Faculty Resources

Quick Guide to Accommodations

We value our faculty and respect their busy schedules. The Quick Guide to Accommodations section was developed to provide easy access to information regarding the most frequently requested accommodations.

If you are unable to locate the information that you need in the Quick Guide, we encourage you to read the Faculty Resource Guide, which is a comprehensive guide to the DSPS program.  As always, if you cannot find the information that you are looking for please feel free to reach out to the DSPS director and/or any DSPS staff.

Behavior Reporting Form

Adaptive equipment may include magnification devices, tape recorder, spell checkers, Smart Pens.  

  • Coordinate with DSP&S staff for delivery of services.
  • If accommodation is not on the FNL, refer the student to DSP&S.  

Direct questions regarding Adaptive Equipment to  Michael Gerard, Michael.gerard@fresnocitycollege.edu; DSP&S office: 559.442.8237.  

Most common accommodations include adaptive chairs, tables, modified computer workstations.  

  • Coordinate with DSP&S staff for delivery of services.
  • If adaptive tables and/or chairs are not already in your classroom, request through your division office.
  • Give priority for use of adaptive equipment to students approved via an FNL.  

Direct questions regarding Adaptive Furniture to  Michael Gerard, Michael.gerard@fresnocitycollege.edu; DSP&S office: 559.442.8237

Federal and state laws require California Community Colleges and faulty to provide access to all programs and activities in a manner that is accessible to persons with disabilities. DSP&S assists faculty by providing access to alternate media formats for students with verified disabilities. Alternate formats may include Braille; Electronic text; enlarged print; compressed audio (MP3); tactile graphics. Conversion of material to alternate format can take time, so plan accordingly.  

  • Select your textbooks as early as possible.
  • Select textbooks that are already available in alternate formats (if possible).
  • Select videos that are already closed captioned.
  • Provide classroom notes, handouts, and other materials in alternate formats.
  • Submit alternate format quests to DSP&S Alternate Format Specialist as early as possible.
  • Post all materials in an accessible format on Canvas.  

Direct questions regarding Alternate Format to  Michael Gerard, Michael.gerard@fresnocitycollege.edu; DSP&S office: 559.442.8237

Recording of lectures may be available to students whose disability impacts their ability to listen or take notes in class.

  • All students approved for Audio Recording sign a Course Recording Agreement regarding confidentiality of recorded notes.
  • Allow use of tape recorder as an accommodation if noted on the FNL. 
  • Use of Sonocent, Glean, or any other notetaking software as indicated on the student’s FNL. 
  • Post all classroom notes and other materials in an accessible format on Canvas.
  • For questions regarding the use of in-class Audio Recording, please contact a DSP&S counselor.

State Center Community College District (SCCCD) and Fresno City College are committed to implementing the requirements of  Section 504 and 508 Standards which require electronic and information technology purchased or used must be accessible for use with persons with disabilities. 
 
The district and college rely on all administrators, faculty, and staff to provide equal access to all programs and activities for individuals with disabilities.  If you or your department have videos that are not captioned, the following options are available.  
 
For videos that you have created: 

TechConnect Cloud (3C Media Solutions) is the CCC educational repository and distribution source for video content, streaming, and event coverage.  
3C Media Solutions  
Canvas - Rich Content Editor 
 
For additional information on Closed Captioning, please contact the FCC Distance Education Office or DSPS Alternate Media Specialist, Michael.gerard@fresnocitycollege.edu , 559.442.8237

Federal law requires colleges and universities to consider accommodations of attendance and deadline policies. The CPAA is appropriate when a student has a disability that is unpredictable in nature, with brief, periodic flare-ups that legitimately impact course attendance and or assignments. The purpose of the CPAA is to determine if additional flexibility exists beyond what is in your course syllabus.

  • The student requests a CPAA as part of the interactive dialog process with a DSPS counselor .
  • DSPS counselor emails CPAA to the instructor.
  • The instructor is expected to finalize their response to the CPAA within one calendar week of being notified by email. 
  • DSPS counselor will facilitate completion of the CPAA with the student after receiving, reviewing, and agreeing to the response from the instructor.
  • DSPS counselors are available to consult with instructors on issues concerning attendance and deadlines. 

If you have any questions, please contact any DSPS counselor.

Please note: The Notetaker module roll-out in AIM is planned for release in fall 2021. Please check your email for updates.


Notetaking accommodations are approved on an individual basis through an interactive process between a DSPS counselor and the student.  Registered students who have met with a DSPS counselor and have provided documentation that supports the need for print-related accommodations may either be approved for in-class notetaker or notetaking assistive technologies.  For additional information regarding notetaking, please contact a DSPS counselor.  
 
Because most classes will be online for Fall 2021, in-class notetakers may not be necessary. 

  • Post all classroom notes and other materials in an accessible format on Canvas.
  • For live lectures, in-class notetakers may be available; please contact the DSP&S office for additional information. 
  • If noted on the FNL, allow the use of notetaking software such as Sonocent and/or Glean.  

For questions regarding Notetaking, please contact a DSPS counselor.

How to Apply to be a Notetaker

How to access notes via AIM

How to upload notes into AIM

Due to a student’s verified disability, they may need preferential seating so that they can fully benefit from instruction. 

If the request is for furniture, please refer to the Adaptive Furniture section. 

  • For in-class lectures, please assist the student in reserving the seating choice that is indicated on the FNL (e.g., front row, near an open exit or door).
  • For questions regarding seating, please contact a DSP&S counselor. 

SLIs are provided when they are considered reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Instructors should refrain from asking the SLI to participate in class activities or perform other tasks.

  • For in-class lectures, arrange seating so that the student has an unobstructed view of the SLI. 
  • Face and speak directly to the student, not the interpreter. 
  • Provide copies of class material and handouts to the interpreter.
  • All required video content must be properly captioned. For assistance, https://www.3cmediasolutions.org/; see toolbox in Canvas for additional information.  

To request an SLI please complete the Sign Language Interpreter Request Form.  For questions regarding interpreting services, please contact the DSP&S Interpreter Coordinator,   Tabitha.dubois@fresnocitycollege.edu: 559.442.4600, Ext. 8781.

DSP&S recommends that each course syllabus contain a statement reflecting compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Ideally, faculty should provide a detailed syllabus that includes course objectives, weekly topics, classroom activities, required reading and writing assignments, and dates of tests, quizzes, and vacations. This information provides valuable information to all students and allows students with disabilities to identify the accommodations they will need to request for the class as well as arrange for materials in an alternate format, if necessary. Whenever possible, provide syllabi and other course materials in an electronic format to provide direct access.  

Following is a sample statement that faculty may use to open the lines of communication regarding necessary accommodations and encourage students with disabilities to seek assistance early in the semester.  

“If you have a documented disability that may require classroom accommodations, please see me immediately after class, or contact the FCC Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S) office in Building A, or call 559.442.8237 for assistance. If you think that you may have a learning disability but are not sure, DSP&S may still be able to assist you. All information will be kept confidential.”

If you have any questions regarding the course syllabus, please contact the DSPS director or any DSPS counselor.

PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to remote delivery of services, most testing accommodations for Fall 2021 will be provided by instructors online via Canvas. Please check the FCC website for updates regarding COVID-19.

Test accommodations are any modifications made to tests or testing conditions that allow students with disabilities to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Common test accommodations include:

  • An extended amount of time a student is given to complete a test.
  • Taking the test in an alternate format.
  • Use of a scribe or proctor.
  • A less distracting environment.
  • Access to assistive technology and adaptive furniture.

Extended time or proctored exams:  

  • Exams must be scheduled in advance. 
  • If the exam is 100% online, instructors can provide extended testing time through Canvas. 
  • If the class is hybrid or in-person, proctored testing will be available. 

For additional information regarding Testing Accommodations, please refer to the DSPS Testing Center page or contact the DSPS Testing staff at 559.442.8237, dspstesting@fresnocitycollege.edu

Tram Services are only available to students who have completed the DSP&S intake process and have been identified as having a temporary or permanent mobility impairment and are for on-campus, class use only. Not all mobility impairments are observable. Due to liability issues, only authorized students may ride the tram. 

  • Please be flexible regarding students showing up to class on time. 
  • Due to situations beyond the student’s control, they may occasionally be late for class or have a short window of time to travel between classes, excessive crowds, etc.
  • If a student is habitually late for class, please contact a DSP&S counselor. 

DSPS in an Online Environment

Who is the DSPS Counselor for my pathway?

How do I refer a student that may need DSPS support?

How do I implement accommodations in an online environment?

Implementing accommodations in an online environment will vary dependent on the student and their disability. It is important to reach out to the student and discuss their FNL and discuss what resources, support, or other services may be needed to be successful in your course. Here are a few examples:

  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) utilize interpreting and captioning services during online courses if needed. Online interpreting and captioning services look different among asynchronous and synchronous courses.
  • Please refer to the DSPS office to inquire if your online pedagogical approach requires interpreting and/or captioning services.  Student input will clarify the need for interpreting and/or captioning services.
  • Note-Taking accommodations indicated on their Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) are legally entitled to utilize notetaking during online courses if needed. Online notetaking looks different among asynchronous and synchronous courses.
  • Copies of PowerPoint presentations may suffice as note-taking assistance for your course.
  • Audio lectures (e.g. MP3s, Zoom recorded sessions, Screen-o-Matic sessions) must be transcribed.

