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ADA/504 Grievance Policy

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It is the policy of the Maine Arts Commission that no qualified individual shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the agency, or be subjected to discrimination.

1) Who may file a grievance?

Any person with a disability qualified by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) or his or her designated representative may file a complaint with the Maine Arts Commission

2) When should a grievance be filed?

Any person with a disability, qualified under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or their designated representative may file a complaint if they believe a violation relating to the ADA or the 1973 Rehabilitation Act has occurred. The grievance should be filed within 30 days of the alleged violation unless the ADA Coordinator waives the 30-day requirement under extenuating circumstances, and allows more time. Complaints must be limited to the facilities of the Maine Arts Commission, public meetings conducted by the Maine Arts Commission, and programs operated by the Maine Arts Commission. This policy does not extend to the programs of grantees of the Maine Arts Commission. Issues concerning access to programs operated by grantees should be discussed with the grantees.

3) What should the grievance include?

The grievance should include a description, the date and time of occurrence, and the nature of the alleged violation. It should include specific information to the extent possible, including identifying the parties involved and any potential witnesses. The grievance may be filed with the Maine Arts Commission’s Accessibility Coordinator, as cited below: Kathy ShawAccessibility Coordinator Maine Arts Commission 193 State Street 25 State House Station Augusta, ME 04330-0025 207/287-2750 Direct Line 207/287-2724 General Office Line 207/287-2725 Fax kathy.shaw@maine.gov.Persons making complaints will be informed that t he Maine Human Rights Commission will also investigate claims of discrimination, if a complaint is filed with that office no later than 180 days after the alleged discriminatory action Individuals wishing to make complaints may also do so under the State of Maine’s ADA grievance policy, available online at: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/12/168/168c050.doc

4) What if I need assistance in filling out my grievance?

If you need assistance in filing a complaint, you may delegate another person to file the complaint for you, or ask for assistance from the Maine Arts Commission’s Accessibility Coordinator.

5) What happens after I file my grievance?

The ADA Coordinator will meet with the individual alleging discrimination and hold an informal conversation to the gather facts and identify any witnesses. If necessary, this conversation can be conducted via telephone. The conversation will be followed by an investigation to be conducted by the ADA/504 Coordinator.

6) When will I receive a response?

The individual filing a grievance can expect a response within 30 days. It will be in the form of a report indicating the findings of the investigation.

7) Should I be concerned about retaliation from Maine Arts Commission employees?

No, Maine Arts Commission employees will not be allowed to retaliate against an individual with a disability because of an ADA grievance. Any attempt at retaliation should be reported promptly.

8) What can I do if I am not satisfied with the initial investigation?

The individual may appeal the results of the investigation to the Director or the Chair of the Maine Arts Commission. The appeal must be made within 30 days.

9) How long are the complaints kept?

The Maine Arts Commission keeps current files in its office for three years. For more information about accessibility or to request an accommodation, Contact: Kathy Shaw at 207/287-2750 or kathy.shaw@maine.gov.