Per the Chancellor's Office, California Community Colleges, to be eligible for accommodations, services, and instruction, a student must have a disability that is verified pursuant to Section 56006, 2015 Implementing Guidelines for Title 5 DSP&S Regulations
The existence of a disability may be verified by one of the following means:
- Observation by certificated DSP&S staff; or
- Assessment by certificated DSP&S staff; or
- Review of documentation by certificated staff provided by appropriate agencies or certified or licensed professionals outside of DSP&S.
General documentation guidelines:
- Documentation must be on business letterhead from a licensed professional -not related to the student- who is qualified to give a psychological and/or medical diagnosis. The name, credentials, and signature of the licensed professional must appear on the documentation.
- The documentation must include all pertinent diagnoses, clearly stated and explained.
- Information outlining testing/assessment tools must be included. Learning disability testing should include the actual test scores; the student should be tested using measures normed on adult populations.
- Documentation should include information on how the disability currently impacts the individual and document “how a major life activity is limited by providing a clear sense of severity, frequency, and prevalence of the condition(s).”
- All pertinent positive and negative effects of mitigating measures should be addressed. This could include a description of treatment, medications (and potential side effects), and assistive devices with estimated effectiveness of their impact on the disability.
- Fresno City College does not determine accommodations solely based on the recommendations of the care provider or evaluator.
All new students are required to meet with a DSP&S counselor for an interactive discussion to discuss and develop an Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP) to identify the functional limitations in the educational environment and to determine the needed auxiliary aids, services, academic adjustments, and educational assistance classes.
Matriculation is the process that brings Fresno City College and each student together for the purpose of helping students succeed in achieving their educational goals. This process includes: 1) Application/Admission; 2) Orientation; 3) Assessment of basic educational skills and career goals; 4) Advising; 5) Registration; and 6) Financial Aid (optional).
FCC On-line Orientation
All new students will have an Orientation (OR) hold until they complete the SCCCD On-Line Orientation.
Everything you need is in My Portal, such as access to Canvas, Starfish, Student Email, WebAdvisor, and other resources. Log in to My Portal by clicking the My Portal App located on the top right-hand corner of the Fresno City College webpage.
Canvas is the Course Management System chosen by the California Community College System for delivering high-quality online courses. Access Canvas by logging in to your My Portal account and accessing Canvas in the Apps Catalog.
Starfish provides comprehensive tools that will help you connect with Fresno City College Resources. It gives faculty a way to communicate your progress throughout the semester to ensure the right people can provide support when needed. Access Starfish by logging into your My Portal account and accessing Starfish in the Apps Catalog.
Your SCCCD Student Email is the primary method the college uses to send you essential information. Check your email daily as email is the primary way the college will communicate with you. Access your Student Email by logging in to your My Portal account and open Student Email in the Apps Catalog.
Under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1992, DSP&S students are offered information, voter registration application forms, and the opportunity to become registered voters. Voter registration information and online application forms are available on the California Secretary of State webpage, and select Elections and Voter Information.
WebAdvisor is FCC’s online academic management system and is available for free to all current FCC students. Students use WebAdvisor to register and drop classes, view grades, class schedules, and financial information. To access WebAdvisor, log in through your My Portal.
Academic accommodations are not automatic in college; students must self-identify to the DSP&S program as a student with a verified disability and complete the required DSP&S New Student Intake process.
Accessible Information Management (AIM)
AIM makes it easy for students to apply, view, manage and independently coordinate their approved accommodation requests.
Completing the AIM application
How to Apply for the DSPS Program on the DSPS webpage includes the information and instructions you will need to complete the AIM application. If the student is unable to access the online application please contact the DSPS office for assistance.
Once your AIM application has been processed and disability verification has been reviewed and confirmed by DSP&S staff, you will be contacted to schedule your first appointment to speak with a DSP&S counselor.
- Be prepared to describe your disability and how it impacts your learning. Student self-report is a critical component of the interactive dialog process with your DSP&S counselor.
- Review the disability verification that you submitted. Be prepared to discuss your strengths, challenge areas, and any recommendations made by the evaluator/provider.
Be able to explain:
- Accommodations you have received in the past and how they have helped/not helped you.
- How you learn best and any strategies you have developed to be successful as a student.
- What accommodations you are requesting and how they relate to your diagnosed disability.
Students who have been away from FCC for two or more primary consecutive (fall and spring) semesters must complete a new college admission application for the semester they are planning to attend.
DSP&S counselors may be able to authorize accommodations based on any existing disability verification. However, if you have been absent from the DSP&S program for two semesters or longer, your DSP&S file information is out-of-date, or you qualified for services based on a temporary disability, you may be asked to provide updated disability verification.
