Accessibility Services NTCC’s Accessibility Services Coordinators work with students who have exceptionalities and need additional services in the classroom and in clinical training. “Exceptionality” can mean different things for different students, but the most common requests for Accessibility Services are for cognitive needs, including Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Dr. April Lavergne, Director of Accessibility Services, explains that provision of services at the college level is very different from what has been available to students in the K-12 setting. Most importantly, a student cannot be referred to Accessibility Services by NTCC faculty or staff. The student must initiate services by contacting a campus Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) representative. Additionally, the college does not have a team of intervention specialists to evaluate the student’s needs, make recommendations, and provide services.
Dr. Lavergne notes that some students who received accommodations in high school may try to start without them at NTCC, although it is best to have those accommodations in place without using them, rather than initiating an Accessibility Services Plan days or weeks into the semester. Accommodations that can be offered include extended time for testing, distraction-free time for testing, copies of instructor and peer notes, sign language interpreters, and text-to-speech for students with visual impairments.
An instructor cannot approach a student to ask if they are having accessibility challenges or need accommodations, so Dr. Lavergne recommends that the instructor make a general announcement to the class or via Canvas that any student who is struggling should go to Student Services. She also encourages anyone who has a question to reach out to Accessibility Services.
Northshore Technical Community College actively recruits prospective qualified students, including those with disabilities. Title I and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act are strictly adhered to; and the college will make reasonable alterations in facilities, services, policies, and practices in order that qualified individuals with disabilities may have access to both employment and training. Each campus has a designated ADA/504 Coordinator. NTCC’s Accessibility Services Staff:
· Dr. April Lavergne - College Wide ADA Coordinator
· Lacombe Main Campus - Samoa Hempfling - (985) 545-1247
· Florida Parishes Branch Campus - Dr. April Lavergne - 985-545-1704
· Hammond Branch Campus - Beth Froeba - 985-545-1505
· Livingston Branch Campus - Allie Johnson - 985-545-1802
· Sullivan Branch Campus - Remy Williams - 985-545-1401
· Southeastern Instruction Service Center, Connect to Success - Lynn Becnel - 985-545-1643
“Accessibility Services is one of the most important departments in our college. The resources that our team provides gives students an even playing field in the classroom and as they navigate our campuses. Equitable Access creates an environment that promotes Student Success.” ~~ Dr. Christy Montgomery, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Diversity, and Inclusion