Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS)

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Must I register with DSPS in order to get accommodations for my disability?

The Disability Services & Programs for Students department is the office on campus that assists students with disability accommodations.  You must register with the office to assure that you will be able to get the accommodations for which you are eligible.

 How recent does my disability documentation need to be?

Professional documentation that verifies your disability will be accepted. While the documentation may verify that you have (or have had) a disability, decisions about appropriate accommodations require that the documentation be recent enough to identify functional limitations and support the need for such accommodations.  The DSPS counselor will help determine if your documentation needs to be updated in order to support your requested accommodations.

How do I get tested for a disability?

If you suspect that you have a physical, sensory, medical, or psychological disability, you should make an appointment to see a professional who is licensed to diagnose those types of disabilities.  You may choose to start with your physician who may either assess you for a disability or refer you to someone more appropriate.  A DSPS counselor can provide you with a community resource list of professionals.

If you believe you have a specific learning disability, please come to the DSPS office (SS160) to inquire about the application process for learning disability testing.

Will I get all the same accommodations at SBCC that I get in my High School IEP or 504 Plan?

A high school plan, whether IEP or 504, governs the high school setting.  When you enroll at SBCC, a DSPS counselor will meet with you to determine your current functional limitations and, through an interactive process, decide on accommodations.  Your high school document is just that, a document for the high school environment.  You may or may not have similar accommodations in the college setting.

If I am a dual enrolled student taking an SBCC course at my high school, will I be able to use the accommodations on my high school IEP or 504 plan?

When you take an SBCC class, you are considered an SBCC student regardless of your status at the high school.  You will be treated like an adult student whether you take classes at the main campus, at your high school, or online.  Your high school IEP or 504 plan is not a valid accommodation plan for courses at SBCC.  You will need to create an SBCC Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP) and learn from your DSPS counselor how to arrange with the instructor to access accommodations for your class.

Can a parent get information about me or make decisions about my education at SBCC?

All students enrolled at SBCC, regardless of age, are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act which prevents any staff member from sharing information about you without your specific release of information.

Will my DSPS counselor call me to remind me about appointments or important college deadlines?

Students are expected to remember their appointments without reminders and to check the college website, their pipeline accounts, and other campus information sites to make sure they know deadlines for enrollment, dropping classes, withdrawing from classes, and other important dates and information.  Students will get an automatic email reminder sent to their pipeline the day before a schedule appointment with a DSPS counselor.

Can I use a calculator for my math tests?

Accommodations for your disability are discussed with your counselor and are made on an individual basis.  As long as the accommodation does not alter the fundamental requirements of the course, DSPS will support you in advocating for your approved accommodations. Decisions about accommodations are made on a case by case basis based on disability related limitations.

Will I get priority registration because of a disability?

All SBCC students are assigned a registration date for enrollment in classes.  Some students, dependent on their functional limitations as a result of a disability, may be approved for an priority registration date as a disability accommodation. 

What steps must I follow to get my test accommodations?

To get your test accommodations you must access your DSPS Online Student Services Portal, ideally at the beginning of each new semester.  From this site you send your instructors personalized letters of accommodations. Monitor that your instructors have confirmed receipt of your letters of accommodation; instructor approval is necessary in order to be granted access to the test booking system online. All test booking requests need to be sent to your instructors at least 5 days in advance. Test booking requests received past the 5 day deadline are considered late, and may result in having to take your test in class with your peers. Please see this video tutorial for more details: http://www.sbcc.edu/dsps/student_tutorials.php

May I video tape my lectures?

Video-taping of class sessions is not a specific accommodation allowed in federal laws, although audio-recording is specifically mentioned in regulations.  If a student is approved for audio-recording of lectures, there is a campus procedure to follow that allows for copyright protections of instructors, confidentiality of classmates, and your rights as a student with a disability. See a DSPS counselor to determine if you are eligible for audio-recorded lectures as an accommodation and then each semester to request this accommodation in your courses. Recordings of lectures are to be used as accommodations only when students are present in class and may not be used to substitute for attendance.

Can I receive my book in audio or other alternate format?

If you have been approved by a DSPS specialist for books in audio format, DSPS staff will work with you to make sure you can access your books.  You are expected to purchase the textbooks before the office can request this alternative media for you.  It is a good idea to register as early as you can for your courses, get your books as soon as possible, and see a DSPS specialist before the beginning of each term so that there will be time to order and receive your audio book file  prior to the first day of class.

What is the difference between DSPS strategies tutoring and other campus tutors?

SBCC is committed to student success and has established multiple opportunities to support students in their learning. In some cases, a department has its own tutors, in which case the tutors are specific to the courses in that department and understand the content and curriculum of those courses.  The CLRC also has tutors in specific subjects.  The DSPS tutors are considered strategies tutors and do not provide tutoring in content.  Most significantly, the DSPS strategies tutors are well versed in the assistive technology available in the DSPS assistive technology lab.

What do I do if I need learning assistance devices (such as assistive technology) that I can’t afford?

You may see a disability counselor at DSPS for referrals to agencies that can help with a variety of funding options for assistive technology.  The counselor can also direct you to locations of on-campus assistive technology.

What should I do if my instructor won’t allow an accommodation I request?

If you have worked with DSPS to provide appropriate request forms for your instructor, and if your instructor does not agree to support the requested accommodation, please contact your disability counselor as soon as possible for assistance and consultation.

Do my instructors know about my disabilities?

Once you are registered with the DSPS office, your file (including documentation of your disability) is considered confidential.  It is your choice whether or not to inform your instructors about your disability, and you may choose how much to disclose about the specific disability and its impact on your education.  If you wish to use disability accommodations in your courses, you will need to disclose to the instructors that you are a DSPS student and give them the appropriate electronic notifications provided in a DSPS counseling appointment.

Does my involvement with DSPS become part of my academic record?

Disability documentation are considered confidential and therefore the DSPS records are kept only in the DSPS office.  Disability-related documents created by a California Community College will only be released to an outside part with the written consent of the student (per FERPA).  These documents may include, but are not limited to: California Community College Learning Disabilities Assessment (from SBCC or another California Community College), a listing of SBCC-approved academic accommodations, and/or the student’s DSPS Academic Accommodation Plan from SBCC.  Be aware that student files are only maintained for up to three years after you are no longer enrolled.  

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