Resources for Faculty
Faculty members play the most important part in making sure all students have equitable opportunities to learn. This is why the DRC is here to support faculty and their academic integrity. The obligations that faculty have includes fulfilling professional obligations, as well as maintaining a high standard of confidentiality so that students with disabilities feel respected, safe, supported, and protected. We have created this section on our website you for you, so that you will always have the most up-to-date information that we want to share with you.
No. The American Psychological Association and the Chancellors Office have authorized us to not test students virtually or in-person during campus closure. However, we can provide temporary accommodations while students are waiting to be tested for a learning disability. Here is the protocol given to us from the CA Chancellors Office:
- First step of the LD testing process, which consists of completing the application and an interview, can be conducted virtually.
- Then students will be placed on the wait list to be tested when the campus reopens.
- While we are waiting for the campus to reopen, the DRC will provide temporary academic accommodations.
Accommodations are alterations in how students receive information and express information that remove barriers to learning. Accommodations should NOT alter the learning outcomes of the rest of the class. Students who are registered with the DRC are expected to meet the same learning outcomes as their classmates; they are just doing so in a different way. Here are just a few examples of accommodations depending on students' challenges:
Students who have visual challenges, may require:
All text to be enlarged or have access to a magnifying machine in the classroom or test setting
Textbooks and worksheets to be uploaded to a text-to-voice software
Have text read out loud to them
Text converted into braille
And even have the option to take oral exams instead of written exams
Students who are undergoing medical treatment for life threatening illnesses, may require:
Flexible attendance, in case they are ever hospitalized during the semester
Extra time on exams due to medication causing slow processing
Extra time on outside class assignments, in case they are ever hospitalized during the semester
Students with auditory deficits, may require:
Class lectures to be transcribed so they can read it at a later time
A copy of notes and/or a copy of professor's lecture notes
Closed captions on videos
All oral directions to also be offered in writing
Students with dyslexia may need to have:
A private room so they can read the questions on tests out loud
A reader to read to their tests to them
Option to take oral exams
Use of color transparencies to lay over text
Exams to be printed on colored paper
Access to text-to-voice software
As you can see, accommodations that are provided to a student depend on an individual student's challenges and how that disability affects their access to the education process.
Students do not need to disclose the nature of their disability to instructors in order to receive accommodations. Academic Accommodation letters (memo) from the Disability Resource Center never disclose a student’s disability, only the accommodations that are authorized.
Cañada College DRC uses the information requested on the Disability Resource Center (DRC) forms for the purpose of determining a student's eligibility to receive authorized services provided by DRC. Personal information recorded on these forms will be kept confidential in order to protect against unauthorized disclosure.
Portions of this information may be shared with the Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges or other state or federal agencies; however, disclosure to these parties is made in strict accordance with applicable statutes regarding confidentiality, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232(g)). Pursuant to Section 7 of the Federal Privacy Act (Public Law 93-579; 5 U.S.C.§ 552a, note).
To set academic standards.
To evaluate students based on the standards of the class.
To respect and maintain all students' rights to confidentiality about his/her/their learning or health challenges.
To collaborate with students to in order to create an engaging and safe learning environment.
To refer any students to the DRC that you observe struggling academically in your class.
To contact a DRC counselor or director if you have any questions or concerns about any of the accommodations.
To meet timelines/deadlines that the Alternative Media staff give you, so that they can reformat books/materials for students who require alternative formats of text/materials in a timely manner.
