Dr. John Schweitzer

Dr. John Schweitzer serves as the Coordinator for the Assistive Technology Program for the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS). He oversees the assessment, evaluation, acquisition and training for assistive technology such as manual and powered wheelchairs and mobility systems, vehicle modifications for adaptive driving, home modifications for independence, job accommodations and prosthetics and orthotics. He also coordinates with the Commissions for the Deaf and for Executive Director of Blind Services related to sensory aids, and augmentative communications for the State of Louisiana. 

He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1979 and established a rehabilitation engineering services program at Louisiana Tech University later that year. A major component was dormitory facility that operated 24/7 for 10-12 college students who required personal care attendants and used personal, powered mobility for their daily attendance at La Tech University classes.  In 1980 he acquired a DOTD/FTA 5310 program vehicle for their transportation, and over the next twenty-two years the Tech program resulted in many graduates who have experienced successful, professional careers throughout Louisiana and at the national level. 

While an Assistant Professor, he taught and conducted research and service programs in both the Colleges of Education and Engineering. He is a former National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) scholar conducting research with spinal cord (SCI), traumatic brain injured (TBI) human subjects in developing neuro-psychological measures to predict driving performance, post-injury. He is published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (APMR) and was the primary investigator for a Region Six, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) training project on Assistive Technology. He is a member of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), and the Louisiana Rehabilitation Association (LRA). He serves on the Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network (LATAN) advisory committee, and was on the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), Second Injury Board for six years.

He has been a Master-level Rehabilitation Counselor, Rehabilitation Employment Development Specialist (REDS), and has served as program manager in Baton Rouge since 2005. In September of that year, Dr. Schweitzer was dispatched with four other LRS volunteers to the New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport to assist with the emergency evacuation of the City in the weeks following Katrina and Rita hurricanes. As a result of his experiences in the ESF-6 missions in several hurricane disasters, he has maintained a membership on the Emergency Management of Disabled and Aging Coalition (EMDAC) for over eleven (11) years. 

He is an Adjunct Professor at Southern University, Baton Rouge (SUBR) and teaches courses in Rehabilitation Counseling and the Applications of Assistive Technology. He currently administers an innovative program to match Second Injury Funds (SIF) with Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) federal funding to assist disabled workers in their effort to achieve or retain employment through LRS services. This program is credited with thousands of workers who have been successfully rehabilitated from a most significant impairment to join or retain employment throughout the state of Louisiana. 

For several years he represented the LWC at the Human Services Coordinated Transit Work Group, authorized by HCR 181. He is collaborating with the DOTD and LWC leadership to link the human services transportation vehicle fleets (5310, 5311 and other para-transit programs) for emergency planning, evacuation and mitigation, as well as providing affordable, accessible transportation options for job-seekers throughout Louisiana. 

Prior to his academic and professional career in education and rehabilitation John served as an Officer in the United States Air Force, serving in the Far East during the Vietnam War. He has three grown daughters, a son and a grandson.

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