Accessible Participation Policy
Authority: Inclusive Excellence
Date Enacted or Revised: Revised October 5, 2009; November 30, 2015; April 17, 2018; August 18, 2020; August 2021; March 14, 2022; December 13, 2022
McNeese State University, a member of the University of Louisiana System, is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) employer committed to excellence through diversity. McNeese provides students, employees, and visitors with disabilities the opportunity to participate in the University’s academic programs and other activities by providing academic adjustments and reasonable accommodations to ensure access to University programs, services, and activities.
The Office of Inclusive Excellence, located in Burton Business Center, Room 404, provides guidance, coordinates training, and assists McNeese faculty, staff, and students with ADA information and policies. Students, employees, and visitors can reach the office by any of the following: voice (337) 475-5428; fax (337) 475-5960; TDD/TTY, hearing impaired (337) 562-4227; or email@example.com.
The Office of Inclusive Excellence collects and maintains documentation of the interactive process related to accommodation requests and discussions; any equally effective accommodations identified; business reasons for decisions made; and actions taken on all accommodation requests. This documentation is necessary in order to satisfy annual reporting requirements pursuant to LA R.S. 46:2596.
University Contacts for Academic Adjustments, Accommodations, or Reasonable Accommodations
Persons needing an academic adjustment, accommodation, or reasonable accommodation as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact the appropriate University personnel as follows.
Full-Time and Part-Time Employees and Applicants for Employment
For accommodations related to participating in the application and interview process; performing the essential functions of the job; providing equal opportunity to access the benefits and privileges of employment; or ensuring effective communication, contact the Office of Inclusive Excellence, located in Burton Business Center, Room 404, by any of the following: voice (337) 475-5428; fax (337) 475-5960; TDD/TTY, hearing impaired (337) 562-4227; or firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals interested in additional information can visit the U.S. Department of Labor website.
For questions related to facilities, contact the facilities compliance coordinator in the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations by any of the following: voice (337) 475-5888; fax (337) 475-5347; TDD/TTY, hearing impaired (337) 562-4227.
Website and Electronic Resources
For questions related to the website and other electronic resources, contact the Office of Information Technology, located in the West Annex, by any of the following: voice (337) 475-5524; fax (337) 475- 5012; TDD/TTY, hearing impaired (337) 562-4227. For further information, visit https://www.mcneese.edu/ada/.
Visitors Requesting Accommodations
Visitors requesting accommodations, including accommodations to ensure effective communication, should contact the department sponsoring the program, event, or activity, or the Office of Inclusive Excellence at least 72 hours before the event. Visitors may contact the Office of Inclusive Excellence, located in Burton Business Center, Room 404, by any of the following: voice (337) 475- 5428; fax (337) 475-5960; TDD/TTY, hearing impaired, (337) 562-4227; or email@example.com.
Academic Adjustments for McNeese Students
The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS), located in Frazar Memorial Library, Room 102, is the contact for McNeese students seeking academic adjustments, accommodations to ensure effective communication, or assistance with barrier removal and students can reach OAS by any of the following: voice (337) 475-5916; fax (337) 475-5878; TDD/TTY, hearing impaired (337) 562-4227.
OAS provides academic adjustments such as, but not limited to, extended testing time, note takers, classroom access, and other adjustments in accordance with ADA. Students who need services should notify McNeese as early as possible to ensure adequate time to review the request, obtain necessary documentation, and determine the appropriate academic adjustment. Students with disabilities should contact OAS prior to enrollment to learn about academic adjustments and campus accessibility.
The director of OAS assists with identifying barriers that may limit accessibility and developing solutions. Various solutions to barrier removal may be available, and McNeese may provide program accessibility in lieu of making actual physical changes to facilities. For example, due to unforeseen circumstances such as energy outages, elevator malfunctions, or other conditions related to accessibility, class meetings may be relocated to a more accessible location.
Instructors and building coordinators are aware of classroom inaccessibility due to elevators not functioning. A plan must be readily available to either relocate the class or to take appropriate measures to ensure that students have equal access to the learning materials.
McNeese State University makes every effort to identify barriers to access and implement classroom academic adjustments upon request. Students are responsible for making their physical access needs known to the OAS in a timely manner to allow time for relocation of classes or for rescheduling.