What should I do if a parent starts speaking for their student, attending classes with them, or emailing me directly?

  • Fresno City College is required to adhere to the Family Educations Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended by 20 U.S.C. 1232g.  This federal law affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records.  These rights ensure that educational and financial information is released only to the student unless written consent is on file with the Fresno City College Records office.
  • Check the student's Faculty Notification Letter (FNL); an in-class attendant can be part of a student's approved accommodations.
  • Unauthorized individuals are not allowed in your classroom.  See your Dean for additional guidance.

Can I just double the testing time for my whole class?

  • If the class is listed at 100% online, then the student needs to take the exam online. If there are special accommodations needed (blind student needing braille) please call the counselor or DSP&S office for assistance.
  • Accommodations are determined by the student’s verified disability, functional limitations, and through an interactive dialogue with a DSP&S counselor.  If the student has a concern, please contact the student’s counselor to discuss possible alternative options.
  • For additional information regarding testing accommodations, see the DSPS Testing page.

How do I access a DSPS student's accommodations online?

AIM is an online accommodation management portal used by DSP&S to help students independently coordinate their accommodation(s). AIM protects confidential information about students and allows more transparency and streamlined communication among students, faculty, and DSP&S staff.  

Students can:

  • Request accommodations each semester.
  • Generate a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) of approved accommodations for each course.
  • Download textbooks and course materials converted to alternative format by DSP&S .

Faculty can:  

  • Access the AIM app through your Faculty Portal.
  • View a list of all students with DSP&S who have requested accommodations for each course they teach.
  • Download copies of the FNL of accommodations for each course they teach.

AIM Faculty Login:

  • Access the AIM App through My Portal.
  • From My Dashboard, click on the DSPS AIM app.
  • Instructor Authentification page:  1) Read the FERPA Confidentiality statement, and 2) Click "Continue to View Student Accommodations".
  • Overview page: If "Unable to Find Courses" pops up, change "Next Term" to the correct semester.
  • List Instructor Profiles: Select a Course Section and click "View".
  • To view student FNL, select student name and click

FNL includes 1) Student name and ID number, 2) DSPS Counselor contact information, and 3) List of approved accommodations.

What if a student does not want to take an exam online?

  • If the class is listed at 100% online, then the student needs to take the exam online. If there are special accommodations needed (blind student needing braille) then call the counselor or DSP&S office for assistance.
  • Accommodations are determined by the student’s verified disability, functional limitations, and through an interactive dialogue with a DSP&S counselor. Presently, we do not have in-person testing available due to COVID-19 restrictions. If the student has a concern, please contact the student’s counselor to discuss possible alternative options.

Am I required to offer an alternative format?

  • Yes, by law you are required to provide alternative testing options if the student has an accommodation form/AIM form that states the student needs an alternative testing format as an academic accommodation. It must be provided in a timely manner and in accessible formats to students with disabilities.
  • DSP&S staff can assist faculty by providing access to alternative media formats. Alternative formats may include (but are not limited to) braille, electronic text, enlarged print, compressed audio (MP3), tactile graphics, etc. 
  • For additional information regarding converting classroom material to an alternative format, please contact michael.gerard@fresnocitycollege.edu.

Who do I contact if I need help supporting a DSPS student?

  • Check the student’s Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) for DSP&S counselor contact information.
  • If you are unable to reach the student’s DSP&S counselor, or if the student doesn’t already have an assigned counselor, please reach out to the DSP&S director, any DSPS Counselor, or Senior Program Specialist for guidance.

How do I request a Sign Language Interpreter (SLI) for a class session?

How do I caption my videos?

State Center Community College District (SCCCD) and Fresno City College are committed to implementing the requirements of Section 504 and 508 Standards which require electronic and information technology purchased or used must be accessible for use with persons with disabilities. 
 
The district and college rely on all administrators, faculty, and staff to provide equal access to all programs and activities for individuals with disabilities.  If you or your department have videos that are not captioned, the following options are available.  
 
For videos that you have created: 

TechConnect Cloud (3C Media Solutions) is the CCC educational repository and distribution source for video content, streaming, and event coverage.  
3C Media Solutions  
Canvas - Rich Content Editor 
 
For additional information on Closed Captioning and/or Accessibility Resources, contact the Distance Education Office, or DSPS Alternate Media Specialist, Michael.gerard@fresnocitycollege.edu , or call 559.442-8237

Am I required to use Starfish Early Alert?  How do I learn to use Starfish?

Check with your Division Dean for guidance, but Starfish Early Alter Program promotes student success by improving communication between students, instructors, and student support programs.  See Early Alert for additional information about Starfish, as well as the Getting Started Guide for Early Alert 

What is an appropriate level of support?  How much is too much?

  • Provide support via email, Canvas, and Office Hours. If the student requires additional support after meeting with you connect them to tutoring services.
  • If a student requires weekly support, that is okay; however, this should be determined differently for each student. You can speak to their counselor and identify a plan with the student, and if that does not work, a conversation may need to be had with the student, counselor, and yourself. The student also needs to understand the class expectations, etc., as online is very different than face-to-face and vice versa.
  • The student also needs to advocate for themselves. If they need additional support, they need to be able to seek it independently as well. 

Where can I learn more about Universal Design to increase accessibility?

Universal design is an approach that helps everyone, not just people with disabilities. The principles of universal design in education go by several names: Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Universal Learning Design (ULD), Universal Design for Instruction (UDI), and, perhaps, others. The names may vary, but the principles are the same - the proactive design and use of inclusive instructional strategies that benefit a broad range of learners including students with disabilities.

Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) provides a great resource, Universal Design of Instruction (UDI): Definition, Principles, Guidelines, and Examples

Additional Resources regarding Universal Design:

Applications of Universal Design

Making Distance Learning Accessible to Everyone

Universal Design in Education: An Online Tutorial

Universal Design of Instruction (UDI)

Who should I contact if my questions are not answered above?

Faculty Resource Guide

DSP&S is committed to the inclusion and accessibility of all students. Fresno City faculty has a key role in assuring that their classes are fully accessible to all populations. Depending on the student’s disability-related barriers, faculty might be asked to allow for a wide range of reasonable accommodations as mandated by state and federal law. 

This guide, which describes the educational implications of the various disabilities and provides a listing of the support services available through the office of Disabled Student Programs & Services, is just one way in which we assist in your efforts to assure reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. 

AIM LogoAIM is an online accommodation management portal used by DSP&S to help students independently coordinate their accommodation(s). AIM protects confidential information about students and allows more transparency and streamlined communication among students, faculty, and DSP&S staff.  

Students can:  

  • Request accommodations each semester 
  • Generate a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) of approved accommodations for each course
  • Download textbooks and course materials converted to alternative format by DSP&S  

Faculty can:  

  • Access the AIM app through your Faculty Portal
  • View a list of all students with DSP&S who have requested accommodations for each course they teach
  • Download copies of the FNL of accommodations for each course they teach

AIM Faculty Login

  1. Access the AIM App through My Portal
  2. From My Dashboard, click on the DSPS AIM app
  3. Instructor Authentification page:  1) Read the FERPA Confidentiality statement, and 2) Click "Continue to View Student Accommodations"
  4. Overview page: If "Unable to Find Courses" pops up, change "Next Term" to the correct semester
  5. List Instructor Profiles: Select a Course Section and click "View"
  6. To view student FNL, select student name and click
  7. FNL includes 1) Student name and ID number, 2) DSPS Counselor contact information, and 3) List of approved accommodations

 

FCC Accessibility Resources   

Includes information on Accessibility Regulations and Requirements, resources for creating accessible documents, California Community College Technology Center, upcoming training, and self-paced accessibility Canvas courses.  

FCC Distance Education Office :  Find access to your online course materials, instructor homepages, guides, tutorials, and helpful links to support your access and success. For additional information, please call (559) 489-2246.  

Canvas Guides for Instructors : Here you will find Canvas user guides and videos for instructors and students. 

Extending Time on an Exam in Canvas

How to use Zoom  

Infobase: Infobase provides access to time-saving resources to address software training and support.  

FCC has available several self-paced Canvas courses on accessibility:

  • Microsoft Word Accessibility 
  • PDF Accessibility
  • PowerPoint Accessibility  
  • Accessibility in Canvas 

California Community College Resources   

Online Instruction 3CSN is hosting a series of Zoom online sessions to help faculty and staff navigate online environments. Sessions include learning the basics of both Zoom and Canvas. Sessions will be limited to 50 participants. Visit 3CSN  

CVC-OEI is extending daytime Canvas Tier 1 phone support for all California Community Colleges students and faculty through June 30, effective immediately. If you have questions about how to access or deploy daytime support, please visit the  Faculty Support Hub.  

CVC-OEI is also providing several webinars that may be helpful as colleges transition learning and student support services to a remote environment. A listing of webinars is available on the CVC-OEI Resources page. Recordings will be posted afterward for people who are unable to attend.   

The California Community Colleges Accessibility Center often hosts webinars focusing on accessibility practices for Canvas and online teaching. Check the CCC Accessibility Center Training Page for updates.   