If you have not accessed DSP&S services for more than 5 years, your file may have been purged and you must complete the entire DSP&S intake process, including resubmitting current disability documentation.
You must meet with your DSP&S counselor at least once each semester to maintain your eligibility for services.
- Accommodations must be requested and/or updated every semester.
- You may be asked to provide updated verification if you have a disability that changes over time, or if you qualified for services based on a temporary disability.
- If you want to request a service that was not previously authorized you must meet with a DSP&S counselor for an interactive dialog to discuss your new request.
- Your DSP&S counselor may be able to authorize the accommodation based on the current disability verification, or they may need to request additional verification from your provider.
- Participation in DSP&S is voluntary. Not all students with disabilities require or want accommodations.
- Receiving DSP&S services does not prevent a student from participating in any other course, program, or activity offered by the college (if the students meet all course/program prerequisites).
- All records maintained by DSP&S pertaining to students with disabilities are confidential and protected from disclosure pursuant to the Family Education and Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) and are subject to all other relevant SCCCD college statutes and regulations for the handling of student records.
- Students assume responsibility for transportation, service animals, medications, and the provision of a Personal Care Attendant.
- Students assume personal responsibility for their education and accommodations.
- Students are expected to work collaboratively with DSP&S staff to ensure timely provision of services.
- Students receiving services through DSP&S will be assigned a counselor. If the student has a conflict/issue with their assigned counselor, the student may submit a Request for Change of Counselor form. Forms are available in the DSPS office or call 559.442.8237.
- Students must meet with a DSP&S counselor to complete an Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP). The student will meet with a DSP&S counselor at least annually to review and update the Academic Accommodation Plan.
- It is the student’s responsibility to notify their DSP&S counselor immediately whenever changes occur that affect the student’s needs for accommodations.
- Students will utilize DSP&S accommodations and services in a responsible manner and adhere to written service provisions adopted by DSP&S.
- Students must comply with the Student Code of Conduct adopted by the college. To see a complete copy of the Student Code of Conduct please see the Student Conduct Standards section in the FCC catalog.
- Students must demonstrate measurable progress toward the goals established in the student’s Student Educational Plan (SEP) and meet academic standards established by the college. Please see the FCC catalog for details.
- Students with disabilities are responsible for notifying their DSP&S counselor immediately if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner.
Colleges are required to provide reasonable accommodations (academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, services, and educational assistance courses) so that students with verified disabilities can fulfill academic requirements.
Effective accommodations relate directly to the student's educational limitation. They are designed to:
- Overcome disadvantages imposed by a disability.
- Provide equal opportunity for achievement.
- Address individual needs.
- Be provided as a legal right, not as a privilege.
Effective accommodations preserve academic integrity. They must not:
- Provide a competitive advantage.
- Lower the academic standard by “watering down” content.
- Lower the academic standard by grading the student more leniently.
- Continue if ineffective or no longer required.
Academic accommodations are not required if they would alter the fundamental nature of a course or a program. However, the burden of proof is on the college to demonstrate that the student’s accommodations will alter the fundamental nature of a course or a program. A central consideration is that the college administration and the faculty/staff member have made good faith efforts to provide appropriate, reasonable, and equal access to the college’s educational programs, services, and activities without altering their fundamental nature.
If a student is denied an accommodation that they believe is reasonable based on disability limitations and does not fundamentally alter the requirements of the course, the student has the right to file an appeal.
Active DSP&S students can process an appeal if they are dissatisfied with the implementation of an approved academic accommodation or auxiliary aide; if an accommodation that aligns with disability verification is denied; or if they have encountered discrimination based on their disability status.
Informal Accommodation Appeal Process
- DSP&S encourages students to first reach out to their DSPS counselor to informally remedy the situation. Many times, DSPS counselors act as a liaison between students and the institution and can quickly resolve concerns.
- If the student is dissatisfied with the resolution reached with their DSPS counselor, students are encouraged to reach out to the DSPS Director, Susan Arriola at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 559.443.8561 for assistance.
- If a mutually satisfactory resolution is not agreed upon between the student and the DSPS Director, students may advance a complaint to the Office of the Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Lataria Hall at email@example.com or call 559.442.4600, ext. 8595.
Formal Complaint and Grievance Process
- Students who believe a college decision or action has adversely affected their status, rights, or privileges may file an online Student Complaint Form and submit it to the Office of the Vice President of Student Services Office. Forms are also located upstairs in the Student Services Building, #10 on the FCC Campus Map
- Students have the right to file a grievance with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) if no mutually satisfactory agreement can be agreed upon. OCR will convene an open investigation on services provided.
