Welcome to the Office of Disability Services at Polk State College
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) is the department designated by the College to provide access to college classes, programs, and activities for individuals with disabilities.

Mission
The ODS leads the campus in the creation of inclusive learning and working environments and facilitates access, discourse, and involvement through innovative services, programs, and partnerships. Polk State College believes that students with disabilities are an integral part of diversity and welcomes them to our campus. The ODS will serve as the campus leader in providing a college environment that is accessible, usable, equitable, sustainable, and inclusive of all students, faculty, and staff. We will provide this through partnership with and collaboration between students, faculty, and administration in order to provide students with an educational environment that is barrier-free. However, if students encounter any academic or physical barriers on campus, the Office of Disability Services staff is available to partner with students in finding good solutions or to implement reasonable accommodations.

Purpose
The ODS is here to determine and ensure that reasonable and appropriate accommodations are in place for qualified students with disabilities. We strive to assist students to be self-advocates, ensure compliance with the ADAAA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and help students with disabilities accomplish their goals while at Polk State.

Confidentiality
The information that students share with the Office of Disability Services remains confidential with the following exceptions:

  • A student signs a release of information which authorizes that information to be shared amongst professors or other appropriate college personnel
  • There is a risk of imminent harm to self or others

Contacts

To Receive Accommodations at any Campus or Center:

Kimberly Pearsall
Director, Disability & Counseling Services
LTB 1273
Voice: 863.669.2309
Fax: 863.297.1006
kpearsall@polk.edu

Additional Contacts:

Lakeland, Airside, and Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center:

Michelle Sams
Associate Dean, Student Services – Lakeland
LTB 1287
Voice: 863.669.2823
Fax: 863.297.1006
msams@polk.edu

Winter Haven, JD Alexander Center, Lake Wales Arts Center, Center for Public Safety:

Yulonda Bell
Associate Dean, Student Services – Winter Haven
WAD 176
Voice: 863.669.2305
Fax: 863.297.1060
ybell@polk.edu

Employees and Applicants Seeking Reasonable Accommodations
Polk State College is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. If you feel you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a position with Polk State, please call 863.297.1070 or e-mail Careers@polk.edu and let us know the nature of your request, along with your contact information.  Reasonable accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please note that only those inquiries concerning a request for reasonable accommodations will receive a response.

The Office of Equity and Diversity
Ms. Valparisa J. Baker is the Director of Equity and Diversity (OED) and also the College’s Equity Officer who ensures compliance with federal, state and local laws prohibiting discrimination and sexual harassment. Employees and students who believe they have been a victim of discrimination or sexual harassment should contact:

Ms. Valparisa J. Baker
Director, Equity & Diversity (Title IX Coordinator)
Polk State College
999 Avenue H NE
Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299
Office: WAD 227
863.292.3602
vbaker@polk.edu