance processes.  An individual who believes that they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability is encouraged to work with UCSF to resolve their concerns. While attempts at internal resolution are always recommended first, external means for resolving concerns are also available, and may be exercised at any time.

  1. Informal Resolution - This first step is an informal process where SDS works to resolve accommodation concerns between the student and faculty, or staff through the interactive process. SDS does not conduct investigations, but rather works to promptly identify an agreeable solution.

Contact Director of Student Disability Services
Tim Montgomery or Clay Littrell, (415) 476-6595

  1. Formal Appeal – A Formal Appeal is a written appeal to address when a student is not satisfied with the informal resolution or if they are not satisfied by the services provided by SDS. The interactive process will be used to determine if an agreeable solution may be identified.

Contact Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Life
Alece Alderson, (415) 502-1484

  1. Complaint Resolution - Prompt and equitable complaint resolution is an important component of ensuring equal opportunity and nondiscrimination. Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, on the basis of a protected category may contact the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD).

Contact Office of Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD)
Conflict Resolution and Complaint Processing
[email protected], (415) 502-3400

  1. Office of Civil Rights Discrimination Complaint - This option is available to any person who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of a protected category may contact the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Education.  OCR advises that a potential complainant may want to explore and utilize the institution’s grievance process to resolve the complaint prior to filing a complaint against an institution. However, individuals are not required by law to use the institutional grievance process before filing a complaint with OCR.

    ***OCR Complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminitory event.

Seek resolution through the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Education 
Voice: (415) 486-5555, TTY: (877) 521-2172

  1. Seek resolution through private legal means


UCSF developed this information in accordance with these references: Public Law 101-336; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA AA); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; applicable regulations; and the University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students, Section 140.00.