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Instructor's Guide

A Guide to Working with Students with Disabilities

Dear Faculty,

As mandated by Title V of the California Education Code, Section 504 &508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American’s with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Fresno City College is committed to assisting students by providing physical access and appropriate support services for students with verified disabilities so they can fully participate in college. Disabled Students Programs and Services support services include specialized counseling, test accommodations, learning disabilities assessment, sign language interpreters, electronic textbooks (e-text), Braille, adaptive computer access, disability management counseling, specialized classes and referral to community resources.

We hope that this guide will give you some general guidelines for working with any student who learns differently or requires accommodations in the classroom.

If you have additional questions or concerns, contact DSP&S located in the Student Services Building, 559-442-8237.

We look forward to seeing you,

Dr. Janice M. Emerzian

District Director, DSP&S

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION

2 LAWS SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

2.1 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

2.2 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990

2.3 Rehabilitation Act Amendment (Section 508)

3 CONFIDENTIALITY

4 FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES

5 STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

6 AN OVERVIEW OF DSP&S

7 DSP&S PROGRAMS

8 ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

9 TYPES OF DISABILITIES AND INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES

9.1 Acquired Brain Injuries

9.2 Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

9.3 Deaf and Hearing Impairments

9.4 Learning Disabilities

9.5 Other Disabilities

9.6 Physical Disabilities

9.7 Psychiatric Disabilities

9.8 Speech and Language Disabilities

9.9 Visual Impairments

10 DISABILITY RELATED LANGUAGE

11 REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS

12 REFERRING STUDENTS TO DSP&S

13 SYLLABUS STATEMENT

14 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

15 PROCEDURES FOR SERVICES AND ACCOMMODATIONS

15.1 Adaptive Equipment and Technology

15.2 Adaptive Furniture

15.3 Alternate Media

15.4 Audio Recording of Lectures

15.5 Developmental Classes

15.6 Equipment Loans

15.7 LD Eligibility Screening

15.8 Notetakers

15.9 Seating

15.10 Sign Language Interpreters

15.11 Special Parking

15.12 Test Taking Accommodations

15.13 Tram (where available) and Classroom Assistance

15.14 Tutoring Assistance

APPENDICES

Appendix A: Academic Accommodations Review Procedures

Appendix B: DSP&S Forms

1. INTRODUCTION

Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S) is committed to assisting students with disabilities in achieving their educational and vocational goals by providing the services and programs needed to participate in the mainstream college classroom.

In addition to providing services and programs to students with disabilities, DSP&S recognizes its responsibility to the faculty and staff to provide information, support and assistance.

This handbook describes various disabilities and the related educational implications, as well as the DSP&S programs and services offered. It is just one way in which DSP&S can assist the faculty and staff to provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.

2. LAWS SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

SCCCD is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations in their instructional activities as mandated by federal and state law and by College/District policy while maintaining academic integrity. With regard to students with disabilities, two Federal laws govern SCCCD: the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 (reauthorized in 1992). The main difference between these laws is that Section 504 applies to entities that receive federal funding while the ADA expands and clarifies the law to include private entities. SCCCD must comply with the provisions set forth in both laws.

2.1 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a Federal civil rights law, which protects the rights of persons with disabilities in any program or activity receiving federal funds. Section 504 states, "No otherwise qualified individual in the United States, as defined in Section 7 (6), shall solely by reason of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal assistance."

Section 504 further states that, "A recipient (federal funds) shall make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified handicapped applicant or employee, unless the recipient can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its program." The term "otherwise qualified individual with a disability," with respect to post-secondary education means a person who meets the academic and technical standards requisite for admission or participation in the educational program or activity, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices; the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services.

These regulations cover all aspects of SCCCD services. Therefore, all faculty, staff, and students of SCCCD are covered, and the law applies to instruction, non-instruction and employment practices.

2.2 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) extends the framework of civil rights laws and of Section 504. Mandates reasonable access for people with disabilities with all public and private entities. Provides essentially the same protection as Section 504, except it is broader in context and coverage, and redress is more specifically defined. There are five sections:

Title I – Employment: Prohibits employers of 15 or more to discriminate against a qualified applicant or employee with a disability and prohibits retaliation against any individual who has opposed any act or practice made unlawful by the ADA.

Title II – Public Services and Transportation: Prohibits state and local governments from discriminating against people with disabilities in their programs and activities. Includes entities receiving state or federal funding such as community colleges in anti-discrimination clauses. New public buses, new train cars in commuter, subway, intercity, and light rail systems as well as new stations and facilities must be accessible.

Title III – Public Accommodations: Prohibits privately operated public accommodations from denying goods, programs and services to people based on their disabilities. Businesses must accommodate patrons with disabilities by making reasonable modifications to policies and practices, providing auxiliary aids and improving physical accessibility.

Title IV – Telecommunications: Telephone companies need to provide continuous voice transmission relay services that allow people with speech and hearing disabilities to communicate over the phone through

Teletypewriters (TTYs). Also requires that federally funded television public service messages be closed-captioned for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Title V – Miscellaneous Provisions: Specifics for enforcement of the act and provisions for attorney’s fees.

In summary, relative to its relationship to students with disabilities, SCCCD:

  • Cannot exclude individuals based on disability.
  • Will strive to ensure participation in integrated settings.
  • Will make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures when necessary to avoid discrimination based on disability.
  • May not discriminate against an individual with a disability in the offering of examinations or courses relating to licensing or certification for educational or professional purpose mandate to integrate fully individuals with disabilities into mainstream society.

2.3 Rehabilitation Act Amendment (Section 508)

On August 7, 1998, President Clinton signed into law the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 794d) which covers access to federally funded programs and services. The law strengthens section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and requires access to electronic and information technology provided by the Federal government. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Federal agencies must ensure that this technology is accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities to the extent it does not pose an "undue burden." Section 508 speaks to various means for disseminating information, including computers, software, and electronic office equipment. It applies to, but is not solely focused on, Federal pages on the Internet or the World Wide Web. It does not apply to web pages of private industry.

In addition to Federal agencies, States are also impacted by Section 508. States receiving Federal funding under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 will be subject to Section 508. This means that States' purchases of electronic and information technology must also comply with the accessibility standards set forth under Section 508. Even local governmental entities may be impacted, especially in those States where statutes prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability by entities receiving state funds.

3. CONFIDENTIALITY

Under the Right to Privacy Act and related laws affecting higher education, students have the right to confidentiality. Students with disabilities often mention having a disability revealed as the situation they fear the most at school. If that information is revealed to classmates or others without the student’s permission, it is a violation of confidentiality laws and the trust that the student has in the instructor and the college. It is not legal, for example, to announce by name that a student needs a notetaker, or to discuss the student’s disability in class or in the presence of other students.

When you receive a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) that states a student has a disability and needs accommodations, or if the student shares that information with you verbally or in writing, that information must be kept confidential. Instructors and staff should treat all information regarding the identity of the student with a disability, the nature of the disability, and the disability-related accommodations she/he requires in a professional manner.

DSP&S is bound by laws that protect a student’s right to privacy. A DSP&S counselor cannot discuss anything pertaining to specific students with any of their instructors, staff, or family members without the student’s expressed written permission. DSP&S is allowed to disclose limited information and verify eligibility for specific services under an educational need to know clause in the student’s application for services. Other exceptions to confidentiality occur when required by law, such as when a student is determined to be a danger to self or others, or when there is reasonable suspicion of child abuse or the abuse of a dependent adult.

4. FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES

The majority of support services required by students with disabilities are provided through DSP&S. However, full cooperation of faculty is the key to timely delivery of approved academic accommodations. In order for DSP&S to continue to provide the best level of services available, the following is needed from members of the faculty:

  1. Faculty will cooperate with DSP&S in providing authorized accommodations and/or support services for students in a fair and timely manner.
  2. Faculty will ensure that copies of classroom exams are provided to DSP&S in a timely manner to enable administration of special testing accommodations.
  3. Faculty will provide handouts and classroom materials to DSP&S in a timely manner for students who need this material reproduced in an accessible format.
  4. Faculty will select textbooks in a timely way so that e-text can be ordered from the publisher.
  5. Faculty will consult with DSP&S staff if there is any question regarding how to implement authorized academic accommodations.
  6. Faculty will respect the confidentiality of students with disabilities and will not disclose information on the student’s disability without prior consent.
  7. Faculty will include a statement in their syllabus each semester reminding students with verified disabilities to contact the instructor to arrange accommodations. (see page 25 for examples)

Faculty do not have the right to refuse to provide accommodations, to question whether the disability exists when accommodations have been authorized by DSP&S, or to request to examine the student’s documentation.

5. STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Participation in DSP&S by students with disabilities is voluntary. Not all students with disabilities require accommodations.
  2. Receiving support services does not prevent a student from participating in any other course, program or activity offered by the college.
  3. All records maintained by DSP&S pertaining to students with disabilities are protected from disclosure and are subject to all other requirements for handling of student records.
  4. Students assume responsibility for transportation, service animals, medications and the provision of personal attendant care. See current college catalog for complete Attendant Service Policy.
  5. Students assume personal responsibility for their education and accommodations.
  6. Students are expected to work collaboratively with SCCCD staff and instructors to ensure timely provision of services.
  7. Students must meet with a DSP&S counselor to complete a Student Educational Contract (see Appendix B). The student will meet with their counselor at least twice each semester to update the Student Educational Contract.
  8. The student will utilize DSP&S services in a responsible manner and adhere to written service provision procedures adopted by DSP&S.
  9. Students will comply with the Student Code of Conduct adopted by the college and published in the college catalog.
  10. Students must demonstrate measurable progress toward the goals established in the student’s Student Educational Contract (Board Policy No. 5410, Education Code 66300), and meet academic standards established by the college.
  11. Failure to comply with these standards may result in the suspension of DSP&S services.
  12. Students seeking to appeal the denial of services should seek remedy through the Director of DSP&S. If, after consulting with the DSP&S Director, students are still not satisfied, they may appeal via the Student Grievance Process. (see current college catalog, Grievance Policy for Students).

6. AN OVERVIEW OF DSP&S

In order to be eligible for DSP&S services, a student must have a verifiable disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities and imposes an educational limitation. A major life activity may include hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning, or working.

