Welcome to Disability Support Services (DSS)! On this page, you will be able to stay connected by quickly referencing important information about DSS and other relevant communication.
DSS Hours and Location
South Arkansas Community College West Campus
Library, Room 131
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Role of DSS
DSS is the campus department designated by SouthArk to determine and provide access to SouthArk classes, programs, and activities for students with disabilities. The department of Disability Support Services leads the campus community in its commitments to recognize disability as a valued aspect of diversity. Through a collaborative process including students, faculty, and staff, we will create an inclusive educational environment for students either through a reasonable accommodation or by redesigning aspects of a college program or campus life experience.
Disability Support Services serves as the central campus resource for students with disabilities covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 2008. SouthArk students who seek reasonable accommodations for their disabilities must first register and provide documentation to the department of DSS that meets its approved criteria. The Director of Disability Support Services will determine what reasonable accommodations are consistent with each student’s disability and advise academic units regarding those accommodations.
The student will receive an official “accommodation letter” that has been generated from the Director of Disability Support Services who has verified the accommodations for which the student is eligible. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that this letter is provided to the faculty member in a timely manner and to contact the faculty member directly to make individualized arrangements for needed accommodations. An initial memorandum will be emailed to the faculty notifying them of the accommodation(s). While the college is committed to assisting students with disabilities to participate fully in academic programs, the college is not required to fundamentally alter any programs or activities, including academic programs of study. Faculty members are the recognized experts in their fields and are responsible for identifying and describing the essential elements of academic degree programs. DSS is located in the SouthArk Library, Room 131.
More about the ADA: http://www.ada.gov/
The mission of the DSS is to create an accessible, inclusive, sustainable learning environment, where disability is recognized as an aspect of diversity that is integral to the campus community and to society. Through collaboration and support of the entire campus community, we will strive for equal educational opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Core Values of DSS:
Human variation is natural and vital in the development of dynamic communities.
Disability is a social/political concept that includes people with a variety of conditions who share common experiences.
Inclusion and full participation are matters of social justice.
Creating usable, equitable, sustainable, and inclusive environments is a shared responsibility.
Eligibility and Documentation
To be eligible for accommodations, the individual must be a SouthArk student and must have a documented disability.
Students who request accommodations through DSS will be asked to meet with a staff member and discuss their experience of disability, barriers, and effective and ineffective accommodation strategies. Students will be asked to provide documentation that describes their disability and its likely impact on educational experiences. If no disability documentation exists, students are encouraged to meet with a DSS staff member to discuss options for assessing potential academic barriers and how it relates to the student's disability. If you intend to request audio books, PDF's, an ASL interpreter, or speech to text software, you must seek these services at least one month prior to the semester start date in which you will use the accommodation to ensure that this office can meet your need in a timely manner. This office encourages all students seeking accommodations to seek them as soon as possible.
Many students have IEPs/504 plans from high school. While these plans do not directly transfer to college, students are welcome to submit their IEPs/504 plans as part of their documentation. The DSS will review these documents to see what has worked for you in the past.
Documentation should include the following:
- Current treatment, medications, and/or accommodations
- How the disability affects the student
Examples of documentation:
- IEP or 504 from high school
- Psych evaluation
- Letter from a doctor and a licensed therapist/psychologist on letterhead
- Medical Records
Remember, everyone is unique. A conversation with the DSS staff about your experiences and expectations will help identify the information necessary to support your accommodations requests.
All information and records obtained by the Disability Support Services are kept confidential, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and ADA/504 mandates. DSS staff may verify that a student has documentation on file and share with the faculty/staff member ideas for accommodation strategies, but specific diagnosis or documentation information about the disability will not be released.
If a student believes his or her rights under the Americans with Disability Act have been violated, he/she may file a grievance.
The following Grievance Procedure is provided to facilitate the prompt and equitable resolution of any complaint alleging a violation of the ADA.
It is the intent of South Arkansas Community College that “No otherwise qualified disabled individual shall, solely by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination” in programs or activities sponsored by the college.
This procedure may be followed by any student, employee, visitor, or other member of the public for whom the College’s general Grievance Policy does not apply or appropriately meet the need. Complaints should be filed with the Chief Fiscal Officer (the designated ADA Coordinator) at South Arkansas Community College, P.O. Box 7010, El Dorado, AR 71731-7010; phone (870) 864-7121, according to the following guidelines:
- The complaint will be filed in writing or verbally, and will include the name, address, and telephone number of the plaintiff as well as a brief description of the alleged violation of regulations.
- The complaint should be filed within 15 days of the time when the plaintiff becomes aware of the alleged violation.
- Upon receiving the complaint, the ADA Coordinator will be responsible for thoroughly investigating the allegation; and affording all interested/involved persons and their representatives, if any, the opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the complaint.
- Upon completion of the investigation, the ADA Coordinator will submit a written report to document the validity of the complaint, and to recommend a proposal for resolution of the situation. This document will be forwarded to the plaintiff no later than 21 days after the complaint is filed, with a copy to the President.
- The ADA Coordinator will maintain files and records of all complaints, related documentation, and resolutions reached regarding ADA issues.
- The plaintiff may request a reconsideration of the case if he or she is not satisfied with the resolution. Requests for reconsideration must be made to the President within 30 days of receipt of the written report.
A plaintiff’s right to prompt and equitable resolution of a complaint filed according to this procedure will not limit his/her ability to pursue other remedies such as the filing of an ADA complaint with the responsible federal department or agency. The pursuit of remedy via this procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
This procedure is to be implemented to protect the rights of interested persons, to meet appropriate due process standards, and to assure that South Arkansas Community College fully complies with the ADA.
Application for Services