McNeil hopes to provide access, resources for students
(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Shawn McNeil discovered his love for working with people through a program he participated in during college, a program that assisted low-income and at-risk youth.
After college, the Katy resident transitioned from the Marine Corps to working for the Health and Human Services Administration of Fort Bend County, where he advocated for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Now McNeil is the new Access and Learning Accommodations specialist for Texas State Technical College’s Fort Bend County campus, though his work helps to provide resources for TSTC students across the state.
“I hope to provide access and to advocate for people with disabilities,” he said.
Current and prospective TSTC students can initiate a request for accommodations by visiting McNeil on the Fort Bend County campus, calling 254-867-3842 or emailing email@example.com. TSTC instructors may also refer students to the Access and Learning Accommodations department.
The next step of the process includes filling out a student information form, which gives the student the opportunity to disclose a disability and request accommodations. McNeil and his teammates will review the documentation and ensure that the accommodations requested are practical and achievable for the program of study.
“If it’s a reasonable accommodation and it’s something that we at TSTC can accommodate, then we sure will try,” McNeil said.
Some common examples of accommodations include being allowed extra time on tests, assignments and labs; having access to note-taking services or copies of lecture materials; and having the assistance of sign language interpreters. Depending on their needs and requests, students can check out reader pens, audio recorders, tablets and other devices.
“Our job is to ensure that if there are barriers, people can have assistance addressing those barriers,” McNeil said. “It’s all about access.”
He emphasized that each accommodation request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
“The way one person’s disability affects them is not the same for everybody else,” McNeil explained.
That is why it is key for students and prospective students to reach out to McNeil and TSTC’s Access and Learning Accommodations department. Requests and participation are voluntary, and accommodations are not retroactive to tests and assignments that have already been completed prior to the request.
“Always ask, number one,” he said. “If you have a question, reach out.”
Learn more about Access and Learning Accommodations at TSTC by visiting tstc.edu/student-life/student-services/access-and-learning-accommodations.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.