DSP&S ensures that all students with disabilities have an equal opportunity in the pursuit of their educational objectives. DSP&S attempts to coordinate the students’ needs with services and resources available within SCCCD and to insure accessible educational opportunities for students according to their individual needs. To assist students, we offer a number of support service programs. The purpose of these programs is not to create a competitive advantage for students with disabilities, but rather to ensure equal opportunity.

DSP&S strives to coordinate services that will enable students with disabilities to act as independently as possible in a supportive atmosphere that promotes self-reliance. It is the students’ choice whether or not they utilize available services.

General support services may include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic Advising
  • Adaptive Equipment and Technology
  • Adaptive Furniture
  • Alternate Media Resources
  • Audio recording of lectures
  • Developmental classes
  • Equipment Loans
  • Learning disability eligibility assessments
  • In class notetakers
  • Mobility assistance (on-campus)
  • Preferential seating
  • Priority registration
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Special parking
  • Test taking accommodations
  • Vocational counseling

7. DSP&S PROGRAMS

Adaptive Physical Education: designed to improve a student’s level of physical fitness. The program is individually designed to meet the needs of every student and establish goals for their success. FCC, RC

Adaptive Ornamental Horticulture: offers individual classes for enjoyment and academic enrichment or, upon successful completion of the Adaptive Horticulture Program, students are eligible to receive a certificate of completion in Horticulture Skills. FCC, RC

High Tech Center: provides specialized training in the use of hardware and software adaptations appropriate to a student’s particular disability. Students have access to computer equipment in an accessible location. FCC, MC, RC, WI

Independent Living and Consumer Skills: taken as a block, these classes are divided into two general units which are covered either on a daily or rotational basis. The Independent Living Skills class provides the foundation and basic understanding of everyday living so that each student may be able to achieve his/her personal goal of self-reliance and ultimately gain the skills needed in order to live independently. The Consumer Skills Development class focuses on cultivating the basic fundamental skills needed in order to develop sound consumer awareness. FCC

Learning Disabilities Program: assesses the cognitive and academic skill levels of students as needed, then tailor accommodations and provide strategies to facilitate optimal student progress. Classes in strategic learning and use of computer tools for reading and writing provide students with opportunities to practice and generalize their skills to other academic assignments. All sites.

Special Classes: are offered through Developmental Services (Devser) to help students establish a foundation for academics, work, and independent living. Classes include ornamental horticulture, consumer skills, independent living skills, group interaction, beginning reading, math, and computer skills, health, communication, government basics, and adaptive physical education. Course offerings vary by site.

Student Support Services: A 100% federally funded TRIO program designed to provide enrichment services that will alleviate the educational and social barriers which prevent students with disabilities from succeeding at the post-secondary level. Through the delivery of comprehensive academic, social, and personal services, the Student Support Services Program will promote and increase the retention and transfer rates of students with disabilities. MC, RC, WI

Transition to College: assists students with disabilities in preparing for the initial semester in a community college. Covers issues related to accommodations and resources available to students with disabilities to enable them to be successful in a college setting, including disability evaluation and assessment, alternative media, course selection and scheduling. All sites.

Workability III: a collaboration between the college and the California State Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) designed to help students find and maintain gainful employment. Through vocational education, training, counseling, and consistent, direct service, Workability III aims to assist students, the Department of Rehabilitation, and the local community. RC

8. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

It is the responsibility of the student to provide documentation of their disability and complete the New Student Intake Process. Documentation must (1) verify the existence of a disability as defined under Section 504 and under ADA; and (2) establish a clear connection between the accommodations being requested and the effects of the disability. In addition:

  • Students requesting DSP&S services must complete the New Student Intake Process at each individual campus where they will be attending classes.
  • Students must possess the ability to respond appropriately to questions, following directions and demonstrate the potential to benefit from special programs and services.
  • Students must demonstrate appropriate adaptive and/or self-help behavior. DSP&S staff cannot provide personal attendant care or administer medication. See current college catalog for complete Attendant Service Policy.
  • Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress.
  • Students must demonstrate annual measurable academic progress. Failure to do so may result in suspension of services.
  • DSP&S will establish a Student Educational Plan (SEP) (see Appendix B), identify the educational limitations, document them in the Student Educational Contract and review and update it with the student annually.
  • Students seeking to appeal the denial of services should seek remedy through the Director of DSP&S. If, after consulting with the DSP&S Director, students are still not satisfied, they may appeal via the Student Grievance Process. (see current college catalog, Grievance Policy for Students)
  • Services may be denied if it is determined that a student does not meet one or more of the eligibility criteria.
  • All students are required to follow all Student Conduct Standards set forth in the current college catalog (Board Policy No. 5410, Education Code 66300) (including but not limited to: Computer/Network Equipment Use Policy; Academic Dishonesty Policy; Authority and Disciplinary Actions; Parking Regulations).

9. TYPES OF DISABILITIES AND INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES

Each student brings a unique set of experiences to SCCCD, and a student with a disability is no exception. While students learn in different ways, their differences do not imply inferior capacity to learn. Course requirements for students with disabilities should be consistent with those for other students.

General teaching guidelines that will help all students, including students with disabilities:

  • Use Blackboard and post the syllabus, PowerPoint lectures, study guides, and any other handouts used in class. Any document on the instructor’s computer can be easily posted on Blackboard. Once the material is on the computer, any student can use a text reading program.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, facing the class.
  • Make sure that all students can see and hear the instructor and any visual materials.
  • Repeat questions that are asked before answering them.
  • All instructors must comply with required accommodations; however, the instructor may also grant an accommodation to any student in their class if they feel it is appropriate for the student.

Determining that a student has a disability may not always be a simple process. Visible disabilities are noticeable through casual observation, such as an immediately recognizable physical impairment requiring the use of a cane, wheelchair, or crutches.

Other students have what are known as ‘hidden’ disabilities that may include but are not limited to learning disabilities, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, psychiatric, or seizure disorders.

Following are the most common types of disabilities and the recommended Instructional Strategies for each.

9.1 Acquired Brain Injuries

Though not always visible and sometimes seemingly minor, brain injury is complex. It can cause physical, social, cognitive, and vocational changes that affect an individual for a short period or permanently. Depending on the extent and location of the injury, symptoms caused by a brain injury vary widely. Some common results or symptoms are seizures, loss of balance or coordination, difficulty with speech, limited concentration or attention deficits, memory loss, behavior problems, anxiety attacks, problems of judgment and loss of organization and reasoning skills.

Acquired brain injury typically results from accidents; however, brain injury may also be caused by insufficient oxygen, stroke, poisoning or infection.

Considerations and Instructional Strategies

Brain injury can cause physical, cognitive, behavioral, and/or personality changes.

  • Recovery from a brain injury can be inconsistent. A person may take one-step forward, two back, do nothing for a while and then unexpectedly make a series of gains. A "plateau" is not evidence that functional improvement has ended.
  • Effective teaching strategies include providing opportunities for a student to learn using visual, auditory and hands-on approaches. (See ADD/ADHD and learning disabilities sections for more teaching strategies that will also help brain injured students.)
  • Accommodations (may include):
  • Audio recorders, audio text and classroom materials
  • Copies of classmate’s notes or overheads
  • Extended time for exams
  • Exams in a quiet distraction-free environment
  • Breaks during exams, or exams given by a page or section
  • Use of blank card or paper to assist in reading
  • Use of handouts and visual cards
  • Extended time for in-class assignments to correct spelling, punctuation, and/or grammar
  • Word processor with spell check and/or voice output to provide auditory feedback
  • Concise oral instructions
  • Syllabus provided before the start of the semester

9.2 Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADD and ADHD are neurological conditions affecting both learning and behavior. They result from chronic disturbances in the areas of the brain that regulate attention, impulse control, and the executive functions that control cognitive tasks, motor activity and social interactions. Hyperactivity may or may not be present. Students often have difficulty concentrating on and completing tasks, frequently shifting from one uncompleted activity to another. In social situations, inattention may be apparent by frequent shifts in conversation, poor listening comprehension, and not following the details of instructions.

Characteristics (may include):

  • Inability to stay on task
  • Easily distracted
  • Poor time management skills
  • Difficulty in being prepared for class, keeping appointments, and getting to class on time
  • Reading comprehension difficulties
  • Difficulty with math problems requiring changes in action, operation and order
  • Inability to listen selectively during lectures, resulting in problems with note taking
  • Lack of organization with work, especially written work
  • Difficulty following directions, listening and concentrating
  • Blurting out answers

Considerations and Instructional Strategies:

Since these students often also have learning disabilities, effective accommodations may include those also used with learning disabilities. Effective instructional strategies include providing opportunities for students to learn using visual, auditory and hands-on approaches.

The following strategies are suggested to enhance the accessibility of course instruction, materials, and activities. They are general strategies designed to support individualized reasonable accommodations.

  • Include a disability access statement on syllabus
  • Keep instructions brief and uncomplicated as possible
  • Allow the student to audio record lectures
  • Assist the student in finding an effective note taker if necessary
  • Clearly define course requirements, dates of exams, and when assignments are due; provide advance notice of any changes
  • Provide handouts and visual aids
  • Use more than one way to demonstrate or explain information
  • Break information into small steps when teaching many new tasks in one lesson (state objectives, review previous lesson, summarize periodically)
  • Allow time for clarification of directions and essential information
  • Provide study guides or review sheets for exams
  • Provide alternative ways for the students to do tasks, such as dictations or oral presentations
  • Stress organization and ideas rather than mechanics when grading in-class writing assignments
  • Allow the use of spell-check and grammar-assistive devices
  • When in doubt about how to assist the student, ask him or her
  • Allow the student the same anonymity as other students (i.e. avoid pointing out the student or the alternative arrangements to the rest of the class)

Accommodations (may include):

  • Copies of classmate’s and/or instructor’s notes or overheads
  • Extended time for exams
  • Exams in a quiet, distraction-free environment
  • Spell checker, reader or scribe during exams
  • Use of blank card or paper to assist in reading
  • Audio recorders
  • Audio texts and classroom materials
  • Extended time for in-class assignments to correct spelling, punctuation, grammar
  • Instructions or demonstrations provided in more than one way
  • Syllabus provided before the start of the semester

9.3 Deaf and Hearing Impairments

Hearing impaired is a broad term that refers to varying degrees of hearing loss from partial to total deafness. The age of onset plays a crucial role in the development of language; persons with a prelingual hearing loss often have weaker oral communication skills than those whose loss occurred after speech development.

The causes and degrees of hearing loss vary across the Deaf and hard of hearing community, as do methods of communication and attitudes toward deafness. In general, there are three types of hearing loss:

Conductive loss affects the sound-conductivity paths of the outer and middle ear. The degree of loss can be decreased using a hearing aid. People with conductive loss may speak softly, hear better in noisy surroundings than people with normal hearing, and might experience ringing in their ears.

Sensorineural loss affects the inner ear and the auditory nerve and can range from mild to profound. People with sensorineural loss might speak loudly, experience greater high-frequency loss, have difficulty distinguishing consonant sounds, and not hear well in noisy environments.

Mixed loss results from both a conductive and sensorineural loss.

Modes of Communication

Those who have a hearing impairment may use a variety of communication methods including lip-reading, amplification, cued speech, signed English and/or American Sign Language (ASL). Not all individuals who are hearing impaired are fluent users of all the communication modes used across the Deaf community, just as users of spoken languages are not fluent in all oral languages. For example, not all deaf students lip-read and many use sign language of which there are several types of systems. American Sign Language (ASL) is a natural, visual language having its own syntax and grammatical structure. Pidgin Sign English (PSE) combines aspects of ASL and English and is used in some educational situations often combined with speech.

In addition to sign language and lip-reading, deaf students also use sign and oral language interpreters. These professionals assist deaf or hard of hearing persons with understanding communications not received aurally. Interpreters also assist hearing persons with understanding messages communicated by deaf or hard of hearing individuals. Sign language interpreters’ use highly developed language and finger spelling skills; oral interpreters silently form words on their lips for speech reading. Interpreters will interpret all information in a given situation, including instructors comments, class discussions, and environmental sounds. Interpreters act as impartial bilingual/bicultural facilitators of language and communication. These professionals also adhere to a professional code of conduct, a set of professional ethical guidelines.

Students who communicate with speech and lip-reading, as opposed to communicating manually with sign language are referred to as "oral". Some students with hearing loss may have enough residual hearing to benefit from personal FM transmitter amplification units of which the professor will wear a transmitter and a student can properly adjust the amplification on the receiving unit they wear.

Considerations and Instructional Strategies:

  • Even skilled lip readers can only distinguish 30 to 40% of spoken English under the best conditions. Many speech sounds have identical mouth movements that can make lip-reading difficult. For example, "p", "b", and "m" look exactly alike on the lips and many sounds (vowels, for example) are produced without using clearly differentiated lip movements.
  • Make sure you have the individual’s attention before speaking. A light touch on the shoulder, wave, or other visual signal will help.
  • Look directly at the person during a conversation even when an interpreter is present. Speak clearly without shouting. If you have problems being understood, rephrase your thought. Writing is also a good way to clarify.
  • Make sure that your face is clearly visible. Keep your hands away from your face and mouth while speaking. Sitting with your back to a window or light, gum chewing, cigarette smoking, pencil biting and similar obstructions of the lips can also interfere with the effectiveness of communication.
  • Recognize the processing time the interpreter takes to translate a message from its original language into another language. The student may need more time to receive information, ask questions, and/or offer comments.
  • Individuals who have hearing impairments often also have difficulties with speech, reading, and writing skills given the close relationship between language development and learning.

Accommodations (may include):

  • Seating which allows a clear view of the speaker, the interpreter and blackboard or overhead
  • Written supplement to oral instructions, assignments, and directions
  • Providing handouts in advance so that the student can watch the interpreter rather than read or copy new material at the same time
  • Use visual aids whenever possible including captioned versions of videos and films
  • Repeat questions or comments from other students
  • Assist the student in locating a note taker for class lectures
  • Test accommodations may include: extended time, separate place, access to word processor, or use of interpreter for directions
  • Provide unfamiliar vocabulary in written form, on the blackboard, or in a handout
  • Use of electronic mail for discussions with the instructor
  • When evaluating written material from students who are hearing impaired, advise tutoring if grammar or syntax problems exist
  • Allow the student the same anonymity as other students (i.e. avoid pointing at the student or discussing the alternative arrangements with the rest of the class).

9.4 Learning Disabilities

A learning disability (LD) is any of a diverse group of conditions that cause significant difficulties in perceiving or processing auditory, visual, and/or spatial information. Learning disabilities are neurologically based and may interfere with the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical skills. They affect the manner in which individuals with average or above average intellectual abilities process and/or express information. A learning disability may be characterized by a marked discrepancy between intellectual ability and academic achievement resulting from difficulties with processing information. The effects may change depending upon the learning demands and environments and may manifest in a single academic area or impact performance across a variety of subject areas and disciplines. Students vary widely in the patterns of strengths and weaknesses they exhibit.

Documentation of the learning disability is required not only to establish the need for special services but also to determine the kind of special services that are indicated. Students, who are believed to have a learning disability that has not been previously identified, should be referred to DSP&S (see LD Eligibility Screening, Section 15.7).

In working with a student with a learning disability, it is important to identify the nature of the learning disability to determine the kinds of strategies that might accommodate it. Drawing upon a student’s own experience offers invaluable clues to the types of accommodations that work.

Characteristics (may include):

  • Difficulties may be seen in one or more of the following areas:
  • Oral and/or written expression
  • Reading comprehension and basic reading skills
  • Problem solving
  • Ability to listen selectively during lectures, resulting in problems with note taking
  • Mathematical calculation and reasoning
  • Interpreting social clues
  • Time management
  • Organization of tasks, such as in written work and/or essay questions
  • Following directions and concentrating

Considerations and Instructional Strategies

Using a variety of instructional modes will enhance learning for students with a learning disability by allowing students to master material in one form when it may be inaccessible in another form. A multisensory approach to teaching will increase the ability of students with different functioning learning channels-auditory, visual and/or haptic (hands-on), to benefit from instruction.

Auditory Processing: Some students may experience difficulty integrating information presented orally hindering their ability to follow the sequence and organization of a lecture. To minimize this potential problem:

  • Provide students with a course syllabus at the start of the semester
  • Outline class presentations and write new key terms and key parts on the chalkboard or overhead
  • Repeat and summarize segments of each presentation or lecture and review its entirety
  • Paraphrase abstract concepts using specific terms and illustrate them with clear examples, personal experiences, hands-on models and such visual structures as charts and graphs

Reading and Comprehension may be impaired for a student with a Learning Disability, particularly when dealing with large quantities of material. For such a student, comprehension and speed are expedited dramatically with the addition of auditory input:

  • Make required book lists available prior to the first day of class to allow students to begin their reading early or acquire texts in alternate format (e.g. e-text)
  • Provide students with chapter outlines or study guides that cue them to key points in their readings
  • Read material out loud that is written on the board or that is given in handouts or transparencies

Memory may impede the student’s execution of complicated directions. Therefore:

  • Keep oral instructions concise and reinforce them with brief cue words
  • Repeat or re-word complicated directions

Notetaking: Some students with Learning Disabilities need alternative ways to take notes because they cannot write effectively or assimilate, remember, and organize the material while listening to a lecture, Therefore:

  • Assist students in locating another student in class who is willing to take notes
  • Permit audio recording or make your notes available for material not found in texts or other accessible sources
  • If a notetaker is not available, assist the student if necessary in arranging to borrow a classmate’s notes, or provide a copy of your notes or transparencies

Participation: It is helpful to determine the student’s ability to participate in classroom activities. While many students with Learning Disabilities are highly articulate, some have severe difficulty in talking, responding or reading in front of groups.

Specialized Limitations: Some students with LD may have poor motor coordination or trouble judging distance or differentiating between right and left.

Laboratories can be especially overwhelming for students with Learning Disabilities. New equipment, exact measurements, and multi-step procedures may demand precisely those skills that are hardest for them to acquire. Therefore:

  • An individual orientation to the laboratory and equipment can minimize student anxiety
  • The labeling of tools, equipment, and materials may be helpful
  • The student’s use of cue cards or labels designating the steps of a procedure may expedite the mastering of a sequence

Behavior: Because of perceptual difference, some students with Learning Disabilities are slow to grasp social cues and respond appropriately. They may lack social skills, or have difficulty sustaining focused attention. If such problems result in classroom interruptions or other disruptions, it is advisable to discuss the matter privately with the student or a DSP&S counselor.

Accommodations (may include):

  • Audio recorders and/or laptop computers
  • Copies of classmates and/or instructor’s notes or overheads
  • Extended time for exams
  • Exams in a quiet, distraction-free environment
  • Frequent breaks allowed during exam; exam given by page or by section
  • Calculator, Spell checker, reader, and/or scribe during exams
  • Alternative form of exam, such as an oral test or an essay instead of multiple choice format
  • Use of blank card or paper to assist in reading
  • Audio texts or classroom materials
  • Extended time for in class assignments to correct spelling, punctuation, and /or grammar
  • Concise oral instructions
  • Instructions or demonstrations presented in more than one way
  • Syllabus provided before the start of the semester

9.5 Other Disabilities

Many other disabilities affect one or more of the body’s systems. These include the respiratory, immunological, neurological, and circulatory systems. There are many kinds of systemic impairments, varying significantly in their effects and symptoms. Below are brief descriptions of some of the more common types:

Asperger’s Syndrome or (Asperger's Disorder) is a neurobiological disorder. Persons with AS show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They have a great deal of difficulty reading nonverbal cues (body language) and very often the individual with AS has difficulty determining proper body space. It's important to remember that the person with AS perceives the world very differently. Therefore, many behaviors that seem odd or unusual are due to those neurological differences and not the result of intentional rudeness or bad behavior

Autism is a behavior disorder, characterized by an impairment in social communication, social interaction, and social imagination. Those with autism often have a restricted range of interests and display repetitive behaviors and mannerisms, along with altered reactions to the everyday environment.

Cancer is a malignant growth that can affect any part of the body. Treatment can be time-consuming, painful, and sometimes results in permanent disability. Because cancer can occur in almost any organ system of the body, the symptoms and particular disabling effects will vary greatly from one person to another.

Chemical Dependency is considered a disability when it is documented that a person has successfully received treatment for drug or alcohol addiction and is not currently using. Chemical dependency can cause permanent cognitive impairments and carries with it a great deal of stigma. These students may experience psychological problems such as depression, anxiety or very low self-esteem. Individuals may exhibit poor behavioral control, and if they are using medication as part of their treatment, they may experience undesirable side effects.

