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Disability Support Programs & Services Division

Frequently Asked Questions about Disability Services at De Anza College

  1. What is the definition of disability?
  2. How do I know if I am eligible for services?
  3. How do I get started?
  4. How do I apply for services?

  5. How do I find out if I have a learning disability?
  6. Must I be a student at De Anza to get a learning disability assessment at the college?

  7. I am graduating from high school. How can I continue to get services at De Anza?
  8. I'm coming to De Anza and have to take the Placement Tests.  If I need accommodations for them, what do I do?
  9. I had resource services at my high school, and I am currently a student at De Anza. How can I get services?

  10. What if I encounter an architectural barrier on campus?
  11. Are test accommodations available?
  12. How are accommodations decided?
  13. What is the best way to discuss classroom accommodations with my instructor?
  14. What if the instructor seems unwilling or unsure of the appropriate accommodations?

  15. Is there a student club?
  16. What extracurricular activities are students with disabilities involved in?

  17. Does De Anza have a program for students with Intellectual Disabilities?

(Refer on-line at www:deanza.edu/dsps/faq.html to access links listed below, if reading these FAQ's from a printed hard copy.)

1.  What is the definition of disability?

Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, a person with a disability is an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, such as caring for oneself, walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, learning, and working, moving, bending, standing, communicating, sleeping, breathing, eating and concentrating.

Individuals are considered to be persons with a disability if they:

  • Have a verifiable disability,
  • Have a history of a disability, and/or
  • Are perceived by others as having a disability.

Disabilities can be :

  • Visible disabilities -- These include physical and sensory disabilities such as visual, hearing, or mobility impairments.
  • Hidden disabilities -- Non-visible disabilities include chronic health impairments, such as asthma, autism, heart disease, and seizure disorders. They also include disabilities affecting cognition such as learning disabilities, acquired brain impairments, mental health disabilities, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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2.  How do I know if I am eligible for services?

To be eligible for disability-related academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services in post-secondary education, a student must have a verified disability that limits a major life activity that hinders the ability to equally participate in instruction or programs. Students are required to provide documentation verifying their disability with Disability Support Services (DSS).

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3.  How do I get started?

For general information on services, programs and eligibility, attend an Information Meetings held monthly.

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4.  How do I apply for DSPS services? 

Click on the title above to go to the "How to Apply for DSPS Services" web site.


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5.  How do I find out if I have a learning disability?

Attend one of the Information Meetings about programs and services for students with disabilities at De Anza . If, after attending the meeting, you would like to enroll in the learning disability assessment class, you will be contacted as soon as an appointment is available. If you would like to have a private assessment, we can refer you to other outside resources.

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6.  Must I be a student at De Anza to get a learning disability assessment at the college ?

Yes, an assessment is only available to registered De Anza students.

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7.  I am graduating from high school. How can I continue to get services at De Anza College?

Attend one of the special Information Meetings planned for high school transition students and their families. DSS and Learning Disabilities Support have special tips and strategies to help you prepare for your first quarter at De Anza College.

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 8.  I'm coming to De Anza and have to take the Placement Tests.  If I need accommodations for them, what do I do?

Many times students can take the placement tests without special arrangements since some are administered on a computer and are not timed.  For more information and for assistance with arranging accommodations if they are necessary,  refer to Placement Testing for DSS Students.

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9.  I had resource services at my high school, and I am currently a student at De Anza. How can I get services?

Bring a copy of your most recent IEP, 504 plan and/or most recent assessment reports and we will schedule an appointment for you to meet with a DSS Counselor or LD Specialist. Also plan to attend one of the scheduled Information Meetings for an overview of the programs and services available to you.

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10.  What if I encounter an architectural barrier on campus?

Advise the Disability Support Services and file a Barrier Report Form with them.

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11. Are test accommodations available?

Absolutely!  A wide variety of test accommodations are available for students whose disabilities require a modification in testing conditions to demonstrate course content mastery.  Frequently used accommodations include additional time, reduced distraction environment, and use of assistive technology, but others may be utilized.  These are recommended by your DSS Counselor or LD Specialist and are based on your disability-related educational limitations and the nature of the test.  For more information, steps and policies, see Test Accommodations on the DSS website and the Disability Information Student Handbook (DISH), Section 2, Test Accommodations for Classroom Tests.

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12.  How are accommodations decided?

You and your DSS Counselor or LD Specialist will discuss your disability-related educational limitations and decide what academic adjustments, auxliliary aids and services (accommodations) are most appropriate and reasonable. Course requirements and assignments in different classes may require different accommodations.

13.  What is the best way to discuss classroom accommodations with my instructor?

Approach your instructor privately during the office hour or at an agreed upon time. Let your instructor know that you have a disability which requires accommodation. You do not need to share your diagnosis.  However, you do need to indicate that you have verified your disability with one of the programs in the Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) Division, and that the accommodations determined by you and DSS are appropriate. If you are unsure of how to adjust for a particular course requirement, you may share this with the instructor and offer suggestions that may have worked in the past for similar situations. Work with the instructor to find an alternative. If you need assistance with this, see your DSS Counselor or LD Specialist.

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14.  What if the instructor seems unwilling or unsure of the appropriate accommodations?

Bring this to the attention of your DSS Counselor or LD Specialist. They may assist you in how to present the situation, may help you develop alternatives, or may advocate for you, if appropriate.

15.  Is there a student club?

The Disabled Students Unlimited (DSU) student club promotes disability awareness and activities for students with disabilities. They help fund special activities for its members, such as camping trips, kayaking events, and trips to scenic locations in California. All De Anza community members can join the DSU.  More information about the DSU student club is on their website at: https://www.deanza.edu/dsps/dis_student_club.html.

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16.  What extracurricular activities are students with disabilities involved in?

Students with disabilities at De Anza are involved in a broad range of campus life activities, including the newspaper, literary magazine, clubs, and student government. Students with disabilities have even served as the Student Trustee on the District's Board of Trustees.

The DSPS programs each offer a variety of extra-curricular activities for their own enrolled students. 

The Adapted Physical Education (APE) program hosts a Holiday Party annually, and such events as end of quarter barb-e-cues or ice cream socials.  The APE Outdoor Education class takes field trips to a variety of local parks and places of interest.  Disability Support Services often hosts  Open House drop-in events at holidays like Halloween and Valentine's Day.

The programs participate in outreach extracurricular events to the campus, such as in-service and awareness activities.  "Deaf Town" offered through the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) in 2007 was such a campus-wide event. 

In spring quarter, DSPS sponsors a Student Celebration reception honoring students who are finishing degrees or certificate programs or who are transferring to a four-year university.

Pictures of many of these events may be seen in the individual program's web-site Picture Galleries.

17.  Does De Anza have a program for students with Intellectual Disabilities?

Yes, the off-campus HOPE-De Anza program serves students with Intellectual Disabilities. For general program information, please visit the HOPE-De Anza web site or contact :

Monica Sheirich  (408) 282-0427

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DISABILITY SUPPORT PROGRAMS & SERVICES Division
Building: Advance Technology Center (ATC), Suite 209
Contact: Marilyn Booye
Phone: 408.864.8407 sizeplaceholder


Last Updated: 11/18/16