Disability Resources and Services
As a member of the Louisiana Community College and Technical College System and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, River Parishes Community College is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. RPCC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, no qualified person will be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of, any program or activity operated by RPCC because of disability. RPCC will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment practices and activities, including, but not limited to, application procedures, hiring, tenure, promotion, advancement, termination, training, compensation and benefits. Also, RPCC will not discriminate against a qualified individual because of the known disability of another individual with whom the qualified individual is known to have a relationship or association.
The Role of the ADA Coordinator
The Office of Student Services provides services, resources, and programs to ensure equal learning and working opportunities for disabled faculty, staff, students, and guests of River Parishes Community College. The ADA Coordinator determines whether individuals are eligible for reasonable accommodation, and if so, the nature of the reasonable accommodation. The following person has been designated to respond to inquiries regarding The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, Section 504:
Shalither S. Cushenberry
Student Services Advisor
925 W. Edenborne Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737
To establish accommodations that are reasonable, the ADA Coordinator proactively works to provide a collegiate environment that is inclusive and supportive of identifying and removing barriers to access and minimize the need for individual accommodations. Upon request, RPCC will provide reasonable accommodation(s) to otherwise qualified employees or students as required by law to ensure equal access to College employment, educational opportunities, programs, services, and activities in the most integrated setting, to the extent such requested accommodation(s) do not impose an undue hardship upon the College, constitute a fundamental alteration to a program or compromise academic integrity. In short, it is the responsibility of the employee or student to self-identify her/his disability status and subsequent need for accommodations. Neither supervisors, faculty, program sponsors, services units nor unit administrators may independently deny a request for accommodation.
Disability Services Process, Documentation and Confidentiality
Students seeking accommodations must self-identify by registering with the Office of Student Services and by providing professional documentation that not only describes the physical/mental condition for the accommodation sought but also explains the functional impact of that condition in academic situations depending upon the particular kind of accommodation. RPCC utilizes this documentation for the facilitation of student access to courses, programs and services. The student is ultimately responsible for providing all documentation and the documentation provided must be current. In order to receive an accommodation letter, all professional documentation must be submitted to the Office of Counseling Services 2 weeks prior to the start of each semester. For the purpose of providing reasonable accommodations, all documentation materials submitted by a student are maintained in the Office of Student Services with the ADA Coordinator. As the custodian of records for students’ or employees’ medical records, all disability and medical information is confidential and is not shared except where disclosure is required by law or is necessary to facilitate legitimate College processes, including granting appropriate reasonable accommodations, addressing direct threats or investigating claims or charges.
Appeal, Review, and Complaints
Any concerns, regarding the services provided or a determination made by the Office of Student Services, are strongly encouraged to be brougt to the Chief Student Affairs Officer, or if this is unsatisfactory, the Vice Chancellor for Student and Academic Services.