Signs that a student may have visual processing or reading disabilities:
● Confusion of similar words, difficulty using phonics, problems reading multi-syllable words
● Difficulty finding important points or main ideas
● Slow reading rate and/or difficulty adjusting speed to the nature of the reading task
● Difficulty with comprehension and retention of material that is read, but not with materials presented orally
Signs that a student may have expressive language or writing disabilities:
● Difficulty with sentence structure, poor grammar, omitted words
● Frequent spelling errors, inconsistent spelling, letter reversals
● Difficulty copying from chalkboard
● Poorly formed handwriting
- might print instead of using script
- writes with an inconsistent slant
- has difficulty with certain letters
- spaces words unevenly
● Compositions lacking organization and development of ideas
Signs of auditory processing or language processing disabilities:
● Difficulty paying attention when spoken to
● Difficulty listening to a lecture and taking notes at the same time
● Easily distracted by background noise or visual stimulation
● Might appear to be hurried in one-to-one meetings
● Inconsistent concentration
Signs of oral language or expressive language disabilities:
● Difficulty expressing ideas orally which the student seems to understand
● Difficulty describing events or stories in proper sequence
● Difficulty with grammar
● Using a similar sounding word in place of the appropriate one
Sign of disabilities in math (ex: Dyscalculia, Visual-Spatial Aspects of math):
● Difficulty memorizing basic facts
● Confusion or reversal of numbers, number sequences or symbols
● Difficulty copying problems, aligning columns
● Difficulty reading or comprehending word problems
Signs of attention deficits, physical health challenges, and mental health challenges:
● Problems with reasoning and abstract concepts
● Exhibits an inability to stick to simple schedules
- repeatedly forgets things
- loses or leaves possessions
- and generally seems "personally disorganized"
● Difficulty following directions
● Poor organization and time management
Signs of students who are under the spectrum or may be experiencing mental health challenges:
● Difficulty "reading" facial expressions, body language
● Problems interpreting subtle messages, such as sarcasm or humor
● Seems disorganized in space: confuses up and down, right and left; gets lost in a building, is disoriented when familiar environment is rearranged
● Seems disoriented in time: is often late to class, unusually early for appointments or unable to finish assignments in the standard time period
● Displays excessive anxiety, anger, or depression because of the inability to cope with school or social situations
How does learning disability testing benefit students?
Learn personal strengths and weaknesses
Determine effective strategies for learning
Provides ideas to guide tutors in supporting learning
Obtain documentation that they will need to formally request accommodations for any state testing (e.g. LSAT, MSAT, NCLEX, etc)
Obtain documentation that they will need to formally request accommodations at the workplace or at any other post-secondary institution
Following are some suggestions on how you might express your concerns; please keep in mind that students benefit most from honest yet kind feedback about their performance in class, whether they have a disability or not.
Do not ask the student directly if they have a disability, this might put him/her on the defensive and cause some discomfort.
Instead gather information about a few resources on campus, in addition to DRC, such as the Learning Center, Career Center, Counseling Center, Transfer Center, Bookstore, EOPS/CARE/CalWorks/Former Foster Youth, Health Center, Psychological Services, International Students, TRiO SSS, Veterans Services. You might say, "I want to share some information on campus services that you might find helpful."
When you mention the DRC, you can say something like: The DRC offers Learning Disability testing for students who have a history of struggling with things like reading, writing, math, etc. They might be a good place to start."
Some students feel their disability isn't "severe enough" to warrant utilizing the DRC services and feel guilty because they don't want to take away from "more deserving" students. You may assure your student that DRC serves all types of disabilities and that requesting services through DRC in no way affects the level of services someone else with different needs shall receive.
Ultimately it is up to the student to decide whether or not to disclose a disability and pursue DRC services. However, do feel free to let students know that you are willing to work with them and DRC to ensure that they have equal access to your curriculum.
Once you have broached the subject and your student wishes to pursue DRC services, what can you do to facilitate the process? Here are some options to connect them to us:
- You can give them our website link and the online application to register with the DRC.
- You can give them our email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a meeting to talk with someone first, before they register
- You may introduce the student via email with one of our staff members
- You can even walk them over to our office to introduce us in person
- ISBN of textbooks
- Approximate timelines of dates for starting each chapter
- A syllabus for approximate dates of assignments, quizzes, and exams
- All handouts and supplemental written materials
Yes and no.
No, because you are only responsible for reasonable accommodations if a student has an official accommodation letter. However, it's also yes because if you can clearly observe that the student requires accommodations in your class, you must work with the student to come up with an equitable way they can access all of the opportunities as other students in the class (e.g. student is in a wheelchair. is wearing a hearing aid. has a service dog, is clearly pregnant, has lost all of the hair on their face and head from chemotherapy, etc).
But it is highly recommended that you encourage them to register with the DRC in case they need more accommodations that the college can purchase for them (such as adaptable furniture, a magnifying machine, real time captioning, etc).
No. Faculty do not have the right to access the student’s diagnostic information. Cañada College follows the rules of confidentiality that are described in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act(1973) and Federal Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA).
Tips to Maintaining Confidentiality of Student Disability Information
Breaches of confidentiality are taken very seriously by UCSF. Unauthorized disclosures of student information must be documented and can result in the University being in non-compliance with federal regulations. Additionally, such disclosures may violate state privacy laws and may subject the university and the individual to liability. Please contact Student Disabilities Services if there are any questions, issues, or concerns regarding maintaining confidentiality of information.
