Student Handbook

General Information for Students with Disabilities

The office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) provides students with a variety of essential information that will help students with disabilities attending CSULA. First are five categories describing the following:

Frequently Asked Questions

​Campus Resouces

​Prospective Student Resources

Student Responsibilities

Students need to schedule a meeting with each faculty member during posted office hours to present and discuss accommodation letters. Students should not present the accommodation letter to the faculty before or after class and leave. Faculty need to be able to discuss the accommodations with the student.

Students should communicate with faculty to negotiate how accommodations will be administered. Faculty need to develop an understanding with the student about what is needed and how arrangements will be made. Also‚ establish whether faculty may have expectations of the student (i.e.‚ reminder by e-mail before an upcoming exam‚ etc.).

Students should provide a reasonable amount of notice to faculty in order to receive testing accommodations. Accommodation letters are prepared for students upon request. The intent is for faculty to receive them within the first two weeks of the semester. Notification of accommodation needs must be given to faculty no less than 7 class days prior to a scheduled test or quiz or midterm, but for finals this time period is set for two weeks prior to the exam date.

Students need to insure the instructor comprehends the best way to contact them. Establish a means for communicating with the instructor as situations come up. The OSD requests updated e-mail addresses each semester to include on accommodation letters for the convenience of the faculty. If a student prefers another method of communication‚ then they should discuss that with the faculty.

Students should check in with the faculty member as situations arise. If classroom accommodations are not occurring‚ it is recommended that the student discuss this with the faculty in an e-mail or private meeting. As testing dates grow near‚ it is recommended that students check in with the faculty to make sure arrangements are clear. It is not the faculty’s responsibility to track down students in order to discuss accommodations.

Respect faculty time and their environment. It is not recommended to try and “catch” a faculty member before or after class to discuss sensitive accommodations issues. Faculty may have other needs at that time and be unable to attend‚ recall‚ and discuss these issues. Further‚ it is not appropriate for students to discuss their confidential information with other students around, so students should request private office meetings as needed or communicate with faculty by e-mail.

Students should explain to instructor that faculty can not proctor students during an accommodated exam and that the instructor must contact the exam coordinator at the OSD to schedule an accommodated exam.

Students must communicate with and notify their faculty of each exam that they require testing accommodations for. Using the OSD’s Testing Services is an option for the faculty. Faculty may prefer to schedule accommodated testing in their department. As long as the space and resources meet the accommodation needs it is considered adequate accommodations. For Finals: the student must relay to the instructor that they must contact the exam coordinator with a revised list of the students’ names who need their final exam(s) scheduled through the OSD no less than 14 days before the final exam date.

Students should arrive at the testing location 5 minutes or more before the scheduled exam time. Exam proctors will wait 30 minutes. If the student is a "no show" the faculty must be the one to choose if‚ when‚ and where the student is to take a make-up exam; as well as proctor the student’s make-up exam.

Students need to bring their photo ID and necessary auxiliary aids. If they do not bring their photo ID, they may not be able to take the exam. For students who are allowed to use a calculator during a test, they must bring a hand-held calculator to the scheduled test site. Exam proctors will not allow cell phones‚ palm pilots‚ or other electronic devices into the testing room to be used as calculators.

Students should anticipate that not every exam will be in the same location/room. Each exam’s room location will be provided by the exam coordinator through email.

Students should reply to all exam emails. The student will be contacted through email with the details of their scheduled accommodated exam. It is important that the student reply and confirm that they have received this email so that the Accommodated Testing Coordinator can give the “go ahead” for the scheduled exam.

Students should expect to receive the specific testing accommodations stated in your accommodation letters during a test. Proctors may not change the arrangements that were established with the faculty. If students find that the established accommodations are not adequately meeting their needs‚ they need to discuss this with the OSD staff.

Students receiving testing accommodations have the responsibility of honest‚ ethical test taking behavior and of maintaining the integrity of the test. Cheating will not be tolerated and proctors will report any suspicious behaviors to the faculty. Disciplinary action will be at the discretion of the faculty.

Survival Tips for OSD Students


  • Go to the Orientation
  • Buy A Class Schedule
  • Learn how to use the GET system
  • Know where your classes are located
  • Keep copies of all documents submitted to departments/offices

Form Good Study Habits

  • Do your homework as soon as possible after class.
  • Read the class syllabus and follow it.
  • Tape record lectures if you learn orally
  • Don't miss classes
  • Use a planner for scheduling when assignments are due.
  • Be Ready for class -- do the readings before the class so you understand the lectures.

Enhance Your Skills

Computer Tips

  • Back up you school files daily.
  • Email yourself files if you misplace your storage device (flash drive, etc.) this keeps them safe until you can copy them somewhere else.
  • Do school work on school computers while you are here.

Working with Faculty

Make regular contact with your instructors (especially during their office hours) – this helps them to know you as a person and not just as a name or a number. You can also clarify course content and help to insure that the accommodations that you require run smoothly.

Eliminate Stress

  • Don't procrastinate
  • Seek counseling if you become depressed or too stressed out.
  • Exercise if you can to improve your stamina and health.
  • Do not skip meals.

Let your OSD Specialist know how you are doing with your college experience. Make an appointment with them or come in to their walk-in hours to discuss both negative experiences and positive gains in your college life. Adjustments can be made for any negative aspects and positive gains can be maintained or enhanced.

Students needing more information regarding services and accommodations which are proscribed to students with disabilities should consult the OSD Manual of Policies and Procedures.

How to Register:
  • Students may register with the Office for Students with Disabilities at any time by the following methods:
  • Schedule a meeting to discuss documentation and accommodation needs;
  • Bring in medical or psychological documentation to support your disability;
  • Complete a registration form.

Many students register during their Summer Advising Conference before their freshman year. It is recommended that students register early. However, students are welcome to come in and register at any time.