Diabetes causes a person to lose the ability to regulate blood sugar. People with diabetes often need to follow a strict diet and may require insulin injections. During a diabetic reaction, a person may experience confusion, sudden personality changes, or loss of consciousness. In extreme cases, diabetes can also cause vision loss, cardiovascular disease, and kidney failure or necessitate the amputation of limbs.

Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder causes a person to experience a loss of consciousness. Episodes, or seizures, vary from short absences or "petit mal" seizure to less common "grand mal". Seizures are frequently controlled by medications and are most often not emergencies. Students with epilepsy and other seizure disorders are sometimes reluctant to divulge their conditions because of fear of being misunderstood or stigmatized. Each student’s seizures may be different and it is best to talk to them individually as to how to react to them and respond to their seizure.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that causes extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, and depression. Physical or emotional stress may adversely affect a person with this disability.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV+) and AIDS inhibits one’s ability to fight off illness, infections, and cancers. Manifestations of AIDS are varied, depending on the particular infections or diseases the individual develops. Students who are HIV+ or have AIDS may be afraid to reveal their condition because of the social stigma, fear, and misunderstanding surrounding the illness. It is exceptionally important that confidentiality be strictly observed.

Lime's Disease is a multi systemic condition, which can cause paralysis, fatigue, fever, sleeping problems, memory dysfunction, cognitive difficulties and depression.

Lupus can cause inflammatory lesions, neurological problems, extreme fatigue, persistent flue-like symptoms, impaired cognitive ability, connective tissue dysfunction, and mobility impairments. Lupus most often affects young women.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) often results from prolonged exposure to chemicals. A person with MCS becomes increasingly sensitive to chemicals found in everyday environments. Cleaning products, pesticides, petroleum products, tobacco smoke, perfumes and scented personal products can cause reactions. Though reactions vary, nausea, rashes, light-headedness, and respiratory distress are common to MCS.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological condition with a variety of symptoms, such as loss of strength, numbness, vision impairments, tremors, paralysis and depression. The intensity of MS symptoms can vary greatly; one day a person might be extremely fatigued and the next day feel strong. Extreme temperatures can also adversely affect a person with MS. Because the onset of the disease usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 40, students are likely to be having difficulty adjusting to their disability.

Considerations and Instructional Strategies

  • The condition of a student with a systemic disability may fluctuate or deteriorate over time, causing the need for and type of accommodation to vary
  • Fatigue may be a significant factor in the student’s ability to complete required tasks within regular time limits
  • A student may need to leave the classroom early or unexpectedly and should not be held accountable for missed instruction

Accommodations (may include):

  • Extended time for exams
  • Audio recorded course material
  • Use of scribes or readers
  • Extensions, incompletes, or late withdrawals in the event of an exacerbation of the disability

9.6 Physical Disabilities

A variety of physical disabilities result from congenital conditions, accidents, or progressive neuromuscular diseases and may limit mobility and/or energy. These disabilities may include such musculoskeletal disabilities such as partial or total paralysis, amputation or severe injury, arthritis, spinal cord injury (paraplegia or quadriplegia), spina bifida, cerebral palsy, active sickle cell disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, polio/post polio, and stroke. Additionally, respiratory and cardiac diseases, which are debilitating, may affect mobility. Any of these disabilities may also impair the strength, speed, endurance, coordination, or dexterity necessary for college life. While the degree of disabilities varies, it is important to recognize that for many reasons, some students may have difficulty getting to and from class, performing in class, taking notes, and managing out-of-class assignments and tests.

Getting to and from Class

Physical access to classrooms is a major concern of students who have physical disabilities. Those who use wheelchairs, braces, crutches, canes or prostheses, or who fatigue easily, find difficulty in moving about, especially in the time constraints imposed by class schedules and accessible transportation. Transportation problems, inclement weather, or elevator or wheelchair breakdowns may cause tardiness or absences. For all these reasons, occasional tardiness by students with disabilities may be unavoidable.

Considerations and Instructional Strategies

  • When speaking with a person who uses a wheelchair, try to converse at eye level; sit down if a chair is available
  • Make sure the classroom layout is accessible and free from obstructions
  • If a course is taught in a laboratory setting, try to provide an accessible work station or team the student up with a laboratory partner or assistant
  • If a student also has a communication disorder, take time to understand the person. Repeat what you understand and when you do not understand say so
  • Ask before giving assistance, and wait for a response. Listen to any instructions the student may give; the student knows the most efficient way to accomplish the task
  • Let the student set the pace when walking or talking
  • A wheelchair, braces or crutches are part of a person’s personal space; do not lean on, touch, or push the wheelchair, unless asked
  • When field trips are part of the course requirement, make sure accessible transportation is available
  • Ask the student if he or she will need assistance during an emergency evacuation, and assist in making a plan if necessary

Accommodations (may include):

  • Accessible location for the classroom and place for faculty to meet with student
  • Adaptive seating in classrooms
  • Notetakers, audio recorders, laptop computers or copies of instructor and/or classmate’s notes
  • Adaptive computer equipment/software
  • Test accommodations: extended time, separate location, scribes, access to adapted computers
  • Adjustable lab or computer tables
  • Advance planning for field trips to ensure accessibility
  • In the event you are unable to provide the necessary accommodations, DSP&S can assist you in determining or arranging accommodations.

9.7 Psychiatric Disabilities

Students with psychiatric disabilities represent a growing population on our campuses. These disabilities may be hidden with little or no apparent effect on a student’s learning. Psychiatric disabilities refer to a wide range of behavioral and/or psychological problems characterized by anxiety, mood swings, depression, and/or compromised assessment of reality. These behaviors persist over time; they are not in response to a particular event. Although many individuals with psychiatric disabilities are stabilized using medications and/or psychotherapy, their behavior and affect may still cycle. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have some form of psychiatric disability, but only 1 in 5 persons with a diagnosable psychiatric disorder ever seeks treatment due to the strong stigmatization involved. Below are brief descriptions of some common psychiatric disabilities.

Depression is a major disorder that can begin at any age. Major depression may be characterized by a depressed mood most of each day, a lack of pleasure in most activities, thoughts of suicide, insomnia, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt. It may appear as apathy, disinterest, inattention, impaired concentration, irritability, or as fatigue or other physical symptoms resulting from changes in eating, sleeping, or other living patterns.

Bipolar Disorder (manic-depressive disorder) causes a person to experience periods of mania and depression. In the manic phase, a person might experience increased initiative and a decreased need to sleep.

Anxiety Disorders can disrupt a person’s ability to concentrate and cause hyperventilation, a racing heart, chest pains, panic and extreme fear. Severe anxiety may reduce concentration, distort perception and weaken the learning process. Anxiety may manifest itself as withdrawal, complaining of extreme fear.

Schizophrenia can cause a person to experience a distortion of reality and in some instances delusions and hallucinations.

Considerations and Instructional Strategies

  • Psychiatric disabilities affect people of any age, gender, income group, and intellectual level
  • Students with psychiatric disabilities may not be comfortable disclosing the specifics of their disability
  • If a student does disclose, be willing to discuss how the disability affects him or her academically and what accommodations would be helpful
  • Drowsiness, fatigue, memory loss, and decreased response time may result from prescription medications

Accommodations may include:

  • Quiet, distraction free testing area
  • Extended time for exams
  • Note takers or audio recorders in class
  • Extensions, incompletes or late withdrawals in the event of prolonged illness
  • Modifications of seating arrangements (near the door or at the back of the classroom)
  • Beverages allowed in class due to medications which may cause extreme thirst

9.8 Speech and Language Disabilities

Speech and language disabilities may result from hearing loss, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, and/or physical disabilities. There may be a range of difficulties in articulation or voice strength to complete absence of voice. Included are difficulties in projection, fluency, problems such as stuttering and stammering, and in articulating particular words or terms.

Considerations and Instructional Strategies

  • Give students opportunity, but do not compel speaking in class. Ask students for a cue they can use if they wish to speak
  • Permit students time to speak without unsolicited aid in filling in the gaps in their speech
  • Do not be reluctant to ask students to repeat a statement
  • Address students naturally. Do not assume that they cannot hear or comprehend
  • Patience is the most effective strategy in teaching students with speech and language disabilities

Accommodations (may include):

  • Modifications of assignments such as one-to-one presentation or use of a computer with voice synthesizer
  • Alternative assignments for oral class reports

9.9 Visual Impairments

Visual impairments vary greatly. Most people considered legally blind have some vision. A person with 20/200 or lower visual acuity with correction has legal blindness. A visual impairment exists when corrected vision is no better than 20/70. The term blindness can be reserved for those with total loss of sight, and visually impaired can refer to people with various gradations of vision.

The following terms are used to describe students with visible impairments:

  • Totally Blind individuals learn via Braille or other nonvisual media
  • Legally Blind indicates an individual has less than 20/200 vision in the more functional eye or a very limited field of vision (20 degrees at its widest point)
  • Low Vision refers to a severe vision loss in distance and near vision. Individuals may use a combination of vision and other senses to learn, and they may require adaptations in lighting or the print size, and in some cases, Braille

Most students with visual impairments can use a combination of adaptations for class participation and learning needs including Alternate Format (e.g. e-text, Braille, audiotape, enlarged print, etc.) and Assistive Technology (e.g. keyboard modifications, voice activated software, etc.)