Students who reasonably believe a college decision or action has adversely affected their status, rights, or privileges may file a student grievance form and submit it to the Office of the Vice President of Student Services Office. Students are expected to first make a reasonable effort to resolve matters informally with either the person with whom the student has the grievance and then that person’s supervisor or college administrator, if necessary.
Inquiries regarding the equal opportunity policies, the filing of grievances, or requesting a copy of the grievance procedures covering discrimination complaints may be directed to the Section 504/Title II compliance coordinator:
Vice President of Student Services
Fresno City College
1101 E. University Avenue, Fresno CA 93741
(559)442-4622, Ext. 8595
For complete details on the college Administrative Policies, please review the Current College Catalog online. A copy of the current college catalog is also available for review in the DSP&S office, Vice President of Student Services office, or the Fresno City College Library.
Disabled Student Programs & Services staff members help students obtain the Accommodations and Services necessary to allow equal access to Fresno City College’s programs and services. It is the responsibility of DSP&S to utilize resources so that all students can receive equitable services. DSP&S establishes policies and procedures for responding to, in a timely manner, requests involving accommodations. Any accommodations, services, and/or instruction must:
- Not duplicate services or instruction which is otherwise available to all students.
- Be related to the educational limitations of the verified disabilities of the students to be served.
- Promote the maximum independence and integration of students with disabilities.
- Not include any change to the curriculum or course of study that is so significant that it alters the required objectives or content of the curriculum in the approved course outline, thereby causing a fundamental alteration.
- Support participation of students with disabilities in educational activities consistent with the mission of the community colleges set forth in California Law, Education Code 66010.4
A “fundamental alteration” is a change that is so significant that it alters the essential nature of the approved course outline of record and the objectives of an individual course or course of study. Accommodation does not mean fundamental alteration.
Suspension of Services
There are only two ways that eligible students may be suspended:
- Lack of measurable progress, and/or.
- Abuse of services
State law requires students to maintain satisfactory progress while enrolled at a community college. Even with accommodations, students may encounter difficulties due to disability, life circumstances, or other reasons that prevent them from achieving these goals. Students are encouraged to use authorized accommodations and services, to choose appropriate classes and a reasonable course load, and to meet regularly with their DSP&S counselor.
Students with disabilities are responsible for notifying their DSP&S counselor immediately if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner.
A lack of measurable progress may result in a suspension of services. Lack of progress can be determined in any of the following ways:
- Failure to pass (grades of W, NC, D, or F) classes while utilizing appropriate Academic Adjustments, Auxiliary Aids, and Services.
- Failure to meet SCCCD’s requirements for being a student in good standing (see Academic Regulations section in the current FCC college catalog).
- Insufficient progress, as determined by the instructor in consultation with the student.
- Failure to make progress for two consecutive semesters toward the goals established in the student’s Student Educational Plan.
For detailed information regarding maintaining measurable progress, please refer to “Probation and Dismissal,” included in the Academic Regulations section of the FCC college catalog.
Abuse of Services
Abuse of services is defined as a failure to comply with the policies and/or procedures established to obtain or utilize authorized accommodations. Examples of “abuse of services” include excessive, unexcused absences where accommodation and/or service is being provided, verbal abuse of DSP&S staff, repeated failure to keep appointments for testing, mobility, counseling, or other services. Abuse of service may result in the suspension of that service.
- Students will be notified in writing prior to suspension of services. The student will be asked to meet with their DSP&S counselor to discuss the area of concern.
- If the student fails to meet with the counselor, the services will be suspended seven instructional days from the date the letter was sent.
- A letter will be sent to the student notifying them that services have been suspended.
- Suspended services may be reinstated only with the authorization of a DSP&S counselor and only if there are extenuating circumstances that warrant reinstatement.
- Services may continue or be reinstated only if the student agrees to and signs a “Contract for Continuation of Services” that is developed in collaboration with the DSP&S Counselor and DSP&S Director.
- Students seeking to appeal the suspension of services should seek a remedy through the Student Grievance Rights process; see the current college catalog for details.
- Students seeking to appeal the suspension of services may seek a remedy through the Student Grievance process; please see the “Administrative Policies” section in the current FCC catalog for additional information.
The Family Education and Right to Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law intended to protect the privacy of student educational records. FERPA provides parents with certain rights with respect to their children’s K-12 education records. Once a student reaches the age of 18 or enters college, the rights previously held by the parents transfer exclusively to the student.
For reasons of confidentiality, DSP&S staff members may not discuss a student’s disability status with either faculty or staff. Students are encouraged to speak with their instructor about their specific accommodation needs. When necessary, DSP&S staff may intervene on the student’s behalf to facilitate the provision of services or to help students communicate their needs to others.
