Grievance Process & Applicable Laws

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Definition of a Disability

A “disability” is defined as having (a) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (b) a record of such an impairment © being regarded as having such an impairment. ADAAA expanded major life activities to include “major bodily functions” (Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, 2008). Some disabilities are visible, some are hidden.

Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.

Major bodily functions include, but are not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

An individual is “substantially limited” when he/she/they are unable to perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform or when he/she/they are significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which he/she//they can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the average person in the general population.

An “otherwise qualified student with a disability” is a student with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodations, meets the essential eligibility requirements for receiving services or participating in programs or activities.

A “reasonable accommodation” is a reasonable modification or adjustment to a class or program, or the provision of auxiliary aids/services that allows a student with a disability equal opportunity to participate in LBCC programs and activities.

The ADA considers the following as disabilities only under certain conditions:

  • Pregnancy (only when it fits the definition of a disability)
  • Obesity (when there are resulting functional limitations)
  • Substance Abuse (only when in recovery)

Further, a sole diagnosis of test anxiety does not meet the criteria of a disability as defined by the ADA.

Grievance Process: Informal and Formal Resolution Complaint

Students registered with the Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) Office for a qualifying disability who are dissatisfied with an assigned reasonable accommodation or who are dissatisfied with implementation of an approved accommodation can make a complaint or appeal the decision of a previous complaint resolution by following the procedures outlined below.

Informal Resolution Complaint
  1. Initiate a Complaint by 
    • Filing a Resolution Complaint Process Form to the DSP&S office either at the Liberal Arts College (LAC) or Pacific Coast Campus (PCC).
    • Or, online via this form.
    • Or, meeting with a DSP&S staff member to provide all relevant information regarding the complaint. All submissions must identify the facts that provide the basis for filing a complaint.
  2. Within 3 instructional days of date of receipt of the Resolution Complaint Process Form or email, a DSPS staff will contact the student and/or faculty member to gather any relevant information.
  3. Within 5 instructional days of date of receipt, the Counselor and/or the Disability Support Services Specialist or Adaptive Technology Specialist will contact the student or faculty member to discuss concerns and offer options for an alternate plan.
  4. If the party that files a Resolution Complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the discussion and alternate plan as outlined in Step 3, the party may request for the Director of DSPS to review the complaint and determine whether changes in the accommodations plan are warranted.
**Informal Resolution Complaint Process forms can be found at the front desk of the DSPS Offices at both LAC and PCC. 
Formal Resolution Complaint
  1. If no informal resolution is agreed upon, the student or faculty member may pursue a formal complaint by submitting a written request for a review of the requested academic adjustment and/or auxiliary aid to the Section 504 Coordinator.
  2. The student also has the right to file grievance proceedings under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act with the Section 504 Coordinator who will convene an ad hoc review committee.
  3. When either the faculty member or the student wishes to appeal the decision of the ad hoc review committee, an appeal may be made to the Vice President of Academic Affairs in accordance with existing college procedures.
Office for Civil Rights

This  procedure  does  not  prevent  the  student  from directing  a  formal  complaint  to the  U.S.  Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, at any time.

Assistance, Service, and Support Animal Guidelines

Long Beach City College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations and to making reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, or procedures as required by law to afford people with disabilities an equal opportunity to access campus programs, services, and activities.

  • Assistance Animals

The term “assistance animal” is an overarching term that refers to both service and support animals as defined below.

An assistance animal is an animal that either (1) works, provides assistance or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability; or (2) provides emotional or other types of support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.

  • Service Animals

The ADA, as amended in 2008, defines a service animal as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”

Animals other than dogs (and in some cases, miniature horses) are not “service animals.” Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog or miniature horse has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.

In order for an individual to qualify for having a service animal on campus: 1) he, she, or they must have a disability as defined by the ADA, and 2) the accompanying animal must be trained to do work or specific tasks for the qualified individual.

