What is an OEI accommodation?
Under federal law and UMBC’s Title IX Policy, individuals who have been adversely affected by issues falling within scope of Title IX are entitled to “supportive measures” to ensure equal access to educational programs, activities or employment.
Specifically, the University is obligated to provide accommodations to students impacted by gender discrimination, sexual violence, interpersonal violence, stalking, sexual exploitation and other forms of sexual harassment if they are reasonably available.
Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Education Program or Activity, including measures designed to protect the safety of the parties, the safety of the community or the institution’s educational environment, deter Prohibited Conduct and/or to ensure the integrity of the investigative and/or adjudicative process.
OEI works with students to determine which accommodations might be appropriate on a case-by-case basis. Supportive Measures may be provided before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed.
Under UMBC’s Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and Procedures, Supportive Measures may be implemented by OEI as an appropriate Interim and/or supportive measures while the matter is being assessed, evaluated, resolved or investigated if the supportive measures are needed to ensure equal access to educational programs, activities, or employment.
What are supportive measures?
Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive services designed to restore or preserve equal access to the Education Program or Activity or Employment. Supportive measures are available to impacted individuals whether or not a formal complaint has been filed, as necessary and appropriate.
Examples of involved individuals include, but are not limited to:
- An impacted or implicated party;
- Witnesses; or
- Individuals who are supporting impacted or implicated parties
Examples of supportive measures included but are not limited to:
- Academic Accommodations
- Housing Accommodations
- Employment related Accommodations
- Community resource referrals
Protective measures are a type of supportive measure designed to protect the safety of the involved individuals, the safety of the community or the institution’s educational environment, deter prohibited conduct or ensure the integrity of the investigative and/or adjudicative processes. Examples of protective measures include, but are not limited to:
- No Contact Instructions
- Campus Restrictions
What is a retroactive accommodation?
Generally accommodations and supportive measures are effective as of the date OEI was notified of the need for them.
However, in some cases a party may need a retroactive accommodation which dates back to the date of the incident or event.
A retroactive accommodation is most frequently used to address the impact of a past experience. For example, a student may have missed an assignment or class, and then report prohibited conduct to OEI. OEI may then issue an accommodation letter that dates back to the date the assault, conduct or incident that occurred.
We recognize that the implementation of retroactive accommodations sometimes present challenges, and that every situation is different.
In some instances, the accommodation may be as simple as recalculating a grade to eliminate penalties for missed class or providing additional time to complete a missed assignment.
An individual may seek retroactive consideration of an absence, grade or project that was impacted directly or indirectly by the OEI related incident or issue, or seek assistance with ensuring continued academic, athletic, scholarship, institution-based financial aid, or program eligibility.
Anyone who has questions about how to implement a retroactive accommodation can contact OIE for assistance with the process of identifying what is necessary and reasonable under the circumstances.
Are OEI accommodations different from those issued by Student Disability Services?
Yes. While both OEI and SDS issue accommodations – the laws requiring these accommodations differ and therefore the processes and procedures surrounding the implementation of the accommodations differ.
It is possible that a student or employee may have both accommodations issued by SDS and accommodations issued by OEI. If you are unsure how to implement them together please contact us and we will coordinate with SDS.
I am a staff or faculty member and I have received notice of an accommodation – should I reach out to the person or wait to hear from them?
OEI copies students/ employees who have requested accommodations on all OEI accommodation letters so the person will be aware of the contents and delivery of the letter. Either the person being provided with the accommodation or the person to whom the letter is directed may initiate contact about next steps. Students / employees who have been provided a written accommodation are encouraged to reach out to the staff or faculty member to whom the letter was directed if they do not hear from them.
If you receive an accommodation letter it is important to remember that the student/ employee who is receiving the accommodation is not obligated to share any details regarding why they are eligible for an accommodation and may be initially overwhelmed if they receive responses from multiple faculty or staff members at the same time.
What should I do if I am having issues or have questions about implementing the accommodation?
Please contact the member of the Office of Equity & Inclusion who issued the accommodation letter if you find that you need assistance in coordinating any specific details of an accommodation. We recognize that all situations are unique and are happy to discuss what is required, and work with you to resolve any concerns you may have.