Contingency Plan for Labs
The University may not relocate lab classes held in rooms with specialized equipment. With guidance from the director of the OAS, instructors may adapt an accessible area for a student’s lab needs when necessary. OAS addresses lab accessibility requests on a case-by-case basis, provided the student has registered with the office.
Online and Virtual Learning
It is the instructor’s responsibility to ensure their course is reasonably accessible for all students. A person requiring accommodations does not have to self-identify due to federal regulations stating auxiliary aids must be made available. This includes but may not be limited to closed captions for videos and lectures. Instructors may also produce transcripts of lectures. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires electronic communications and information technologies, such as websites, email, or web documents, to be accessible. These accommodations should be in place before the class or specific resource is made available online to students. Accessibility accommodations are required whether online course material is provided synchronously or asynchronously. Iowa State University has an electronic resource manual for creating ADA compliant instructional material for online courses (Juvale et al., 2022). Instructors are encouraged to review the manual at https://www.elo.iastate.edu/resources/best-practices/design-best-practices/creating-ada-compliant-instructional-material-for-online-courses/.
Priority Class Registration
Priority class registration is available to students receiving services from OAS. Priority registration may not be available if a student does not register with the office within a reasonable time frame. Students should review the McNeese website for official advising periods and priority registration information. OAS operations do not supersede attendance policies described in course syllabi. The University Syllabus Policy and the Withdrawal from Courses for Non-Attendance Policy provide University guidelines for class attendance. Factors a student should consider when creating their class schedule include:
- Building and classroom location;
- Time between classes and distance between class locations; and
- Types of academic adjustments. (For example, if extended test time is an academic adjustment, students should schedule a break between classes in order to allow for extended time on test days.)
Visiting classrooms prior to the start of classes is important to ensure that the scheduled classroom settings are functional and allow the student time to resolve academic adjustments. Factors related to accessibility to consider include:
- the time it takes to get to class (from housing, the parking lot, and from one class to another);
- elevator access;
- adjustable tables;
- accessible seating in lecture halls;
- accessible restrooms; and
- emergency evacuation procedures.
Students should meet with their advisor when creating a class schedule to ensure academic progress toward degree completion.
Required ADA Academic Adjustment Statement for Course Syllabi
It is the student’s responsibility to register with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) when requesting an academic adjustment in accordance with ADA. It is highly recommended that students register as early as possible to receive the accommodations they need. Retroactive accommodations are not provided. Any student with a disability is encouraged to contact OAS, located in Frazar Memorial Library, Room 102, by any of the following: voice (337) 475-5916; fax (337) 475-5878; TDD/TTY, hearing impaired (337) 562-4227. All students, including students with disabilities, are responsible for locating the designated emergency exits and the areas of refuge in a classroom building and are encouraged to develop and discuss an evacuation plan with the class instructor.
Internal Complaint Procedure
If an individual contacted the appropriate University office to request an academic adjustment, accommodation, or reasonable accommodation, or to discuss a possible ADA violation and is dissatisfied with the response received, that individual may submit a written complaint to the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management. Individuals should mail written complaints to McNeese State University, Box 93220, Lake Charles, LA 70609; send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or deliver the written complaint to Burton Business Center, Room 427.
No individual shall be discriminated or retaliated against, coerced, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or interfered with for:
- Making an accommodation request;
- Opposing any act or practice made unlawful by the ADA;
- Filing a charge, testifying, assisting or otherwise participating in an investigation, proceeding or hearing to enforce any provision of the ADA;
- Aiding or encouraging another individual in the exercise of any right granted or protected by the ADA; or
- Having a family, business, social or other relationship or association with an individual with a known disability.
Required ADA Statement for All Informational Brochures, External Communication, and Websites
The Task Force on Accessibility Services and Compliance developed the following statement for inclusion on all informational brochures, external communication, and websites to inform participants in University conferences, programs, events, or activities about the procedures for requesting accommodations at McNeese State University:
Persons requesting accommodations in accordance with ADA should contact the Office of Inclusive Excellence at least 72 hours before the event. Additional information is available from the Office of Inclusive Excellence, Burton Business Center, Room 404, voice (337) 475-5428; fax (337) 475-5960; TDD/TTY, hearing impaired (337) 562-4227; or email@example.com.
Note: Event sponsors should ensure accommodations are in accordance with ADA and should report requested accommodations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This policy is distributed via the University Policies webpage.