Policies and Procedures
I. The Law
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112) states that “No otherwise qualified individuals with a disability (ies) in the United States, as defined in Section 7(8), shall, solely by reason of the disability (ies), 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.”
Section 504’s primary effect upon post-secondary institutions is program accessibility to students with disabilities. “Accessibility includes the elimination of policy barriers, the provision of auxiliary aids such as readers and interpreters, and the provision of equal educational services and programs to disabled and non-disabled students, as well as the traditional physical access to the campus” (Johns, CAPED, Vol. 1 (No. 1), p.7). Furthermore, 504 states, “in its course examinations or other procedures for evaluating students’ academic achievements, institutions shall provide such methods for evaluating the achievements of students who have disabilities that impairs sensory, manual or speaking skills as will best ensure that the results of the evaluation represent the student’s achievement in the course, rather than a student’s impaired skills (except where such skills are the factors being measured)” (Section 504, Subpart E, 104.44 c).
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 expands these protections to include all programs and services regardless of funding sources. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services. The current text of the ADA includes changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L.110-325), which became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADA was originally enacted in public law format and later rearranged and published in the United States Code.
Both the American with Disabilities Act and Section 504 regulations state that a university shall provide academic accommodations unless:
(a) the university can demonstrate that the accommodations are not necessary to ensure nondiscriminatory participation by a handicapped student, or
(b) the university can demonstrate that academic requirement for which an adjustment is requested is “essential to the program of instruction being pursued by the student.”
Students with disabilities cannot be denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination under educational programs and activities in accordance with the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended and any applicable state laws. Students have a right to an individualized assessment of documentation; timely delivery of services that have been approved by OSD and consistent with the letter of Approved Support Services provided to the student; confidentiality; and prompt equitable investigation and resolution of complaints.
II. Policy for the Provision of Accommodations and Support Services to Students with Disabilities
A. General Policy Statement
The California State University (CSU) Policy for the Provision of Accommodations and Support Services to Students with Disabilities (see Appendix A) prohibits unlawful discrimination against students on the basis of disability in CSU Programs, services, and activities in accordance with, but not limited to, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA); Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998, and applicable California state laws. The CSU Policy is consistent with current applicable federal and state laws concerning the non-discrimination of students on the basis of disability.
The Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI) (323) 343-3040 coordinates the California State University, Los Angeles compliance with the ADA. The campus does not discriminate against students with disabilities in recruitment, admission, or treatment after admission. In addition, the campus must make reasonable accommodations to permit students with disabilities to fulfill academic requirements. The campus also must provide auxiliary aids to ensure that students are not excluded from programs because of their disabilities. If a disability precludes any student from receiving assistance the student may contact the Office for Student with Disabilities (OSD).
California State University, Los Angeles is committed to providing an inclusive environment that is responsive to the needs of all students. To ensure this inclusion, appropriate accommodations are provided to students and prospective students who have self-identified with verified disabilities and who require these accommodations in order to access the University programs, services, or activities for which the individuals are otherwise qualified. Accommodations will not be provided if they fundamentally alter or impact the nature of the program, inappropriately impede access for others, or cause harm to the health and safety of the student with a disability or others. The University goal is to provide an equivalent academic experience and learning opportunity, not a guarantee of academic success or graduation.
It is a policy of the University to ensure that students, faculty, staff and visitors have access to all facilities on campus. Those persons unable to access University facilities, including, but not limited to, classrooms, performance venues, retail establishments, housing facilities, athletic facilities, and/or events should contact the OSD. The OSD will coordinate the provision of reasonable accommodations and access to all facilities on campus, including any reassignments of classes to more accessible classrooms.
Accommodations may include architectural access changes; closed-in or adapted parking; preferential seating; library assistance; interpreters; real time captioning; note takers; extended time and/or alternative format for exams; text books or classroom handouts in accessible formats; auxiliary aids; and academic adjustments or other accommodations necessary for a particular individual’s needs in order to provide equivalent access to the programs and services of the university.
Students with disabilities unable to access the University ceramics lab in the Fine Arts building must request a reasonable accommodation from the OSD and notify the ceramics lab coordinator ideally two weeks in advance of the class start date. The OSD will coordinate with other University units to provide reasonable accommodations for students who require assistance, including, but not limited to, accessing the kilns, throwing wheels, sinks and providing any other equipment or assistance needed to participate in the class.
B. Responsibilities of the Office for Students with Disabilities
The University has designated the OSD as the office responsible for receiving, reviewing, and verifying disability documentation for students, authorizing and providing specialized auxiliary aids and services, and assisting faculty, staff, and administrators in providing equal access to programs and services with reasonable and appropriate accommodations in a timely manner.
Among other responsibilities, OSD is to do the following:
1. Verify the existence of a disability(ies) and the need for academic accommodations based on documentation provided from an appropriately qualified professional, as specified by standards established by the California State University as set forth in the California State University Policy for the Provision of Services to Students with Disabilities (Appendix A) and relevant state and federal guidelines.
2. Assess requests for accommodations by students and make recommendations and/or authorize reasonable access methods or services, based on the functional limitations associated with the student’s disability that are clearly documented in the student’s psycho educational assessments and/or medical records. Specific accommodations and supportive services will be provided, taking into consideration the nature and severity of the functional limitations verified by an appropriate professional.
3. Initiate contact with faculty regarding a student with a disability only when authorized by the student and if deemed professionally necessary to do so.
4. Work cooperatively with departments in the interactive process of examining requests for accommodations to ensure that eligible students are provided appropriate access to the educational process.
5. Provide training for faculty, staff and managers in the provision of services, including teaching strategies, for working with students with disabilities.
6. Provide outreach to the campus community regarding disability awareness, services available, procedures for acquiring and providing accommodations, and resolving disputes.
7. Work with campus administration to analyze trends, identify problems with campus-wide provision of access, and advise corrective actions to optimize access to campus programs.
C. Responsibilities of College Information Technology (IT) Staff, Open Access Lab (OAL) Coordinators, and Other Campus Staff
1. College IT, OAL and Helpdesk tech staff will provide support to faculty and students with disabilities in the classroom and lab environments.
2. All college, OAL, and technology staff will participate in accessible technology training to assist students with disabilities in their respective areas of work.
3. Staff will promptly facilitate requests made by students or faculty regarding accommodations as appropriate. If unable to respond in a timely manner, staff will immediately consult with OSD for assistance.
4. Staff will treat all matters related to students with disabilities as confidential, in accordance with law and university policy.
5. All campus personnel should consult with the OSD when questions arise concerning provision of reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities.
D. Responsibilities of Faculty
Academic departments are responsible for developing educational practices that provide equal educational access to qualified students with disabilities and to utilize teaching and evaluation methods that measure knowledge of course content and skills during tests or examinations, rather than measuring the presence of a disability.
Some typical responsibilities include the following:
1. The faculty member determine learning goals and objectives for each course and academic program, the essential elements of the course and curriculum, and determine how learning outcomes will be assessed for all students. Different modalities may be determined appropriate for diverse disabilities. The faculty member is neither required nor expected to lower academic standards nor fundamentally alter the essential elements of the course or program to accommodate students.
2. The faculty member is encouraged to include a statement in the course syllabus that advises students with disabilities to register with OSD if they think they may require academic accommodations. The faculty member is not required to provide accommodations retroactively when a student fails to request the accommodations in advance.
3. Faculty should refer a student who self-discloses as an individual with a disability to the OSD office to verify the disability and functional limitations so that appropriate accommodations are authorized. The faculty member must maintain the student’s confidentiality. Once the student has self-identified to the OSD, the faculty member must continue to maintain confidentiality.
4. The faculty member should work with the student and the OSD Disability Specialist to review alternative formats if needed for educational materials in advance of the need for such materials or see the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL) formally the eLearning Programs and Support (eLPS). Early adoption of required textbooks and other course materials facilitates the efforts of OSD to provide appropriately formatted materials in a timely manner.
5. Faculty are required to respond to the OSD-approved requests for accommodation promptly. If unable to provide the authorized accommodation, the faculty member must consult with the OSD Disability Specialist, who will work with the student to determine an alternative reasonable accommodation in order to provide the student equivalent access to learning materials and the learning environment. The faculty member is responsible for resolving any issues in consultation with the student and the OSD.
6. If a faculty member disagrees with the recommended and approved accommodation for access to programs or implementing course objectives, s/he must participate in a timely interactive documented process of review in an attempt to find a successful resolution. Such interactive process should include the student with a disability in addition to OSD staff. The faculty member should bring such matters to the attention of the program chair, and include the college dean and the OSD Director to seek assistance in providing access or academic program adjustment (see Academic Program Adjustment below).
7. Faculty should participate in training sessions and educational activities provided by the campus in order to learn and maintain awareness of access/accommodation issues in order to include them when designing new or redesigning existing curriculum and programs.
8. The Faculty member should work with appropriate campus personnel to ensure that electronic and all other instructional information for their courses is in an accessible and usable format for students with disabilities or contact eLearning Programs and Support (eLPS) formally the Faculty Instructional Support Center. Selection of course text book titles and online course materials must be provided to OSD upon request through the department chair. This insures compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for alternative media/e-text services for eligible students.
9. The Faculty is responsible for promptly reporting equipment or furniture malfunctions, along with any other situations or conditions that would affect student access. Problems should be reported to departmental or other university staff charged with the responsibility to repair or replace such items, and/or to remediate any other conditions that deny or limit access. Problems related to technical and/or technical support equipment should be reported to the college of ITC or the ITS Help Desk so a trouble ticket can be generated to repair or replace broken equipment or furniture.
10. The Faculty member should email the course exam to OSD two working days in advanced or seven days where Braille/tactile graphics are required for students needing Braille/tactile accommodations or alternative formats. Faculty also have the option of uploading the exam to the OSD Online Services (AIM) or delivering the exam to the OSD office. Osd does not pick up exams, however OSD does return exams once they are completed by the student.
E. Responsibilities of Administrators and Department Chairs
1. Ensure that the faculty and staff of their programs adhere to the guidelines set forth in this Policy and respond to requests for accommodation in a timely, effective and appropriate manner.
2. In the absence or inability of faculty to choose course materials in a timely manner, the department chair or designee shall choose course materials by the fifth week of the preceding quarter in which the materials are to be used, and identify said materials to the OSD when requested.
3. Provide support to employees in their units at a level sufficient to assure appropriate accommodation of disability.
4. Work with appropriate campus personnel to provide access/accommodation to new or redesigned programs or facilities, accessible communications/information, and maintenance of accessible/adaptive features on equipment.
5. Work cooperatively with the OSD in the interactive process of examining requests for accommodation within their units.
6. In conjunction with OSD staff, ensure that employees within their units are informed of and offered opportunities for training in disability awareness, access and accommodations.
F. Responsibilities of Students
1. Identify him/herself to OSD and provide professional verification of disability. Verification shall include existing functional limitations due to disability and any functional limitations experienced because of treatment and/or medication for a medical condition or disability.
2. Consult in advance with OSD staff to request and determine appropriate academic accommodations needed while enrolled at CSU Los Angeles.
3. Students must submit a request to take an exam through the OSD Online Services (AIM) no later than 5 business days prior to exams, mid-terms and quizzes and no later than ten days prior to the first day of final examinations. Students who are unable to request to take an exam through the OSD Online Services (AIM) may contact the OSD office for assistance. The request will generate an email to faculty outlining options the faculty member may use to supply the exam to OSD, with preference given to emailing the exam as an attachment. OSD will also notify faculty that the student is authorized for an alternate format for examinations.
4. Meet with instructors, preferably before classes begin, or as soon as possible after classes begin, to discuss implementation of the accommodations authorized by OSD in the Notification of Academic Support Services (NASS) emailed to instructors. Untimely requests may result in a delay, substitution or denial of an accommodation.
5. Adhere to the policy and procedures for requesting accommodations and notify OSD staff if there are problems with the accommodations.
6. Request test accommodations reasonably in advance and no later than one week for mid term examinations and quizzes and two weeks in advance of final examination dates.
7. Requests to OSD for required course materials in alternative text should be submitted after early registration and six weeks in advance of the following quarter. Late registration and requests should be submitted reasonably in advance to the start of quarter.
8. Abide by departmental, college, University and CSU policies and academic regulations, as all students are expected to do.
G. Responsibilities of President’s Advisory Committee
A campus President’s Advisory Committee on Services for Student with Disabilities is mandated by the CSU and the president appoints committee members. This committee assists in the evaluation of current campus policies and procedures relating to campus accessibility, architectural access priorities, and academic accommodation of students with disabilities. The committee advises on programs, strategies, and timelines for providing access to the university. See OSD President's Committee on Disability page for committee charge and membership.
H. Verification of Disability
Verification of disability must be provided by an appropriate professional qualified to assess the nature and severity of the disability, and the functional limitations of the individual with the disability as indicated in the CSU Policy for the Provision of Accommodations and Support Services with Disabilities. The professional who verifies the disability should not be related to or have a close personal relationship with the individual with the disability. When documentation is required, the student shall provide the information on the Medical Assessment Form, which can be obtained from the OSD. Students with disabilities of a cognitive nature may provide a psycho-educational assessment as specified in Section V. C. Written verification must be received in the OSD before accommodations may be authorized. The OSD Director or designee has the authority to determine disability status based on the documentation provided.
In the case of disabilities that are evident upon observation, the OSD Director has the authority to verify the disability. The OSD Director may also determine disability status of students who transfer from a California Community College, the University of California or any other accredited postsecondary institution who received services while enrolled at that institution.
All determination of disability status is subject to established appeal procedures specified in Section VI.
I. Criteria for Evaluating Requests for Accommodations
In evaluating requests for accommodation, OSD shall consider the following criteria as they apply to each request, in an interactive process with the student.
1. The disability documentation must meet established CSU guidelines for verification of disability.
2. The disability documentation must support the request for a specific accommodation.
3. The accommodation must be reasonable and effective, as mandated by the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
4. The accommodation must not be of a personal nature (i.e., personal care attendant assisting with restroom responsibilities). Note: the University is not required to provide personal services or devices.
5. The student must be assured of participation in the particular program without the accommodation.
6. The alternative or combination of alternative accommodations available must provide the student with the same or similar content and/or level of instruction for the particular course, degree requirements or other academic program.
7. The accommodation must not fundamentally alter the particular course, degree requirements or other academic program as determined by the appropriate faculty member, department chair, Dean and OSD Director.
J. Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information
All OSD student records, including student medical records shall be considered “education records” protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and its regulations. Although certain medical records are exempt from FERPA’s definition of “education records,” that exemption does not apply to students with disabilities. In accordance with FERPA regulations, confidential records will be protected with the purpose of providing appropriate academic accommodation or adaptation of curricula. All records shall be secured in a locked filing cabinet.
OSD will not release any information regarding an individual’s diagnosis documentation, or participation in OSD without the student’s written consent or under compulsion of legal process. Information will be released only on a “need to know” basis, except where otherwise required by law. Furthermore, to safeguard the confidentiality of individuals with psychiatric disabilities, evaluators may withhold or redact any portion of the documentation that is not directly relevant to criteria for establishing rationale for requested appropriate accommodations. Information about the student may be released with the student’s informed written consent in accordance with FERPA or other applicable legislation.
Disclosure of confidential medical information may be permitted for the purposes of emergency evacuations or as requested by the Department of Public Safety. In matters pertaining to the resolution of a discrimination complaint filed with the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, OSD may be required to provide information specific to the disability related needs of the student. Additionally, information related to law enforcement and University regulation may be disclosed as warranted by University Police and/or the Office of Judicial Affairs.
K. Academic Program Adjustment
California State University, Los Angeles, provides academic program adjustment to accommodate students with disabilities when the student’s disability prevents him/her from fulfilling the course or other degree requirement in the manner generally required. Academic adjustments include, but are not limited to, course substitutions and adjustment of time limitations to complete degree requirements.
Factors to be considered in determining the appropriateness of an academic program include the student’s functional limitations; the reasonableness of the accommodation requested; whether the request would fundamentally alter the program of instruction (the law does not require a fundamental alteration); conflict with a direct licensing requirement, or otherwise negate a requirement essential to the program. In addition, the health and safety of both the student with a disability and others may be taken into consideration. The process of consultation seeks to maintain the integrity of the academic program and assure successful implementation.
The proposed academic adjustment is generally initiated through means of a discussion between the student and his/her OSD Disability Specialist. If the OSD staff and Director believe the adjustment is necessary, an interactive process with faculty and academic administrators will occur. Unilateral denial of an academic adjustment by faculty or academic administrators before the interactive process occurs is not allowable, nor are untimely delays in the deliberative process. In cases where an academic adjustment is found to fundamentally alter the program of instruction or negate a direct licensing requirement, or negate a requirement essential to the program, faculty and the OSD will make every effort to work with the student to identify and implement alternate means of accommodation(s). See Section III.D for a description of the process for requesting academic adjustment.
L. Personal Care Attendants
Students with disabilities needing the assistance of a personal care attendant are allowed to bring such attendant into the classroom setting. The attendant may provide both personal and academic assistance, such as turning pages, taking notes, scribing, etc. However, the attendant is not permitted to interfere with other students in the class, nor participate in classroom discussions.
M. Service Animals
A service animal is defined as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal certified and/or trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA defines a service animal as an animal that has been trained to perform function(s) that assist a person with a disability to access their environment. These functions exclude providing comfort. Only certified/trained service animals are allowed on campus. For any questions and/or difficulty related to the use of a service animal, please consult the OSD Disability Specialist.
III. Procedures for Requesting Accommodations
A. Intake Appointment
A student with a disability may request accommodations by contacting the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) to schedule an intake appointment. Students should provide current documentation of their disability(s) to OSD. The documentation will be evaluated according to established OSD and CSU guidelines (see Sections II.H and II.J in this Manual).
During the intake appointment, the student and the Disability Specialist will review disability-related documentation and discuss the student’s expressed needs and requests for accommodations. Students will be given the opportunity to have input regarding the type and extent of any accommodations requested.
OSD utilizes an Online Service System, new students can apply online.
Students who are unable to apply on line may contact the OSD office for assistance. We encourage you to apply online prior to the intake appointment however this is not required.
B. Provision of Accommodation Letter
After the intake process and any necessary follow up are complete, the Disability Specialist will make a determination regarding appropriate accommodations. If the request meets the criteria set forth in Section II. I, the Disability Specialist will generate and approve an OSD Eligibility Letter on the . Copies of this letter and list are provided to the student and are also maintained in the student’s OSD file. After the initial intake appointment and authorization of accommodations, a student should meet with his/her Disability Specialist prior to, or at the beginning of the quarter as needed in order to develop an updated ADA Reasonable Accommodation Letter for distribution to his/her faculty and list of Approved Support Services for the student.
C. Submission of Accommodation Request to Faculty
The student will initiate the request for accommodation by providing faculty the ADA Reasonable Accommodation Letter and discussing the implementation of needed accommodations prior to, or at the beginning of the quarter. Timely requests are crucial to the process of facilitating accommodations. Provision of retroactive accommodations is not required. A student who is requesting accommodations that require significant lead time, such as books in audiotape, e-text, or Braille format, should make those needs known as far in advance as possible.
D. Academic Program Adjustment to Accommodate Disability
A student with a disability should have already provided documentation of disability and attended an intake appointment. The student should schedule an appointment to discuss his/her need for an academic adjustment with the OSD Disability Specialist.
1. The OSD staff and Director, in consultation with the student, will determine whether the request is warranted to the extent that it should be forwarded with OSD support to the faculty in the student’s major. The OSD Director will consult with academic program department chair within seven (7) working days of the request to develop a proposed agreement by utilizing the Academic Program Adjustment (APA) form. (See Appendix B.)
2. If faculty concurs with the request, a copy of the resulting agreement will be forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs and the appropriate College Dean for implementation. The student will be notified in writing that the request is approved and will be instructed on his/her responsibilities, if any, in the implementation of the request.
3. If faculty has objections, a second-level review will take place. Objections shall be confined to whether or not the adjustment or aid fundamentally alters a program of instruction. The OSD will notify the appropriate College Dean to provide a second-level review within seven (7) working days. To provide the review, the Dean will convene a committee with appropriate program faculty and the OSD Director. The committee’s review will focus on whether an adjustment or aid would result in a fundamental alteration of a program’s requirements, conflict with a direct licensing requirement, or otherwise negate a requirement essential to the attainment of program outcomes.
4. If approved, a written determination documenting the committee’s second-level review will be forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs and the College Dean for implementation. The student will be notified in writing that the request is approved, and will be instructed on his/her responsibilities, if any, in the implementation of the request.
5. If, after the second-level review, program faculty continue to have objections to the program adjustment, the Vice President for Student Affairs will consult with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to advise the President regarding a final determination. If the request is approved, the student will be informed and notified of any action required of him/her to implement the approved adjustment. In cases where an academic adjustment is found to fundamentally alter the program of instruction or negate a direct licensing requirement, or negate a requirement essential to the program, the student will be informed of the denial of the request.
6. The process of academic adjustment, from date of student request to determination of the accommodation or aid must be completed within thirty (30) working days. Extensions to this process will require the approval of the Provost and Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, and the Vice President for Student Affairs. Accommodations for which the student is eligible will continue to be implemented during this period. At any point in the process, any undue delay in the deliberative procedure should be reported immediately, with a reason for the delay, to the OSD Director. The OSD Director will consult with appropriate administrators to determine a course of action for expediting the process.
IV. Office for Students with Disabilities Accommodations and Services
Accommodations and Services
The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) offers a wide variety of services and accommodations designed to create equally effective access to the educational processes of the University.
Admission to the University is based on requirements established by the California State University. All prospective students are expected to present academic credentials that meet or exceed the minimum requirements for admission. Information about the University’s admission requirements is available from the Office of Admissions. Please refer to the University’s admissions website for admission policies and procedures. Admission decisions are made without regard to disabilities.
If an applicant with a disability requires accommodations to facilitate the admissions process, they may, on a voluntary basis make their needs known to the Office for Students with Disabilities prior to visiting the campus. Those who believe a lack of proper support services in high school, lack of accommodation for the administration of the ACT or SAT, or the timing of diagnosis created unique circumstances that affect their ability to meet fully the admissions standards of the University may, on a voluntarily basis, contact the OSD Director.
B. Exam Accommodations
The OSD is responsible for coordinating testing accommodations for students with disabilities, there is no charge to the student for this service.
Students must first have met with a Disability Specialist for an intake appointment to receive approval for testing accommodations, documentation will be evaluated according to established OSD and CSU guidelines (see Sections II.H and II.J in this Manual)..
The Disability Specialist will explain the specific testing accommodations that will be provided to the student, including how best to utilize those accommodations during testing situations, a brief verbal description of the proctoring process, along with a copy of the policies pertaining to testing accommodation.
The Notification of Academic Support Services Letter (NASS) explains the particular test taking needs of the student to faculty. The letter will also list the specific accommodations that the student is eligible to receive. It is highly recommended that the student and the instructor talk about these accommodations early in the quarter, especially if the student is authorized to receive materials, including tests, in an alternate format.
Students must submit a request to take an exam through the OSD Online Services (AIM) no later than 5 business days prior to exams, mid-terms and quizzes and no later than ten days prior to the first day of final examinations. Students who are unable to request to take an exam through the OSD Online Services (AIM) may contact the OSD office for assistance. The request will generate an email to faculty outlining options the faculty member may use to supply the exam to OSD, with preference given to emailing the exam as an attachment. OSD will also notify faculty that the student is authorized for an alternate format for examinations. Faculty must email exams at least three working days in advance to allow sufficient time for document conversion. Exams containing graphic materials that are to be transcribed into Braille and/or tactile graphics must be submitted at least seven working days in advance. Please be advised that there is no eating and/or drinking in the testing areas. Breaks are limited to five minutes and are timed, longer breaks for exams that are 6-8 hours in length will be arranged with the OSD. These are typically arranged as follows, one 15-minute break for a six hour exam and one 30 minute break for a eight hour exam. Medical documentation may indicate a need for specific break times, OSD will accommodate based on medical need. If a student is more than 45 minutes late for a scheduled exam they will have to reschedule the exam.
Faculty members may wish to provide appropriate exam accommodations for the student themselves. Although this arrangement may appear to be convenient for the student and the instructor, the accommodations must be consistent with those determined by the OSD. If the instructor attempts to change or to deny the student access to predetermined accommodations, the student must inform the instructor that he/she is unable to proceed with the exam until those accommodations are provided. The student and/or the instructor should immediately contact the Disability Specialist in the OSD (extension 3-3140). The most common problem associated with instructors providing accommodated testing themselves is moving students from room to room during exams or placing students in a noisy environment, such as in a hallway. This is not appropriate and the student should inform the OSD immediately. In the absence of the Disability Specialist, the OSD Director should be contacted at the same phone number.
C. Note Taking Accommodations
Requesting notetaking services: students who are eligible for note taking services can checkmark “Notetaking” when selecting accommodations for classes on OSD Online Services (AIM). Students who do not have access to AIM may may contact the OSD office for assistance.
Students receiving notetaking services must be present in class during the times a notetaker is providing the service.
Requesting assistance in recruiting a notetaker: if a student wishes help in finding a Notetaker he or she should contact the Notetaker Coordinator of the classes for which they need assistance. The OSD will notify the instructor by email. The instructor will then announce the need for a notetaker to the class. Students requesting the Notetaker will remain confidential unless they indicate that they want the Notetaker to know who they are.
Notetaker benefits: notetakers are considered volunteers and are offered a $50 stipend at the end of the quarter in which they provided services and priority registration for the following quarter. As notetakers are considered volunteers, employees and university student assistants are not eligible for the $50 stipend, but will still be eligible for priority registration.
Notetaker responsibilities: notetakers are expected to write down all relevant information including lecture notes, test and quiz dates, assignments, and important vocabulary. They will attend all classes, be on time, and be prepared to take notes. A notetaker who is unable to attend a class should inform the OSD as far in advance as possible.
Students receiving notetaking services must be present in class during the times a notetaker is providing the service.
Notes delivery: notes can be uploaded to AIM electronically for easy retrieval by students. The OSD also provides NCR paper and free use of a copy machine to notetakers (hard copy notes). Hard copy notes will be held at the OSD front desk for retrieval. Students who wish to remain anonymous will be held in a special file. These notes can be identified by the class name and section number.
Students should alert the OSD no later than after two (2) class meetings if there are any issues with the notetaker.
Notetakers are expected to write down all relevant information including lecture notes, test and quiz dates, assignments, and important vocabulary. They will attend all classes, be on time, and be prepared to take notes. A notetaker who is unable to attend a class should inform the OSD as far in advance as possible. Volunteers will receive priority registration for the upcoming quarter and a stipend at the end of the quarter in which they took notes.
D. Digital Textbooks
If a student is requesting audio recordings and need an audio rendition of their textbooks, he/she should consider registering for Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFBD). If a recorded version of a book is not currently available, students should discuss other options with the Disability Specialist. See also Section IV. H below for additional information regarding Alternative Media.
Students using digital audio textbooks may need specialized equipment to play the audio files and CDs. Equipment may be purchased on-line from Learning Ally. Additionally, students receiving financial assistance from the Department of Rehabilitation may ask their counselors to purchase playback hardware or software for them.
The OSD provides readers when prerecorded materials are not available. The OSD maintains a list of individuals who are willing to be employed as readers. Students are also allowed to identify their own readers to be employed by the OSD. If a reader is needed for research work because information is not available in an accessible format, the OSD needs five working days’ notice to arrange for the reader. A student who needs a reader should notify the Disability Specialist as soon as he/she is aware of the need for a reader.
OSD-employed readers may only read school-related materials. Readers are prohibited from reading a student’s personal material (i.e. mail, etc.). The student with a disability is responsible for giving the reader instructions in writing with the due date and time reading will be picked up. It is important that the OSD know well in advance if a student is going to need a recorded audio book. See also Section IV. H below for additional information regarding Alternative Media.
Readers for research will follow the student’s directions in order to locate materials, determine if they are appropriate, and digitally record their reading of the material. A reader is not allowed to conduct any research work unless the student is present to direct the work.
In order to optimize time allowed for reader services, the student with a disability must organize the reader’s work as efficiently as possible, with specific instructions and timelines. Students should plan as far in advance as possible since projects frequently may require more time than originally anticipated. To foster a good working relationship, both student and reader should be dependable and reasonable with expectations. The student with a disability should be prepared to explain the basic ramifications of the disability, since some readers may have had little or no previous contact with a person who has a disability.
F. Laboratory Assistants for Students with Physical Disabilities
The OSD will provide laboratory assistants when necessary. The OSD maintains a list of individuals who are available for employment as laboratory assistants. Students may also identify a qualified individual to serve as a laboratory assistant. The student must guide the assistant through each of the steps in the experiment. The assistant is intended to act as the student’s hands or eyes for the purpose of accommodating the student’s disability. All conclusions that result from the lab exercise are the responsibility of the student.
G. Interpreters/Real-Time Captioning (RTC)/Computer Assisted Transcribers (CAT)
Students should request these services from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist immediately following registration through the student’s OSD Online Services (AIM) page by clicking on the check-box for interpreting or academic captioning services for each class. Timely request of academic captioning and interpreting services is required to allow for sufficient time to arrange services. Student who do not have access to the OSD Online Services (AIM) may may contact the OSD office for assistance.
Students must be enrolled in classes in order for the Request for Services Form (RSF) to be processed for classes , proof of enrollment must accompany the RSF.
Students who use interpreters, captioning, or transcription should initiate early discussions with faculty about their intentions to use video presentations. Sufficient notice (generally the sixth week of the preceding quarter) allows the department to make the necessary modifications to accommodate the request.
Students must be enrolled in classes in order for the RSF to be processed for classes.
Students who use interpreters, captioning, or transcription should initiate early discussions with faculty about their intentions to use video presentations. Sufficient notice (generally the sixth week of the preceding quarter) allows the department to make the necessary modifications to accommodate the request.
A student who is deaf or hard of hearing may request interpreter or academic captioning services for an individual meeting with an instructor or academic advisor or for participation in a school-related activity by clicking on the “Submit Custom Request” button on their OSD Online Services (AIM) page, by contacting the DHH Administrative Support Representative or by emailing [email protected]. The request must be submitted at least three working days in advance of the activity. The request must include the name and type of the event, location, time and duration of the event, along with contact information for the student should any questions arise. The request can either be delivered to the OSD, or emailed to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist.
For students who use sign language interpreters, unless otherwise requested, CASE (Conceptually Accurate Signed English) will be the form of interpreting used in the classroom.
Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may request real-time captioning services or the use of interpreters. Students who require both are required to meet with their counselor to review medical documentation supporting this request. It is recommended that students who request interpreters request a note taker.
A student will receive a copy of the transcript from the captionist but may not use it for any other purpose than reviewing the class session.
Students are responsible for informing the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist if they are not satisfied with their service provider for whatever reason. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist will work with the service provider and the student to ensure successful communication.
The student and service provider are responsible for informing the OSD Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist of all class cancellations as soon as possible through email, telephone, or a note left in the OSD. If the student feels that he/she does not need the Service Provider during mid-terms, he/she must inform the OSD office in advance to cancel service for the mid-term only. Service Providers are not assigned during finals week; however, if the student needs a service provider for the final, the student must contact the DHH Administrative Support Representative or email [email protected].
All service requests must be made through the OSD office. Students and service providers are NOT PERMITTED to arrange their own schedules and assignments. All requests, other than quarterly requests for classes, should be submitted to the DHH Administrative Support Representative or emailed to [email protected].
It is the policy of the University to provide interpreting services or captioning services to students and non students who are deaf or hard of hearing who visit the campus. Please contact the OSD for assistance and scheduling interpreting services or captioning services.
H. Alternative Media Service
Alternative media services are available to registered students with documented disabilities that who have impairments that affect their ability to perceive, comprehend or manipulate written materials. Students who believe they are eligible should meet with a Disability Specialist to discuss their needs.
2. Formats of Materials
Alternative formats include Braille, digital audio recordings, and electronic texts. If a student is requesting audio recordings, he/she should consider registering for Learning Ally, (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. Electronic books are usually created in generic formats that will work with any book reading software available. The campus offers Kurzweil 3000, Jaws and Texthelp for alternative media reading. If a student requires Braille as an alternative format for scientific and mathematical content, then additional advanced notice of your disability specialist is needed as the materials are often outsourced to vendors. Prior to any in-house production, national and local resources are searched for existing alternative media materials.
Each semester students who are currently eligible, and want to request materials, must make requests through the OSD Online Services (AIM) -- though students should follow up at the ATLC if they require specialized types of formatting of their e-texts. The earlier the staff know of a student's need, the earlier they can begin working on providing students with alternative formatted materials. The last step for students is to turn in a copy of their receipts so that their e-books will be given to them after they are completed.
Students who make Alternative Format requests four weeks (or earlier) before the beginning of the next quarter and have all of the paperwork required will have their e-books ready on the first day of class. After that deadline, students will receive their books within four weeks of their completed requests, as long as they have receipts showing that they have purchased their books.
4. Receipt Policy
Proof of purchase must be shown at the time of the request for the books in alternative media format. The OSD must keep records of student purchase receipts. Students who do not have a receipt will not be given their requested material.
5. Appropriate Use Agreement
The student must sign a electronic statement indicating agreement with the terms and conditions of use prior to receiving the materials in alternate format. Materials may be used only by the eligible student, and may not be reproduced or distributed in their specialized format to any other individual. Any further reproduction or distribution is an infringement of federal and state law and is subject to criminal or civil prosecution.
6. Contact Information
To ask questions, contact the Alternative Media Production Center staff at (323) 343-3138. The center is located in the ATLC in Library South 1080.
If a student requires training on the software and hardware required in reading alternative media, the Accessible Technology and Learning Center (ATLC) has staff available on an appointment basis only. Contact the ATLC staff at (323) 343-3138. The center is located in Palmer Wing (Library South), Room 1080 (under the staircase leading to the second floor).
I. Tape\Digital Record Class Lectures
1. Students with a verified disability requesting permission to tape\digital-record class lectures must meet the eligibility criteria as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as Amended in 2008 (ADAAA) and the CSU Policy on the Provision of Accommodations and Support Services to Students with Disabilities.
2. Students with verified disabilities who meet the eligibility criteria and have been prescribed “Tape\Digital-Record Class Lecture" as an accommodation by their OSD disability management specialist must request the accommodation through the Notification of Academic Support Services (NASS). Note: students who request this accommodation must sign the Tape\Digital-Recorded Lecture Agreement prior to initiating the NASS.
3. Recordings of lectures may be used for educational purposes only. Students are prohibited from making the recordings available on websites, podcast, or social media platforms.
4. Similar policy applies for the recorded lecture that includes student participation; such recording may not be shared without the instructor’s written permission.
V. Other Services
A. Accessible Technology Learning Center
The Accessible Technology Learning Center (ATLC) is designed for students who have a visual, physical, or learning disability and who have registered with OSD. Students are trained to use various types of assistive technology, which will enable them to participate fully in the university environment.
The ATLC houses twelve computer workstations. Each computer is loaded with a variety of different assistive technologies. These computers and related technologies include: screen enlargement software, screen readers for Windows, Internet access, speech synthesizers, large monitors, and scanning with speech technology. Other technologies include closed circuit televisions, voice activation software and trackballs.
Accessible technology equipment and software are also located in open-access lab sites and the library. For additional information regarding lab location and hours, please call the OSD at (323) 343-3140.
B. Library Media and Services
The University Library provides alternative media for materials on reserve. Students can request this service with the OSD/Library Alternative Media form located at the library circulation desk and in OSD. The form should be submitted to the library circulation desk. The material will be available on CD for pick up at the circulation desk approximately five to seven working days from the time the request is submitted.
In addition, the Golden Eagle Retrieval Service provides retrieval of books and other printed materials, and copying of printed materials and microform for qualifying students with disabilities. To use the retrieval service, students submit a copy of a signed Golden Eagle Retrieval Authorization Form to the Loan Desk, First Floor, Library North. Students should contact OSD to obtain the authorization from the Disability Specialist.
C. Psycho-educational Assessment
It is the responsibility of each student seeking accommodations and services from Cal State Los Angeles’s OSD to provide a written comprehensive evaluation verifying his/her learning disability. Although the University does not provide assessment and diagnostic services, students suspecting a learning disability are encouraged to see the Learning Disability Specialist for referral information or assistance.
The OSD office maintains a partial list of local clinicians who provide psycho-educational assessment services. Any licensed educational psychologist, clinical psychologist, neurologist, or learning disabilities specialist can administer psycho-educational assessments. The clinician must be a neutral, unrelated, non-biased professional. Students are encouraged to review their health insurance regarding possible coverage.
Diagnostic report must include the following:
1. Clinician's name, title, license number, phone number, address, and signature on office letterhead.
2. Written summary of developmental, medical, educational, family, social histories and behavioral observations.
3. Summary of all instruments and procedures; date(s) of examination.
4. All test scores (scaled scores, standard scores, percentiles) and a detailed interpretation of the results, including strengths and weaknesses.
5. Clearly described intracognitive and/or aptitude-achievement discrepancies, processing deficits, or the clinician's rationale for “professional judgment.”
6. Clear statement of a specific DSM-IV diagnosis.
7. Statement of how the learning disability substantially interferes with the student's educational progress and presents functional limitations.
Assessments must be current
Since assessment constitutes the basis for determining reasonable accommodations and because the provision of academic accommodations are based upon the impact of a disability on current academic performance, it is in a student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation. In most cases, the testing should have been conducted during adulthood (18 years or older) or within three years of the student's initial request for disability-related services at the University. This assessment serves as the basis for decision-making about a student's needs for accommodations in a college environment that is academically very competitive.
Academic accommodations are designed to meet a student's disability-related needs without fundamentally altering the nature of the instructional program or altering any directly-related licensing program.
• Not intended to provide remediation (instruction in basic skills not acquired earlier in the educational process; (e.g. basic grammar, basic math, English as a Second Language, etc.)
• Specific support services are reviewed and discussed during the intake process to best meet the needs of the individual student.
VI. Accommodations Appeal Process
A. Types of Appeals
Initial assistance with complaints should be an informal process discussed with their assigned OSD Disability Management Specialist. Students may use the Accommodations Appeals Process to resolve issues that they may have regarding:
- denial of academic accommodations
- decisions regarding eligibility for academic accommodations
- determinations of specific appropriate academic accommodations, provision of accommodations and auxiliary services, provision of communication services,
- delay and/or denial of services or equipment
- unequal treatment or discrimination
- program and architectural inaccessibility
- administrative decisions of the OSD office
Students may address their concerns through an informal or a formal process. We highly encourage students to begin with the informal process, although they are not required to.
B. Informal Process
- A student who has a complaint regarding determination of disability status, service provision and/or related issues will meet with their Disability Management Specialist within 10 working days of the event to attempt to resolve the issue.
- If an informal resolution is not reached, the student may request to forward their appeal to the OSD Associate Director within 10 working days. Upon receipt of the written appeal, the OSD Associate Director will arrange the meeting within 10 working days. The OSD Disability Specialist may attend this meeting at the request of either the student or the OSD Associate Director. The OSD Associate Director will inform the student in writing of the outcome of the interaction no later than 10 working days after the meeting.
- If resolution is not met at this level, the student may request that the informal appeal be passed to the OSD Director within 10 working days. Upon receipt of the written appeal, the OSD Director will arrange the meeting within 10 working days. The OSD Disability Specialist and the Associate Director may attend this meeting at the request of either the student or the OSD Director. The OSD Director will inform the student in writing of the outcome of the interaction no later than 10 working days after the meeting.
C. Formal Process
- If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the informal process or would like to begin the formal appeals process, submit a formal appeal to the OSD Director within 10 working days of the event or the last date of a related series of events or actions. The OSD Director will inform the student in writing of the outcome of the interaction no later than 10 working days after the meeting.
- If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the first step in the formal process, the student may request to meet with the OSD Appeals Committee within 10 working days of the outcome of initial formal process request. The chair of the committee/OSD Director, will notify the student of the outcome, 10 working days after the meeting has concluded.
VII. Information Resources and Referrals
Information Resources and Referrals
The Office for Students with Disabilities can provide referral and information in relation to resources outside of California State University, Los Angeles.
The organizations listed below can provide valuable information:
- Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
- Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (C.H.A.D.D.)
- HEATH Resource Center
- Job Accommodation Network
- Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
- Mobility International USA (MIUSA)
- National Attention Deficit Disorder Association (NADDA)
- National Center for Learning Disabilities
- National Council on Disability (NCD)
- National Federation of the Blind
- National Information Center on Deafness
- Learning Ally
- The Trace Research and Development Center
- The World Wide Web Consortium Disability