Disability Support Services

Disability Support Services

Instructional/Classroom Accommodations

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Accommodations that directly impact the learning process in the classroom environment.

Academic Adjustments

Accommodation Consultation

Alternate Media

Assistive Technology

Attendance / Absence Issues

Book Loans

Book Scholarships

Course Substitution / Waiver

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS):

Real-time Captioning

Sign Language Interpreting

Captioned Media

Assistive Listening Devices

Extended Time - (Assignments, preparations, presentations, etc.)

Instructor Consultation / Liaison

Note-taking Assistance

Seat Reservation / Preferential Classroom Seating

Reader Services

Tape Recording Lectures

Test Accommodation Services

Tutoring Services


The Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) Division also offers curriculum specifically designed to address the educational limitations of groups of students with common disabilities.  Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 56028 authorizes colleges to develop Educational Assistance Courses.  Such courses must meet specific requirements and be approved by the college's Curriculum Committee through the regular curriculum approval process.

Educational Assistance Classes


Descriptions and important information about each accommodation and service is noted below.  Refer to the Disability Information Student Handbook (DISH) for the policies and procedures.  Requests to receive these accommodations or services must be made through the student's DSS Counselor or LD Specialist.

Accommodation Consultation (Classroom)

Counselors in Disability Support Services (DSS) and LD Specialists in Learning Disabilities Support understand the impact of disability on college participation.  Since each disability is unique, they are familiar with a wide range of educational limitations.  They can recommend accommodations, services and strategies that are effective and afford students an equal opportunity to participate and succeed, while maintaining the course's academic rigor and standards.  Special Education Division Awards Legacy

Individual course requirements vary.  It is helpful if students bring the class syllabus or outline and requirements to the DSS Counselor or LD Specialist so they can evaluate specific course expectations, the student's functional limitations and potential accommodations.  DSS Counselor or LD Specialist can also help students who need assistance with how to explain their needs to instructors and can consult with students and instructors about accommodation requirements and options, if necessary.

If a student encounters a perceived barrier to participation in a college program, students should bring this concern to the DSS Counselor or LD Specialist's attention.  It may be that the college has addressed the issue and with additional information, the student finds the issue is resolved. If not, it may be necessary to file an  Accommodation  Request form so that the concern can be evaluated for resolution.

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Classroom materials, textbooks and college publications can be made available in anAccessible Print alternate media format for students who have a print disability.  These include:

  • Audio formats
  • Electronic text formats
  • Print enlargement
  • Braille
  • Tactile graphics

Students work with their Learning Disability (LD) Specialist or their DSS Counselor, in consultation with the Alternate Media Specialist to determine the most appropriate alternate media format. Students file a quarterly Alternate Media Authorization form, signed by the DSS Counselor or LD Specialist and the Assistive Technology staff.  They then submit media requests for the quarter directly to the Alternate Media Specialist on an Alternate Media Request Form.

For more information and for the policies and procedures, refer to the DISH Section 2, Using Disability Services and Accommodations,"Alternate Media Services."

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A variety of assistive hardware and software technology is available for student use. The Computer Accessibility Lab (CAL) maintains a list of computer technology hardware and software in the lab and installed in other campus mainstream computer labs. Training courses in the basic use of assistive technology are offered every quarter.  Students can utilize the CAL equipment to independently complete course assignments.Braille

Assistive Technology is available in the Library providing computer access by voice input, screen reading, Braille printing, optical scanning to E-text.  It also has closed circuit television enlargers, Braille writers, and other assistive resources.  The Reference area of the library also has several assistive technology stations.

Area maps of the campus indicate locations of accessible computing stations.

For more information and policies and procedures, refer to the Disabiity Student Information Handbook (DISH) Section 2, Using Disability Services and Accommodations, "Assistive Technology."

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As a result of a specially funded program, a limited number of textbook titles may be loaned to eligible DSS students for the quarter.  The DSS counselor or LD Specialist can inform students about current availability of these and will advise on eligibility.

Through the generosity of bequests made to the Foothill-De Anza Community College Foundation for students with disabilities,  DSS is able to offer financial scholarships to eligible DSS students to purchase classroom books and required materials for enrolled courses.Book Scholarships

The college is not required to provide special or additional financial assistance to students with disabilities.  As a result, special stipulations govern the program and it is dependent on funding.