Under Section 504 and the ADA, a person with a disability is defined as an individual:
• who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major
• who has a record of such an impairment;
• or who is regarded as having such an impairment
Major life activities include:
• Performing Manual Tasks
• Engaging in Sexual
• Caring for Oneself
• Interacting with Others
• Performing Bodily
- All information that a student shares with a faculty member is to be used specifically for arranging reasonable accommodations for the course of study.
- Do not leave student disability information visible on your computer or in any printed format that others can see, and dispose of it securely at the end of the quarter.
- Refrain from discussing a student’s disability status and necessary accommodations within hearing range of fellow students, faculty, staff, or others who do not have an “educational need to know.”
- Do NOT use students' names in the subject line in emails. Instead, use initials in the subject line.
- At no time should the class be informed that a student has a disability.
- Discuss accommodation memos and logistics of implementing accommodations with students in private. Make yourself available by email, during office hours, or by appointment to discuss. Contact the DRC if you would like a DRC counselor to be present during your appointments with students.
- Requesting specific information about a student’s disability is inappropriate. Requesting a letter from the student’s physician is inappropriate. The Accommodation Letter is all that is needed to justify the accommodation.
- If a student voluntarily discloses the nature of their disability to you, even if it is obvious, do not disclose it to others.
- If a student tries to provide you with their primary disability documentation, refuse to read or accept it and refer the student to the DRC.
It is the faculty's responsibility to make sure all class materials are accessible:
Any videos that are assigned in class, MUST have closed captions.
Any videos posted on websites, MUST have closed captions.
- word documents
- PDF documents
Some unique accommodations:
Some student will require audio recording their lectures due to their disability. However, in order to use this accommodation, they must agree to and sign our audio recording policy:
- Information contained in the audio-recorded lecture is protected under federal copyright laws and may not be published or quoted without the express consent of the lecturer, and without proper identity and credit to the lecturer.
- They know that may be asked to pause audio recording during sensitive or private discussions in class.
- Audio-recordings may not be used in any way against faculty, lecturer, or students whose classroom comments are recorded as part of class activities.
- If they need this accommodation, they must notify their professors in a timely manner so that any necessary arrangements can be made to use this accommodation (ex: requiring to sit closer to the professor, needing to sit next to an outlet to charge recording device, a wireless microphone, etc).
- If this accommodation cannot be provided for any reason, students have the right to be provided an alternative accommodation (ex: professor's zoom recordings, lecture notes, one-on-one meetings with professor to review all the highlights of concepts discussed or lectures in class, etc).
- Audio recordings of lectures must be deleted after the semester has ended from all devices that have saved these audio recordings.
Students will be responsible for bringing their own audio recording device and they must let you know that they will be using this accommodation in your class.
Shortly after the add/drop date, faculty will be sent a link from the DRC to complete the Audio Recording Acknowledgement form. This form lets us know that you acknowledge that the students who have this accommodation may require to use it for your class. We just need to know if you will:
Here is the link to the Audio Recording Acknowledgement form: https://smccd-czqfp.formstack.com/forms/audio_recording_acknowledgementforfaculty
Any media that will be part of your lectures/assignments must be accessible when they are captioned. If a video is not captioned or a podcast does not have a transcript, instructors are responsible to arrange for an accessible version to be produced. Please scroll down to learn of some helpful tips on captioning that you may find helpful:
Two to three lines per caption frame is average. But if you need four lines because of the context, do it.
When two people are talking at the same time on the screen, you need to be able to distinguish them. Place captioned lines on the screen as character is saying them, so it is obvious to viewers who is talking. If it is not obvious who is talking on the screen, it is recommended that each person’s dialog is labeled with the name/description of the person talking.
- Tom: I can’t see you!
- John: Take your head out of the fridge then!
A description (in brackets) should be used for instrumental/background music when it's essential to the understanding of the video/scene. Off-screen background music description should be italicized. If possible, the description should include the performer/composer and the title.
- [Louis Armstrong plays"Hello Dolly"]
- [pianist playing]
Nonessential background music should be captioned by placing a music icon (♪) and should never be captioned at the expense of dialogue. (There is no need to caption background music with a duration under 5 seconds).
If music contains lyrics, caption the lyrics verbatim. The lyrics should be introduced with the name of the artist and the title in brackets, if the presentation rate permits.
- [Dinah Washington singing “Mad about the Boy”]
- ♪The boys are back in town ♪♪
Sound effects are sounds other than music, narration, or dialogue. They are captioned if it is necessary for the understanding and/or enjoyment of the media. A description of sound effects, in brackets, should include the source of the sound. However, the source may be omitted if it can be clearly seen onscreen. And never use the past tense when describing sounds. Captions should be synchronized with the sound and are therefore in the present tense.
