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DSPS – Programs & Services for Students with Disabilities

Who We Are

DSPS provides services designed to meet the unique educational needs of enrolled CoA students with documented disabilities.  Our professional staff works with each student to provide accommodations that ensure equal access to all academic programs, and to promote students’ independence so they may realize their academic potential and reach their goals.

DSPS provides assistance to students whose goals include: Transfer to 4-year College or University, Associate Degrees, Certificates of Completion, Basic Skills Improvement, Employment Preparation, Personal Growth

Our Services

DSPS offers support services and accommodations based on the specific impact of each individual student’s disability on their academic work. Our services include:

  • Academic Counseling and Educational Program Planning
  • Adapted Computer Equipment & Assistive Technology
  • Alternate Format Media (Braille, Large Print, E-text, Tactile Graphics)
  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Cognitive Skills Classes
  • Diagnostic Testing for Learning Disabilities
  • Learning Skills Classes for Math and English
  • Note Taking Assistance
  • Priority Enrollment/Registration Assistance
  • Sign Language Interpreting and Real-Time Captioning
  • Testing Accommodations

It is important to meet with your DSPS counselor each semester to request your accommodations and to review your progress. For more information, we encourage you to read the DSPS Student Handbook.


A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including but not limited to: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working. (Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment, 2009).

Eligibility for DSPS services is based on the specific educational limitations caused by the individual’s disability.

Rights and Responsibilities of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities have the right:

  • To participate voluntarily in DSPS
  • To participate in other courses, programs, or activities offered by the college
  • To be evaluated based on ability, not disability
  • To appeal a decision regarding accommodations through the student grievance process

Students with disabilities have the responsibility:

  • To provide professional documentation of disability to the college
  • To request accommodations in a timely way
  • To follow DSPS procedures for obtaining accommodations
  • To work cooperatively with DSPS to determine and implement accommodations
  • To comply with the Student Rules of Conduct as written in the College catalog
  • To maintain the academic standards of the college

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Faculty have the right:

  • To set academic standards
  • To evaluate the student based on the standards of the class and to grade accordingly
  • To advise the student to contact DSPS if the student requests an accommodation and the instructor has not received written notification from the DSPS office

Faculty have the responsibility:

  • To work with DSPS to provide for accommodations in a fair and timely way
  • To adjust instruction without fundamentally altering the program
  • To provide handouts in a timely way for alternate media provision
  • To select textbooks in a timely way so e-text can be ordered from the publisher
  • To respect and maintain a student’s right to confidentiality about his/her disability
  • To contact the DSPS office if there is disagreement about the accommodation
  • To work with DSPS to ensure that instructional web pages are accessible to students who use assistive technology
  • To work with DSPS to ensure that instructional videos are captioned

Faculty do not have the right to refuse to provide accommodations, to question whether the disability exists when accommodations have been authorized by DSPS, or to request to examine the student’s documentation.

DSPS Rights and Responsibilities

DSPS has the right:

  • To request and receive current documentation that supports the need for accommodations
  • To deny a request for accommodations if the documentation demonstrates that the request is not warranted or if the individual fails to provide appropriate documentation
  • To suspend or terminate services if the student repeatedly does not comply with DSPS policies or procedures or does not meet the academic standards established by the college.

DSPS has the responsibility:

  • To assist faculty in providing or arranging accommodations and/or auxiliary aids
  • To hold student information confidential except where permitted or required by law
  • To communicate to students, faculty, and staff the process to request accommodations
  • To verify the student’s disabilities and authorize accommodations based on educational limitations caused by the disability
  • To establish requirements for measurable progress and abuse of services. If a student does not adhere to established procedures, DSPS will notify the student of the possibility of suspension or termination of DSPS services.

There is no Special Education in postsecondary education, although some students may choose to participate in classes offered by DSPS.

If you participated in Special Education classes in K-12, you will find that your rights and responsibilities and the services provided to you are different in college.  That is because the federal law that applies to K-12 (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA) does not apply to postsecondary schools.

You may want to read an article by Paul Grossman, chief regional attorney of the San Francisco Office for Civil Rights (OCR), entitled  Attorney Paul Grossman on Legal Rights for College Students with LD.

Also, please see the chart below for more information about differences between high school and college support services for students with disabilities.


High School Support Services College Level Support Services
The school district is responsible for evaluating and documenting the disability. Students are responsible for providing current documentation of their disability to the college.
An IEP meeting is held to determine placement and appropriate services. Students working with college professionals will determine if and/or what services are appropriate.
Once a disability is documented, services are made available and included in the student’s daily schedule. Even after documentation has been provided and appropriate accommodations have been identified, students must request the accommodations each time they are needed.
Special classes or placements must be available for students. Students, with advice from their counselors, set their own academic goals.
Specific goals and objectives are determined for each student receiving services. Colleges are not required to provide special classes or programs for students with disabilities.
Parents are notified and must give permission for any decisions regarding their son or daughter. Parents are not notified of services their son or daughter requests unless the student grants permission for that information to be released.
Teachers, administrators, and parents advocate for students. Students must advocate for themselves.
Reevaluation of students is conducted by the school on a regular basis (generally every three years.) Reevaluation of a disability is not generally required if a student remains continuously enrolled in the college.
Students may be evaluated using differential standards and curriculum may be fundamentally altered. The laws mandate equal access to instruction but they do not require fundamental alteration of a program.

DSPS – Programs & Services for Students with Disabilities

Fall 2019 Important Dates and Deadlines (links to Peralta CCD website)

Fall and Spring Semester Hours

Monday-Thursday 8:00-4:45

Friday 8:00-4:15

Hours will vary during the summer session, intersessions, and campus breaks, please call 510-748-2328 if you would like to verify DSPS hours during those times.

Fall 2019 Important Dates & Deadlines (links to Peralta CCD website)

Fall 2019 Campus Closures: September 2; November 11, November 28-December 1

There will be no instruction on October 22, 2019; some campus services may be open.