Disability Discrimination Complaint Procedure

Central New Mexico Community College complaint procedure for discrimination on the basis of disability.

I.  Scope 

This procedure applies to all Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) students.

II. Policy Statement 

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the other applicable law, CNM takes appropriate action to ensure that its programs and services are readily accessible to qualified individuals with disabilities. No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of the disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination related to any of the institution’s programs or activities.

This procedure assists the college in carrying out its responsibilities in administering and enforcing applicable federal and state laws and college policies related to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability and investigation of complaints. Any student who feels they are the victim of discrimination on the basis of disability, should follow the complaint procedures outlined below. The college reserves the right to investigate any allegation of discrimination based on disability. These procedures can be found on the Dean of Students

CNM also investigates and resolves allegations of retaliation against individuals who have raised claims of discrimination based on disability or who have cooperated in an investigative process in some manner. Retaliation is defined as an adverse action taken against an individual as a result of a complaint being filed or after the individual has cooperated with an investigation process. Retaliation is prohibited whether or not the charged party prevails in the original allegation of disability discrimination.

No agent, employee or student of the college may harass, coerce, intimidate, or discriminate against an individual who has filed a complaint or participated in a complaint resolution process. Charges of retaliation will be treated as separate and distinct from the original charges and allegations, and will be investigated by the college.

III. Filing Process

Complaints must be filed with the ADA Coordinator. Complainants will be asked to complete a form (located on the Dean of Students page) describing the alleged discrimination. Assistance will be arranged, if needed. Individuals may also contact the ADA Coordinator by phone at (505) 224-4758 or by email at [email protected].

A complaint should be filed within 90 calendar days of the most recent incident of discrimination. CNM will consider requests to extend this period where the complainant can show they needed additional time due to circumstances beyond their control.

The complainant will meet with a the ADA Coordinator (or designee) to discuss options (informal, formal) for proceeding with resolution of the complaint. The complainant is not required to follow the informal procedure before filing a formal complaint. The respondent (the individual accused of discrimination) will be notified of the complaint within 10 working days after it is filed.


The ADA Coordinator may offer the complainant the opportunity to voluntarily discuss allegations and concerns with the respondent (the accused) and the attempt to resolve the situation. The complainant is not required to do this to move forward and with a formal complaint. The respondent is reminded that CNM expects all to adhere to our ADA policies. Respondent is put on notice that behavior has been questioned, and informal resolution sought, if possible. If informal attempts to resolve the situation are not successful, the complainant may pursue a formal complaint. The ADA Coordinator reserves the right to investigate any allegation brought forward if it finds sufficient information to indicate a serious or continuing violation of the ADA/Sec. 504 policy.

Witnesses or other evidence may be presented to the ADA Coordinator by the complainant or respondent within five business days of original complaint being filed.

If the complainant elects to file a formal complaint, a full investigation is conducted by the ADA Coordinator (or designee) complete with written findings to be given to the complainant and the respondent. If a violation is found, the ADA Coordinator (or designee) will recommend corrective actions (this may include separating both parties if they are in the same classroom or workspace until resolution is achieved). These may include a directive to stop any ongoing discrimination or retaliation; disciplinary or other corrective action against the respondent or others (if student is the accused, if employee is the accused disciplinary or other corrective action would be administered by the Human Resources Office); the relief for the complaint to remedy the effects of the discrimination or retaliation; and any other action considered necessary to ensure the discrimination will not be repeated.

The findings of a formal complaint investigation may be appealed in writing to the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success by the complainant or respondent within 15 working days of receipt of the ADA Coordinator's determination. A party may appeal a decision based on discovery of new evidence previously unavailable, a significant irregularity in the procedural process which could affect the outcome or finding, or a specific conflict of interest or bias that affected the outcome or finding. The appellant should be as specific as possible in setting out the basis for appeal; general dissatisfaction with the decision will not be sufficient. The determination of the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success is final.