Off-screen sound effects should be italicized, if italics are available.
Use punctuation to indicate speed or pace of sound.
Example for slow sounds:
Example of fast/rapid sounds:
Bang, bang, bang
Most people believe that only students in wheelchairs are the only ones who require adaptable furniture, but most students who require adaptive furniture do not use wheelchairs. Due to many health reasons, students often require cushioned seats, chairs with lower lumbar support, etc. But most importantly, adaptive classrooms ensure safety, help improve fine motor skill development, facilitate longer periods of concentration, and promote socialization - allowing students with physical challenges to overcome barriers and feel less isolated.
Please contact the DRC if you believe that any of your students require adaptive furniture. We will do what we can to help students feel physically comfortable in your classroom, so they can focus on learning better. Students who have already been approved for adaptive furniture already know that is their responsibility to request furniture for specific classrooms by completing the Furniture Request Form.
Students who require extended time are students who:
- Often have physical trouble with writing and typing. This could be due to an illness, injury, or visual challenges that make it difficult to read and write in a timely manner.
- Some students have medical/health issues such as anxiety, migraines, ADD/ADHD, or are undergoing medical treatment that affect their ability to complete tasks in a timely manner.
- Other students have processing deficits that require more time to comprehend and complete work.
Tips to provide extended time in the classroom:
We advise professors to discuss with students who require this accommodation to come up with a routine that will help students not get behind in their work as the semester progresses. Here are a few routines that are popular:
- Classwork will be provided to students in advance so that students have the extra time BEFORE the classwork is assigned.
- Any classwork that is not completed during class should be emailed to the professor within 24 hours or it is considered late.
Tips for extended time on tests/quizzes:
How extended time is provided is determined between professors and students. Most people think that the extended time must occur on the same day, but that is not true. Here are a few ways that professors can provide extra time:
- Students may begin the exam in their office before the class begins and then finish the exam with the rest of the class later.
- If a student does not finish during class time, they may finish the exam in another class that the professor teaches.
- Professors can give students part of the test on one day and the next part on another day.
Extended time on projects and long assignments:
This accommodation is not common, but is usually granted to students who are undergoing medical treatment or have major physical/processing challenges that require them to begin preparing for their projects or long papers way in advance so that they do not fall behind the curriculum.
We recognize that not all professors have their prompts ready before it is assigned to the class; however; if you know what the gist of the assignment will be, you can give students tasks they they will need to do anyway for their papers or projects. For example:
- Begin researching and collecting evidence from at least 5 sources
- Begin outlining topics they will be able to do on their own
It is also important to note that when professors see the word "breaks", they automatically assume it means that the student needs to leave the classroom for a short time period. This is not always the case, so please make sure to discuss the details of this accommodations with your students.
Breaks during class time:
Depending on the structure of the class, professors can make recommendations to the students. Here are a few examples of how breaks can be applied in the classroom:
- Some professors request breaks be taken after the first 30 minutes due to important lecture material
- Many professors would like students to give them some kind of cue (e.g. hand signal) to let them know they are going on a break and another gesture if they will not be coming back (usually due to health related issues)
- Other professors request a break that is no more than three to five minutes at a time and no more than two breaks per class.
- Also professors may make sure that there is room in the back of the room if the student needs to take a standing break in the room during lecture time.
Breaks during exams:
Many professors worry that students may cheat during their breaks. Therefore, we recommend that you give them either a page at a time or sections at a time, and when the student has completed those pages, they will be allowed to have a break. And when they return, the next section/pages can then be given to them. This can give the professor peace of mind that students are not looking for answers to the questions that they viewed before their breaks.
Please also keep in mind that students who are given breaks as an accommodation also have extended time, so please do not count the time during their break toward the amount of time they are allowed to finish the exam. We call this "Stop the Clock".
And just like breaks in the classroom, please provide students the option to take their breaks in the exam room. Most of the time, they just need to stand and stretch.