Considerations and Instructional Strategies

  • If needed, identify yourself at the beginning of a conversation and notify the student when you are exiting the room
  • Nonverbal cues depend on good visual acuity. Verbally acknowledging key points in the conversation facilitates the communication process
  • A student may use a guide dog or white cane for mobility assistance. A guide dog is a working animal and should not be petted
  • When giving directions, be clear: say "left" or "right", "step up", or "step down". Let the student know where obstacles are; for example, "the chair is to your left" or "the stairs start in about three steps"
  • When guiding or walking with a student, verbally offer your elbow instead of grabbing his/hers
  • Allow the student to determine the most ideal seating location so they can see, or hear, or if appropriate, touch as much of the presented material as possible
  • Discuss special needs for field trips or other out-of-class activities well in advance
  • Familiarize the student with the layout of the classroom or laboratory, noting the closest exits, and locating emergency equipment
  • Ask the person if they will need assistance during an emergency evacuation and assist in making a plan if necessary

Additional suggestions

  • Provide syllabi in advance to allow arrangements for conversion into Alternate Format
  • Work with DSP&S and the student to find volunteer notetakers or team the student up with a sighted classmate

Accommodations (may include):

  • Reading materials out loud from overheads, blackboards, or handouts
  • Verbal description of class activity, such as when a show of hands is requested, stating how many hands were raised
  • Permit lectures to be audio taped or provide copies of lecture notes, where appropriate
  • Advance notice of class schedule and/or room changes
  • Alternative test formats such as audio tape, large print or Braille, use of readers, scribes, audio tape recorded responses, extended time, adapted computer or closed circuit TV
  • Class assignments available in electronic format, such as computer disk, to allow access by adaptive computer equipment
  • Students should not be exempted from exams and/or be expected to master less content because of their visual impairment

10. DISABILITY RELATED LANGUAGE

The languages we use, and the images that we create and promote through that language, reflect the attitudes we have towards any particular group of people. Our language is picked up and evaluated by others around us. The words and phrases that are preferred show respect for the dignity of people with disabilities. Some describe this as "people-first" language where the individual is recognized as a person first, then further defined in terms of their characteristic, disability, or functional limitation (i.e. person who is deaf); likewise, services and programs do not have disabilities, but they are provided for people who do. The following is provided for guidance when referring to a person with a disability.

Don’t Say:

Handicap, handicapped

Victim, or afflicted with…

Wheelchair-bound or confined to a wheelchair

Deaf and dumb

Normal, healthy (when used as the opposite of disabled)

Deformed

Spastic, spazz

Physically challenged

Mentally ill

Invalid, cripple, mongoloid, crazy, deformed, defective. These words are archaic, offensive, dehumanizing, degrading, and stigmatizing!

SAY:

Disability or person with a disability

Person who has/had (cerebral palsy, etc.)

Person who uses a wheelchair, has a wheelchair, wheelchair user.

Person who is deaf, hearing impaired, or hard of hearing.

Non-disabled

Has a physical disability

Has seizures

Person with a physical, sensory, mental disability

Psychological disability, behavior disorder, psychiatric disability or impairment

When it is appropriate to refer to an individual’s disability, choose the correct terminology for the specific disability. Use terms such as cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, seizure disorder, speech impairment, etc.

11. REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS

"Reasonable accommodation" is any change or adjustment to an educational program, activity, or service that permits a qualified student with a disability equal opportunity to participate in the learning process.

After verifying a student's disability documentation, DSP&S has the responsibility for making recommendations for reasonable accommodations. The nature of its definition and what constitutes reasonable accommodation may vary widely, given a student's disability and functional limitations. Reasonable accommodations are determined on an individual basis and tailored to each student’s needs.

The standard of reasonable accommodation is intended to ensure non-discrimination by providing "equally effective" aids, benefits or services. "Equally effective" need not produce an identical outcome, but must provide equal opportunity to obtain the same result. All DSP&S accommodations are offered with the intention of providing equal access and opportunity to students with disabilities as required by Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. For additional information, please refer to Appendix A, Academic Accommodation Review Procedures.

12. REFERRING STUDENTS TO DSP&S

Remember, Faculty does not have the right to ask students if they have a disability. However, if you have a student in your class whom you suspect may need special assistance or accommodations, please ask to meet with them privately after class. The student may not be aware that services are available through the DSP&S program or they may not know how to articulate their needs. Let the student know that you have observed that they seem to be having difficulties, or are struggling academically, and that you would like to help. If you feel reluctant or unsure of how to bring the subject up with the student, please contact one of our DSP&S counselors and they would be happy to consult with you. Faculty members are encouraged to include a statement in their course syllabus (see Syllabus Statement, Section 13) advising students of the process to request accommodations. We also have an Instructor Referral form available for your use; contact your area campus for copies.

13. SYLLABUS STATEMENT

A statement must be placed on your course syllabus indicating your willingness to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. This statement acts as an invitation for students with disabilities to meet with the faculty member in a confidential environment, to review course requirements and to discuss their disability related needs. Below are examples:

  • If you have a disability that may require classroom or test accommodations, please contact Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S) for verification. Then inform me of your approved accommodations. The DSP&S Program is located (insert the location and phone number pertaining to your campus). You will need to provide written documentation of your disability. If you think you have a learning disability but are not sure, DSP&S may also be able to assist you. All information will be kept confidential.

OR

  • If you have a verified need for an academic accommodation or materials in alternate media (i.e. Braille, large print, electronic text, etc.) per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, please contact me as soon as possible. If you think you have a learning disability but have not had it verified, Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S) may be able to assist you. All information will be kept confidential.

14. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I refer a student to DSP&S?

Feel free to contact us directly at one of the following locations or by submitting a referral form (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12)

Fresno City College: 442-8237

Reedley College: 638-0332

Madera Center: 675-4800

Oakhurst Center: 683-3940

Willow International: 325-5208

Who is responsible for determining appropriate accommodations?

After a student completes the New Student Intake Process at the DSP&S office of the campus where they will be attending classes and provides documentation of an eligible disability (see Eligibility Requirements, Section 8), DSP&S will determine appropriate accommodations based on the individual needs of that student.

A student has asked for accommodations; how do I know if the student has a disability and really needs accommodations?

You may ask the student for the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) from their DSP&S counselor. If a student has this form, they have completed the intake process and provided their counselor with appropriate verification of their disability. If a student does not have this form refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12).

What are the consequences if I do not provide the accommodations requested?

If a student is denied appropriate accommodations, they can file a complaint under Section 504 with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education or under the ADA Title II and III, which are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice. The student may file with both offices if they so desire. Under ADA, monetary damages may be enforced and the student may name both an individual, such as an instructor, and the institution in the complaint. The instructor and the institution may both be found individually liable if named in the complaint.

What should I do if a student has not contacted DSP&S, but instead speaks with me personally to negotiate accommodations?

You should refer the student to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12). Providing an accommodation without verification of disability-related needs can establish a precedent, which may give an unfair advantage or the perception of an unfair advantage and is not warranted under the law.

Why can’t I get a list of students with disabilities who have registered for my class?

Information about a student’s disability is confidential. It is the individual’s choice whether to ask for an accommodation or not, or how much to reveal about his/her disability. In post-secondary education, it is up to the adult student to decide whether an instructor is to be made aware of disability-related information. The only information an instructor needs to know is what accommodations the DSP&S counselor has approved.

Isn’t providing an accommodation to a student giving them an unfair advantage over other students?

No. Providing accommodations to students should not be considered as giving them an advantage, but rather as minimizing the impact of the student’s disability to the greatest extent possible. It is important to expect the same academic performance, with appropriate accommodations, from the student with a disability as from a non-disabled student.

Am I required to lower the standards of a required class assignment because the student has a disability?

No, the standards should be the same for all students; however, some students with disabilities may exhibit their knowledge, production, or other course expectations differently than their peers. For example, a student with a learning disability in writing may produce an exam by using a computer or scribe rather than writing out an answer without the use of accommodations. The quality of the work should be the same.

May I require that a student start the exam at the same time as the class? How can I know that the questions will not be shared?

Ideally, proctored exams are scheduled close to the time when your class is being tested, if not at the same time (see Test Taking Accommodations, Section 15.12). Sometimes, due to extenuating circumstances or scheduling conflicts within the DSP&S office, a student must take the exam at a different time or date. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent students from asking others in the class about the test. If the student is not able to take the exam at the same time as the rest of the class, the instructor may choose to use alternate forms of the test to reduce security problems. Alternate forms of the test are acceptable, as long as they cover the same information as the class exam and are comparable in difficulty.

What does DSP&S do to ensure that a student does not cheat on a proctored exam?

All tests are monitored and a member of the DSP&S staff is in the room at all times. Only those students who are approved for accommodations are allowed in the room. Students are not allowed to take backpacks, purses or other such items into the testing room. We administer the exam expressly as you indicate on the DSP&S Extended Testing Coversheet and allow students to have only the materials you identify as acceptable on the Coversheet. All students are required to follow their campus Academic Dishonesty Policy as outlined in the current college catalog.

What if a student with a disability requests to audio tape my class?

If recording lectures is a reasonable and appropriate accommodation that has been approved by a DSP&S counselor, you must allow the student to audio tape record the class. Many times faculty is concerned that the use of a audio tape recorder in their classroom may infringe on their freedom of speech or potential copyrighted material. For those instructors, DSP&S has a Student Agreement for Tape Recording Lectures form (see Appendix B) that they may ask the student to sign.

What happens if a student with a disability frequently causes discipline problems?

Students with disabilities are expected to conform to the same Student Code of Conduct as any other student. Issues related to student discipline problems should be handled the same as any other student.

I have quizzes every day in my class. Must all of these quizzes be administered outside of the classroom through DSP&S?

It really depends on the student and the type of disability. Many students can complete a simple five-minute quiz in the classroom setting. However, some cannot and will need to arrange to take their quiz in the DSP&S office.

I have a policy of giving no makeup exams. Must I allow a student with a disability to make up an exam due to their disability?

If the absence is disability related, students are required to contact the DSP&S office so that we may inform their instructor. If a student misses an exam for disability related reasons, they are legally entitled to a makeup exam. If the student is not able to take the exam at the same time as the rest of the class, the instructor may choose to use alternate forms of the test to reduce security problems. Alternate forms of the test are acceptable, as long as they cover the same information as the class exam and are comparable in difficulty.

My course requires classroom participation and attendance. This is clearly stated on my syllabus and is a part of every student’s grade. What do I do if a student with a disability is absent a significant amount of the time?

If classroom attendance and participation are deemed essential components of your class and it is written as such in your syllabus, then all students have to be held to the same standard. It is the hope of DSP&S that faculty will work with students who must miss occasional classes for reasons related to their disability.

What if I provide accommodations that are not on the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) or the student requests an accommodation that is not listed?

You are only required to provide those accommodations listed on the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B). If you decide to provide an accommodation not approved through DSP&S, then that is your individual choice.

Is it appropriate to let a student take an exam home?

Only if you let all other students take the exam home and work unsupervised. Fair treatment of students with disabilities does not mean that you give up good teaching practices.

I have a student with a disability getting behind on his/her homework. This student is missing a number of classes and has not handed in several assignments. Although she/he has taken a midterm and used accommodations, the student’s grade is a D. At this point, the student is not passing the class. Do I have a right to fail a student with a disability?

The student with a disability has the same right to fail as anyone else. Their work should be equivalent to their peers. It may be a good idea to discuss your observations with the student and refer them to make an appointment to meet with their DSP&S counselor.