If it is not readily apparent that a dog is a service animal, Long Beach City College faculty and staff may ask two inquiries to determine whether the dog qualifies as a service animal:

  1. Is the dog or horse required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Staff should not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability.

Service animals must be allowed to accompany individuals with disabilities in all areas of campus where the individual is permitted to go.

Long Beach City College will consider requests for a miniature horse on an individual, case-by-case basis consistent with applicable laws. Requests for miniature horses should be submitted to the Long Beach City College DSPS.

  • Support Animals

A “support animal” is an animal that provides emotional or other support that ameliorates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Unlike service animals, support animals are not required to be trained to perform work or tasks, and they can include species other than dogs and miniature horses. In addition, by law, monkeys and reptiles have been deemed unacceptable as emotional support animals due to their ability to carry zoonotic diseases.

  • Support Animal on Campus

Support animals are not allowed to accompany persons with disabilities in public areas. However, a student can request for their support animal as an accommodation at which time, there will be a review conducted to determine whether or not an exception to the policy will be made. 

  • Pets

A “pet” is an animal kept for ordinary use or companionship. Service and support animals, as defined above, are not considered pets. Pets are prohibited on the College’s campus.

  • Care and Control

Long Beach City College is not responsible for the care or supervision of assistance animals. The owner/handler (i.e., the person with a disability accompanied by the animal) is responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of assistance animals.

People with disabilities who are accompanied by assistance animals must comply with the same university rules regarding noise, safety, disruption, and cleanliness as people without disabilities.

The following guidelines for service animals are being set forth by the College to ensure that the animal does not engage in behavior that would be disruptive or a direct threat to the health and safety of others. If the animal’s behavior is disruptive, aggressive or destructive, the handler will be held responsible and may be asked to remove the animal from campus.


  • Animals must be in good health.
  • Animals must be on a leash at all times.
  • Animals must be controlled by handler at all times.
  • Animals must be properly vaccinated; vaccinations must be current. Documentation may be required.
  • Animals must be maintained in a manner that takes into consideration the health and hygiene of the animal and those who come in contact with the animal.
  • The owner/handler must be on campus with the animal at all times.
  • To the extent possible, the animal should be unobtrusive to other students and the learning environment.
  • Long Beach City College will not require any deposits, surcharges or fees for assistance animals. However a person with a disability may be charged for damage caused by an assistance animal to the same extent that Long Beach City College would normally charge a person for the damage they cause.
  • The handler is responsible for complying with the Los Angeles County dog control and licensing laws, or any other applicable laws pertaining to animal licensing, vaccination, identification, or animal rights and owner responsibilities.
  • The handler is responsible for cleaning up all animal waste and disposing of that waste immediately in outdoor dumpsters. Animal waste is not to be disposed of indoors.
  • If another student, staff or faculty member has a severe allergy around animal dander the final determination will be considered on a case-by-case basis and attempts will be made to accommodate the needs of both individuals to the fullest extent possible.
  • Contact the Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS) if any questions or concerns arise relating to assistance animals.
  • Contact the Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS) if students/faculty/staff have any additional questions regarding visitors to campus who have animals.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment (Federal, 2009)

The amendment expanded the definition of “major life activities” and the term “substantially limits,” and added that mitigating measures (other than “ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses”) shall not be considered in assessing whether an individual has a disability.

ADA – The Americans with Disabilities Act (Federal, 1990)

The ADA ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telephone access for persons who are Deaf.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Federal, 1973)

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was the first national disability rights law and it protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. It applies to employers and organizations that receive financial assistance and it forbids organizations and employers from excluding or denying individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to receive program benefits and services.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Regarding Technology (Federal, 1998)

Section 508 applies to all federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use such technology. Federal agencies must ensure that this technology is accessible to employees and the public to the extent it does not pose an “undue burden.”

Assembly Bill 746 (California, 1987)

Also known as the Equal Access to Public Postsecondary Education Act, Assembly Bill 746 offers protections for college students with disabilities. It specifies principles that a state funded activity is required to observe to promote equal access for disabled students. It requires college and university officials to adopt rules and regulations and develop and implement a system for evaluating programs and services for students with disabilities.

