What is the Mission of DSPS?
Our mission is to provide equal access and educational opportunities for students with verifiable disabilities. Through the utilization of specialized instructional programs and disability-related services, DSPS encourages and fosters students' independence and assists students in attaining their educational, personal and vocational goals.
How Does DSPS Support Student Success?
DSPS authorizes accommodations that provide students equal access to SAC courses. Accommodations modify how students complete common academic activities. An accommodation must be 'reasonable' which means:
- It can't fundamentally alter course requirements (tests, papers, or projects) or their level of difficulty
- It can't waive courses/degree requirements (in very rare cases, DSPS may recommend course substitutions)
How Does DSPS Support Students?
If the student's impairment(s) directly and meaningfully impact educational activities such as listening to lectures, taking notes, completing reading and writing assignments, completing exams, or physically manipulating lab equipment, DSPS provides a range of services in order to lessen the impact of the impairment(s) and support the student's success.
- The most common services we provide are classroom support (audio recording, notetaking) and testing support (extended time, distraction-reduced environment).
- We also commonly offer other services including, but not limited to, the following:
- Alternate Media (i.e. converting course materials into accessible formats such as eText, audio, or Braille)
- Assistive Technology hardware (e.g. UbiDuo, assistive listening devices, CCTVs) and software (e.g. Kurzweil 3000, magnification screen readers, speech recognition)
- Other support (e.g. disability-related counseling, registration assistance, faculty consultation)
How Are Faculty Notified About Student Disability Needs?
- DSPS students are responsible for delivering Accommodation Letters to each faculty member, every term.
- Faculty should expect to receive these letters in a timely manner (generally in the first few weeks of the term). However, for various reasons, students may present Accommodation Letters throughout the term.
- Until you receive an Accommodation Letter from a student, you are not obligated to provide accommodations.
What are Some Best Practices for Supporting Students with Disabilities?
- Please watch this brief Disability Sensitivity Training Video
- Remember that most disabilities are not visually apparent.
- Use student-first language when describing people with disabilities (e.g. 'students with autism' vs. 'autistics').
- Avoid asking students about their specific disability or diagnosis as this information is confidential.
- When talking with a student who has difficulty speaking, allow the student to finish expressing themselves.
- Include a disability statement in your syllabus.
- When reviewing your syllabus with the class, indicate that you welcome students with disabilities and encourage them to discuss their needs with you as early in the term as possible.
- Take reasonable measures to preserve the confidentiality of a student's disability status (i.e. don't identify them or discuss their accommodations in front of other students to the fullest extent possible).
- If a student requests assistance with securing a notetaker, you may (1) make an announcement, (2) approach a specific student, or (3) post a request on Canvas. Notetakers who complete a brief training at DSPS may receive priority registration and/or a Certificate of Community Service.
- Ensure that exams that will be completed at the Assessment Center are delivered in a timely manner. Note that instructors may submit exams to the Assessment Center via email (see AC website for procedures).
- All students must comply with the Standards of Student Conduct. If you would like to consult regarding a DSPS student's behavior, please contact a DSPS faculty advisor.
- Contact the DSPS faculty member listed on the student's Accommodation Letter if you have any questions or concerns regarding the student's accommodations, behavior, or academic performance.
- Consider including the weekly reading assignments on the course syllabus. This helps DSPS prepare alternate format materials in a timely manner and allows students with disabilities to plan/work ahead.
- Please ensure that all videos used in your courses include closed captioning.
- If a student is authorized to utilize technology during class lectures (e.g. audio recording, taking pictures of the board, use of a tablet/laptop, etc.), please allow the student to utilize these options.
- If DSPS places a table and/or chair in the classroom, please leave them in the location in which they are placed.
- If you need to speak with a student who is deaf or hard of hearing and an interpreter is not available, you may request to borrow an UbiDuo device from the DSPS office that allows real-time text communication.
DSPS faculty advisors are here to support you. Don't hesitate to reach out if…
- You have questions regarding a student's listed accommodations
- You are concerned about the feasibility of an accommodation
- You would like to collaborate on developing or implementing an accommodation
Feel free to touch base at any time: