Accommodating an appeal

Authority North Island College

Paul was a student with a disability who had been enrolled in college for several years.

To help accommodate Paul’s disability and to assist him with his studies, the college had made a number of changes to the way certain courses were delivered. Over time, Paul became increasingly concerned that the college was no longer adequately accommodating his disability. In order to address his concerns, Paul submitted a human rights complaint to the college. In response, the college hired a third-party consultant who investigated Paul’s complaint and prepared a report for the college. The investigation report, not provided to Paul, concluded that the college had taken reasonable steps to accommodate Paul’s disability. The college then rejected Paul’s complaint.

Undeterred, Paul sought to appeal and requested a copy of the consultant’s report so he could understand the full basis of the college’s decision. After he was refused a copy of the report, Paul called us and we began an investigation.

We spoke with the college about Paul’s right to be treated fairly and its appeal policy. Our investigation noted that the college clearly explained to Paul the appeal process and, in order to accommodate Paul, the college both expanded the timeframe to submit information and removed limitations on the issues Paul was allowed to raise.

Nonetheless, in order for the appeal process to be fair, Paul needed access to the information that was being considered and would have a bearing on his case. We asked the college to provide Paul a copy of their consultant’s report, so Paul would have an opportunity to challenge or dispute any information that might be counter to his interest. The college agreed and gave Paul a copy of the report – along with some additional time for Paul to prepare for his appeal. Now, with the information and time he needed, Paul was able to make his case.

Category Education
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2014
Location Vancouver Island / Sunshine Coast