The procedures to access accommodations may be subject to change. Stay up to date on any changes by monitoring the DSP&S webpage for updates or contacting DSP&S staff. 

  • Only students who have completed the DSP&S Intake Process, provided verified disability verification, and met with a DSP&S counselor are eligible for services and accommodations.
  • Reasonable accommodations are approved on a case-by-case basis.
  • Accommodations are determined by the student’s verified disability, functional limitations, and through an interactive dialog with a DSP&S counselor. 
  • The interactive process takes into consideration a student’s needs and goals to determine appropriate accommodations identified on the students' Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP).  
  • Students are required to log in to their AIM account at the beginning of each semester to request that a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) of accommodations be emailed directly to their instructor(s) 
  • Not every accommodation that DSP&S provides is listed on the FNL form; only those that require the involvement of the classroom instructor.  

If you have had limited experience with persons with disabilities, you may feel awkward or hesitant, not knowing how to communicate comfortably.  Or you may be fearful that you won’t have the tools or techniques to teach that student.

Outlined below are the “Ten Commandments of Etiquette for Communicating with People with Disabilities” to help you in communicating with persons with disabilities.

1.  When talking with a person with a disability, speak directly to that person rather than through a companion or sign language interpreter.
2.  When introduced to a person with a disability, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands. People with limited hand use or who wear an artificial limb can usually shake hands. (Shaking hands with the left hand is an acceptable greeting.)
3. When meeting a person who is visually impaired, always identify yourself and others who may be with you. When conversing in a group, remember to identify the person to whom you are speaking.
4.  If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted, then listen to or ask for instructions.
5.  Treat adults as adults. Address people who have disabilities by their first names only when extending the same familiarity to all others.
6. Leaning on or hanging on to a person’s wheelchair is similar to leaning or hanging on to a person and is generally considered annoying. The chair is part of the personal body space of the person who uses it. Never patronize people who use wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulder.
7. Listen attentively when you’re talking with a person who has difficulty speaking. Be patient and wait for the person to finish, rather than correcting or speaking for the person. If necessary, ask short questions that require short answers, a nod, or a shake of the head. Never pretend to understand if you are having difficulty doing so. Instead, repeat what you have understood and allow the person to respond. The response will clue you and guide your understanding.
8.  When speaking with a person who uses a wheelchair or a person who uses crutches, place yourself at eye level in front of the person to facilitate the conversation.
9.  To get the attention of a person who is deaf, tap the person on the shoulder or wave your hand. Look directly at the person and speak clearly, slowly, and expressively to determine if the person can read your lips. Not all people who are deaf can read lips. For those who do lip read, place yourself so that you face the light source and keep hands, cigarettes, and food away from your mouth when speaking.
10.  Relax. It’s okay to use accepted common expressions, for example, to invite a person in a wheelchair to “go for a walk” or to ask a blind person if he “sees what you mean.”  Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re unsure of what to do.

DSP&S Rights  

  • Request and receive current documentation that supports the need for accommodations. 
  • Deny a request for accommodations if the documentation demonstrates that the request is not warranted or if the individual fails to provide adequate verification.
  • Suspend services if a student persistently violates DSP&S Policies and Procedures regarding academic accommodations.

DSP&S Responsibilities 

  • Advising faculty/staff in providing or arranging accommodations and/or auxiliary aids.
  • Hold student information confidential except when permitted or required by law.
  • Communicate to students, faculty, and staff the process to request accommodations.
  • Verify the student’s disabilities and authorize accommodations based on functional limitations caused by the disability. 

Once a student has requested accommodations through AIM, a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) will be generated and sent via email to each instructor.  The FNL outlines specific accommodations that are reasonable and appropriate for that student in that course.

Through AIM, Faculty can view the FNL for each student enrolled in their course(s): 

  1. Access the AIM App through My Portal
  2. From My Dashboard, click on the DSPS AIM App
  3. If you do not see the AIM App, look for it in the Apps catalog
  4. Instructor Authentification page: 1)Read the FERPA Confidentiality page, and 2) Click "Continue to View Student Accommodations"
  5. Overview page: If "Unable to Find Courses" pops up, change "Next Term" to the correct semester
  6. List instructor Profiles: Select a course section and click "View"
  7. To view the FNL, select name and click
  8. FNL includes" 1) Student name and ID number, 2) DSPS Counselor contact information, and 3) List of approved accommodations

 

How Students Request their Faculty Notification (FNL) in AIM

AIM for Instructors

Faculty Rights 

  • Set and display academic standards for all students.
  • To evaluate all students based on the standards of the class and to grade accordingly. 
  • Academic freedom of subject matter of educational content .
  • To appeal a decision regarding the provision of an accommodation, when doing so would pose a fundamental alteration to the course or program curriculum.  

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Faculty will cooperate with DSP&S in providing authorized accommodations and/or support services for students in a timely, reasonable, effective, and equal manner.
  • Select and use accessible methods to deliver educational content. 
  • Provide handouts and exams in a timely manner and in accessible formats for alternate media provision.
  • Select textbooks in a timely manner so that e-text can be ordered from the publisher or converted to e-text by the DSP&S Alternate Media Specialist.
  • To respect and maintain a student’s right to confidentiality by not announcing or discussing the student’s disability in the presence of other students or staff. 
  • Faculty will consult with DSP&S immediately if there is any question regarding how to implement authorized academic accommodations.
  • Faculty will include a statement in their syllabus each semester reminding students with verified disabilities to contact the instructor to arrange accommodations.
  • 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.
  • Faculty have the responsibility to monitor their SCCCD email accounts for receipt of Faculty Notification Letters (FNL) of accommodations for students who are approved for academic accommodations through the DSP&S program.  

Faculty play a key role in the accommodation process. The level of involvement faculty will have in the accommodation process will vary depending upon the type of accommodation prescribed, the setting for the accommodation, and the functional limitations of the student’s disability. 

Syllabus Statement 

DSP&S recommends that each course syllabus contain a statement reflecting compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Ideally, faculty should provide a detailed syllabus that includes course objectives, weekly topics, classroom activities, required reading and writing assignments, and dates of tests, quizzes, and vacations. This information provides valuable information to all students and allows students with disabilities to identify the accommodations they will need to request for the class as well as arrange for materials in an alternate format, if necessary. Whenever possible, provide syllabi and other course materials in an electronic format to provide direct access.  

Following is a sample statement that faculty may use to open the lines of communication regarding necessary accommodations and encourage students with disabilities to seek assistance early in the semester.  

“If you have a documented disability that may require classroom accommodations, please see me immediately after class, or contact the FCC Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S) office in Building A, or call (559) 442-8237 for assistance. If you think that you may have a learning disability but are not sure, DSP&S may still be able to assist you. All information will be kept confidential.” 

Referring students to DSP&S 

We are often asked how to politely and appropriately refer a student who is struggling in class to DSPS. Following are some suggestions on how you might express your concerns; please keep in mind that students benefit most from honest yet kind feedback about their performance in class, whether they have a disability or not.  

  • It is strongly recommended that at the beginning of each semester all faculty include a statement on their syllabus advising students of the process to request accommodations through DSPS. This statement provides an excellent first step in ensuring that all students are aware of DSPS.
  • Encourage students to meet with you to discuss their learning needs. For example: “I noticed that you seemed to have difficulty organizing your paper. I want to share information about some campus services that you might find helpful, such as the Writing and Reading Center, Tutorial Center, or DSPS.” 
  • Access Starfish Early Alert  to raise a flag for students who may be struggling academically. Getting Started Guide for Starfish 

If you have concerns about a student in your class but are not sure how to approach them, please feel free to reach out to DSPS staff for assistance. 

Where do I go for assistance in providing accommodations?  

DSP&S can provide information and assistance with many of the concerns you may have about accommodating students. Please contact our staff at (559) 442-8237.  

How do I know that the accommodation the student has requested is appropriate?  

If you receive an FNL, you can be assured that the student has: 1) completed the DSP&S intake process, 2) provided appropriate verification of disability, 3) met one-on-one with a DSP&S counselor to develop an Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP) of accommodations.  

Am I required to lower the standards of a required 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, and other course expectations differently than their peers.  

Are all students with disabilities registered with DSPS? 

No. It is likely that many students with disabilities have chosen not to be registered with DSPS or they may not have met the eligibility criteria for service. In either case, faculty do not need to provide these students with accommodations, but should refer the student to DSP&S.  

Is the information regarding a student’s disability and his/her need for academic accommodations  confidential?  

Yes. Privacy of student information, including that regarding students’ disabilities or accommodation needs, should be handled according to guidelines of the Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Personal information of this nature should only be shared with those people within the institution who have an educational need to know.  

Do I have the right to fail a student with a disability?  

Yes. The student with a disability has the same right to fail as anyone else. Their work should be equivalent to that of their peers and grades should be an accurate indication of their work in the class. Discuss your observations with the student with a disability just as you would with anyone else in your class who is experiencing difficulty.  

Do I have any recourse if I disagree about the requested accommodations?  

To clarify any disagreement about a requested accommodation, you should first contact a DSP&S counselor. The DSP&S counselor will be happy to discuss your concerns to determine whether the approved accommodation poses a fundamental alteration to your course. If no fundamental alteration exists, then the accommodation stands.  

When I have a student who is deaf in my class, am I required to have an interpreter or real-time captionist in the class?  

Yes. You are required by law to have what is essential for the student to have equal access to an education. Required accommodations include sign language interpreters or real-time captionist, and captioned video presentations. All videos must be captioned, whether there is a student who is deaf or hard of hearing in that class.  

Is providing an accommodation to a student giving them an unfair advantage over other students?  

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.  

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

All tests are monitored and proctored by DSP&S staff. Only 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 Cover sheet and allow students to have only the materials you identify as acceptable. All students must read, acknowledge, and follow the campus Academic Dishonesty Policy as outlined in the current college catalog. 

What if the FNL indicates that the student is allowed to audiotape 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 are concerned that the use of an audio tape recorder in their classroom may infringe on their freedom of speech or potential copyrighted material. All students sign a Course Recording Agreement form regarding confidentiality of taped lectures as part of the DSP&S New Student Intake process.  

I give quizzes every day in my class. If a student’s FNL indicates that they are allowed testing accommodations, must all the quizzes be administered in the DSP&S Testing Center?  

It depends on the student and the type of disability. Many students can complete a simple 5-minute quiz in the classroom setting, but some cannot and will need to arrange to take their quiz in the DSP&S office. If you have concerns regarding a student, please contact at DSP&S counselor immediately for guidance.  

My syllabus clearly states the course requires participation and attendance, and that both are part of  a student’s grade. What do I do if a student with an approved FNL is absent a significant amount of 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 must 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.  

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

If the student is enrolled in a lab class, please assist the student in getting a lab partner or assign a student assistant to work with the student with a disability. 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.  

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

If a personal attendant or class aide is considered an accommodation, that will be noted on FNL. If the student does not have FNL, refer them to DSP&S. Approved personal attendants and classroom aides are guests in the classroom and are expected to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct.  

What if I am asked to change classrooms because of access issues?  

Access to programs and services is a civil right. 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 college 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, FCC is required to move the class to ensure that the student with a disability is not denied access if it does not fundamentally alter the nature of a program, class, or course, or modify academic or program standards. 

What if a student asks for a test accommodation the day before the exam?  

DSPS students are informed that test accommodations must be arranged at least 24-hours in advance and by the deadline for final exams. In some cases, when a student has just been found eligible for this accommodation or when a test/quiz was not scheduled in advance, every effort will be made to provide the test accommodation without a 24-hour notice, but there are no guarantees. However, it is the student’s responsibility to schedule the testing accommodation in advance. One way to aid timely arrangements is to provide a notice on your syllabus alerting students with disabilities who are requesting accommodations to give you and the DSPS office reasonable advance notice of their needs.  

May I require that a student take an 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. Sometimes a student must take the exam at a different time or date. You will be asked to provide the date and time the class is scheduled to take the exam on the Extended Testing Cover Sheet. There is also space to indicate if the instructor agrees to an alternate time. The test will only be scheduled at a different time when there is insufficient space or proctoring staff or if the student has a scheduled class right before or after. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent students from asking others in the class about the test, but such conduct is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Some instructors use alternate forms of the test to reduce security problems. Alternate forms of the test are useful if they are comparable in difficulty.  

I am an “evening/weekend” instructor. How can I get an exam proctored?  

Contact the DSP&S Testing Center for availability and additional information.   

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

Yes. The laws specify that the instructor provides the approved extended time as indicated on the FNL, beyond that the class is provided.  

If a student has just presented me with an FNL form near the end of the term, must I let him/her re-take tests on which he/she did poorly earlier?  

No. Our obligation to a student with a disability commences when the student self-identifies with appropriate documentation. Accommodations are not retroactive.  

I have an online class, in which I give timed quizzes and exams. How do I meet a student’s accommodation request?  

Campus accessibility requirements must be addressed when developing learning materials for electronic distribution to students. Distance education courses, resources, and materials must be designed and delivered in such a way that the level of communication and course-taking experience is the same for students with or without disabilities. If the course has timed quizzes/exams, the assigned class duration must be adjusted to meet the student’s accommodation needs.  

Following is a brief overview of the most frequently authorized accommodations on the FNL form.  

Adaptive Equipment  

Adaptive equipment may include magnification devices, tape recorder, spell checkers, Smart Pens.  

  • Coordinate with DSP&S staff for delivery of services.
  • If accommodation is not on the FNL, refer the student to DSP&S.  

Direct questions regarding Adaptive Equipment to  Michael Gerard, Michael.gerard@fresnocitycollege.edu; DSP&S office: 559.442.8237.  

Adaptive Furniture  

Most common accommodations include adaptive chairs, tables, modified computer workstations.  

  • Coordinate with DSP&S staff for delivery of services.
  • If adaptive tables and/or chairs are not already in your classroom, request through your division office.
  • Give priority for use of adaptive equipment to students approved via an FNL.  

Direct questions regarding Adaptive Furniture to  Michael Gerard, Michael.gerard@fresnocitycollege.edu; DSP&S office: 559.442.8237 

Alternate Media 

Federal and state laws require California Community Colleges and faulty to provide access to all programs and activities in a manner that is accessible to persons with disabilities. DSP&S assists faculty by providing access to alternate media formats for students with verified disabilities. Alternate formats may include Braille; Electronic text; enlarged print; compressed audio (MP3); tactile graphics. Conversion of material to alternate format can take time, so plan accordingly.  

  • Select your textbooks as early as possible.
  • Select textbooks that are already available in alternate formats (if possible).
  • Select videos that are already closed captioned.
  • Provide classroom notes, handouts, and other materials in alternate formats.
  • Submit alternate format quests to DSP&S Alternate Format Specialist as early as possible.
  • Post all materials in an accessible format on Canvas.  

Direct questions regarding Alternate Format to  Michael Gerard, Michael.gerard@fresnocitycollege.edu; DSP&S office: 559.442.8237

Audio Recording of Lectures  

Recording of lectures may be available to students whose disability impacts their ability to listen or take notes in class.

  • All students approved for Audio Recording sign a Course Recording Agreement regarding confidentiality of recorded notes.
  • Allow use of tape recorder as an accommodation if noted on the FNL. 
  • Use of Sonoscent or any other notetaking software as indicated on the student’s FNL. 
  • Post all classroom notes and other materials in an accessible format on Canvas.
  • For questions regarding the use of in-class Audio Recording, please contact a DSP&S counselor

Closed Captioning

State Center Community College District (SCCCD) and Fresno City College are committed to implementing the requirements of Section 504 and 508 Standards which require electronic and information technology purchased or used must be accessible for use with persons with disabilities. 
 
The district and college rely on all administrators, faculty, and staff to provide equal access to all programs and activities for individuals with disabilities.  If you or your department have videos that are not captioned, the following options are available.  
 
For videos that you have created: 

TechConnect Cloud (3C Media Solutions) is the CCC educational repository and distribution source for video content, streaming, and event coverage.  
3C Media Solutions  
Canvas - Rich Content Editor 
 
For additional information on Closed Captioning, contact the FCC Distance Education Office, or DSPS Alternate Media Specialist, Michael.gerard@fresnocitycollege.edu , or call 559.442-8237

Course Policy Accommodation Agreement (CPAA)  

Federal law requires colleges and universities to consider accommodations of attendance and deadline policies. The CPAA is appropriate when a student has a disability that is unpredictable in nature, with brief, periodic flare-ups that legitimately impact course attendance and or assignments. The purpose of the CPAA is to determine if additional flexibility exists beyond what is in your course syllabus.

  • Student requests a CPAA as part of the interactive dialog process with a DSPS counselor.
  • DSPS counselor emails CPAA to the instructor.
  • Instructor is expected to finalize their response to the CPAA within one calendar week of being notified by email. 
  • DSPS counselor will facilitate completion of the CPAA with the student after receiving, reviewing, and agreeing to the response from the instructor.
  • DSPS counselors are available to consult with instructors on issues concerning attendance and deadlines. 

Notetaking 
Please note: The Notetaker module roll-out in AIM is planned for release in fall 2021. Please check your email for updates. 

Notetaking accommodations are approved on an individual basis through an interactive process between a DSPS counselor and the student.  Registered students who have met with a DSPS counselor and have provided documentation that supports the need for print-related accommodations may either be approved for in-class notetaker or notetaking assistive technologies.  For additional information regarding notetaking, please contact a DSPS counselor.  

Because most classes will be online for Fall 2021, an in-class notetaker may not be necessary. 

  • Post all classroom notes and other materials in an accessible format on Canvas.
  • For live lectures, in-class notetakers may be available; please contact the DSP&S office for additional information. 
  • If noted on the FNL, allow the use of notetaking software such as Sonocent and/or Glean.  

For questions regarding Notetaking, please contact a DSPS counselor.

How to Apply to be a Notetaker

How to access notes via AIM

How to upload notes into AIM

Seating 

Due to a student’s verified disability, they may need preferential seating so that they can fully benefit from instruction. 

If the request is for furniture, please refer to the Adaptive Furniture section. 