Students may contact their DSS counselor or LD Specialist for more information and for an application.

Students with disabilities who do not meet the scholarship criteria for eligibility and who need financial assistance can consult with their counselor or advisor for other options available to obtain course materials.  The Financial Aid office can also be consulted about eligibility and provisions for the book loan program.

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In circumstances in which an otherwise qualified student with a disability cannot meet a specific course requirement in the manner prescribed for the class by the instructor, an academic adjustment may be devised.  Examples might be:  flexibility in the course absence policy or extending a time line for completing an assignment.  These meet the following:

  • Made on a case-by-case basis,
  • May not alter the established academic standard for the course,
  • Are made in a consultation process with the student, DSS Counselor or LD Specialist, and the instructor
For more information, refer to the applicable sections of the DISH Section 2, Using Disability Services and Accommodations, "Academic Adjustment and Course Substitution."

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The college requirements for a degree or certificate may be modified in certain circumstances when a student who is able to complete a degree or certificate major, with the exception of a specific requirement directly as a result of disability-related educational limitations.

It is preferable to use those support services or accommodations available to succeed and meet the stated requirement.  However, when not feasible, course substitution, rather than wavier, is typically the approach.  Any such substitution or waiver applies only to the De Anza Certificate or Degree.  These may not transfer to other colleges or universities.

Students whose circumstances warrant consideration of course substitution should meet with their DSS Counselor or LD Specialist in a timely manner so as not to delay the time line to complete their educational goal.  The DSS Counselor or LD Specialist can assist the student with the decision and the process to apply.

Refer to the DISH Section 2, Using Disability Services and Accommodations,, "Academic Adjustment and Course Substitution."

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Students are encouraged to discuss their disability-related needs and accommodations with instructors. Students can receive assistance from their DSS Counselor or LD Specialist in how to effectively advocate for themselves.

Instructors are not routinely notified about a student's course enrollment or accommodation needs, except in the case of a classroom assistant, interpreter or captioner, or other classroom adjustments necessitating instructor notice and cooperation.  If desired, any student can request this service from the DSS Counselor or LD Specialist and and authorize an Instructor Referral, Accommodation Letter or Progress Note be sent.  In these cases, students authorize such a notification. These are delivered by the student or sent confidentially to the classroom teacher.

Refer to the DISH section Section 2, Using Disability Services and Accommodations, "Instructor Liaison."

Students should request the counselor's assistance or intervention if issues arise that the student cannot resolve. Occasionally, an instructor may request more information about accommodations or the student's eligibility.  Counselors and advisers do not disclose disability status or diagnosis, but may confirm that a student has properly documented a disability and is entitled to a specific accommodation.  Often a simple clarification resolves an issue.  If more mediation or information is required, the student is informed and normally, a dialog is initiated that involves all parties, with confidentiality safe-guarded and collaboration encouraged.

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When a disability makes class note-taking ineffective, students may consult with their DSS Counselor or LD Specialist to discuss the best alternative for a particular course.

  • Tape-recording
    Students with disabilities may tape-record instructor lectures, as stated in the De Anza Senate Policy on tape-recording

  • Instructor Copies
    Instructors who have lecture notes, overheads, or power-point presentations may be able to share these for use as a note taking template. Arrangements can be made to copy these through DSS.

  • Classmate Copies
    • A peer volunteer can be solicited from the class to provide a copy of the course notes.
    • Non-carbon reproduction (NCR) paper is available without charge in the DSS office.
    • Classmates who volunteer to take notes may receive a stipend for providing this assistance.  To do so they
      • must register in a timely way at DSS and
      • provide the service through the end of the quarter.
    • To be authorized for this service, students must meet with their DSS Counselor or LD Specialist, who will assist the student with the process to solicit the note-taker and properly document the service.

NOTE: When students use instructor materials or tapes, they may be asked to sign a Restricted Use Agreement.