Absence Notification for Classes
Students must follow all college attendance policies, as stated in the Academic Regulations section of the FCC College catalog. Students are also expected to follow the attendance policy as stated in each instructor’s course syllabus and are responsible to notify instructors directly regarding any routine absence.
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.
Absence Notification for Accommodations and Services
Students receiving DSP&S services (i.e. interpreters, mobility, test proctoring, specialized counseling) are responsible to notify the DSP&S office of their absence prior to the time these services have been scheduled to be delivered. Failure to do so may result in the suspension of these DSP&S services.
SCCCD does not provide Personal Attendant Care. Students should be able to take care of their personal needs and/or provide their own personal attendant and/or personal aids per SCCCD policy (see current college catalog).
The college has an ongoing process for evaluation architectural barriers and recommending changes. If students encounter difficulties with access, please inform DSPS staff and steps will be taken to address the problem.
Change of Counselor
Students receiving services through DSP&S will be assigned a counselor. If for any reason the student has a conflict with the counselor, the student may request another counselor. At any time, the student may also seek assistance from the FCC DSP&S Director. Students requesting a change of counselor must complete, submit and follow the procedures as outlined in the Petition for Change of Counselor request form (form available in DSP&S office or contact 559.442.8237).
Department of Rehabilitation
If the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) sponsors a student, it is the student’s responsibility to be sure his/her DOR counselor has authorized payment for whatever is being covered by DOR (fees/books, etc.) in a “timely” fashion. If a student’s registration is canceled because of non-payment or because the college has not received a DOR authorization, it is the student’s responsibility to follow up with DOR.
DSP&S provides duplication services only if that accommodation is included as part of the student’s Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP) plan. Current Copyright laws are enforced.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
DSP&S does not have money available to grant or loan to students. Students may apply for State and/or Federal Financial Aid to assist with purchases of books, supplies, and other educational necessities. There are specific guidelines and deadlines for applying for financial assistance. Please go to the campus Financial Aid office (Student Services Building, 2nd floor) or the Financial Aid Computer Lab (Library Building, Rm. LI-123) for further information.
The Scholarship Office grants scholarships every May for the following year for both continuing and transferring students. They also help students search for scholarships from other sources. For additional information on Financial Aid and/or Scholarships, please visit the Financial Aid office at Fresno City College or go to the Financial Aid page on the Fresno City College website.
Some students have medical conditions that may require emergency or first aid response. This may include students who have seizures, students with cardiac disabilities, or certain students with psychiatric disabilities. You may wish to designate an emergency contact person in the event you require medical attention or transport to your home or medical facility. Please contact Health Services, located in the Student Services Building, room 112.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a “service animal” is a dog or miniature horse that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting, and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.
Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Reasonable behavior is expected from the animals while on campus. If your dog exhibits unacceptable behavior, you are expected to immediately employ the proper training techniques to correct the situation.
For additional information, please see:
The telephone and Teledigital Devices (TDD) in the DSP&S office are for official use only. TDD, emergency, and regular pay telephones are available at various campus locations; see the FCC campus map for exact locations.
Adaptive Physical Education
Designed to improve a student’s level of physical fitness. The program is individually designed to meet the needs of every student and establish goals for their success.
Adaptive Ornamental Horticulture
Offers individual classes for enjoyment and academic enrichment or, upon successful completion of the Adaptive Horticulture Program, students are eligible to receive a certificate of completion in Horticulture Skills.
College to Career (C2C)
The College to Career (C2C) Program is a 3-year program designed to meet the unique needs of students with intellectual disabilities in postsecondary education and in the workforce. This is a collaborative effort between the Department of Rehabilitation, Central Valley Regional Center, and Disabled Students Programs and Services.
Developmental Services Courses
A variety of Developmental Services Courses are offered each semester. At the time of publication, available certificates include Adaptive Ornamental Horticulture Skills; High Tech Adaptive Program; School to Work, Clerical; School to Work, Workability. Please speak with a DSP&S counselor for the current availability of courses and/or certificates
High Tech Center
The HTC is an accessible computer lab, designed to provide students with disabilities physical access with adaptive technology and devices. The HTC also offers students with disabilities the opportunity to use adaptive computer software, training programs, and alternate media.
Learning Disabilities Program
Includes three main components: assessment, consultation with students and faculty, and developmental curriculum. The LD program utilizes the learning disability eligibility model established by the state chancellor’s office to determine eligibility for services.