  • For in-class lectures, please assist the student in reserving the seating choice that is indicated on the FNL (e.g., front row, near an open exit or door).
  • For questions regarding seating, please contact a DSP&S counselor.  

Sign Language Interpreter (SLI)

SLIs are provided when they are considered reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Instructors should refrain from asking the SLI to participate in class activities or perform other tasks.

  • For in-class lectures, arrange seating so that the student has an unobstructed view of the SLI. 
  • Face and speak directly to the student, not the SLI. 
  • Provide copies of class material and handouts to the SLI.
  • All required video content must be properly captioned. For assistance, https://www.3cmediasolutions.org/; see toolbox in Canvas for additional information.  

To request an SLI please complete the Sign Language Interpreter Request Form.  For questions regarding interpreting services, please contact the DSP&S Interpreter Coordinator,  Tabitha.dubois@fresnocitycollege.edu: 559.442.4600, Ext. 8781.

Test-Taking Accommodations  
PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to remote delivery of services, most testing accommodations for Fall 2021 will be provided by instructors online via Canvas. Please check the FCC website for updates regarding COVID-19.

Test accommodations are any modifications made to tests or testing conditions that allow students with disabilities to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Common test accommodations include an extended amount of time a student is given to complete a test; take the test in an alternate format; use of a scribe or proctor; a less distracting environment; access to assistive technology and adaptive furniture.

Extended time or proctored exams:  

  • Exams must be scheduled in advance. 
  • If the exam is 100% online, instructors can provide extended testing time through Canvas. 
  • If the class is hybrid or in-person, proctored testing will be available. 

For questions regarding Testing Accommodations, please contact the DSPS Testing staff at 559.442.8237, dspstesting@fresnocitycollege.edu
 
Tram Services 

Tram services are only available to students who have completed the DSP&S intake process and have been identified as having a temporary or permanent mobility impairment and are for on-campus, class use only. Not all mobility impairments are observable. Due to liability issues, only authorized students may ride the tram. 

  • Please be flexible regarding students who are approved for Tram Services showing up to class on time. 
  • Due to situations beyond the student’s control, students approved for Tram Services may occasionally be late for class or have a short window of time to travel between classes, excessive crowds, etc.
  • If students who are approved for Tram Services are habitually late for class, please contact a DSP&S counselor.  

Students who have temporary or permanent disabilities that affect academic functioning may be eligible for a variety of support services. Following are the eligibility requirements to request services and accommodations from DSP&S:  

  • Students must complete the FCC matriculation process.
  • Students requesting to apply for services from the DSP&S Program must complete an online application via the Accessible Information Management (AIM) system, accessed through My Portal.
  • The disability must be verified, and the student must provide documentation from an appropriate licensed medical professional, or by direct observation with a DSP&S professional staff.
  • All disability verification documentation is reviewed by DSP&S professional staff.
  • All requests for accommodations are the responsibility of the student.
  • Once a student completes the AIM application for services and provides disability verification, they are required to complete an intake interview with DSP&S professional staff and, if necessary, complete additional testing and/or provide additional documentation to establish eligibility.
  • Accommodations are individualized and determined through an interactive process with the student and DSPS counselor. The interactive process takes into consideration a student’s needs and goals to determine appropriate accommodations identified on the students' Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP). 
  • All required DSP&S program paperwork and disability verification forms must be completed prior to participation in or receiving services offered by DSP&S.
  • Students must have an eligible, verifiable disability that limits one or more major life activities and impose an educational limitation that precludes them from participating in general instruction without an accommodation (Title 5 Regulations, Section 56032-56044, 56002). For more information regarding eligible disabilities, please see the Disability Categories section. 

The institution has the right to:  

  • To request and review documentation that supports requests for accommodation. 
  • To hold all students to the Student Code of Conduct.  

The institution has the responsibility to: 

  • Establish college policies and procedures to ensure equal access for students with disabilities.
  • Inform applicants and students with disabilities about the availability and range of accommodations.
  • Communicate policies and procedures to college employees and students.
  • Ensure that all its programs are accessible. 
  • Establish college policies and procedures for access and a process to resolve disputes. 
  • Provide accessible college materials when necessary. 
  • Support an atmosphere of respect and inclusion.
  • Adjust, substitute, or waive any requirements that have a disproportionately adverse impact on a student with a disability and are not fundamental to the student’s academic program.  

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a federal mandate which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any entity receiving federal funds. Title II of the ADA requires state and local government entities to adhere to accessibility standards in facilities and services offered; community colleges fall within Title II of the ADA. Individuals with disabilities are guaranteed an equal opportunity to benefit from state and local programs on the basis of equitable services.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination of individuals with disabilities in any program receiving federal funding.   Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was an addendum passed in 1998, requires entities to make electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.

Organizations must comply with sections 508 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Many provisions of these statutes overlap, but it is important to learn more about and understand the Differences between 504 and 508  

Title 5 under the California Code of Regulations for California Community Colleges assists college personnel in administering DSP&S services to students with disabilities and outlines legal and fiscal responsibilities the DSP&S department must follow. Title 5 deems appropriate academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and instructional services provided to students with disabilities.

State Center Community College District Board Policy, Administrative Regulation 5140, Disabled Students Programs and Services 

It is the intent of the District and the colleges of the District to recognize that special efforts need to be made to extend the opportunities for community college education to students with disabilities. Such students are persons within the District who, because of verified physical, communication or learning disability, cannot benefit from the classes, activities, and services provided by the college without specific additional support services and programs. Given the internal and external resources available to the District, and in compliance with state and federal laws and guidelines, the District will develop programs and services especially designed to compensate for such disabilities and to help assure the recruitment of and the retention of such persons to successful completion of their collegiate goals. 

U.S. Department of Education - Office for Civil Rights (OCR) role is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation's schools.

We are often asked how to politely and appropriately refer a student who is struggling in class to DSPS.  Following are some suggestions on how you might express your concerns; please keep in mind that students benefit most from honest yet kind feedback about their performance in class, whether they have a disability or not.

  • It is strongly recommended that at the beginning of each semester all faculty include a statement on their syllabus advising students of the process to request accommodations through DSPS. This statement provides an excellent first step in ensuring that all students are aware of DSPS.
  • Encourage students to meet with you to discuss their learning needs.  For example: “I noticed that you seemed to have difficulty organizing your paper.  I want to share information about some campus services that you might find helpful, such as the Writing and Reading Center, Tutorial Center, or DSPS.”
  • Access Starfish Early Alert to raise a flag for students who may be struggling academically. Getting Started Guide for Starfish

If you have concerns about a student in your class but aren't quite sure how to approach them, please feel free to reach out to DSPS staff for assistance.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a "service animal" is a dog (or in some instances, a miniature horse) that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.

Service dogs are allowed on campus and in classrooms. When it is not obvious what service a dog provides, college officials may ask only two questions:

  1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

ADA Requirements-Service Animals

College officials may not ask the person to provide the following:

  • Nature of the disability
  • Medical documentation
  • An identification card or training document
  • Demonstration of the dog's ability to perform the work or task

Service animals in Science Laboratories: Similar to students, service animals entering laboratories must be protected against hazardous chemicals and broken glass.  If protective gear such as booties, a lab coat, or goggles are required it is the dog owner's responsibility to provide and train their animal to wear the required protective gear.

Emotional Support Animals and Therapy Animals: If a student requires an emotional support or therapy animal as an accommodation, the student must apply for DSPS, provide documentation from a qualified medical professional and meet with a DSPS counselor. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis.  BP 3440-Service Animals and Emotional Support-Comfort Animals on District Property

Disruptive Animals: The District has the authority to remove any animals from its grounds or facilities if the animal becomes disruptive, threatening, or aggressive.  Board Policy 3442-Animal on District Property

For further information, please contact the DSPS director or a DSPS counselor.

Student 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 Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) that states a student has a disability and needs accommodations, 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 the student requires in a professional manner. 
 
DSP&S is bound by laws that protect a student’s right to privacy. DSP&S 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. 

Student Rights 

According to Title 5, Section 56008, Student Rights:  

  • Participation in DSP&S by students with disabilities is voluntary. Not all students with disabilities require accommodations.
  • Receiving academic accommodations, services, and/or instruction authorized by DSP&S does not preclude a student from participating in any other course, program, or activity offered by the college. 
  • All records maintained by DSP&S personnel pertaining to students with disabilities shall be protected from disclosure and shall be subject to all other requirements for handling of student records as provided in Subchapter 6 (commencing with Section 54600) of Title 5, and are also subject to all other requirements for handling of college student records by Fresno City College .
  • Students have the right to be evaluated on ability, not disability.  

