DSPS Resources for Faculty and Staff
Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) provides services to help faculty and staff assist students.
Information for Faculty
A student with a disability is enrolled in your class. That student must provide you with a confidential memorandum from our office outlining their accommodations. If “note taker” is listed on that memo, then they will need class notes as an accommodation.
Please provide this accommodation by either:
- Providing your course notes, outlines, and/or class presentations covered in a class session to the student, or
- Identifying or asking for a volunteer in the class to share notes with the student. You may already know someone proficient at taking notes or you can make an announcement. You may have one note taker share notes for more than one DSP&S student depending on if the note taker uses technology or NCR paper for taking notes.
Your continued support in providing students their accommodation is essential to student success on our campus.
Steps to Take:
- If you identify a student to be the note taker, please provide him/her the full name of the DSPS student at the end of class.
- Next, have the note taker call the DSPS office to complete paperwork. They will need the DSPS student(s) name(s). The volunteer may be eligible for a stipend at the end of the term.
- It is important that we provide the student with a disability note-taking services within a week of receiving this request.
- If you have any questions or need assistance with this process, please contact Suzette Bryant in the DSPS Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 691-7275.
Before submitting an exam or quiz, please read the Test Proctoring Guidelines for Instructors (PDF). This submission process is for use by CRC instructors with DSPS students only.
If you have questions about DSPS Test Proctoring Service, then call (916) 691-7528 or email email@example.com.
If a student asks DSPS for an interpreter or captioning service for a particular course, DSPS will send that professor a private link to fill out a class information form. This form helps DSPS make arrangements with the interpreter or captioning service.
The CRC Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) office can do a limited number of assessments each year to see if individual students have a learning disability. The assessment will help determine whether they have a learning disability, what course accommodations are appropriate for the student to receive equal access to the information and instruction offered in their courses, their learning strengths and weaknesses, and recommendations for learning strategies the student should use given their learning disability.
“Learning disability is defined as a persistent condition of presumed neurological dysfunction which may exist with other disabling conditions. This dysfunction continues despite instruction in standard classroom situations. To be categorized as learning disabled a student must exhibit:
- Average to above-average intellectual ability;
- Severe processing deficit(s);
- Severe aptitude-achievement discrepancy(ies); and
- Measured achievement in an instructional or employment setting.”
California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 56036
Reasons to refer someone for LD assessment:
- The student studies 2-3 hours per every hour they spend in the classroom, but the evaluations of their learning (tests, papers, etc.) do not reflect this amount of study
- Significant discrepancies between any of the following: the student’s test scores, homework, written work, verbally expressed understanding of course concepts, or any other evaluative process
- Significant discrepancy in achievement from one type of course to another, such as receiving passing grades in math and sciences while receiving failing grades in English and social sciences
Reasons NOT to refer someone for LD assessment, but instead to make a general DSPS appointment:
- The student says they have been identified in high school as having a disability (had a “504 plan”), or were in special education (had an “IEP”)
- The student relates that they have some other disability, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, a brain injury, psychological/emotional disorder, anxiety disorder, etc.
The LD Assessment Process/Timeline
The entire assessment process averages between 8 and 10 hours, spread over 4 or 5 sessions, often taking 6-8 weeks to complete.
- Make an appointment - The student makes an appointment to see the Learning Disability Specialist by coming to the DSPS office, or calling (916) 691-7275.
- Initial screening - In an initial ½ hour session, the student is screened to see if there are other obvious causes of their learning difficulties or whether further assessment is warranted. If the student has other disabilities that are already being accommodated, and if LD identification will make no addition to those accommodations, generally the full assessment is not undertaken. If assessment will continue, the student is given a consent form and a questionnaire asking about the student’s developmental and health history, family history, and educational history. When they have completed answering the questions, they need to call/visit to make a second appointment.