Assembly Bill 422 (California, 1999)

AB 422 requires every individual, firm, partnership or corporation publishing or manufacturing printed instructional materials, as defined, for students attending the University of California, the California State University, or a California Community College to provide to the university, college, or particular campus of the university or college, for use by students at no additional cost and in a timely manner, any printed instructional material in unencrypted electronic form upon the receipt of a written request, provided that the university or college complies with certain conditions.

Title 5


 (a) In order to be eligible for academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, services and/or instruction authorized under this chapter, a student must have a disability which is verified pursuant to subdivision (b) which results in an educational limitation identified pursuant to subdivision © of this section. (b) The existence of a disability may be verified, using procedures prescribed by the Chancellor, by one of the following means: (1) observation by certificated DSPS staff; (2) assessment by certificated DSPS staff; or (3) review of documentation by certificated staff provided by appropriate agencies or certified or licensed professionals outside of DSPS. © The student’s educational limitations must be identified by certificated staff and described in the Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP) required pursuant to Section 56022. Eligibility for each service provided must be directly related to an educational limitation consistent with Section 56000(b) and Section 56001


Serving students with temporary disabilities. A broken leg or arm, a pregnancy-related disability condition, or recuperation from surgery are examples of temporary disabilities. Under the ADA and ADAA accommodations should be provided for these conditions. In many cases, a temporary disability will be readily observable and thus not require outside documentation. If a temporary disability is very short-term, 2-3 weeks, for example, the student can be referred to the instructor to discuss temporary adjustments. In the case on a longer-term temporary disability such as a pregnancy related disability spanning six months, the student can be served by DSPS. In which case DSPS has two options: 1.) have the student complete all of the DSPS eligibility requirements and paperwork, and if they meet the criteria set out in Section 56062 of these regulations, which states one contact per semester the student is using DSPS services, count them for funding purposes; or, 2.) serve them as a courtesy without completing the eligibility process and related paperwork in which case the student cannot be counted for funding purposes. Typical services might include utilizing on-campus transportation, a notetaker or scribe, and test proctoring. Students with temporary medical conditions or disabilities which are not observable may need to provide 2015 Implementing Guidelines for Title 5 Regulations 14 verification of the disability or medical condition. In many cases, a temporary disability is observable and a certificated staff member can document the condition for disability verification purposes. The student can then be counted for funding purposes for as long as the condition lasts, DSPS services are provided, and the appropriate DSPS paperwork has been completed.


 (a) Participation by students with disabilities in Disabled Student Programs and Services shall be entirely voluntary. (b) Receiving academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, services and/or instruction authorized under this subchapter shall not preclude a student from also participating in any other course, program or activity offered by the college. © All records maintained by DSPS personnel pertaining to students with disabilities shall be protected from disclosure and shall be subject to all other requirements for handling of student records as provided in Subchapter 6 (commencing with Section 54600) of Chapter 5 of this Division.


 (a) Students receiving academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, services and/or instruction under this subchapter shall: (1) comply with the student code of conduct adopted by the college and all other applicable statutes and regulations related to student conduct; (2) be responsible in their use of DSPS services and adhere to written service provision policies adopted by DSPS; and (3) when enrolled in educational assistance classes, make measurable progress toward the goals developed for the course as established in the student’s Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP) or, (4) when the student is enrolled in general college classes, meet academic standards established by the college, as applied to all students, pursuant to Subchapter 6 (commencing with Section 55500) of Chapter 6 of this Division. (b) A district may adopt a written policy providing for the suspension or termination of DSPS services where a student fails to comply with subdivisions (a)(2), (a)(3) or (a)(4) of this section. Such policies shall provide for written notice to the student prior to the suspension or termination and shall afford the student an opportunity to appeal the decision. Each student shall be given a copy of this policy upon first applying for services from DSPS.