Accessibility Services

Accessibility Services at SOWELA

The Office of Student Services serves as an advocate for students with documented disabilities to ensure equal access to the College. Various support services have been established to assist students according to their documented needs. Every effort is made to help students make a smooth transition to college and to have access throughout their college experience. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Services prior to the beginning of each semester.

Initially Applying for Accommodations

If you are a new student seeking services or accommodations, we look forward to assisting you. Our office serves as a resource and an advocate for students with disabilities to ensure an equal access learning environment.

Students interested in applying for accommodations should follow the steps below:

  1. Review, Complete, and Submit the Intake Assessment Form below. The form gives you an opportunity to upload any documentation.
  2. Complete and submit the Voter Declaration Form below.
  3. Once the Office of Accessibility (OAS) receives the Intake Assessment form and documentation, OAS will reach out to schedule an appointment to go over accommodations.
    • Students taking online classes and/or attending classes at one of our instructional sites can schedule an appointment via phone or email to discuss necessary accommodations.

Forms and Resources

Technical Standards

Resources

Forms, Brochures, and Handbooks

Organization Contact Information

  • Advocacy Center
    • Assists with issues related to accessibility of services and programs, disability and medical benefits, special education, vocational rehabilitation, housing rights, accommodations for persons with disabilities, protection from abuse and neglect and protection from institutional resident’s right.
    • Phone: (800) 960-7705
  • Best Buddies
  • Kay Doré Counseling Clinic at McNeese State University
    • Phone: (337) 475-5981
  • Louisiana Assistive Technology
    • Medical and assistive equipment distribution program.
    • Loans, computers, and other assistance to individuals with disabilities.
    • Website: http://www.latan.org
    • Phone: (800) 270-6185
  • OCDD (Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities)
    • Phone: (337) 475-8045
    • Fax: (337) 475-8045
  • Professional Counseling Specialties
    • Phone: (337) 477-0079
  • The Psychology Clinic – DeRidder
    • Phone: (337) 462-2110
  • The Psychology Clinic – Lake Charles
    • Phone: (337) 474-2682

Additional Information

Confidentiality

Disability-related information is treated as medical documentation, which is kept confidential, and is not released to anyone outside the accommodation process or direct chain of command with the following exceptions:

  • When the student gives Student Support Services written consent to share disability-related information with the person(s) named on the release;
  • When Student Support Services is required and/or permitted by the law and/or court order to release information;
  • When the student is a direct threat to him/herself or others; and/or
  • When the student makes a disability-related allegation, claim, grievance, appeal, or disclosure to the College’s attorneys for legal advice to or representation of the College.

Students with disabilities have a right to review their files. This can be arranged by scheduling an appointment with the Director of Student Services. The Office of Student Services does not provide copies of documentation. This information should be obtained from the originator of the documentation. The Office of Student Services will retain a copy of all information within a student’s file for five (5) years. Once the student is considered inactive for five years, the file may be destroyed.

When a student with a disability requests accommodations, he/she should understand that some disability-related information may be provided on a need to know basis to College personnel in order to ensure that the student will receive appropriate accommodations. In most instances, College personnel need to know only what accommodations must be provided to a student and that the student has been through the disability documentation review process in the Office of Student Services. Otherwise, College personnel do not have access to information regarding a student’s disability.

Every student with a documented disability has the following rights:

  • Equal access to courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities available through the College
  • Reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids determined on a case-by-case-basis.
  • Appropriate confidentiality of all information pertaining to his/her disability with the choice of whom to disclose his/her disability to except as required by law.
  • Information reasonably available in accessible formats.

Rights and Responsibilities of Students

Every student with a disability at SOWELA Technical Community College has the responsibility to:

  • Meet the College’s qualifications and essential technical, academic, and Institutional standards.
  • Identify themselves in a timely manner as an individual with a disability when seeking an accommodation to Student Support Services and instructor(s).
  • Provide documentation from an appropriate professional source that verifies the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the need for specific accommodations to Student Support Services.
  • Follow specific procedures for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids.
  • Provide instructor(s) each semester with the accommodation letters from Student Support Services in a timely manner.
  • Communicate needs and concerns with Student Support Services and instructor, as appropriate.
  • Make an appointment with instructors to facilitate privacy when requesting and discussing accommodations.
  • Act as a self-advocate.
  • Maintain the same responsibility for their education as non-disabled students including maintaining the same academic standards, attending class (exception: when consideration for absences is an approved accommodation), maintaining appropriate behavior, and providing timely notification of individual needs;
  • Comprehend the course material and communicate that comprehension to instructor.
  • Pay any costs associated with providing documentation necessary to receive accommodations.
  • Have an open line of communication with instructors regarding any accommodation(s). Note: The communication between the student and instructor should not be limited to email unless agreed upon by both the student and instructor. If a student sends an email or leaves a telephone message for an instructor and receives no response from the instructor, open communication has not taken place.
  • If the student fails to comply with these requirements, he/she will receive a written reminder of responsibilities in order to stress the importance of these requirements.

Contact Information

Office of Student Services
Email: ods@sowela.edu

Counseling Services
Email: counseling@sowela.edu

3820 Senator J. Bennett Johnston Avenue
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70615
(337) 421-6565
(800) 256-0483
info@sowela.edu

Mon-Thu: 7:45 AM to 4:15 PM
Friday: 7:45 AM to 12:00 PM
(337) 421-6550

SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person(s) have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies:

Title IX Officer

Candy Parker

candy.parker@sowela.edu

(337) 421-6510 or (800) 256-0483

3820 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

ADA Officer

Maegan Lewis

maegan.lewis@sowela.edu

(337) 421-6952 or (800) 256-0483

3850 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

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