Disability Information Student Handbook

About Accommodations and Services

Accommodations are defined in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations as:

  • Academic Adjustments,
  • Auxiliary Aids, and
  • Services

Accommodations afford a student with a disability an equal opportunity to fully participate in and benefit from all college courses, programs, and activities. 

Accommodations may include such things as:

  • Changes in teaching methods or materials.
  • Increased time allowances.
  • Alternate assignments.
  • Substitution of equivalent courses.

Accommodations are required to relate directly to the student’s educational limitations and are designed to:

  • Overcome disadvantages imposed by a disability.
  • Provide equal opportunity for achievement.
  • Address individual needs.
  • Be provided as a legal right, not as a privilege.

Accommodations must preserve academic integrity and must not:

  • Provide a competitive advantage.
  • Lower the academic standard by “watering down” content.
  • Lower the academic standard by grading the student more leniently.
  • Continue if ineffective or no longer required.

Academic accommodations must not alter the fundamental nature of the course, program, or discipline. However, the burden of proof is on the institution to demonstrate this. A central consideration is that the institution and the faculty or staff member have made good faith efforts to provide appropriate and equal access to the educational programs, services, and activities.

Most accommodations fall into the following categories:

  • Academic adjustments:
    • Determined on a case-by-case basis
    • Determined in a consultation process with the:
      • Student
      • Instructor, and
      • DSS Counselor or LD Specialist
    • Must NOT alter the:
      • Fundamental nature of the discipline or
      • Established academic standards for the course or program
  • Physical plant and architectural accessibility
  • Modification to policies, practices, or procedures
  • Provision of auxiliary aides and services
    • Colleges and universities must provide auxiliary aids to ensure that students are not, in effect, excluded from courses, programs, services, and activities. These include such assistance as:
      • Sign language interpreters,
      • Real-time captioners,
      • Readers, or
      • Scribes.
    • Specialized equipment may be required, including equipment to make laboratories, computers, and information systems accessible. Likewise, media, distance learning courses, libraries, and information provided on the Internet must be accessible.
    • Campus materials available to the public must be available in alternate formats upon request. Instructional materials requested by a student with print disabilities for a specific class must be translated in a timely fashion into an appropriate alternative format. Alternative formats may include:
      • Audiotape,
      • Large print,
      • Braille, and
      • Digital text made accessible by assistive technology.

Colleges are not required to provide assistance or devices of a personal nature or which are individually prescribed.


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Last Updated: 6/15/17