ADA Grievance Procedure for Visitors

The Field Museum has adopted the following Grievance Procedure for resolving complaints alleging violations of or noncompliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (collectively, the “ADA”).

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Basis for Complaint

The ADA states "no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by such an entity." In complying with the letter and the spirit of the law, The Field Museum strives to create an environment that is accessible to all visitors.

Please submit a complaint using the following Grievance Procedure if you believe the Museum has improperly denied a requested accommodation or provided an inadequate accommodation; the Museum’s facilities or its programs, services, or activities have been inaccessible to you due to disability; you have experienced discrimination or harassment by Museum staff based on disability; or you believe that the Museum is otherwise not in compliance with the ADA.

How to Submit a Complaint

Complaints should be addressed to Jolynn Willink, who has been designated to coordinate the Museum’s ADA compliance efforts (the “ADA Coordinator”). You may submit a complaint in person at one of the Museum’s ticketing or information desks, by email to or using the online form, or by mail to The Field Museum, ATTN: Jolynn Willink, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL 60605. You may also call 312.665.7233 for more information, for help in submitting a complaint, or for an accommodation if you require an alternate means of submission.

Grievance Procedure

  1. Complaints must be submitted in writing, and must contain (a) the name, address, and phone number of the person submitting it (the “Complainant”); (b) a brief description of the nature of the complaint and the alleged violation of the ADA; and (c) a description of circumstances giving rise to the complaint, including the date, location, and names of relevant individuals. The Museum has provided a Complaint Form, but visitors need not use this form as long as the complaint is submitted in writing (or, at the Complainant’s request, in a different accessible format) and contains the necessary information.
  2. A complaint should be filed within thirty (30) calendar days after the Complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.
  3. The ADA Coordinator (or his or her designee) shall conduct an investigation, as may be appropriate, following the receipt of a complaint. The investigation shall be prompt and informal, but thorough, and afford all interested persons and their representatives an opportunity to submit information relevant to the complaint. The ADA Coordinator will contact the Complainant within fifteen (15) calendar days of receiving the complaint to discuss the alleged violation, gather additional information, if needed, and discuss possible resolutions.
  4. A report containing the ADA Coordinator’s findings, explaining the Museum’s position and offering one or more options for resolution of the complaint, if any, shall be issued in writing or another accessible format by the ADA Coordinator no later than sixty (60) calendar days after receiving the complaint. This report will be forwarded to the Complainant no later than five (5) business days after it is issued. This timeline may be altered for good cause, such as complexity of the investigation or availability of relevant individuals; the ADA Coordinator will inform the Complainant of the extension and an updated time of completion.
  5. The Complainant can request a reconsideration of the complaint in instances of dissatisfaction with the resolution. The request for reconsideration must be made within ten (10) calendar days of receiving the ADA Coordinator’s report. The request for reconsideration must be made in writing or another accessible format and addressed to the ADA Coordinator. The ADA Coordinator shall forward the request to the appropriate Museum Vice President (e.g., Chief Marketing Officer for issues related to exhibit access or visitor experience issues; the Chief Human Resource Officer if a staff member is alleged to have violated the ADA; the Vice President of Science and Education if a Learning Center program is alleged to have been inaccessible, etc.). The Vice President will respond to the Complainant in writing or another accessible format within fifteen (15) calendar days. The Vice President’s decision is final.
  6. The ADA Coordinator shall maintain the files and records of the Museum relating to the complaints filed according to the Museum’s Record Management Policy.
  7. The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of a complaint submitted through this process shall not be impaired by nor shall the use of this procedure be a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies. Other remedies include the filing of an ADA complaint with the Department of Justice: US Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section – 1425 NYAV, Washington, D.C. 20530.
  8. This procedure shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, to meet appropriate due process standards, and to assure that The Field Museum complies with all applicable laws.

The policy described here is subject to change at any time. New policies, procedures, regulations or revisions thereto, may be established by The Field Museum at any time without notice.

Approved on January 23, 2017 by President Richard Lariviere.