- lightening in the room
- temperature in the room
- noise distraction
- visual distractions
Just making minor alterations can make all of the difference. Here are some examples:
- Students who get visually distracted can sit at a desk facing the wall
- Students who need cooler temperature can sit next to the fan or vent
- Students who get distracted by noise in the room, can wear headsets or ear plugs
This refers to any assignments that are due before the student leaves the classroom. Depending on a student's learning and health challenges, it may take them longer to complete their classwork, especially in math classes. Professor needs to let the student know how much more time they can have and how they would like the student to submit their work to them. Examples:
- Must place it in professor's mailbox within two hours
- Must email it to professor by midnight on the same day
- Can turn in the work at the next class meeting
This refers to any homework or projects and papers that students should be working on outside of class time. As you may already know, we cannot predict health issues and sometimes students with severe health conditions may have to be hospitalized for days at a time. Therefore, professors and students are expected to create a plan if students need any extra time for out-of-class assignments. Are are a few examples:
- 7 extra days for papers
- 4 extra days for projects
- Extra 24 hours for discussion posts
Sometimes students with severe health conditions may need to miss part or all of their class meeting. If this should happen, it is very important for all students and faculty members to create a contingency plan where the student will be able to make up for class time that was missed. We recommend faculty do the following:
- Come up with some type of cue that the student can give you without disturbing the class if they need to leave early.
- Come up with a way for students to make up their participation/classwork. Here's
a list some protocols that professors have offered students with this accommodation:
- Make up the class by attending a different session in the same week.
- Make up the content missed by writing a summary of key concepts covered in class within one week.
- Any missed exams must be made up within two weeks.
- If for any reason, student needs more time than the semester allows, an incomplete grade may have to be offered to the student. Please visit the college catalog to get more information regarding incomplete grading process: https://catalog.canadacollege.edu/current/grades/
Memory aids give students equal opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge in a testing situation by lessening the impact of their disability. It is not intended to provide students with the answer. This accommodation is not intended to reduce academic requirements or alter the standards by which academic performance is assessed.
The contents of a memory aid are at the instructor’s discretion and should not reduce academic requirements or alter the essential requirements of the course. Only the instructor can determine whether a memory aid compromises the integrity of the course.
What is Memory Aid?
A memory aid is due to the discretion of the instructor. Every instructor is different and may decide what constitutes a memory aid. Here are some examples of memory aids:
- Video clips
- Index cards
- Formula sheet
- Instructor-made memory aid (most popular)
What is the Memory Aid Accommodation Process?
1. In the beginning of the semester, when the student and instructor sit down to go over all of the accommodations, they will discuss:
- If the instructor will be creating a memory aid for the student
- Or if the student will be creating the memory aid, they will discuss:
- What type of memory aid would be appropriate for the class (e.g. one side of 3x5 index card, one page double spaced, one page from reading passage, novel, etc)
- What type of content is allowed on the memory aid (e.g. pictures only, formulas only, acronyms only, etc)
- How many days the student will submit the memory for approval (e.g 5 days before exam)
- At this point, the instructor may request edits and have the student resubmit it by a certain deadline
2. Once the instructor approves the memory aid:
- A picture or word copy of the approved memory aid will be emailed to the DRC proctoring team at email@example.com as soon as possible – preferably 3 days before the proctor appointment, so that we can print it out for you. If it is on an index card, we still would like a copy in case the index card gets lost. It is also highly recommended that you also cc your professor on this email!
- OR the student will give the professor the approved memory aid and the instructor will attach it to the exam when they deliver it to the DRC. (However, it is highly recommended that a picture of the memory aid be taken by the student in case the memory aid is lost in transit).
To review all of this information in a PDF form, please feel free to download the memory handout here.
Download the Proctor Request Form (aka Blue Form).
Student completes the top portion of the form:
- Student name
- Kurzweil on the test?
- Instructor Name
instructor completes the rest of the form:
- Date of test
- Time of test
- Length of time to take the test
- If student has back-to-back classes, is there a flexible start time?
- Agree where the test will be proctored
- Let us know how the test will be delivered to us
- Let us know how you would like us to return the test to you
- Give us any special instructions for the test
- Professor signature
Student must turn in the completed form to the DRC. They understand that:
- Testing accommodations will not be provided until a student’s eligibility for such services has been verified.
- Testing accommodation will be provided to students only in courses where their educational limitations indicate that they are necessary.
- Testing accommodations will occur during the scheduled test time when other students are taking the exam, unless agreed upon in advance by the instructor.
- Exams will be stopped and instructors will be notified if cheating, unauthorized use of notes, books, calculators or other improper behaviors are observed during the examination. Infractions will be referred to the Vice President of Student Services for due process as defined by the Cañada College catalogue.
If you do not receive any email from us after 48 business hours, please email us to confirm that we have received your proctoring request.Please note that proctoring appointments are on a first-come-first-serve basis. If we run out seats, students will have to take their exams on another day and/or time.
