College of the Siskiyous - Disabled Students Programs and Services - FAQs

Disabled Students Programs and Services - FAQs

General/Student FAQs

There are nine disability categories recognized by the State Chancellor's Office. They are:

  1. Acquired Brain Injury: Deficit in brain functioning resulting in loss of cognitive, communicative, motor, psychological and/or sensory/perceptual abilities
  2. Developmentally Delayed Learner: Below average intellectual functioning and potential for measureable achievement in instructional and employment settings
  3. Hearing Impairment: Total or partial loss of hearing function which impedes the communication process essential to language, educational, social, and/or cultural interactions
  4. Learning Disability: Average to above-average intellectual ability and severe processing deficit(s) and severe aptitude-achievement discrepancy (ies) and measured achievement in an educational or employment setting
  5. Mobility Impairment: Serious limitation in locomotion and/or motor function
  6. Psychological Disability: A persistent psychological or psychiatric disorder, emotional or mental illness that adversely affects educational performance
  7. Speech & Language Impairment: One or more speech/language disorders of voice, articulation, rhythm and/or the receptive and expressive processes of language
  8. Visual Impairment: Total or partial loss of sight
  9. Other Disability: This often includes various medical disabilities not included in the other eight categories. Prior elementary and/or high school special education or 504 plan students are often counted in this category until LD testing or other appropriate testing is completed

(Source: Title V Regulations, Article 3: Sections 56032-56042)

The first step is getting them connected to the DSPS office by phone, email, or in person. The DSPS staff will get the necessary information and paperwork started to get the student into the program. Forms and information are available on the DSPS website as well.

For most of the disabilities, documentation of a verified disability should be dated within three years of the request. Some disabilities such as Mobility and Psychological should be dated more recently.

Further list of documentation requirements.

The DSPS director/counselor determines appropriate accommodations through an interactive interview with the student and in accordance with the student's documentation of their verified disability and the student's functional limitations.

No, some students with disabilities have chosen not to receive services from the DSPS office, or they not have met the eligibility criteria for services.

It depends on how long you have been away from COS and the program. If it has been within the last two academic years, your file may have been placed in the inactive file and can easily be retrieved. If you have been inactive between 2-7 years, your file information has been archived and we can retrieve it. After seven years, your information is shredded, and new paperwork will need to be completed in its entirety. With inactive and archived files, some paperwork may need to be completed again to re-activate your file. Come to the DSPS office in Eddy Hall on the Weed Campus, call us at (530) 938-5297, or email us at dsps@siskiyous.edu to get the process started.

COS's DSPS offers learning disabilities testing in accordance to the Chancellors Office Learning Disabilities Eligibility Services Model (LDESM). This process is free to eligible students. The testing involves intake screening and interview, along with cognitive, processing, and achievement testing. Results are shared with the student in an additional meeting along with eligibility criteria and authorizing needed accommodations for qualified students.

The application to the DSPS program is ongoing. A student may begin the process at any time. The office is open 12 months out of the year, and it is advised that the student begins the process as soon as they begin the registration process if they are new to COS.

Faculty FAQs

All faculty will want to put a statement about accommodations in their syllabus or first day handout to inform students about their right. You can use a statement like this: "Any student who feels he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at (530) 938-5297, or visit Eddy Hall 101 to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities."

Yes, you are. Students with disabilities are protected by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504. This law requires that qualified students with disabilities get equal access to an education and not be discriminated against in their pursuit of this education. Authorized accommodations are done by a qualified DSPS professional in accordance to students’ documented, verified disability and the educational limitations it imposes.

No, you are only responsible for reasonable accommodations if requested. If the student has not had you sign the accommodations form from the DSPS office, you may want to encourage them privately to go to the DSPS office to join the program and get reasonable accommodations.

Test accommodations are authorized by the DSPS director/counselor or designee based upon the student's functional limitations and the documentation of the disability. Some of the testing accommodations include but are not limited to: extra time for a test (often time and a half), a reader or scribe (a person who writes answers verbatim), a computer, Braille exam, enlarged exam, digitalized exam allowing for dictation software), and minimal distraction space.

The DSPS office works to provide testing accommodations in a systematic and secure way. Students with this authorized accommodation must come into the office to schedule their test at least 3 days in advance. This provides the ability for the DSPS office to ensure the testing room has minimal distractions, that the instructor is notified in a timely manner to bring us the test, and that the test is schedule around the time the class is also taking the test. No student is able to take the test without the appropriate accommodations authorization and identifications are verified prior to taking the test. Students are monitored through a window to enable the staff to periodically view the students while they are taking tests. No personal belongings are allowed in the testing room, other than what the instructor has noted on the instruction sheet that the student can have. Upon completion of the test, the test is returned almost immediately to the instructor. Occasionally, there have been a few problems but the DSPS staff work to resolve any problems that might come up and notify the instructor of the issue.

Information regarding a student's disability is as confidential as medical information. Faculty have an educational need to know that a student has a documented disability and the need for accommodation(s). The Department of Justice has determined that faculty do not have a need to know what the disability is, only that is has been appropriately verified by the individual (or office) assigned this responsibility on behalf of the institution. At COS, this is the DSPS office. Thus, faculty have no legal right to demand access to the actual documentation, including testing scores, dates or names of professionals providing such documentation.

(Source: Association of Higher Education & Disability-AHEAD, 1998, Confidentiality & Disability Issues in Higher Education brochure)


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