Student Responsibility

  • Complete the DSP&S New Student Intake Process and meet with a DSP&S counselor for an interactive dialog regarding services and accommodations.
  • Provide professional, documented verification of disability to DSP&S.
  • Students must meet with a DSP&S counselor to complete an Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP) and a Student Educational Plan (SEP).
  • Students are responsible for logging into their AIM Portal and requesting that their Faculty Notification Letters (FNL) of accommodations be sent to their instructors each semester. 
  • The student will request and utilize DSP&S services in a timely and responsible manner and adhere to written service provision procedures adopted by DSP&S.
  • Students assume responsibility for transportation, service animals, medications, personal needs, and/or provide their own personal attendant and/or personal aids per SCCCD policy (see current catalog). 
  • Students are the primary person responsible to notify instructors of all absences. In extreme circumstances when a long-term absence that is disability-related occurs and notification by the student is not possible, the DSP&S office will assist the student in notifying instructors.
  •  Students assume personal responsibility for their education and accommodations. 
  • Students are expected to work collaboratively with SCCCD staff and instructors to determine and implement accommodations.
  • Students will comply with the Student Code of Conduct adopted by the college. 
  • 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.
  • Failure to comply with these standards may result in the suspension of DSP&S services. Students seeking to appeal the denial of services should first seek remedy through the Accommodation Appeal Process as outlined in the DSPS Student Handbook 

FERPA General Guidelines

SCCCD Authorization to Release Information Form

It is strongly recommended that all faculty include a statement on their syllabus advising all students of the process to request accommodations through DSPS.  Whenever possible, provide syllabi and other course materials in an electronic format to provide direct access.

Following is a statement that faculty may use to open the lines of communication regarding necessary accommodations and encourage students with disabilities to seek assistance early in the semester.

"If you have a documented disability that may require classroom accommodations, please see me immediately after class, or contact the FCC Disabled Students Building A, call 559.442.8237 or email dsps@fresnocitycollege.edu for assistance.  If you think that you have a learning disability but are not sure, DSP&S may still be able to assist you. All information will be kept confidential."

For additional guidance please contact the DSPS director or a DSPS counselor.

The disability categories served by California Community Colleges include: 

Acquired Brain Impairment (ABI) – A deficit in brain functioning which results in a total or partial loss of cognitive, communicative, motor, psycho-social, and/or sensory-perceptual abilities, and which limits the student's ability to access the educational process. 

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - A neurodevelopmental disorder that is a persistent deficit in attention and/or hyperactive and impulsive behavior that limits the student's ability to access the educational process.   

Autism Spectrum Disorder - A neurodevelopmental disorder described as a persistent deficit which limits the student's ability to access the educational process. Symptoms must have been present in the early developmental period and must cause limitation in social, academic, occupational, or other critical areas of current functioning.  

Blind and Low Vision - A level of vision that limits the student's ability to access the educational process.  

Deaf and Hard of Hearing - A total or partial loss of hearing function that limits the student's ability to access the educational process.  

Intellectual Disability (ID) – Significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior that affect and limit the student's ability to access the educational process. An individual may have an intellectual disability when:    

  • The person's functioning level is below average intellectual ability; and 
  • The person has significant limitations in adaptive skill areas as expressed in conceptual, social, academic, and practical skills in independent living and employment; and 
  • The disability originated before the age of 18.   

Learning Disability (LD) – A persistent condition of a presumed neurological dysfunction that may exist with other disabling conditions. The dysfunction is not explained by lack of educational opportunity, lack of proficiency in the language of instruction, or other non-neurological factors, and the dysfunction limits the student's ability to access the educational process. To be categorized as a student with a learning disability, a student must meet the following criteria through a psycho-educational assessment completed by a qualified specialist certified to assess learning disabilities:  

  • Average to above-average intellectual ability; and  
  • Statistically significant processing deficit(s); and/or  
  • Statistically significant aptitude-achievement discrepancy  

Mental Health Disability - A persistent psychological or psychiatric disability, or emotional or mental illness, that limits the student's ability to access the educational process.   

Other Health Conditions and Disabilities – Includes all other health conditions and/or disabilities that affect a major life activity which are otherwise not defined but which limit the student's ability to access the educational process. These include, but are not limited to: Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Conditions, Morbid Obesity with Underlying Medical Issues, Epilepsy, Arthritis, Asthma, Fibromyalgia, Narcolepsy, Degenerative Disc Disease, and more.   

Physical Disability - A limitation in locomotion or motor function that limits the student's ability to access the educational process. Universal Design  

Universal design is an approach that helps everyone, not just people with disabilities. The principles of universal design in education go by several names: Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Universal Learning Design (ULD), Universal Design for Instruction (UDI), and, perhaps, others. The names may vary, but the principles are the same - the proactive design and use of inclusive instructional strategies that benefit a broad range of learners including students with disabilities.

Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) provides a great resource, Universal Design of Instruction (UDI): Definition, Principles, Guidelines, and Examples

Additional Resources regarding Universal Design:

Applications of Universal Design

Making Distance Learning Accessible to Everyone

Universal Design in Education: An Online Tutorial

Universal Design of Instruction (UDI)

Instructional Strategies

Due to confidentiality laws, you may be aware that you have a student with a disability in your classroom, but not know the student’s diagnosis. If a student chooses to confidentially disclose their disability diagnosis with you, having some general knowledge about the different disability categories could be helpful in your effort to support the student and their accommodation needs. 

Following is a brief description of some of the most common disability categories, including the impact in the academic setting, accommodations, and instructional strategies. This list is by no means exhaustive and is intended only to provide the most basic information. 

For additional information about the different disability categories and how you can best support a student with a disability, please contact the DSP&S Director or a DSP&S counselor at (559) 442-8237. 

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 brief 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. 

Impact on the Academic Setting  

  • Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions.
  • Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading. 
  • Getting lost and/or easily confused .
  • Difficulty taking notes/tests. 
  • Difficulty planning and organizing .
  • Feeling tired, low energy decreased motivation. 
  • Increased sensitivity to light, sound, and distractions .
  • Poor coordination, difficulty walking, sitting, standing. 
  • Mood changes. 

 Possible Accommodation  

  • Test-taking accommodations such as extra time, a distraction-reduced setting, and/or materials in alternate formats.
  • Note-taking assistance or copy of instructor’s course notes.
  • Ability to record lectures. 
  • Preferential seating .
  • Ability to take short breaks if necessary. 
  • Text and other printed materials converted to audio files.
  • Access to elevators and modified seating.
  • Priority registration.

Instructional Strategies  

  • Provide clear, concise instructions and a detailed syllabus outlining all course expectations, methods of grading, and due dates for homework and exams. 
  • Provide online access to the course syllabus and other materials so they are available at any time. 
  • Provide time for the student to process information and respond to questions. 
  • Check for understanding by providing the student an opportunity to repeat instructions.
  • Encourage the use of planners and/or electronic calendar applications to manage appointments, due dates, and exam dates.
  • Provide clear and consistent feedback regarding the student’s performance in class.  

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. 

Impact on the Academic Setting  

  • Inattention.
  • Has difficulty concentrating. 
  • Has unrelated thoughts. 
  • Has problems focusing and sustaining attention.  
  • Appears not to be listening.
  • Performance depends on the task. 
  • May have better attention to enjoyed activities. 
  • Has difficulty planning, organizing, and completing tasks on time. 
  • Has problems learning new things.
  • Demonstrates poor self-regulation of behavior, that is, he or she has difficulty monitoring and modifying behavior to fit different situations and settings.
  • Hyperactivity .
  • Seems unable to sit still (e.g., squirming in his/her seat, roaming around the room, tapping a pencil, wiggling feet, and touching everything) .
  • Appears restless and fidgety.
  • May move quickly from one activity to the next .
  • Often tries to do more than one thing at once.  

Impulsivity  

  • Difficulty thinking before acting. 
  • Problems waiting for his/her turn, such as when playing a game.  

Possible Accommodations  

  • Preferential seating away from potential distractions.
  • Extended time and distraction-reduced location for testing .
  • Note-taking assistance. 
  • Use of audio recorder during lectures and directions.
  • Audiobooks and text  

Instructional Strategies  

  • Provide clear and simple directions for homework and class assignments (repeating directions, posting homework assignments on board, supplementing verbal instructions with visual/written instructions). 
  • Give instructions one at a time and repeat, as necessary. 
  • Use visuals: charts, pictures, color coding. 
  • Create outlines for note-taking that organize the information as you deliver it. 
  • Divide long-term projects into segments and assign a completion goal for each segment. 
  • List the activities of the lesson on the board. 
  • Keep instructions simple and structured.
  • Consider alternate teaching methods, such as multisensory instruction, use of visual cues and hands-on activities, highlighting or underlining important parts of a task, use of cues to identify key points of the lesson, providing guided lecture notes, outlines, and study guides. 
  • Summarize key points. 
  • Break information into small steps when teaching many new tasks in one lesson (state objectives, review the previous lesson, summarize periodically) 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by severe and pervasive impairments in reciprocal social communication and social interaction (verbal and nonverbal), and by restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. It is sometimes referred to as “high-functioning autism.” The core feature is the individual’s inability to understand the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of other people and to use this understanding to regulate his or her own behaviors.  

The student may have sophisticated and impressive vocabulary and excellent rote memory but may have difficulty with high-level thinking and comprehension skills. They can give the impression that they understand, when they may be repeating what they have heard or read. 

 The following characteristics are commonly seen in students with ASD, but due to the complexity of this disability, you will not likely see all these characteristics in each student. In fact, ASD affects individuals in diverse ways. Often behaviors that seem odd or unusual or even rude are in fact unintentional symptoms of ASD.  