I have a student who is blind in my chemistry class. How is she/he going to participate and be graded in his/her lab work?

If possible, assist the student in getting a lab partner or assign a student assistant to work with the student with a disability (see Visual Impairments, Section 9.9). In either situation, the student who is blind should direct the assistant to carry out the functions of the lab assignment. If a volunteer lab partner is not available, suggest to the student that he/she needs to make an appointment to meet with their DSP&S counselor immediately for assistance in getting an in-class aid.

When I have a deaf student in class, am I required to have an interpreter in class as well? My class is very crowded and students sometimes watch the interpreter instead of me.

There is no question about it; you are required by law to have what is essential for the student to have equal access to an education, and this may include a sign language interpreter (see Deaf and Hearing Impairments, Section 9.3). We advise that you work with the student and interpreter to discuss seating arrangements that will meet everyone’s needs.

What if I give the entire class extra time for a test? So I still need to give the accommodation of extra time to a student with a disability?

Yes, the laws specify that you provide the approved extended time beyond what the class is provided, during each exam.

What if a student has an aide come to class with him/her? What should I expect?

A personal assistant or class aide is considered an accommodation and will be noted on the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B). If the student does not have a Notification of Authorized Services form, refer them to DSP&S (see Referring a Student to DSP&S, Section 12). Aides are guests in the classroom and are expected to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct.

Sometimes there is alternate furniture in the classroom (i.e., table and chair). How can I be sure the person it is reserved for is using it?

Students will have this accommodation noted on their Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) and can show this to indicate that the alternate furniture is reserved for them. It is sometimes necessary to request that another student vacate the furniture if he/she is not receiving this approved accommodation. If there is not enough alternate furniture to accommodate all students with a disability, refer the student to immediately contact their DSP&S counselor.

What if I am asked to change classrooms because of access issues, but other students are resistant to the move?

Access to programs and services is a civil right. Generally, a classroom move will be minimal, for example, in the same building from one floor or room to another. The law does not require the school to provide every section of every course in an accessible location. However, if the course is unique or no other course section is available in an accessible location, then we are required to move the class to ensure that the student with a disability is not denied access as long as it does not fundamentally alter the nature of a program, class or course, or substantially modify academic or program standards.

What if I am unsure about how to handle a situation with a student with a disability?

Do not hesitate to contact the DSP&S office and/or a DSP&S counselor. They are your best source of information and are available to assist and guide you.

15. PROCEDURES FOR SERVICES AND ACCOMMODATIONS

Once a student has completed the New Student Intake process in the DSP&S office at the campus where they will be attending classes and provided verification of their disability (see Eligibility Requirements, Section 8), they will meet with a DSP&S counselor to discuss requested services and accommodations. After meeting with the student, the DSP&S counselor will evaluate the disability verification documentation, review functional limitations and determine reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and tailored to each student’s needs. When appropriate, the classroom instructor will be notified of recommended accommodations via a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B). Not every accommodation that DSP&S provides is listed on the Notification of Authorized Services form – only those that require involvement of the classroom instructor. Usually the DSP&S student is responsible for delivering Notification of Authorized Services form directly to the classroom instructor, but occasionally you may receive them via campus mail as well.

Following is a brief overview of the most frequently used accommodations listed on the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B), and the process required for delivery of each service.

15.1 Adaptive Equipment and Technology

Due to their verified disability, students may require the use of special equipment in class. DSP&S makes available or loans various equipment to students (e.g. tape recorders, magnification devices, special computer hardware/software, and adapted computer stations).

Student Responsibility

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor to request accommodation. If approved, student is given a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  2. Student takes the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) to the DSP&S office and completes an Equipment Loan Contract.
  3. Equipment will be loaned by DSP&S only to students officially enrolled in classes. Equipment (e.g., audio recorders) shall not be loaned to a student for any purpose or activity that is not school sponsored.
  4. DSP&S does not supply batteries or cassette tapes; the student is responsible for supplying.
  5. If equipment is not returned at the appropriate time and place, or has been damaged, the student will forfeit his/her rights to future equipment loans and he/she will be asked to replace the equipment.

Faculty/Staff Responsibility

  1. Confirm that the student is eligible for services through the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  2. If the student does not have a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B), refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12)
  3. Coordinate with DSP&S staff (e.g. counselor, Alternate Media Specialist) for the delivery of the accommodation (e.g. adapted computer station, software/hardware)
  4. Student Agreement for Tape Recording Lectures forms (see Appendix B) are available for instructor use in the DSP&S office
  5. Contact the DSP&S counselor immediately if you have any concerns or need assistance

15.2 Adaptive Furniture

Occasionally, because of a student’s verified disability, classroom modifications must be made. This accommodation is most commonly achieved by the use of an adaptive table and/or chair.

Student Responsibility

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor to request accommodation. If approved, student is given Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).

Faculty/Staff Responsibility

  1. If the student is requesting Adaptive furniture but does not have a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B), refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12).
  2. Most classrooms are equipped with at least one table and chair that are labeled and reserved for DSP&S use only.
  3. Students who have a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) requesting the use of adaptive furniture have priority in the use of tables and chairs.
  4. If the table and chair are missing from your classroom, please contact the DSP&S office immediately.
  5. Coordinate with DSP&S office for the delivery of the accommodation (e.g. adapted computer station, software/hardware).
  6. Contact the DSP&S counselor immediately if you have any concerns or need assistance.

15.3 Alternate Media

Federal and state laws require California's Community Colleges to provide access to all programs and activities in a manner that is accessible to persons with disabilities. Depending on the state of the materials when received, the process of changing the format can take from 48 hours to several months. DSP&S assists instructors and students with disabilities by providing access to alternate media formats to meet a variety of instructional needs. These can include:

  • Text books and class materials in:
  • Braille
  • E(lectronic)-text
  • Enlarged print
  • Compressed audio (MP3)
  • Closed Captioned videos
  • Tactile graphics

Student Responsibility

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor to request Alternate Media accommodation. If approved, student is given an Request for Alternate Format form (see Appendix B) and Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) authorizing them for service.
  2. Give instructor the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  3. Student takes the Request for Alternate Format form (see Appendix B) to the Alternate Media Specialist (FCC: Media Center # LI-136; all other sites: counselor will give form to Alternate Media Specialist).
  4. Students and/or staff are required to sign the Security of Electronic Text Agreement that is included in the Request for Alternate Format form (see Appendix B).
  5. Students must be enrolled in the course for which they are requesting alternate media.
  6. Students must have possession of the textbook(s).
  7. Students and/or staff understand that the binding of their textbook may be removed, and that this is in integral step in the alternate media conversion process (see Request for Alternate Format form (Appendix B).
  8. Students and/or staff must plan ahead; it takes time to convert material to alternate media. Until the material is available in the alternative format requested by the student, the college may offer to provide it in another medium that would be equally effective given the needs of the student requesting the accommodation.

Faculty Responsibility

  1. Please select your textbook as early as possible.
  2. Please work with the Bookstore staff to try to select textbooks that are readily available in Alternate format.
  3. Confirm that the student is eligible for services through the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  4. If the student does not have a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B), refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12)
  5. Submit your Alternate Format requests (e.g. syllabi, classroom handouts, exams/quizzes, and video) to the DSP&S office or the Alternate Media Specialist as soon as possible in the semester. Remember to plan ahead; it takes time to convert material to Alternate Media.
  6. Contact the DSP&S office and/or counselor immediately if you have any concerns or need assistance.

15.4 Audio Recording of Lectures

Audio recording of class lectures and discussions may be a necessary accommodation for some students.

Student Responsibility

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor to request accommodation. If approved, student is given a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  2. Student takes the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) to the DSP&S office and completes an Equipment Loan Contract in the DSP&S office, or the student may provide their own recorder.
  3. Audio recorders may be loaned by DSP&S only to students officially enrolled in classes and shall not be loaned to a student for any purpose or activity that is not school sponsored.

Faculty/Staff Responsibility

  1. Confirm that the student is eligible for services through the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  2. If the student does not have a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B), refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12).
  3. Student Agreement for Taping Lectures form (see Appendix B) are available from the DSP&S office.
  4. Contact the DSP&S counselor immediately if you have any concerns or need assistance.

15.5 Developmental Classes

The instructional component of the DSP&S program is designed to provide prescribed special instruction for students with specific educational needs not currently being met in the regular course offerings of the college. Such services include adaptive computer technology, adaptive ornamental horticulture, adaptive physical education, modified instruction in math and English, learning strategies, and independent living skills. For additional information on DSP&S Developmental Classes, please refer to the College Catalog.

15.6 Equipment Loans

Educational access sometimes means that students need equipment such as audio recorders or Franklin Spellers to benefit from instruction. DSP&S makes these accommodations available for loan during class time.

Student Responsibility

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor to request accommodation. If approved, student is given a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  2. Student takes the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) to the DSP&S office and completes an Equipment Loan Contract.
  3. Equipment will be loaned by DSP&S only to students officially enrolled in classes. Equipment (e.g., tape recorders) shall not be loaned to a student for any purpose or activity that is not school sponsored.

Faculty/Staff Responsibility

  1. Confirm that the student is eligible for services through the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  2. If the student does not have a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B), refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12).
  3. Student Agreement for Taping Lectures forms (see Appendix B) are available from the DSP&S office.
  4. Contact the DSP&S counselor immediately if you have any concerns or need assistance.

15.7 LD Eligibility Screening

If you have a student who is working very hard but is struggling to keep up with the class and you suspect that a learning disability may be the problem, please refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12) for LD Eligibility Screening. In order to be eligible for services, a learning disability must be verified using the Community College Learning Disability Eligibility Model.

15.8 Notetakers

Notetaking services will only be provided to a student who has a verified disability and whose disability-related functional limitations interfere with the student taking his/her own notes.

Student Responsibility

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor to request Notetaker assistance. If approved, student is given Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) and Note-taking forms (FCC campus only) authorizing them for service.
  2. Carbonless, NCR notetaking paper is available upon request in the DSP&S office.
  3. Give instructor the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) and Notetaker form (FCC campus only).
  4. Students needing this service are required to either 1) ask a fellow student in their classes to assist them with notes, or 2) ask the instructor to help them find a notetaker in class and arrange to meet immediately after the class.
  5. Students are required to be in class to receive notes from that day unless the absence was disability related.
  6. Students with notetakers must adhere to all policies regarding absences and tardiness per the instructor’s syllabus.
  7. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the DSP&S office as soon as possible if she/he will be unable to attend class so the notetaker can be notified. Three (3) failures to notify may result in suspension of service.