Helpers in the Classroom:
Cart Services are for students who are deaf or hearing impaired. Students who need communication access accommodations may choose which local captioner they prefer. This process can take up to 6 weeks to complete so plan ahead!
Tips for having a captioner in the room:
Please make sure they have a seat and table next to an outlet
Please make sure they sit somewhere they can clearly see you
Please do not speak too fast as the captioner will be transcribing everything you say.
Please make sure no one is speaking over each other during classroom discussions so that the captioner can effectively capture everyone's dialog accurately.
The following list contains some helpful suggestions on how to make this accommodation for the student and other students in the class more meaningful:
- When communicating with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing individual, one should address the individual directly. Maintain eye contact. This is a very important piece of etiquette - it takes some getting used to, but keep your eye gaze on the Deaf or Hard of Hearing individual, NOT on the interpreter. If other people interrupt your conversation, signal that you'll be with them in just a moment, and then finish your conversation.
- Avoid asking the ASL interpreter's opinion of the conversation's content. Interpreters follow a code of ethics that requires confidentiality and impartiality. If you want to know how things are going, speak to the Deaf or Hard of Hearing individual and the interpreter will interpret your inquiry.
- ASL interpreters require prep materials and/or subject-specific information to provide an accurate interpretation. So please make an extra copy of any handouts you will be distributing in class.
- Speak naturally. Occasionally an ASL interpreter may need to interrupt for clarification during a meeting or lecture.
- Room set-up, including sufficient lighting and seating arrangements, to provide the Deaf or Hard of Hearing individual with visual access to the instructor/speaker, interpreter and any additional visual information (i.e. PowerPoint). The interpreter will place themselves within the sight line of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing individual(s). This means they will sit or stand as close to the hearing speaker as possible so the Deaf/Hard of Hearing person can pick up on facial expressions and body language from their hearing counterpart. Exactly where the interpreter stands or sits depends on the situation and interpreters will help facilitate this process.
- If your class is longer than an hour, you may want to provide a short break every hour, especially if the interpreter is working without an interpreter team. A short break will provide a physical and mental recess, ensuring the most accurate and successful interpretation possible.
- One person should speak at a time in the classroom. It's very common among hearing people to speak over each other, hold side conversations, or allow no time between comments. An interpretation's success depends on the ability of the interpreter to hear each comment individually. Please encourage group/class discussions to follow this tip.
- With all that said, it may be a good idea to meet briefly with the interpreter before some classes to clarify any special vocabulary or jargon; to make best seating and lighting arrangements; and provide the interpreter with any necessary written information.
- ASL interpreters are part of an instructor’s educational team to facilitate communication in the classroom.
- ASL interpreters are NOT in place to tutor or take over the instructor’s role.
- It is inappropriate for ASL interpreters to participate in the class or discuss the student’s progress.
We make every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act. In keeping with this commitment, Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) may be necessary to address the personal needs of a student with a disability so that he/she/they may participate in the college's activities, services, and programs. In order for the student who requires PCA services to have the same independent experience as all other college students, it is in the student's best interest to hire an impartial PCA who is not a family member or close friend. The college does not assume coordination or financial responsibilities for personal attendant services, and expects PCAs to respect all of the college's policies and codes of conduct.
A PCA is expected to:
1) Follow all applicable university policies, rules, regulations, and procedures.
2) Assist the student before and after class but wait outside the classroom (unless deemed appropriate by documentation and approved by the Accessibility and Disability Services Office).
3) If in the classroom, refrain from assisting any academically-related tasks (i.e. note taking, class participation, group activities) in the classroom or other academic settings.
4) Allow the student to take responsibility for his/her/their own progress or behavior.
5) Refrain from contact with or asking questions of faculty, staff, or others on behalf of the student.
6) Refrain from intervening in conversations between the student and faculty, staff or other students.
7) Refrain from discussing any confidential information about the student with faculty, staff, or students.
Tips for having a PCA in the classroom:
- Please make sure they have a seat designated for them They do NOT have to sit by the student requiring this accommodation.
- However, they do need quick access to the student if the student requires a medical emergency.
A service animal refers to any guide or signal dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability, where the work is directly related to the individual's disability. In addition to provisions for service animals, revised ADA regulations have new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Miniature horses generally range in height from 24-34 inch, measured at the shoulders and generally weigh between 70-100 lbs).