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Deaf Services provides communication access services to Deaf and hard of hearing students enrolled at De Anza through Disability Support Services.  Sign language interpreting, real time captioning and assistive listening devices are made available to students for curriculum and other college activities.  Deaf Services also coordinates the captioning of instructional materials. Sign Language

New students at De Anza must provide appropriate disability documentation and follow the procedures to enroll as a new DSS student before they can receive classroom services.  Continuing students register for classes with their DSS counselor each quarter.  Students then meet with the Deaf Services supervisor to orient to Deaf Services policies and procedures and to request classroom support services.

Since such services take time to arrange, it is important to register for classes during the DSS early, priority enrollment period. These dates are posted on the Announcement/News section on this Website and are emailed to continuing students. Late schedule changes past the early registration deadline may result in a delay in service.

Services are also provided for students to meet with instructors, tutors or for other required educational activities. Requests should be submitted on the request form at least one week in advance.

Students are required to notify Deaf Services if they will not be attending class so that services can be canceled.

For more information and for policies and procedures, refer to the Deaf Services website and the DISH section 2, Using Disability Services and Accommodations, Accommodations & Services for Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

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The emphasis of the programs in the Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) Division is to enable students with disabilities to participate in the college curriculum offered by De Anza's instructional Divisions.  Educational assistance classes are designed to be in support of this effort.  Refer to the individual program websites or the DSP&S Division web-site for information on Educational Assistance Classes.

Educational assistance classes on campus are offered in:

  • Adapted Physical Education (PEA),
  • Assistive technology evaluation and training (SPED),
  • Specialized skill development classes (GUID)
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Accommodation for classroom testing provides an equal opportunity for students with verified disabilities to demonstrate mastery of the course objectives and take required course exams or evaluative assignments.

In the case of students with learning disabilities, visual impairments, limited dexterity, or mental health disabilities, the need for, and type of, accommodation depends on the impact the disability has on test taking. Students with other verified disabilities may also be eligible for accommodations.

Although test accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis, frequently used accommodations include:

  • Extended time (1.5X - 2.0X)
  • Reduced distraction environments
  • Testing in alternative media
  • Access to assistive technology
  • Breaks
  • Math Accommodations
    • Calculators
    • Formulas
    • Multiplication Tables
  • Notes / Open Book
  • Scantron Scribe Services

Test accommodation policies and procedures are outlined in detail in the DISH, Section 2, Using Disability Services and Accommodations, "Test Accommodations for Classroom Tests."  Students using test accommodations should refer to that section for complete instructions.  Specific test accommodations are determined in consultation with the DSS Counselor or LD Specialist.

Accommodations are authorized based on the student's disability-related educational limitation(s) and the evaluative activities in the course. For this reason, students should always bring the course syllabus or outline whenever they meet with their DSS Counselor or LD Specialist or the Test Proctor to discuss test accommodations. 

When DSS provides test accommodation service, timelines for appointments, guidelines and policies are adhered to. Students need to be aware of these in order to ensure they receive appropriate accommodations, including keeping their Test Appointment Reminder slips handy and their test appointments on their calendars.   Students should maintain regular contact with the Test Proctor, and update their DSS Counselor or LD Specialist without delay should any test issues or concerns come up.

Test security and integrity are strictly enforced to protect student achievement and college standards.

Critical test accommodation deadlines and information are posted on Announcements/News, are emailed to students on the program's distribution list and are posted in the DSS offices.

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DSS tutoring services may be provided through the Learning Disabilities Support Team for math or language classes or through other campus tutoring services at the Student Success Center

Tutoring Services

In the  DSS Tutorial Center, instructional associates provide instructional support tutoring generally in a group or lab setting.

The DSS Tutorial Center offers one-to-one and drop-in peer tutoring for De Anza courses in a wide variety of departments, based on availability.

The DSS Counselor or LD Specialist can help advise about the most appropriate service and provide the necessary enrollment forms and liaison.

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Didn't Find What You Were Looking For?

Refer to the Table of Contents in the Disability Information Student Handbook (DISH) for much more, including

  • Additional accommodation issues and services
  • Specific policies and procedures
  • strategies for success in college
  • Legal Issues
  • Confidentiality policies
  • Suspension of Services Policy
Or contact the individual program of interest.

back to About DSS

Disability Support Services Building: RSS-141
Contact: Patricia Whelan
Phone: 408.864.8753

Last Updated: 4/21/17