Transition to College
The Transition to College (TTC) Program assists students with disabilities in preparing for their initial semester in a community college. This program covers issues related to accommodations and resources available to students with disabilities to enable them to be successful in a college setting, including disability evaluation and assessment, alternative media, course selection, and scheduling.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to remote delivery of services, the procedures to access accommodations may be subject to change. Stay up-to-date on any changes by checking your student email, monitoring the DSP&S webpage for updates, or contacting your DSP&S counselor.
An accommodation is a legally mandated support or service that gives a student with a disability an equal opportunity to benefit from the educational process. An accommodation is determined based upon the educational limitations related to the functional limitations of a student’s disability. An accommodation:
- Promotes independence and maximum participation of the student.
- Relates directly to the student’s educational plan and course of study.
- Relates directly to the student’s functional limitations resulting from a verified disability.
- Cannot alter the academic standards for a student.
- Cannot alter the fundamental requirements of the course or educational program.
- Cannot alter the instructor’s ability to measure the student’s skills and aptitudes.
Students with disabilities are responsible for notifying their DSP&S counselor immediately if reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner.
Those students wishing to park in the campus handicapped parking stalls must meet the Disabled Person Parking Placard or License Plates requirements established by section 295.5 (disabled person), and section 295.7 (disabled veteran) of the Vehicle Code of the State of California. For additional information see the Policy Governing Operations of Motor Vehicles on College Campus, which is available from a link on the SCCCD Police Department Web Page.
The Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates DMV (form REG 195), and/or the Application for Disabled Veteran Certification )form REG 256) is available on the State of California-DMV web page.
Adaptive Equipment and Assistive Technology
Educational access sometimes means that students need equipment such as an audio recorder or Smart Pen to benefit from instruction. DSP&S supports the availability of adaptive computer stations in various locations on campus, including the DSP&S High Tech Center, library, writing center, and computer labs. DSP&S has a limited supply of adaptive equipment & assistive technology available for loan during class time.
How to request Adaptive Equipment and Assistive Technology:
- Schedule an appointment with a DSP&S Counselor to discuss your request.
- If approved, go to the DSP&S office, and complete an Equipment Loan Contract.
- Equipment will be loaned by DSP&S only to students officially enrolled in classes.
- Equipment (e.g., audio recorders) shall not be loaned to a student for any purpose or activity that is not school-sponsored.
- DSP&S does supply batteries and paper for Smart Pens only.
- If equipment is not returned at the agreed-upon date or has been damaged, the student will forfeit his/her rights to future equipment loans and he/she will be asked to replace the equipment.
Alternate media services will be provided to students whose disability-related limitations prevent them from accessing material in a format that is not accessible. Alternate Media is defined as instructional materials, textbooks, and classroom materials in formats accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.
Requesting alternative formats for your textbooks is a process that begins by requesting the alternative format you wish your books to be in for each class and ends by you downloading the material from AIM. It is strongly recommended that students using Alternate Media meet with the Alternate Media Specialist to ensure they are receiving the proper format.
- Once you are logged into AIM, click “Accommodations” in the top menu bar.
- Select the alternative format type such as PDF, Word documents, or braille for each class you are requesting alternative format for and click the “Submit your Accommodation Requests” button.
- Before DSPS staff can begin converting your books, you must submit a receipt or proof of purchase to the Alternate Format Specialist.
- Log into Aim.
- Click “List Accommodations” in the left sidebar menu.
- In the top section, "Select Accommodations for your Class", check the box for the class that you would like to request alternate media for.
- Press "Step 2-Continue to Customize your Accommodations".
- ON the "List Accommodations" page, check the "E-text" box and press "Submit Your Accommodation Requests."
To upload your receipt:
- Click the “Alternative Formats” on the left menu bar.
- Near the bottom left is an “Upload Book Receipt” section.
- Press “Choose File” to select which picture you will upload.
- Select the class that is on the receipt (there may be more than one book on the receipt).
- You may also take a picture of your book with your cell phone and upload it.
- Click “Upload Receipt.”
After this process has been completed, the Alternate Format Specialist will complete your work order. You may need to meet with the Alternate Format Specialist for training on how to access your material and answer any additional questions.
If you have any questions or need technical assistance with downloading your textbook, please contact the DSPS Alternate Media Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 559.442.8237.
During the COVID-19 campus closure, DSP&S is only conducting counseling appointments only by phone or via Zoom. To schedule an appointment, please see the DSP&S web page for current contact information, or call 559.442.8237.
DSPS counselors provide academic, vocational, and disability management counseling. Once you are assigned to a counselor, some of the areas that they will be able to assist you are:
- Class planning (Student Education Plan).
- Probation/Disqualification issues.
- Educational Assistance classes.
- Priority Registration.
- Liaison with faculty.
- Referral to on-campus services and programs.
- Referral to Community Agencies.