Faculty/Staff Responsibility

  1. Confirm that the student is eligible for services through the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) and Notetaking form (FCC Campus only).
  2. If the student does not have a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) and Notetaking form (FCC campus only), refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12.)
  3. If a student requests your assistance in locating an in-class notetaker, please make a class announcement indicating that a classmate requires a notetaker. Notetakers have the option of receiving a certificate of volunteerism, or priority registration for the following semester.
  4. The student with the disability, whether visible or not, should not be identified without express permission.
  5. Ask that any potential volunteers meet with you and the student after class.
  6. If an in-class notetaker is not available, please assist the student by providing copies of lecture notes or overheads.
  7. Contact the DSP&S staff and/or counselor immediately if you have any concerns or need assistance.

15.9 Seating

A student with a visual impairment, hearing impairment, learning, psychiatric, and physical disabilities may need preferential seating so that they can fully benefit from instruction.

Student Responsibility

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor to request preferential seating accommodation. If approved, student is given a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) authorizing them for service.
  2. Give instructor the Notification of Authorized Services form.

Faculty/Staff Responsibility

  1. Confirm that the student is eligible for services through the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  2. If the student does not have a Notification of Authorized Services form, refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12).
  3. If the request is for furniture (i.e. table and/or chair), please refer to Adaptive Furniture (Section 15.2).
  4. Assist the student in selecting seating that is suitable for their individual disability. This may include reserved seating in the front of the class or other requested location.
  5. Contact the DSP&S counselor immediately if you have any concerns or need assistance.

Sign Language Interpreters

Sign Language Interpreters are available on request for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Services are provided when they are considered reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Interpreters are provided for classroom sessions and class-related meetings, events, and/or field trips. With advance notice, interpreters may also be provided for meetings with instructors, counselors, and for other campus services.

Student Responsibility

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor specializing in services of Deaf and hard of hearing students to complete the new student intake process.
  2. Student must request interpreting service in advance and meet with the DSP&S Interpreter Coordinator.
  3. Students must submit all semester class schedules to the Interpreter Coordinator at least 3 weeks prior to each semester. Schedules received after this period will be expedited as quickly as possible.
  4. Students must notify DSP&S immediately if they are going to be absent from class. If a student does not show up for three consecutive class sessions and has not submitted prior notification to the Interpreter Coordinator, the interpreter will automatically be reassigned to another class, pending an available reassignment.
  5. It is the student’s responsibility to make special arrangements in advance for an interpreter for class related meetings, field trips and events.

Faculty/Staff Responsibility

  1. Because class formats are so varied, it is recommended that the instructor, interpreter, and student arrange a meeting early in the semester to discuss any special arrangements that may be needed.
  2. Arrange seating so that the interpreter faces the student and the student has an unobstructed view of the instructor. Consult with both the student and the interpreter to ensure the most beneficial seating.
  3. Face and speak directly to the student, not the interpreter.
  4. If an interpreter is absent, if possible, please contact the DSP&S office immediately. If available, a substitute interpreter will be sent immediately. Until then, please try to focus on visual modes of communication and provide the student with copies of notes, overheads, etc. (see Deaf and Hearing Impairments, Section 9.3).
  5. Whenever possible, please provide the interpreter with copies of vocabulary worksheets and technical handouts in advance, so that they may prepare for class lectures.
  6. If you are planning to cancel or reschedule the location of a class, please notify the interpreter and the student in advance. The interpreter will notify the Interpreter Coordinator.
  7. Please make every attempt to only show videos that are available on captioned format.
  8. DSP&S will make every effort to assist with providing and scheduling an interpreter for campus-wide events, but the department sponsoring the event is required to pay for the interpreting services.
  9. If you have a concern with an interpreter and/or student and are unable to resolve the situation by speaking directly with the interpreter and/or student, please contact the Interpreter Coordinator immediately (FCC ext. 8781, all other sites: general DSPS number).
  10. Contact the DSP&S counselor immediately if you have any concerns or need assistance.

15.11 Special Parking

Students in need of special parking due to a permanent disability must request this accommodation directly from DSP&S. Please refer the student to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DPS&S, Section 12).

15.12 Test Taking Accommodations

Some disabilities, such as learning disabilities, visual impairments, physical, or psychological disabilities may affect the student’s ability to take tests in the ‘traditional’ manner. Students with other verified disabilities may also be eligible for test taking accommodations. Test taking accommodations include, but are not limited to: readers and/or scribes, Braille and large-print tests, reduced distraction environments, and extended time. After closely reviewing documentation of the student’s disability, test-taking accommodations are approved by a DSP&S counselor on a case-by-case basis.

Student Responsibility

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor to request Test Taking assistance. If approved, student is given a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) authorizing them for service.
  2. Give instructor the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  3. Contact the campus DSP&S office to schedule a Test Taking appointment.
  4. All students are required to follow the Academic Dishonest policy set forth in the college catalog. All tests are monitored; no exceptions.

Faculty/Staff Responsibility

  1. Confirm that the student is eligible for services through the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  2. If the student does not have a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B), refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12).
  3. Following consultation with the DSP&S office and/or counselor, instructors may choose to provide the requested accommodation in their classroom and/or office, or utilize the services provided by the DSP&S office.
  4. Meet privately with the student, discuss and agree on the best method of providing test taking accommodations (e.g. in the classroom or the DSP&S office), including quizzes and exams.
  5. Establish timed test dates, quizzes and lab exams early in the semester so that students who utilize DSP&S for testing assistance have adequate time to schedule testing accommodations.
  6. Complete and attach a DSP&S Extended Testing Coversheet to each exam (contact your campus DSP&S office for copies of form).
  7. Provide DSP&S with the test exam in a timely manner, allowing them time to convert the test to an alternate format (if needed).
  8. When appropriate, allow the student to show their knowledge or mastery of the subject matter by using an alternative testing method, provided that the change in method doesn’t fundamentally alter the education program (e.g. oral exam instead of written unless the purpose of the exam is also to test the writing ability of the student).
  9. Contact the DSP&S office and or counselor immediately if you have any concerns or need assistance.

15.13 Tram and Classroom Assistance

Tram services to students with mobility impairments are available at certain school sites. Mobility impairments include students using wheelchairs, crutches, braces, walkers, or canes to move about, however, not all students with mobility impairments require mobility aids and so this disability may not always be ‘observable’.

Student Responsibility

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor to request accommodation. If approved, student is given a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B).
  2. If the student requires on-campus Mobility assistance, student takes the Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B) and their current class schedule to the DSP&S office and schedules their mobility schedule.
  3. Students must be currently enrolled in classes to be eligible for mobility assistance.

Faculty/Staff Responsibility

  1. Confirm that the student is eligible for services through the Notification of Authorized Services
  2. If the student does not have a Notification of Authorized Services form (see Appendix B), refer them to DSP&S (see Referring Students to DSP&S, Section 12).
  3. Even though students with mobility impairments may require more time to get to and from classes, if a student is frequently late, it is appropriate to discuss the situation with him/her and seek solutions.
  4. Classes taught in laboratory settings may require some modification of the workstation. Please work directly with the student regarding the best way to make modifications to the workstation, or contact the DSP&S office and/or counselor for assistance.
  5. Students who may not be able to fully participate in a laboratory class without the assistance of an aide should be allowed to benefit from the actual lab work to the fullest extent possible. The student can give instructions to an aide – from what chemical to add, to what type of test tube to use, to where to dispose of unused chemicals. The student will learn everything except the physical manipulation of the chemicals.
  6. If a class involves fieldwork or field trips, it is required that you ensure that accessible transportation is available. Ask the student to participate in the selection of sites and modes of transportation, or contact the DSP&S office and/or counselor for assistance.
  7. Allow students to stand unobtrusively or take a break during long class periods.
  8. Contact the DSP&S counselor immediately if you have any concerns or need assistance.

15.14 Tutoring Assistance

There is no specialized tutoring available to DSP&S students. Refer DSP&S students to the Tutorial Center, as you would any other student requiring learning assistance in a specific area.

APPENDICES

Appendix A: Academic Accommodations Review Procedures

ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATION REVIEW PROCEDURES

State Center Community College District

Fresno City College

Reedley College

North Centers

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to explain and put forth State Center Community College District's policy ensuring that students with disabilities receive appropriate accommodation in their instructional activities, as mandated by Federal and State law. The fundamental principles of nondiscrimination and accommodation in academic programs were set forth in the implementing regulations for Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973; these regulations provide in pertinent part that:

No qualified handicapped student shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any ... post-secondary education program or activity ... [84.43 (a)]

[An institution] shall make such modifications to its academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of handicap, against a qualified handicapped applicant or student ... Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted. Discrimination also includes disability harassment, which under Section 504 is intimidation or abusive behavior toward a student based on disability that creates a hostile environment. Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling, as well as nonverbal behavior, such as graphic and written statements, or conduct that is physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating.

2.0 Types of Accommodations

2.1 Academic Accommodations

The modifications post-secondary institutions are required to make may be referred to as "academic adjustment" or "reasonable accommodation." Examples of academic accommodation include modifications to degree requirements (e.g., time to complete degree, course substitution/waiver, adaptation in the manner in which a course is conducted), modifications to course examinations (e.g., additional time, alternative testing measures), the use of auxiliary aids (e.g., readers, scribes, note takers, tutors, interpreters, tape recorders, adapted computers, and calculators) and alternate media (e.g., Braille, large print, and e-text). Academic accommodations may also include facility or physical plant modifications.

2.2 Special Accommodations

Most education limitations that result from disabilities that impede a student from completing a course can be overcome by providing a combination of appropriate accommodations. The policy and procedures for such accommodations are already in place. For most students with documented disabilities, this first level of accommodation will involve an attempt to complete the course with additional help, e.g., facilitation of tutorial assistance, in-class support services, auxiliary aids, test accommodations, a slower paced version of the course, advisement to complete lower level or developmental courses in a sequence in order to insure success, etc. Accommodations of this level are usually requested and arranged among the Disabled Students’ Program and Services Office (DSP&S), students, and instructors. Should a dispute arise regarding the provision of services at this level, it will be processed in accordance with this policy.