Impact on the Academic Setting  

The Impacts of ASD in the academic setting may be most noticeable in the areas of communication, social skills, and written assignments. Examples include: 

  •  Frequent errors in interpreting others’ body language, intentions, or facial expressions .
  • Difficulty understanding the motives and perceptions of others. 
  • Problems asking for help. 
  • Motor clumsiness, unusual body movements, and/ or repetitive behavior.
  • Difficulty with the big picture, perseverate on the details (cannot see the forest for the trees) .
  • Difficulties with transitions and changes in schedule .
  • Wants things “just so,” inflexible.
  • Problems with organization (including initiating, planning, carrying out, and finishing tasks).
  • Deficits in abstract thinking (may be very concrete, focuses on irrelevant details) .
  • Unusual sensitivity to touch, sounds, and visual stimuli; may experience sensory overload. 
  • Difficulty in initiating and sustaining connected relationships. 
  • Poor or unusual eye contact .
  • Problems understanding social rules (such as personal space or eye contact) .
  • Impairment of two-way interaction (May seem to talk “at you” rather than “with you”) .
  • Conversation and questions may be tangential or repetitive.
  • Restricted interests may be unusual and sometimes become a rigid and repetitive topic for conversation. 
  • Unusual speech intonation, volume, rhythm, and/or rate .
  • A literal understanding of language (difficulty interpreting words with double meaning, confused by metaphors and sarcasm).

Possible Accommodations  

  • Test-taking accommodations (extra time, and/or distraction reduced setting).
  • Note-taking assistance or copy of instructor’s course notes. 
  • Ability to record lectures.
  • Preferential seating.
  • Ability to take short breaks if necessary. 
  • Conversion of text to electronic formats.
  • Priority registration . 

Instructional Strategies  

  • Clearly define course requirements, the dates of exams, and when assignments are due, and whenever possible provide advance notice of any changes. 
  • Provide instructions using a variety of modalities, such as verbally and in writing. 
  • Keep directions simple and declarative and check for understanding by asking the student to repeat them back to you. 
  • Avoid absolute words such as “always” or “never” unless that is exactly what you mean. 
  • Make sure all expectations are direct and explicit without requiring students to “read between the lines” to glean your intentions. 
  • Provide direct and explicit feedback to the student when you observe areas of academic difficulty or lack of appropriate boundaries.
  • Encourage the use of resources designed to help students with study skills, particularly organizational skills.
  • Avoid idioms, double meaning, and sarcasm, unless you plan to explain your usage. 
  • Use visual examples such as pictures, graphs, and histograms. 
  • Allow use of a keyboarding device if the student has poor penmanship due to deficits in motor skills.

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. 

Examples of conditions that result in low-vision or blindness may include but are not limited to cataracts, retinitis, pigmentosa, retinal detachment, glaucoma, strabismus nystagmus. 

Impact on the Academic Setting  

  • Compromised ability to see classroom PowerPoint presentations, notes, demonstrations, videos, whiteboards, etc. 
  • Compromised ability to independently participate in in-class assignments and/or activities. 
  • Limitations in being able to notice social cues.
  • Limited access to general information that is learned through informal visual class activities.
  • Compromised access to necessary textbooks and supplemental materials.
  • Compromised ability to access some websites and software programs when sites/software are not compatible with screen reading programs, which is a violation of federal and state laws.  

Possible Accommodations  

  • Seating near the front of the class, near demonstration or the front board, etc.
  • Testing accommodations, such as extended time, tests in an alternate format (such as Braille or electronic format), and/or use of specially adapted equipment (e.g., talking calculator/spell checker, and/or a computer equipped with a screen reader program).
  • Note-taking assistance and/or use of audio recorders during class lectures.
  • Timely access to class handouts so they may be reviewed prior to needing them in class.
  • Timely access to any videos to be shown In-class so the student can view the video with a person who can provide video descriptions (Video descriptions are short verbal descriptions of action or key visual scenes, such as the setting, costumes, and facial expressions, which are provided to add context and allow people who are blind or have low vision to gain more complete access to video content).  

Instructional Strategies  

  • Select textbooks as early as possible, which gives the student time to purchase the book and request DSPS to convert it into an accessible format prior to the beginning of the semester. 
  • Provide timely access to classroom materials, including syllabus and course outlines with important dates, so they can be converted into an alternate format by DSPS (i.e., digital recordings, MP3, electronic text, large print, or Braille). One way to do this is to post all course materials in Canvas. 
  • If the FNL indicates notetaker assistance, assist the student with locating a volunteer note-taker from class. 
  • Provide electronic copies of lecture notes or post them online (Canvas, faculty web page).
  • When speaking, face the class and talk in a normal tone. Read all information that is written on the board, PowerPoint, or handouts allowed. Verbally describe objects and processes when possible.
  • When working with a student who has an in-class aide, please direct all questions or inquiries regarding accommodations to the student, not the aide.
  • Feel free to talk directly with the student regarding what additional assistance they might require to successfully complete your course. Students are a wonderful resource and can provide insight into what has worked in their past experiences. DSPS faculty are always available for consultation as well.
  • When selecting software programs, request an evaluation by Technology Services prior to purchase to ensure that they are universally accessible. 
  • Avoid last-minute assignments whenever possible as this could present a problem due to scheduling and preparation issues, especially when materials will need to be produced in an alternate format.  

Hearing loss may range from complete deafness to a slight loss in a few frequencies. The earlier the occurrence in life, the greater effect it may have in the development of speech, as well as reading and writing skills.  

Impact on the Academic Setting  

  • Difficulty hearing lectures, group discussions, or student questions in a classroom setting .
  • Difficulty taking notes while trying to listen, lip-reading, and/or watching an interpreter. 
  • Difficulty hearing media presentations that involve sound .
  • Problems communicating in one-on-one situations with instructors or other students.
  • Difficulty with English grammar due to lack of phonetic access to learning the language.
  • May misunderstand auditory information without realizing the error. 
  • May not speak clearly or at all.  

Possible Accommodations  

  • Preferential seating.
  • Note-taker for class lectures.
  • American Sign language (ASL) or oral interpreter.
  • Assistive listening device (ALD) .
  • Captioned videos .
  • CART services (e.g., computerized notetaking, Real-Time Captioning).
  • Extended test-taking time.  
  • Priority registration.
  • Other accommodations based upon the student’s educational limitations. 

Instructional Strategies  

Provide access and accommodations to the DHH students.  

  • Provide written material and instructions whenever possible.
  • Provide timely access to the course syllabus, class outlines, lecture notes, and technical terms.
  • Write on the board whenever possible. 
  • Ensure that all materials utilized in the classroom are accessible.
  • On request from the student, assist with finding an effective note-taker or lab assistant from the class. 
  • Provide context to new topics so that all students have the necessary background knowledge.
  • Allow the DHH student the same anonymity as other students (i.e., avoid pointing out the student or the alternative arrangements to the rest of the class) .
  • Circular seating arrangements offer DHH students the advantage of seeing all class participants, especially in a seminar setting. 
  • In a lecture setting, keep front seats available to be utilized by DHH students and their interpreters. 
  • Repeat the comments and questions of other students, especially those from the back rows; acknowledge who has made the comment so the DHH student can focus on the speaker. 
  • If possible, provide transcripts of audio information. 
  • Face the class when speaking; if an interpreter is present, make sure the student can see both you and the interpreter. 
  • Films, overheads, diagrams, and other visual aids are useful instructional tools for visual learners. 
  • Ensure that spoken dialogue and commentary in films, videotapes, DVDs, and online course websites are presented with accurate captions. 
  • Refrain from speaking while a DHH student is reading an overhead or handout. Be sure to have visual contact with the student to assure that they are watching you or the interpreter. 
  • Provide adequate lighting. 
  • Use only videos which have captions.  

Learning disabilities affect the way individuals with average or above-average intelligence receive, process, retain and/or express information. A learning disability is NOT to be confused with or identified as general low ability. Students with a learning disability cannot be “cured” and are usually “invisible” in comparison to many other types of disabilities. It is accepted that a learning disability is a result of some factor intrinsic to the individual due to one or more disturbances in underlying neurological processes, such as perception, memory conceptualizations attention, receptive or expressive language, etc.  

Impact on the Academic Setting  

Reading
  • Confusion of similar words, difficulty using phonics, problems reading multi-syllable words.
  • Difficulty finding important points or main ideas.
  • Slow reading rate and/or difficulty adjusting speed to the nature of the reading task.
  • Difficulty with comprehension and retention of printed material, but not with materials presented orally. 
Writing 
  • Difficulty with sentence structure, poor grammar, omitted words. 
  • Frequent spelling errors, inconsistent spelling, letter reversals .
  • Difficulty copying from the board. 
  • Poorly formed handwriting choosing to print instead of using script. 
  • Compositions lack organization, and development of ideas. 
Listening 
  • Difficulty paying attention in various settings. 
  • Difficulty listening to a lecture and taking notes at the same time.
  • Easily distracted by background noise or visual stimulation.
  • Inconsistent concentration.
Oral Language 
  • Difficulty expressing ideas orally which the student seems to understand. 
  • Difficulty describing events or stories in proper sequence.
  • Difficulty with grammar.
  • Using a similar-sounding word in place of the appropriate one  .

