Frequently Asked Questions
|1. What is DSPS?|
|2. How does a student become eligible for DSPS?|
|3. How does a student become a part DSPS?|
|4. What is the process for a student to get support services/accommodations?|
|5. What types of services and accommodations do you offer for students with disabilities?|
|6. What are the different disability groups?|
|7. Does DSPS have any financial assistance available for students with disabilities?|
|8. What accommodations and services are available on the Del Norte Campus?|
|9. What is the LIGHT Center?|
|10. What is alternate media?|
|11. Who can ride the DSPS bus?|
|12. Where can students with disabilities park?|
|13. What is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)?|
|14. What is Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973?|
|15. What is the major difference between Section 504 and the ADA?|
|16. What is Section 508 (Section 508 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973)?|
1. What is DSPS?
Since its inception in 1975, Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) at College of the Redwoods (CR) has grown to serve an average of 1200 students with disabilities per year. The major objective of the DSPS office at CR is to assure educational access for students with disabilities. DSPS concentrates its efforts on providing services that are not available elsewhere in the College.
Post-secondary institutions must take steps to assure that students with disabilities are not excluded from programs because of the absence of educational auxiliary aids. The appropriate educational accommodations vary across students even though they may possess the same type of disability. Individual students have varying strengths, weaknesses, and levels of functioning, therefore dictating a variety of accommodations being available to the students.
Some of the accommodations that are available to students with disabilities through DSPS include: counseling, priority registration, learning disability assessment, testing accommodations, liaison to campus and community, readers, textbooks in alternate formats, sign language interpreters, real-time captioning, mobility assistance, tape recorders, and special course offerings. The accommodations that are available may vary on each of the CR campuses. For more information, the DSPS Faculty Handbook may be accessed on-line at http://www.redwoods.edu/District/dsps/Faculty-Handbook/index.htm, or hard-copies are available through the DSPS office.Back to Top
2. How does a student become eligible for DSPS?
A student is eligible for our program if they have a verified disability that limits one or more major life activities, resulting in an educational limitation.
Major life activities are defined as caring for one's self, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and participating in community activities.
An educational limitation is a disability related functional limitation in the educational setting. An educational limitation prevents the student with a disability from fully benefiting from classes, activities, or services offered to students without disabilities, without specific additional support services or instruction. Services and accommodations provided by the DSPS program are directly related to the student's educational limitation(s)
Participation in DSPS is voluntary.Back to Top
3. How does a student become a part DSPS?
In order to participate in DSPS, a student must fill out an application to the department. The main requirement for our program is that a student must have a verified/verifiable disability and be currently enrolled.
If a student does not have a disability that has been previously identified, but is finding that they have serious difficulties with their classes, they may have an unidentified learning disability. These students also go through the DSPS department for referral to a course called Guidance 143: Introduction to Learning Disabilities, which includes information about, and testing for a learning disability. If a student is determined to have a learning disability through this course, then the testing will serve as verification for participation in DSPS.Back to Top
4. What is the process for a student to get support services/accommodations?
- Student or Instructor/Counselor/Community Agency makes referral.
- Student meets with Counselor/Advisor to complete DSPS Intake Process.
- Verification of Disability form is received from:
- Learning Disability Specialist
- Medical Doctor
- Department of Rehabilitation Counselor
- Licensed Psychiatrist or Psychologist
- Professional Certification by DSPS Director
- Student is notified of eligibility.
- Student meets with Counselor/Advisor to determine appropriate educational accommodations.
- Support Services Agreement (SSA) is completed each semester the student is enroll
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5. What types of services and accommodations do you offer for students with disabilities?
Accommodations provided to students with disabilities vary, depending on the student's particular educational limitations, as well as by what is available at each individual campus. Some of the services and accommodations that are provided through our office include: books on tape, extended test time, mobility/transportation assistance (on campus only), sign language interpreters, enrollment in special classes, priority registration, tape recorders, 4-track players, liaison with community agencies, etc.Back to Top
6. What are the different disability groups?
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- Mobility Impairment: any physical impairment that causes a serious limitation in locomotion or motor functions in the educational environment.
- Visual Impairment: A total or partial loss of sight that adversely affects a student's educational performance.
- Hearing Impairment: total deafness or a hearing loss so severe that a student is impaired in processing information through hearing, with or without amplification.
- Speech Impairment: One or more speech and language disorders of voice, articulation, rhythm and/or the receptive and expressive processes of language that limits the quality, accuracy, intelligibility or fluency of producing the sounds that comprise spoken language. (Speech impairment does not apply to language having to do with a foreign accent, or ESL.)
- Learning Disability: A persistent condition of a presumed neurological impairment. The impairment continues despite instruction in standard classroom situations.
- Acquired Brain Injury: An acquired injury to the brain caused by external or internal trauma, resulting in total or partial, functional disability that adversely affects or limits a student's educational performance by impairing: cognition, information processing, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment and/or problem solving; language and/or speech; memory and/or attention; sensory, perceptual and/or motor abilities; psycho social behavior; or physical functions.
- Developmentally Delayed Learner: Learning deficits resulting from below average intellectual functioning that adversely affects educational performance, existing concurrently with measurable potential for achievement in educational and/or employment settings.
- Psychological Disability: A persistent psychological or psychiatric disorder, emotional or mental illness that adversely affects educational performance.
- Other Disability: This category includes all other verifiable disabilities and health related limitations that adversely affect education performance but do not fall into any of the other disability categories.
7. Does DSPS have any financial assistance available for students with disabilities?
We do not have any financial assistance available through our office.Back to Top
8. What accommodations and services are available on the Del Norte Campus?
The Light Center on the Del Norte Campus, is located adjacent to the library and houses Disabled Students Programs and Services. Two groups of basic skills level classes are offered in the Light Center: Assistive Technology, and Learning Disability classes. The Assistive Technology program offers individualized instruction in computer software and hardware focusing on adaptive computer technology. The Learning Disability classes include the administration of the California Community College's Chancellor's Office Learning Disability Assessment Procedure, which is used to identify learning disabilities. Additionally the Center covers strategies for success with academic course work including math, reading, writing, and other disciplines.Back to Top
9. What is the LIGHT Center?
The LIGHT Center is located on the Eureka Campus. Students named the LIGHT Center Learning Integrating Guidance with High Technology in Fall 1997 after describing the experience they have when they understand a concept, as it being like the "light" goes on. The LIGHT Center is located in the Student Services building, with it's entrance facing the dorms. There are 2 classes offered through the LIGHT Center.
- Guidance 143 (Introduction to Learning Disabilities) is the course students take in order to be tested for a learning disability. They must have a DSPS Counselor/Advisor referral to take this class.
- Guidance 145 (Adaptive Strategies for the Learning Disabled) is the course students take for instructional assistance. They must have a DSPS Counselor/Advisor referral to take this class.
* These classes are open entry courses, that may be added at any time in the semester, as long as space is available.
Del Norte Campus - Guidance 143 and Guidance 145 are offered as part of the Light Center program.Back to Top
10. What is alternate media?
Alternate media refers to text or other materials produced in a specialized format intended for use by persons with disabilities. Types include, but are not limited to: Braille; large print; audio material; certain types of electronic files; and video with closed and open captioning. Alternate media services are housed in the High Tech Center on the Eureka Campus. Students should first contact the DSPS office on their campus to inquire about receiving this accommodation.Back to Top
11. Who can ride the DSPS bus?
Only students with verified mobility disabilities, who are registered with DSPS, may use the on campus bus transportation on the Eureka Campus. (A student in need of mobility assistance, but who has not completed the proper paperwork, or is not registered with DSPS yet may have one ride without paperwork, down to the DSPS office to start the process.)? Unfortunately, children may not ride on the DSPS bus for liability reasons and because the bus is not equipped with car seats, etc.Back to Top
12. Where can students with disabilities park?
All students must purchase a CR parking permit to use on campus parking - unless they have a state handicapped parking permit ("Blue Placard").
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- Students with "Blue Placard" parking may park in any designated parking space on campus, i.e. student, staff, medical or handicapped. They may not park in non-designated parking areas, i.e. loading zones, no parking zones, etc.
- Medical Parking permits are available through the DSPS office on a temporary basis, with a medical verification from a doctor. With this permit, students may park in student parking, staff parking or medical parking spaces. They may not use the handicapped spaces.
13. What is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)?
The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunication. It also applies to the United State Congress. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. Full text of Law is 42 pages, and may be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm.Back to Top
14. What is Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973?
Congress passes Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is a civil rights statute designed to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It provides that:Back to Top
"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 705(20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance" (Emphasis added). 29 USC 794.
15. What is the major difference between Section 504 and the ADA?
Section 504 only applies to entities that receive federal financial assistance. Whereas the ADA covers most establishments whether privately owned or assisted with state and/or federal funds. While the College must be in compliance with both, Section 504 and the ADA, the ADA provides greater protection to individuals with disabilities.Back to Top
16. What is Section 508 (Section 508 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973)?
The purpose of this part is to implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d). Section 508 requires that when the College develops, procures, maintains, or uses electronic and information technology, that they be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Full text of the Law is 4 pages and may be found at www.section508.gov.Back to Top