For some students with a disability, such accommodations will not be adequate to enable them to complete the course. For these students, the second level of accommodation, a course substitution, will be individually considered. Only in the most extreme cases will the third level of accommodation, a course waiver, be considered.

2.3 Course Substitution

If a student with a disability is of the opinion that the accommodations offered do not enable him/her to successfully complete a required course and that attempts with additional or different accommodations have been exhausted or if the student can show that his/her disability is of such magnitude that any attempt at completing the course would be futile, that student may submit a petition for a course substitution to the Academic Accommodations Officer for referral to the Academic Accommodations Panel.

A course substitution is permissible only if it is determined appropriate by the Academic Accommodations Panel. A substitution may be granted provided the required course is found by the Academic Accommodations Panel not to be essential to the student’s course of study. Furthermore, it must be found by the Academic Accommodations Panel that the student has no reasonable chance of successfully completing the required course even with all the accommodations that the college can provide and that an appropriate suitable course for substitution can be found.

The institution shall explore alternatives such as Directed Study but is not required to develop a substitute course should one not exist. The absence of a substitute course does not automatically establish grounds for a waiver. Academic requirements that the college can demonstrate are essential to the program of instruction being pursued by the student or directly related to licensing requirements will not be regarded as discriminatory.

2.4 Course Waiver

In the last resort, a course waiver may be appropriate. A waiver will be considered only when there is evidence that the student has met all of the requirements noted above for substitution and there are no viable alternative courses determined by judgment of the Academic Accommodations Panel. A waiver of the course requirement will not be considered a waiver of the student’s responsibility to complete the minimum number of units required by the institution for completion of the course of study.

Students will be informed in writing that a substitution or waiver granted by a College of the District may not be recognized by another educational institution.

3.0 Roles and Responsibilities of the State Center Community College District (SCCCD)

3.1 Responsibilities of SCCCD

SCCCD, including all campuses and centers, is required to assure that all programs and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. It acknowledges that the DSP&S Office has been delegated the authority by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to prescribe academic accommodations for all students who have been certified as having a disability. Officers and panel members are to be trained in resolving issues related to academic accommodations. The district must institute procedures to make modifications in academic requirements to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate on the basis of a disabling condition.

Responsibilities of Students

Students with disabilities who will be using academic accommodations are responsible to identify themselves to a DSP&S counselor and the appropriate instructors. Students are required to provide verification of their disabilities. A waiver of a subject in high school and/or at another college does not guarantee a substitution or waiver at a SCCCD College. Due to the confidential nature of student disabilities, students with disabilities are required to utilize the services of DSP&S for disability verification. Students who consult with a DSP&S counselor regarding specific accommodation requests will be required to meet timelines and procedural requirements established by the DSP&S Office.

3.2.1 A student who has been diagnosed as having a disability, or who believes that he or she may have a disability, should consult promptly with a DSP&S counselor. Only students certified as disabled by DSP&S are entitled to request academic accommodations.

3.2.2 In order to implement a DSP&S-approved accommodation in examinations or assignments, students must meet the course instructor within the first two weeks of instruction (or upon late registration) and present a certificate from DSP&S recommending accommodation in testing, note taking and/or other reasonable accommodations of the first level (section 2.2 above).

3.2.3 In the rare case that a certified disability prevents a student who is otherwise qualified from completing the requirements in a course from doing so, the student should consult with a counselor to discuss possible alternative courses or other substitutions. Some courses that are deemed by the college to be essential components of a course of study are required and cannot be substituted.

3.2.4 Course substitutions that are granted by the college may not necessarily be accepted at the student’s transferring institution. Students for whom such substitutions are granted by the college will be informed of such in writing.

3.3 Responsibilities of College Faculty and Staff

3.3.1 Faculty are responsible for conducting classes and administering examinations. They should be mindful, in developing tests or other procedures for evaluating students' academic achievement, that federal regulations require that: . . .methods should be provided for evaluating the achievement of students who have a handicap that impairs sensory, manual, or speaking skills as will best ensure that the results of the evaluation represents the student's achievement in the course, rather than reflecting the student's impaired sensory, anual, or speaking skills (except where such skills are the factors that the test purports to measure). [Section 504]

3.3.2 When presented with a claim of disability by a student who has not been certified by a DSP&S counselor, the course instructor should immediately refer the student to the DSP&S Office. The instructor shall not become personally involved in diagnosing or evaluating the disability.

3.3.3 When presented with a request for accommodation from DSP&S for the student, the course instructor shall make reasonable accommodations for the student’s needs. DSP&S is ready to assist instructors in providing accommodation. An instructor who cannot for any reason meet the request shall resolve the matter promptly in consultation with the department chair or associate dean and DSP&S.

3.3.4 A counselor, when presented with a request as described in section 3.2.3 (Responsibilities of Students), should try to find a suitable substitute course consistent with the educational goals of the degree. In reaching a decision on whether there is a suitable substitute course to be considered, the DSP&S counselor will consult with the department chair of the student’s major and the chair of the department where the course is housed.

3.4 DSP&S Office has been delegated the authority to certify disabilities. The certification of a disability by DSP&S is binding upon the district. Student use of the services (counseling, etc.) offered by DSP&S is voluntary.

3.5 DSP&S Counselors are responsible for verifying a student's disability using current, valid diagnostic evidence for estimating the effect of the disability on the student's participation in academic activities, and for advising the student concerning appropriate learning strategies. These counselors also determine the nature of accommodations in instruction and testing that might be required for a student in order to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. They will be available to faculty for consultation.

3.6 ADA/504 Officer is responsible for informing the students of their rights, under Section 504, to file a complaint through The Office for Civil Rights if the desired accommodation is not allowed. The ADA/504 Officer will keep an updated file of all district decisions. The ADA/504 Officer will also insure a record of all accommodation decisions will be maintained.

3.7 Role of DSP&S. To be allowed an academic accommodation, it should be noted that, by law, a student with a verified disability is not required to use support services of the DSP&S (only for certification of the disability). The procedures enumerated herein will be available to any student who believes a district decision or action by a District employee has adversely affected his/her rights as a student with a disability.

4.0 Academic Accommodations at SCCCD Colleges.

Recognizing that the nature and severity of the documented specific learning disability may preclude completion of a required course even with reasonable accommodations of the first level (section 2.2 above), the college may permit substitution of specific course(s) as an accommodation. Course waivers should be considered as a last resort. Because these requirements are often important parts of a program, each case must be carefully considered on an individual basis by the Academic Accommodations Panel

4.1 The Academic Accommodations Panel will consist of the entire Academic Standards Committee of the respective SCCCD college.

4.2 The Academic Dean serving on the Academic Standards committee will serve as the Academic Accommodations Officer.

4.3 The Director of DSP&S or his/her designee will serve in an advisory, non-voting capacity to provide information and/or make recommendations to the Academic Accommodations Panel.

5.0 Resolution at Level 1

If a student feels he/she has made a request for accommodations of the first level per sections 1.0 and 2.2 above and has been denied, he/she should make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter prior to requesting a hearing by the Academic Accommodations Panel. If an instructor, counselor or other responsible staff has questions about an accommodation of the first level requested by a student, the staff person should contact the appropriate DSP&S counselor promptly to document and verify the disability and accommodation request. Meetings and discussions among the instructor, the student, the appropriate members of DSP&S and/or other appropriate members of the college community are essential at the outset.

An equitable solution will be sought before the respective persons directly involved in the case have assumed official or public positions that might tend to polarize the issue and render a solution more difficult.

Requests for accommodations involving modifications to academic requirements of majors, programs, or degrees, (i.e., course substitutions or waivers or waivers of requirements) (accommodations of the second and third levels, sections 2.3 and 2.4 above) may not be resolved at Level 1.

6.0 Resolutions at Levels 2 & 3

6.1 Requests for accommodations of the first level which are not resolved may be

appealed to the Academic Accommodations Panel for resolutions.

6.2 Requests for accommodations of the second and third levels, i.e., course substitutions or waivers or waivers of requirements may only be resolved by petition to the Academic Accommodations Panel.

6.3 The petition process should begin as soon as there is strong objective evidence (e.g., previous documented difficulties) that the student will be unable to fulfill the requirement and all informal processes have been unsuccessful.

6.4 The student must provide the Director of DSP&S with current, relevant and comprehensive documentation and assessment data from certified professionals which substantiate a disability and its specific impact upon the student’s ability in the area in question. Detailed guidelines for acceptable documentation are available from DSP&S.

6.5 A complete case history is required to document the student’s history of problems up to the date of the petition. This case history should include:

6.5.1 A personal statement by the student indicating the reasons for the request including prior experiences with the subject matter, and

6.5.2 The names and grades of courses for which substitutions are being proposed, and 6.5.3 If possible, letters from faculty attesting to the student’s efforts and diligence in attempting to master the content of the course.

6.6 When these steps have been completed, the documentation and supporting evidence from the case history will be reviewed by the Director of DSP&S or his/her designee. The Director of DSP&S or his/her designee will make written recommendations to the Academic Accommodations Panel. These recommendations must be made in consultation with the appropriate department chair/discipline faculty where the course(s) under consideration and substitution are housed and with the department chair/discipline faculty of the student’s major.

6.7 If there is evidence that a substitution is warranted, the Director of DSP&S or his/her designee will forward the petition and relevant supporting documentation to the Academic Accommodations Panel. A copy will be sent to the student.

6.8 The student will be notified in writing in a timely manner of the final decision rendered by the Academic Accommodations Panel.

6.9 If the Director of DSP&S or his/her designee finds there is insufficient evidence to verify the appropriateness of the request and the student’s petition is not forwarded to the Academic Accommodations Panel, the student will be notified in writing by DSP&S.

Revised September 12, 2005, FCC & RC Academic Standards & Academic Senate Joint Ad Hoc Committee

Endorsed by FCC Academic Standards Committee: September 12, 2005

Approved by FCC Academic Senate: September 28, 2005

Endorsed by RC Academic Standards Committee: November 16, 2005

Approved by RC Academic Senate: February 28, 2006


Appendix B:  DSP&S Forms

Application for Services

Consent for Release of Information

Medical Disability Verification

Notification of Authorized Services

Policies and Procedures

Psychological Disability Verification

Request for Alternate Format

Student Agreement for Taping Lectures

Student Educational Contract

Last updated: 9/9/2014 9:28:09 AM