- Once you are assigned to a DSP&S counselor, you need to meet with them at least once a semester for class planning, as well as authorization of accommodation.
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 the instructor’s course syllabus.
- The student requests a Course Policy Accommodation 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.
- The DSPS counselor will facilitate the completion of the CPAA with the student after receiving, reviewing, and agreeing to the response from the instructor.
Faculty Notification Letter (FNL)
The Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) is an online confidential document that students request via their AIM account. The FNL outlines a student’s accommodations or adjustments that have been approved to support the student in a course. DSP&S students are responsible for requesting an FNL for each course for each semester:
- The FNL outlines eligibility while preserving privacy.
- The FNL creates a conduit for communication between students and faculty.
- Students should request their FNL as soon as possible after registering for classes.
- Accommodations do not begin until after faculty have received a copy of the FNL.
- An FNL is not retroactive. While students can apply for accommodations anytime during the semester, please keep in mind accommodations begin only after you have completed the DSP&S New Student Intake process AND faculty receive a copy of your FNL.
Initiating Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) via AIM
- Once you have registered, your classes should be viewable in AIM within 24-48 hours (about 2 days). As soon as your classes are viewable, submit your FNL request(s) via AIM.
- Once you are logged into AIM, click “Accommodations” in the top menu bar.
- Once the “Select Accommodations for your Class” page pops up, go to the area labeled “Step One.”
- Select one or more classes for which you would like to request accommodations.
- Click the button labeled “Step 2 Continue to Customize your Accommodations.”
- If you do not see an accommodation that you requested, please contact your DSP&S counselor immediately.
- Underneath each class in the area labeled “Select Accommodations” select the checkbox(s) for each approved accommodation that you would like to request for each class.
- If you are eligible for Alternative Format textbooks you must check the format you wish to receive for each class. Checking this box will automatically generate a request to the Alternate Format Specialist to begin converting your textbooks.
- If you are eligible for Deaf and Hard of Hearing services, you must select which service you would like for each class.
- Once you have completed your request(s) click the “Submit Your Accommodation Request” button at the bottom of the page.
- Once this process has been completed, a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) including your requested accommodations will be generated.
- Once your FNL has been reviewed by the DSP&S staff, a letter will be emailed to your instructor(s).
- If you have any questions about requesting your accommodations through AIM or would like to discuss your accommodations, please contact your DSP&S counselor.
Accessible Information Management (AIM) on the DSPS webpage provides additional information and instruction.
Discussing your FNL with your instructors
- Each student and instructor combination is a new experience. While we are all committed to ensuring access, there are particulars that are specific to each course that must be considered, thus, we encourage open communication lines between students, faculty, and disability services.
- Refer to the course syllabus for instructor contact information and email your instructor to request a meeting to discuss your FNL request.
- If meeting in person is not possible, you can arrange other means such as phone or online sessions.
- It is important that both you and your instructor are comfortable with your accommodation request(s). By communicating directly with each instructor, you ensure any questions or concerns can be addressed early on.
- When you meet, introduce yourself. Here is an easy introduction you might try:
“Hi, my name is (blank) and I’m in your (blank) class. I’m approved for accommodations through DSP&S and you should have received an email regarding the accommodations that I’ll need in your class.”
- Information about the nature of the disability you experience is confidential. You are not required to share disability-specific information with your instructor. If you are asked about it, you can refer your instructor to your DSP&S counselor.
Interpreting services are approved by a DSP&S counselor as part of a student’s Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP). Services are provided when they are reasonable, effective, and appropriate accommodations. Scheduling interpreters requires advance notice.
The goal of DSP&S Interpreting Services is to facilitate accessible communication linguistically and culturally among students and staff in the post-secondary environment to support Deaf students’ success toward achieving their goals.
- Students are highly encouraged to plan and request interpreting services as early as possible by utilizing priority registration.
- Interpreters are assigned based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to: staffing availability, skills, knowledge, and ability level of each interpreter, and the individual communication needs of each student.
- The DSP&S Interpreter Coordinator will make every effort to honor student preferences for a particular interpreter; however, DSP&S does not guarantee that a specific interpreter will be assigned or available.
How to arrange Interpreting Services:
- Schedule an appointment with your designated DSP&S counselor.
- Your DSP&S counselor will approve interpreting services based on appropriate disability verification.
- Email Tabitha Dubois, the Interpreter Coordinator, Tabitha.email@example.com to schedule an appointment to complete the intake process.
To request interpreters for classes:
- Submit class schedules for each semester to Tabitha.firstname.lastname@example.org via email.
- Class schedules should be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to the beginning of each semester.