- LD intake appointment – The questionnaire is reviewed, going into further detail of other possible causes of the learning difficulties, and to better identify the specific learning difficulties experienced by the student. If other explanations and/or disabilities are identified, the LD assessment will usually end.
- Testing appointments – If assessment will continue, approximately 20 various achievement and cognitive tests will be spread over 3-4 sessions lasting 1 ½ to 2 hours each. Some of the tests assess achievement in standard academic or “learned” information such as reading, writing, math, and more. Other tests assess the processing of different types of information and the speed at which the information is processed. None of the tests can be “passed” or “failed”, but are simply measurements against grade or age norms.
- Eligibility appointment – Once all the testing that is deemed necessary for that individual student is completed, the results are explained to the student. Besides confirming whether or not a learning disability has been identified, the emphasis is on relating the learning strengths and weaknesses shown by both the scores and observations from the testing sessions. Based on these strengths and weaknesses, learning strategies are discussed and recommended to the student. Finally, those students who have met the criteria to be served as “Learning Disabled” under the California Community Colleges Learning Disability Eligibility Model are approved for accommodations and complete the various paperwork needed by the DSPS program.
If you have any questions about the process, or whether an initial LD assessment screening is warranted, email or call Scott Hamilton, Learning Disability Specialist/DSPS Counselor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 691-7446.
Disability Support Programs & Services offers specialized, disability specific, advisement and counseling services for all registered disabled students. Among these services you will find:
Counselor provides orientation and outlines DSPS services and programs; reviews all policies and responsibilities a DSPS must meet. Includes outlining student accommodations and rights while at CRC.
Strategies to minimize disability-related challenges and to increase likelihood of positive life and educational outcomes.
Advice on course selection and procedures for enrollment.
Counselor led solutions to academic issues and difficulties. Includes accommodations and probation/dismissal status guidance.
Short term assistance with personal difficulties that may be impacting academic performance.
Exploration/discovery of possible career/educational options.
Short term (2-3 semesters) course planning assistance to help you reach your educational goal (ie. certificate, degree or transfer).
Information about campus and community resources that provide additional support in educational services or career/job placement. Examples include California Department of Rehabilitation, Financial Aid, EOPS, etc.
Alternate media is defined as instructional materials, textbooks, college publications, and/or library materials in formats accessible and usable by individuals with print disabilities. Examples of accessible formats are: Book on CD, MP3 audio, large print, Braille, tactile graphics, captioning, and e-text. Alternate Media Services will only be provided to students who have a verified disability and whose disability related functional limitations prevent them from reading regular printed materials. Alternate Media is provided by Lauri Nicolosi.
Types of Alternate Media
- E-text (PDF, Word, Text)
- Audio (mp3, Daisy, Learning Ally audio books)
- Large Print
- Tactile Graphics
Most alternate media formats begin with e-text. E-text is printed material converted into a digital or “electronic” document. Sometimes e-text may be obtained from publishers in the form of a WORD or PDF file, but when not available, books can be scanned with a high speed scanner to prepare them for alternate media processing. The resulting “image” file is processed by Optical Character Recognition software which looks for shapes and patterns in the scanned electronic image that resemble letters and makes a fairly accurate guess as to what the text should be. Once text is recognized it can be saved to a variety of text based formats such as .txt, .doc, or .rtf. These text based documents can then be accessed by the end user in a myriad of ways. Most commonly they are magnified on a computer screen or read out loud by text-to-speech programs such as Natural Reader, ReadPlease, Acrobat Reader, or Text Aloud. Images from printed material may also be included in the digital document with alternate text descriptions to provide accessibility.
The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write. Each Braille character or cell is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two columns of three dots each. The dots may be raised at any of the six positions thus creating varying patterns of dots to represent characters. The dots are perceived tactilely by moving the fingers across the Braille page.
Using specialized embossing machines, software, and paper, printed material is represented graphically as raised lines which are discernable by touch.
- California Community Colleges Accessibility Center (free training to CCC Faculty and Staff)