Please scroll down to learn more about the rules and regulations that students must follow if they are to have a Service Animal on campus:
Here are a few tasks that service animals can often perform:
- Guiding students who are blind
- Alerting individuals with hearing loss
- Pull a wheelchair for a student with physical/mobility loss
- Fetching items or turning on/off light switches
- Alerting others or standing guard over a student having a seizure
Tips for having service animals in the classroom:
- Please discuss with the student the best place to seat both student and their service animal in the classroom.
- Please discuss with student what are considered appropriate/inappropriate interactions between the service animal and students in the class (e.g. petting, feeding). Then come to an agreement on how to address the class of the do's and don’ts regarding the service animal in the classroom.
- Allergies or a fear of the service animal are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to students using service animals. However, it may be possible to accommodate requesting students to use different locations within the classroom or take a different section of the course.
- A service animal may be excluded from the campus when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Although the institution may exclude any service animal that is a direct threat, it will give the student with a disability the option of staying without the animal or obtaining another service animal under the following circumstances:
1. The dog is behaving in a disruptive manner by barking, growling, whimpering, running around, or soliciting social attention through behavior uncharacteristic of a service animal; or
2. The dog is not housebroken or clean; or
3. The presence of the dog poses a direct threat to the health or safety of other persons that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services.
Members of the campus community are required to abide by the following practices:
- Do not touch or pet an emotional support animal or service animal unless invited to do so.
- Do not feed an emotional support or service animal.
- Do not deliberately startle an emotional support animal or service animal.
- Do not separate or attempt to separate an owner from his, her, their emotional support animal. or service animal.
- Do not inquire for details about a person’s disabilities. The nature of a person’s disability is a private matter.
Students must sign an agreement with DRC in order to have a service animal in the classroom. The following is a list of policies that students with service animals must agree to:
1) The student must abide by current city, county, and state ordinances, laws, and/or regulations pertaining to licensing, vaccination, and other requirements for animals. The student must know and understand these ordinances, laws, and regulations. The university has the right to require documentation of compliance with such ordinances, laws, and/or regulations, which may include a vaccination certificate or a veterinarian’s statement regarding the Service Animal’s health. The university reserves the right to request documentation showing that the Service Animal has been licensed.
2) Service animal must not obstruct or disturb any space or activity of the academic program including but not limited to: residence halls, classrooms and labs, other campus buildings or recreational areas, roads, walkways, and passages on any part of campus, legitimate campus activities and any other university programs, spaces or activities.
3) Service animal must not engage in other behaviors or noises that are disruptive to others including but not limited to: excessive barking, excessive whining, excessive growling, excessive grooming, excessive sniffing people, or intrusion into the personal belongings of others, and tables in eating areas.
4) The student is required to clean up after and properly dispose of the Service Animal’s feces in a safe and sanitary manner. The Service Animal must be housebroken and kennel trained.
5) In the case of an emergency, the university is not responsible for evacuating the Service Animal.
6) The student is financially responsible for any and all actions of the Service Animal, including but not limited to, bodily injury or property damage, such as furniture or floor coverings replacement. The student may be charged for any damage caused by the Service Animal that is beyond reasonable wear and tear. If living in the dorms, the student’s living accommodation must be kept clean with no odors from the Service Animal.
Another duty of the scribe is to manipulate materials for the student. The student with the accommodation will direct the scribe where to place the information, and/or manipulate material (e.g. turn the page, glue the picture onto the bottom left of the page, place worksheet in binder, open the book to page 122, highlight the second line in paragraph three, etc).
Please note: Scribes are not allowed to tutor, prompt or correct the student in any way. A scribe is different from a note taker because they must be directed by the student throughout the class what they need to notate for them and how to manipulate materials for the class. (Whereas a note taker is never told by the student what they need to notate or move for them). In many cases, students who have scribes may also have a separate classmate take notes for them or have the professor provide them with lecture notes.
Here are just a couple of important tips for having a scribe in the classroom:
- Please provide a seat for the scribe next to the student
- Since the student will have to speak to the scribe throughout class activities, they may have to be seated somewhere where they are not distracting other students
A reader can be anyone in the classroom, such as the professor, a classmate, or a teacher's assistant. A reader can read any content/material that is assigned in class or during an exam. However, during an exam, the student requiring a reader will need to be in a room where he/she/they are not disrupting other classmates. Often times, the student will require a scribe also during an exam or the option to take an oral exam.
A reader does NOT:
- rephrase the questions or the answers on exams
- make explains or remarks on content that is read
- define words or concepts during any type of reading assignment
Notetakers are also able to place their role as a notetaker for ADS on their resume for future jobs. Additionally, for professors who practice Universal Design, these notetaker's notes may be published on Canvas for ALL students in the class who may require another set of notes to help them study.