- Students are required to notify the Interpreter Coordinator of any changes to their class schedules or interpreting requests as soon as possible and within a reasonable amount of time prior to the start of each request.
To request interpreters for all other approved campus services and or events:
- Interpreter Service Requests (ISR) must be made by completing the Sign Language Interpreter Service Request (ISR) form located on the bottom right-hand side of the DSP&S webpage.
- Submit ISR form request two weeks in advance of the scheduled appointment or event.
- If a student is absent for three consecutive class sessions and has not submitted prior notification to the Interpreter Coordinator, the interpreter will automatically be reassigned to another class or assignment.
- There will be a reevaluation to consider reinstating interpreting services which are handled on an individual basis with the student’s counselor and/or Interpreter Coordinator.
- The first week of each class session, interpreters will wait 30 minutes to allow for students to arrive who may be running late due to unforeseen circumstances.
- On the second week and thereafter, if the student has not arrived after 20 minutes, the interpreter may be reassigned to another class.
- If an interpreter is absent for their assignment, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the Interpreter Coordinator and to remain in class to avoid unexcused absences. If the Interpreter Coordinator already informed the student of the interpreter’s absence no further action is required.
- If a student has a concern about an interpreter, the student is encouraged to meet with the assigned interpreter to resolve the issue.
- If the student does not feel comfortable meeting with the interpreter to resolve the issue, the student is encouraged to contact the Interpreter Coordinator for assistance.
- Requests for a change of interpreter should be directed to the Interpreter Coordinator.
- Students are highly encouraged to use the DSP&S priority registration period to allow reasonable time to establish accommodations.
- Late and/or last-minute Interpreting Service Requests (ISRs) will be expedited as quickly as possible as staffing allows.
- For some campus-wide events, DSP&S will make every allowable effort to assist in honoring the request, but the department sponsoring the event is required to pay for the interpreting services.
Learning Disability Assessment
During the COVID-19 campus closure, DSP&S is only conducting Learning Disability Assessment screening and/or assessment appointments by phone or via Zoom. To request an appointment to discuss LD testing, please see the DSP&S web page for current contact information, or call 559.442.8237.
If there is no existing documentation that can verify a learning disability, a student may be referred to the Learning Disability Specialist for assessment. To be categorized as a student with a learning disability, a student must meet the following criteria through psycho-educational assessment verified 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 discrepancies.
Students are not eligible for DSP&S services until and unless they have been determined eligible for services by the Learning Disability Specialist, per Title V guidelines.
Please note: Due to the COVID-19 campus closure, as well as the planned fall 2021 implementation of the Notetaking module in AIM, Notetaker procedures are subject to change. Please check your student email or contact your DSP&S counselor for updates.
Notetaking accommodations may be provided as an accommodation to a qualified student who has a verified disability limitation that makes it difficult for them to take effective notes in class. Notetaking accommodations are not a replacement for attending class.
- Because most classes will be online for the Fall 2021 semester, a Notetaker may not be necessary; instructors may post their lecture notes on Canvas.
- Students approved for notetaking will be able to audio record online instruction.
- For live lectures, notetakers or other options may be available.
- Please contact your DSP&S counselor immediately if you are experiencing any difficulty with receiving notes.
For more information regarding Notetaking contact the DSPS office at 559.442.8237.
For assistance with integrating existing notetaking software such as Sonoscent with online instruction, please contact the DSPS Alternate Media Specialist, email@example.com, or 559.442.8237
Priority registration may be provided as an accommodation to a student who has a verified disability limitation that requires special scheduling or class location requirements, arranging for classroom support services, or procuring alternative media materials.
It is always advisable to plan and schedule an appointment to update your Student Education PLan as early in the semester as possible; counselor appointment times fill up quickly.
- Students must meet all other eligibility requirements for Fresno City College.
- No registration holds.
- No academic holds.
- Good financial standing and have no Business Office holds.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Additional information regarding registration requirements is in the Administration and Registration section of the Fresno City College catalog.
Reader services may be provided as an accommodation to a student who has a verified disability limitation that may inhibit his/her ability to complete required reading for a course in a timely manner with adequate comprehension. The student may benefit from having the reading material for the course available on audiotapes. All requests for Reader Services are made through an interactive discussion with a DSP&S counselor.
Due to the COVID-19 campus closure for the Fall 2021 semester, most testing accommodations will be provided by instructors online via Canvas. Please check the FCC website for updates regarding COVID-19.
Testing accommodations may be provided to a student who has a verified disability limitation that may affect manual dexterity, vision, or perception.
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 a hybrid or in-person, in-person testing will be available.
Due to the COVID-19 campus closure, Tram Services hours are subject to change. Contact the DSPS office at 559.442.8237 for the current schedule.