Math  

  • Difficulty memorizing basic facts.
  • Confusion or reversal of numbers, number sequences, or symbols .
  • Difficulty copying problems, aligning columns. 
  • Difficulty reading or comprehending word problems. 
  • Problems with reasoning and abstract concepts . 

Social Skills  

  • Difficulty “reading” facial expressions, body language. 
  • Problems interpreting subtle messages, such as sarcasm or humor. 
  • Appears disorganized in space; confuses up and down, right, and left. 
  • May become easily disoriented when a familiar environment is rearranged.
  • Seems disoriented; is often late to class, appointments or is unable to finish assignments in the standard time.
  • May display excessive anxiety, anger, or depression, due to an inability to cope with school or social situations.  

Possible Accommodations  

  • Notetaker, tape recorder, laptop.
  • Alternative testing (extended time, reader, scribe, enlarged text, distraction-reduced setting, word processor, use of assistive technology such as text to voice software .
  • Textbooks and other materials provided alternate format, such as MP3. 
  • Calculator, spell-checker, or Smart Pen . 

Instructional Strategies 

  • Provide a detailed syllabus that includes course objectives, weekly topics, classroom activities, required reading and writing assignments, and due dates for long-term assignments or projects. 
  • Emphasize due dates for exams and quizzes. 
  • Clarify rules in advance; explain and document how students will be graded, whether make-up tests or rewrites of papers are allowed. 
  • Practice multi-modality teaching methods for lectures, in-class assignments, exams, and quizzes .
  • Speak at an even speed, emphasizing important points with pauses, gestures, and body language to assist students with learning disabilities in following lectures and in-class activities.
  • Check for comprehension by requesting students to repeat instructions.
  • Provide immediate individual feedback regarding assignments and exams.
  • Paraphrase abstract concepts using specific terms and illustrate them with clear examples, firsthand experiences, hands-on models, and such visual structures as charts and graphs. 
  • Keep oral instructions concise and reinforce them with brief cue words. 
  • Repeat or re-word complicated directions .
  • Repeat and summarize segments of each presentation or lecture and review its entirety.  

Students with mental health disabilities represent a growing population on our campuses. Mental health disabilities affect people of any age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic and intellectual level. These disabilities may be hidden with little or no apparent effect on a student’s learning. These behaviors persist over time; they are not in response to a particular event. Examples of commonly diagnosed mental health disabilities include depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia.  

Impact on the Academic Setting  

Impacts of a psychological disability in the academic setting may include, but are not limited to:  

  • Easily distracted.
  • Panic in unfamiliar surroundings and situations.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Difficulty focusing for extended periods of time.
  • Difficulty formulating and executing a plan of action. 
  • Difficulty overcoming unexpected obstacles.
  • Difficulty with time management and study skills.
  • Memory problems .
  • Absences related to a flare-up of symptoms and/or hospitalization.  

Possible Accommodations  

  • Alternative testing (e.g., extended test time, distraction reduced testing environment).
  • Note-taking assistance and/or use of audio recorders. 
  • Textbooks in audio or other electronic formats .
  • Modified seating (e.g., close to open door/exit, or back against the corner of the room, etc.)
  • Water allowed In-class to manage medication side effects. 
  • Occasional need for incomplete or late withdrawals (e.g., in the event of prolonged illness or crisis)  

Instructional Strategies  

  • Provide instructions in a clear and concise manner with expectations and due dates clearly delineated.
  • Provide writing assignments as an alternative to oral presentations.
  • Encourage the use of academic support services on campus and instructor office hours when clarification of instructions is needed.
  • Offer to meet with students privately to discuss their progress in class and provide them with clear, straightforward feedback regarding their performance.
  • Provide information on good study habits, including where students can go to receive time management and study skills assistance as this may be an area of difficulty. 
  • All students are held to the Student Conduct Code (no exceptions).
  • If abusive or threatening behavior occurs, contact the Campus Police. 

Some students may have medical conditions that are not apparent to the casual observer but can cause serious barriers in the academic setting. Other health conditions and disabilities vary and may include conditions that affect strength, vitality, alertness, stamina, mobility, cognitive processing, etc.  
Some examples of other health conditions and disabilities may include, but are not limited to heart conditions, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, leukemia, epilepsy, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), HIV, environmental illness, asthma, diabetes, lupus, and other autoimmune conditions, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome, and cancer. Other debilitating conditions that often create intense and continual nerve pain are repetitive stress injuries, post-surgical procedures, and chronic neck and back conditions.  
Impact on the Academic Setting  
  • Physical limitations such as lack of energy, difficulty walking, standing, or sitting for a long time.  
  • Cognitive issues such as distractibility, memory and concentration issues, difficulty focusing for extended periods of time, “brain fog,” etc.  
  • Symptoms which are often unpredictable and fluctuating, resulting in inconsistent performance  
  • Impacts from side-effects of medications, which may include dry mouth, dizziness, sleepiness, and/ or confusion.  
  • Frequent medical appointments and/or hospitalizations 
 Possible Accommodations  
  • Alternative testing accommodations, which may vary widely depending on the educational limitations.  
  • Note-taking assistance and/or ability to record lectures.  
  • Ability to have water in the classroom to manage side effects of medications and/or the illness.
  • Ability to have a snack or take a quick break for those who need to regulate their blood sugar or adhere to a strict medical regimen.  
  • Ability to get up and stretch periodically or stand during lectures.
  • Preferential seating (e.g., close to the door/exit, in front, back against the wall, etc.) 
  • Modified seating (e.g., a DSPS table and/or chair, etc.)
  • Occasional need for incomplete or late withdrawals (e.g., in the event of prolonged illness or crisis)
  • Absences are also sometimes unavoidable for students with frequent medical appointments, medical emergencies, and/or chronic disability-related complications such as infections or flare-ups. Providing advance notice of the absence is not always possible. In most situations, students can make up the incomplete work, but they will need to be given extended time to complete it.  
 Instructional Strategies  
  • In courses that require field trips or internships, discuss the accommodations the student will need early in the term because those who require specialized transportation, seating, etc. will need to plan for this in advance. Collaboration with the student’s DSP&S counselor may be necessary.  
  • Provide students in advance with a detailed course outline/syllabus that clearly delineates course expectations and due dates. 
  • When possible/appropriate, understand that lateness is sometimes an issue for students with low stamina as it may take longer to get from class to class. However, chronic lateness should be addressed as it would be with any student. 
  • Consider offering incompletes to students who are unexpectedly unable to complete the requirements for your course due to hospitalization and/or significant flare-up of their condition. 
  •  

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 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.  

Impact on the Academic Setting  

  • Difficulty writing or performing manual tasks.
  • Difficulty sitting for extended periods of time.
  • Additional time or effort is necessary to produce coursework. 
  • Unpredictable and fluctuating periods of intermittent flare-ups and remissions .
  • Easily distracted. 
  • Memory and concentration issues.
  • Difficulty focusing for extended periods of time. 
  • Frequent medical appointments, treatments, and/or hospitalizations .
  • Side effects from treatment and/or medications.

Possible Accommodations  

  • Alternative testing accommodations, which may vary widely depending on the limitations (e.g., extended time, alternate format, access to specially adapted equipment).
  • Note-taking assistance and/or ability to record lectures. 
  • Modified seating (e.g., a DSPS table and or chair, etc.) or preferential seating (e.g., in front, close to the door/exit, back against the wall, etc.)
  • Ability to stand up temporarily to stretch muscles or leave the classroom to take care of an unavoidable personal need.
  • Use of an accessible lab station, which may involve working directly with the student to identify any necessary modifications to the workstation; considerations include under-counter knee clearance, working countertop height, horizontal reach, and aisle widths. 
  • Occasional unavoidable lateness or absences for students with low stamina, those who rely on attendant care, mobility assistance, or encounter inaccessible travel routes on and off-campus, inclement weather, waiting for assistance in opening doors, maneuvering along crowded paths, and campus elevators that are not operating. 

Instructional Strategies  

  • Provide students in advance with a detailed course outline/syllabus that clearly delineates course expectations and important dates, preferably in an electronic format.
  • Be prepared to have your class moved if it is held in an inaccessible location. 
  • Do not move accessible furniture or use it for other purposes.
  • Students who use wheelchairs or have other mobility-related disabilities and are frequently late may benefit from discussing the situation with you to identify practical solutions. Most students will schedule their classes with ample time in between but this is not always possible. Students who rely on an attendant for personal care or mobility assistance may sometimes experience schedule disruptions beyond their control.
  • Be aware that a wheelchair is part of the person’s body space and should not be leaned on. When talking to a student who uses a wheelchair for more than a few minutes, sit down and make eye contact on their level.
  • Students who rely upon the assistance of a partner or In-class aide for assistance in a lab class should be allowed to fully participate in lab activities possible. The student can give all instructions to the assistant, such as which chemical to add to a certain type of test tube, or where to dispose of used chemicals, etc. The student will learn everything except the physical manipulation of the materials. The student’s DSPS counselor can discuss strategies, if necessary.
  • Always consider the accessibility of a field trip and avoid inaccessible locations. However, consult with the student and the DSPS counselor for some creative solutions, such as an alternative assignment for the student. If transportation is being furnished for the class, then special ADA compliant transportation must be made available for students with disabilities.

AIM YouTube Videos