Section Two: Using Disability Services and Accommodations
- Who is eligible for disability services and accommodations?
- Who can benefit from disability services and accommodations?
- How do I establish my eligibility for services and accommodations?
- What are accommodations, auxiliary aids and support services?
- How are accommodations determined?
- Who is responsible for arranging accommodations and auxiliary aids?
- What is the instructor’s role in accommodating me?
1. Who is eligible for disability services and accommodations?
Students may be eligible if:
- there is an impairment that limits one or more major life activities like walking, seeing, hearing, learning, reading.
- the impairment is significant enough to prevent obtaining full benefit from classes, activities or services of the college with or without additional support services, “reasonable accommodations” (see DISH, Section 2, Using Disability Services and Accommodations: "General Accommodations" and "Academic and Classroom Accommodations") or academic adjustments.
- educational progress can be made as defined by the college’s academic standards and the Student’s Educational Contract as written by the student and the Disability Support Programs and Services' division professional.
back to top
2. Who can benefit from disability services and accommodations?
It is also important to consider the type of educational setting at De Anza.
For instance, most classes at De Anza
- begin and end in an 11 week period
- enroll 20 or more students and
- require a substantial commitment to study and work out of class.
In order to be successful, students, including those with disabilities, need to be able to:
- profit from instruction by a teacher to a large group of students
- work independently
- complete outside assignments with a minimum of guidance
- participate in small group and laboratory activities
- attend to instructional activities which last a minimum of one hour
- collaborate cooperatively with others in an educational environment
- keep up with the pace of work required in the quarter system, as contrasted to semesters
back to top
3. How do I establish my eligibility for services and accommodations?
If you think you are eligible and want to request services, contact either DSS or EDC to obtain information before you enroll at the college, or as soon as possible after.
Monthly Information Meetings are the best method, although you may also contact the DSPS departments directly. (DISH, Section 1, Coming to De Anza College: "Learning About De Anza")
You will need to document your disability as a first step. Qualified medical and other specified professionals outside of the college generally complete the forms for documentation of a significant impairment.
- Students with physical or psychological disabiities generally need to obtain a De Anza Disability Verification Form for completion and return. (See DSS website at www.deanza.edu/dss for complete instructions.)
- Students with documented learning disabilities submit appropriate outside testing. (See EDC website for complete instructions.) Those who do not have prior documentation, professionals on campus may be able to do the evaluation. (See DISH, Section 2, Using Disability Services and Accommodations: "General Accommodations--Assessment for Learning Disability.")
After documentation is submitted, you will meet with an EDC advisor or DSS counselor to develop a Student Educational Contract (SEC). This plan will address your goals and the services and accommodations you need. (per California Education Code Title 5, Section 56002-56006)
back to top
4 What are accommodations, auxiliary aids and support services?
Accommodations and auxiliary aids consist of the following:
- modifications to classes, programs or requirements
- services required in order to participate in the educational programs
Examples of legally-mandated accommodations include classroom interpreters, test accommodations, and books in alternative format.
They must be related to the educational limitations caused by a disability. The objective in using accommodations is to provide a student with a disability an equal educational opportunity.
Accommodations are not to:
- lower the college’s or the instructor’s academic standards
- alter requirements essential to the course or program
- give a student with a disability an advantage over other students
- guarantee that a student is successful
- present an undue burden to the college
Many other student service programs on campus assist with student retention and success. Like these, De Anza offers services for students with disabilities that are not necessarily legally mandated accommodations, but which promote student achievement. Examples of these services include shuttle service, specialized tutoring, and targeted scholarships. Your counselor/advisor can inform you of and assist you to obtain supportive services.
back to top
5. How are accommodations determined?
A student who requests accommodations or auxiliary aids must:
- provide a disability documentation
- meet with a DSS counselor or EDC advisor to mutually determine the appropriate accommodations
- are decided on an individual basis
- consider student history and preferences
- are based on course requirements and the student’s educational limitations
- are reviewed and evaluated for their effectiveness in providing equal access
- are changed or stopped if necessary
Your advisor or counselor may recommend accommodations to you. Students should provide feedback to their counselor/advisors on how their accommodations are working. It is assumed an accommodation is effective unless you report otherwise to the DSPS staff.
If you encounter a specific problem in a class that requires an accommodation not generally available, request a “Reasonable Accommodation Request Form” from DSS or EDC so that the problem can be reviewed and a solution proposed.
back to top
6. Who is responsible for arranging accommodations and auxiliary aids?
Students must make all accommodation requests in a timely manner. It is always best to think about courses and their requirements ahead and try to anticipate accommodation needs. Generally, the student and DSS or EDC will work together to ensure accommodations are in place.
You should discuss your accommodations with your classroom instructor. Explain how an accommodation relates to and compensates for your educational limitation. There are sample dialogues in the Appendix to help you practice this. Remember if the accommodation is not related to your disability, there is no basis for it.
Sometimes you may ask the instructor directly for an accommodation, such as tape recording the lecture, assistance with locating a volunteer note taker, or an adjustment in a timeline. In other cases, such as test accommodation, it is necessary to obtain an authorization form. Last, if the accommodation is unusual or may be difficult to explain, you may be advised to get an Accommodation Authorization Memo from your counselor/advisor.
Since you have a critical role in ensuring that accommodations are in place and appropriate, we have developed a timeline checklist for you to use in planning for accommodations. See the DISH, Appendix: “Checklist for Planning Accommodations."
back to top
7. What is the instructor’s role in accommodating me?
The instructor may help provide an accommodation, where appropriate. Most often, the instructor’s role will be to cooperate with the provision of accommodations DSS or EDC recommends.
The instructor does not have the right to know your diagnosis unless you choose to share it . Confidentiality regarding your accommodation needs must be maintained.
The instructor does have the right to:
- confirm that you have documented your disability with the DSPS Division
- understand what the appropriate accommodations are for a given situation
- contact DSS or EDC if they have any concerns or questions
- challenge an accommodation if they believe it alters essential course content, or lowers academic standards, or presents an undue burden
In the event your instructor raises a concern about the accommodation or disagrees with it, you should contact DSS or EDC to review the situation before discussing it further with your instructor.NEXT>>