Tram Services may be provided as an accommodation to a qualified student who has a verified disability limitation that makes it difficult to walk long distances or carry heavy loads while enrolled in classes on campus. An accessible cart is available to provide on-campus transportation to students who are approved for the service. Students who may be eligible for this service are those with temporary and permanent orthopedic disabilities that affect their mobility.
Basic Needs Resources
Basic Needs are the conditions and resources you need to survive and thrive as you learn at Fresno City College. For a full list of Basic Needs Resources please refer to the Fresno City College webpage, www.fresnocitycollege.edu.
Career and Employment Center
The Career and Employment Center provides a variety of resources to currently enrolled students and FCC alumni. Additionally, the CEC staff are available to assist counselors, faculty, staff and collaborate with community partners and businesses. For additional information, please call (559) 442.8294.
Programs to help you Succeed and Student Success Programs
The Transfer Center assists students with the transfer process from Fresno City College to a baccalaureate (bachelor) level college or university. The center provides a variety of informational resources for students about the 9 Universities of California (UC) and 23 California State Universities (CSU). For additional information call 559.442.8290 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Section 504, of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in recruitment, admission, and treatment after admission. It mandates all recipients of federal funding to make adjustments and accommodations in their programs and activities to provide qualified individuals with disabilities the opportunities equal to those enjoyed by individuals without disabilities.
Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 508 requires federal agencies to make electronic and information technology accessible to individuals with disabilities. It provides students with disabilities access to electronic and information technology comparable to the access available to students without disabilities.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
The ADA extends federal civil rights protection in several areas to people who are considered disabled. To be considered disabled under the ADA, a person must have a condition that impairs a major life activity, or a history of such a condition or be regarded as having such a condition. A disabled person must be qualified for the job, program, or activity to which she/he seeks access. That means the person must be able to perform the essential functions of the job or meet the essential eligibility requirements of the program or benefit. Reasonable accommodations provide students with adjustments that assure equal rights and privileges. Accommodations level the playing field and do not give a student with a disability an advantage over non-disabled students.
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.
Can a 504 plan or IEP be used for documentation of a disability?
Yes. A 504 Plan or IEP documents a prior history of receiving disability services through a K-12 district. However, DSPS may request that you provide additional verification from a licensed medical professional to determine additional academic accommodations.
Will the same services that a student received in high school be offered in college?
Maybe. High School Special Education programs are legally required to provide whatever service, accommodation, or modification that is needed for the student to be successful. Colleges are required by law to provide “equal access” to education. Access is provided through reasonable accommodations. Furthermore, the college course curriculum cannot be modified to alter the fundamental nature of the course.
Will DSPS provide services such as helping a student eat meals or pushing a wheelchair?
No. Services needed to assist a person with activities of daily living are the responsibility of the individual, not the college. See the current Fresno City College catalog for the most recent Attendant Care Policy.
Are faculty and staff in higher education required to provide accommodations to a student with a disability, even if the student does not request it?
No. The student has the responsibility to self-identify to the college compliance officer or the disability service office, provide documentation of a disability and ask for an accommodation before the institution is required to provide that accommodation. Students are encouraged to apply to DSPS within the first two weeks of the semester.
Can a college refuse to grant a student's request for accommodation if it is not specifically recommended in the student's FNL?
Yes. All accommodations granted must be related to the student’s disability-related limitations and based on the student’s documentation of disabilities and a discussion with the DSP&S counselor. If you wish to request an accommodation that is not on the FNL, please schedule an appointment to speak with your DSP&S counselor.
Is digital tape recording allowed as accommodation in higher education?
Yes. Section 504, Subpart E of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), states specifically that a post-secondary institution may not impose rules that prohibit the use of tape recorders in the classroom for students with disabilities.
Can instructors decide that a student with a documented disability does not need extended time on a test and choose not to give this accommodation?
No. Extended time is a reasonable accommodation for a student with a disability whose documentation specifically calls for that accommodation. The institution is required to ensure that the student is provided additional time to complete tests to provide an equal opportunity for that student.
Does a student's request for an accommodation have to be provided even when the accommodations would result in a fundamental alteration of the program?
No. Academic requirements that the institution can show are essential to the student’s course of study do not have to be modified or accommodated. The college would not have to change a requirement if it could demonstrate that such a change would fundamentally alter the nature of the course.
Do students with disabilities receive priority registration?
Yes. Students with disabilities may be eligible for priority registration if their disability-related limitations warrant it and they are in need of accommodations and/or services in the educational setting.
Can a student receive a failing grade for a college class in which they are receiving accommodations?
Yes. Accommodations ensure "access", not necessarily "success."