At any time, prior to filing a complaint, or while a complaint proceeding is  in progress, a complainant may file their complaint with an appropriate external agency. A complete list of agencies, along with contact information, is available from Accessibility Services, 525 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. Phone (505) 224-3259.

Time Line for Investigation Process

The ADA Coordinator (or designee) will complete its investigation as expeditiously as possible. The investigation shall normally be completed within 45 working days form the filing of a formal complaint, including written notification of the parties of the outcome of the investigation. In extraordinary circumstances, the ADA Coordinator (or designee) may extend this time for a reasonable period. All parties will be notified if such an extension is necessary. Many factors can interfere with an investigative fact-finder’s commitment to complete a determination promptly, including unavailability of witnesses or the complexity issues involved. The ADA Coordinator (or designee) will maintain contact with the Complainant and Respondent throughout the course of the investigation to keep them up to date on the process.

IV. Confidentiality

The ADA Coordinator takes any allegation of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation seriously and is committed to protecting the integrity of the investigation process including confidentiality and the due process rights of all individuals. Note that all those involved (the respondent, the complainant, and the witnesses) have privacy interests. Therefore, outside the scope of the investigation, all parties are cautioned not to publicize or divulge the nature of the proceedings, or the identity of those involved.

V. Right to Advisor

The complainant and the respondent each have the right to bring an advisor to any investigative meeting. If either party chooses to exercise this option, they shall submit the name of the advisor in writing to the ADA Coordinator at least 72 hours prior to a meeting. If either the complainant or the respondent’s advisor is a person degreed or qualified in law, the ADA Coordinator must be notified by the party.

VI. Responsibilities and Jurisdiction of the Dean of Students

Consistent with federal and state laws and college policies related to nondiscrimination, the ADA Coordinator (or designee) investigates complaints of unlawful discrimination and/or harassment on the basis of physical or mental disability. The ADA Coordinator (or designee) will make an adequate, reliable and impartial investigation of such complaints at CNM and render a written determination following such investigations.

Transfer of Function

If a compliant, whether informal or formal, is directed against the ADA Coordinator, the functions assigned to that Office by these procedures will transfer to Accessibility Services. If a complaint, whether informal or formal, is directed against Accessibility Services, the functions assigned to the Department by these procedures will transfer to the Office of the President or the President’s designee. As appropriate, the ADA Coordinator can transfer responsibilities for investigation to the Director of Accessibility Services unless the complaint is against that office or its employees. 

Complaint Investigation Process

For each complaint, CNM's ADA Coordinator will complete an investigation. 

Flow chart detailing the steps CNM's ADA Coordinator completes in an investigation

  1. Complaint Submitted: The process begins when someone submits a complaint using the ADA Compliance Complaint Form.
  2. Complaint Reviewed: ADA Coordinator reviews complaint for level of severity, potential ADA/504 violation, and the requested resolution.
  3. Accessibility Services Check: ADA Coordinator checks with Accessibility Services for any information or ongoing efforts that may affect the complaint.
  4. Complainant Interview: ADA Coordinator conducts an interview with the complainant. 
  5. Interim Measures: ADA Coordinator and complainant work together to develop short term solutions while investigation continues.
  6. Referral: ADA Coordinator contacts department or supervisor.
  7. Respondent Interview: Supervisor conducts interview.
  8. Witness Interview: ADA Coordinator conducts witness interviews. Witnesses may be provided by any party involved.
  9. Document Collection: Documents provided by both parties and witnesses.
  10. Case, Statute Guidance, and Review: ADA Coordinator reviews relevant legal cases and looks to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Justice, and the Office of Civil Rights for guidance.
  11. Case Review: ADA Coordinator reviews all interviews and information gathered in investigation.
  12. Case Determination: ADA Coordinator determines if there has been a violation of the ADA or not. 
  13. Case Report/Summary: ADA Coordinator notifies parties involved of case findings. A report and summary is given to HR and any supervisors involved.
  14. Appeal: Any party involved has ten days to appeal the case determination to the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success.
  15. Final Determination: The Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success considers the appeal and makes a final decision.