Visit our "Forms" page to access the forms that notetakers will have to complete to be an official helper in the class.
Building an Accessible Course
Creating Accessible Video
Creating Accessible Documents
And much more!
A couple of extra tips:
It is expected that all faculty post a disability statement about academic accommodations in their syllabus. When you review your syllabus with your class on the first day of class, it would be great if you could stress that the DRC is a great resource to ALL students. So if anyone has had accommodations in high school OR have a history of struggling in school, please encourage them to reach out to us. We are available to meet with any students one-on-one if they have a history of struggling in school, even if they do not have any documentation of disabilities. Here is the disability recommended statement - feel free to add extra details that pertain to your course:
Students Who Require Academic Accommodations:
Cañada College is committed to equal access for all students in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If you are registered with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and would like to use accommodations in my class, please make an appointment with me within either the first week of joining the course or within one week from receiving your accommodation memo (or new accommodation), so we can go over your accommodations together.
For students who are not registered with the DRC, but had an IEP or 504 Plan in high school, you are eligible to receive academic accommodations. For students who would like more information on eligibility requirements for academic accommodations at any time throughout the semester, please email DRC at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the DRC web page for more information at: https://canadacollege.edu/disabilityresourcecenter/index.php
Provide a detailed syllabus to students that is visually easy to comprehend:
- Bold or color code sections
- Underline/highlight key words or phrases
- Provide clear due dates for assignments and assessments
- Don't be afraid to use visuals that make information more understandable for visual learners (e.g. illustrations, charts, tables, images)
- Please include a disability statement in your syllabus so that students who need our services know where to find us. Please consult with one of our counselors or Director if you need assistance drafting a disability statement.
Universal design for Learning (UDL) is a method used to create environments and materials that meet the needs of people of different physical and mental abilities. According to Brittney Newcomer (MS, LSSP), "universal" refers to being flexible to meet the needs of ALL learners.
The goal of UDL is to use a variety of teaching means, methods, and materials to remove any barriers to learning, giving all students equal opportunities to succeed. It’s about preparing the learning environment so that teachers have what they need to flexibly meet the strengths and needs of a wide range of students. This includes individuals of different socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, religions, genders, languages, etc. Therefore, this form of teaching will help effectively support students who have not been formally diagnosed OR do not wish to disclose any physical, mental, or learning challenges to you.
Researchers believe that UDL:
- Provides equal opportunity to succeed
- Offers flexibility in the ways students access and engage with classroom materials and show what they know.
The best way to help students with learning and health challenges is to practice universal design. Here are a few tips:
Multi-sensory Teaching –
Some students learn more readily if material is presented in as many modalities as possible (seeing, speaking, doing.) Provide opportunities for touching and handling materials that relate to ideas. Cutting and pasting parts of compositions to achieve logical plotting of thoughts is one possibility.
Help students visualize the material. Visual aids can include overhead projectors, films, carousel slide projectors, chalkboards, flip charts, computer graphics, and illustrations of written text.
Some students learn and remember better when they hear new information. Giving students an opportunity to ask questions, having class discussions, and group activities are a great way to engage all students.
Some students learn new information by connecting to information they already know. Providing something to compare new information to will help students comprehend lessons and concepts on a deeper level.
Access to Information -
Many students cannot write notes very quickly, so if you are writing on the white board or projecting information on a screen, allow students to take pictures of white board or screen.
So please feel free to think outside the box! Provide different methods of assessment, as well as practice for your students.
Individual Consultation For Faculty and Staff:
The DRC welcomes questions from faculty and staff. We love collaborating with you! Please let us know what we can do to help support you, so we can work together to help all of our students be successful in their academic endeavors. Please contact one of us and we will make sure to make the time to meet with you:
- For Questions about Academics, please contact To Nhu Do, who is our academic DRC counselor. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- For Questions about Accommodations:
If you'd like us to come introduce our services to your class, please let us know. We'd love to spread the word of our services and answer any curious questions that students may have.
If you'd like us to create a workshop for your class, please contact one of us and we'll see what we can do to design just the right workshop for you.
Interested In Acquiring Accommodations for yourself?
Please take a look at our Employee Short & Long Term Disability Page on our SMCCD Portal Site under Health Benefits or click here.
Needing any Other Assistance?
Please take a look at our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Page on our SMCCD Portal site or click here.