Resource Guide Introduction

De Anza College Students with Disabilities

Disability Statistics - Overview

  • In America, the 2016 Disability Statistics Annual Report and Statistics Compendium estimates that 12.6% (approx. 28 million) of the population between the ages of 18 - 64 have a disability.
  • In California, the estimate for this college-age population is 10.6% (approx. 4 million).
  • In Santa Clara County, “Disability Planning Data” estimates that in 2005-07 for ages 16 - 64 about 7.5% (approx. 83,000) of the population has a disability. References?
  • At De Anza College, the DSPS Division estimates that between 5% and 7% (approx. 1,500 to 1,700) of the day student population currently receive disability support services.

De Anza College students with disabilities need, and are entitled to receive disability-related accommodations (academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and services) to ensure their equitable access to and participation in all De Anza programs, services, and activities.


De Anza College Students with Disabilities - Overview

De Anza College students with disabilities have similar goals as those without disabilities. They want to:

  • Succeed in classes,
  • Obtain certificates and degrees,
  • Transfer to universities,
  • Prepare for employment, and/or
  • Develop themselves as individuals.

De Anza College’s Mission and Values Statement affirms its commitment to serve all students equitably, including those with disabilities. 

Students with disabilities enrich our educational community. When people have little or no direct experience with persons who have disabilities, stereotypes and misinformation can flourish.

Students with disabilities:

  • Offer life stories that challenge commonly held assumptions and
  • Provide examples in adapting to change.

When students with disabilities are part of the college experience, educators gain opportunities to expand learning and to help all students (and themselves) develop new insights.


Visible and Non-Visible Disabilities

Although some DSPS students have disabilities that are easily discernible, many students have non-visible disabilities. The DSPS division estimates that as many as 70% of our students with disabilities have such hidden disabilities. These students may use DSPS services or assistance that do not require the intervention of their instructors. They represent a significant population that receives assistance, but whom few on campus would readily and easily be identified as students with disabilities.

Instructor Notifications

Eligible students with disabilities are encouraged to discuss their authorized accommodations with their instructors, however, they may prefer to have the Disability Support Services (DSS) office notify their instructor of their accommodations. Accommodations are not automatic and DSS notifications to faculty are only sent upon the student’s request.

Disability Disclosure

Students with disabilities often do not disclose their disability diagnosis to De Anza faculty and staff.  Legally, the decision to disclose disability diagnosis information to their instructors is voluntary and solely at the discretion of the student.


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Last Updated: 6/14/17