Frequently Asked Questions About Students with Disabilities

Frequently Asked Questions

This page is dedicated to answering questions that you may have regarding DPS and accommodations for students with disabilities for access to instruction. Please review the list of questions below. Click on any of the questions that interest you and it will link you to an answer. If your question is not on the list, please contact DPS at 909/652-6379 and we would be glad to assist you.

Disability Programs and Services (DPS) is a program designed to assist students with disabilities succeed in college. It is also here to assist the instructors with students with disabilities in their classes, better serve those students.

Yes. There are three key laws that require colleges to make special accommodations for students with disabilities

    • No student can be excluded from any course, major, or program solely on the basis of a disability.
    • Certain academic accommodations are mandated, especially in regard to the provision of alternate testing and evaluation methods for measuring student mastery, except where such alteration would result in a modification of course objectives (as stated in the Course Outline of Record). "in its course examinations or other procedures for evaluation student's academic achievements in its programs, a university shall provide such methods forevaluation the achievement of students who have disabilities as will best ensure that the results of the evaluation represent the student's achievement in the course, rather than reflecting the student's impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills (except where such skills are the factors that the test purports to measure)."
    • Modification, substitution, or waiver of a course, major, or degree requirement may be necessary to meet the needs of a student with learning disabilities.
    • Changes in time limits to complete a degree may be required.
    • It is discriminatory to restrict the range of career options in counseling students with disabilities as compared to non-disabled students unless such counsel is based on licensing or certification requirements for the profession.

    • There may be no exclusion of a person based on his/her disability.
    • Eligibility criteria that screen out individuals with disabilities must be based on actual safety factors, not stereotypes or assumptions.
    • It is discriminatory to fail to make "reasonable" modifications in policies, practices, and procedures. It is illegal for an entity to refuse to serve persons with disabilities or serve them differently because of insurance conditions.

    • All films, videos, college web sites, and all other electronic media must be fully accessible to persons with disabilities.
    • All brochures, catalogs, schedules, texts, handouts, etc. must be available to students in alternate formats such as Braille and e-text.

Disability Programs and Services (DPS) department at Chaffey will try to help you. We are located in CCW-21 A (on the west side of the cafeteria, across from Financial Aid), ext. 6379. (from offcampus, call 909/652-6379)

The DPS office can provide test accommodations, enlarged print, recording, or brailing for your handouts. We will also help with any needed classroom modifications (lowering lab tables, etc.) and provide tram transportation for students between classes.

The DPS program also has equipment that can assist vision impaired or dyslexic students with reading materials. We have both print enlargers and software that "read" text aloud. Adapted equipment/ software has been set up in the Library, Student Success Centers, and other places throughout campus. The off campus sites also have adapted equipment/ software.

If you feel a student has some disability that has not been diagnosed, please refer the student to the DPS program. Instructors are a significant source of referrals, especially in the learning disabilities area. The student cannot be required to register with DPS, but many will.

No, but please talk to us about this exclusion before you actually exclude the student. Any exclusion must be handled very carefully to insure its legality and in the best interest of the student and the college.


Discuss any safety concern you have with DPS. We can ensure that labels are included in Braille or large print. We can also try to add visual or auditory warning systems if necessary.

We can help you rearrange the lab to provide more accessibility. Work with the student and DPS to identify, modify, and provide appropriate lab equipment, such as adjustable tables, talking thermometers and calculators, large print, speech output, and tactile timers.

Ask the student or DPS for suggestions on how the student might be able to do some fieldwork or field trips. Attempt to include the student rather than automatically suggesting non-field work or field trip alternatives.

If the college provides transportation for the class, the college must also provide accessible transportation for students who use wheelchairs (e.g. a bus or van with a wheelchair lift).

No. We may (for example) ask you to modify the way you test the student, but we cannot ask you to lower your standards. The accommodation is not intended to alter the academic rigor of your course, assignments, or examinations. It is intended to allow the student to access the course materials and to accurately demonstrate what he or she has learned.

These students may have an intellectual disability (ID). Students with an intellectual disability are students who have an ability level that is significantly below average. Individuals with ID learn more slowly and have more difficulty with abstract concepts than those with average or above average intelligence. You should treat them the same way you would treat other students with disabilities. If they are currently DPS students, we should notify you that they will need accommodations, and we will try to work with you. If they are not yet DPS students, you might discreetly refer them to the program, and we will work to give them more realistic expectations.

Possibly. If the time limits are a part of the nature of the class and if this fact is clearly outlined in the Course Outline of Record in the Curriculum Office, then you can continue with time limits. However, we may ask you to consider whether they are really necessary, and we may ask for extended time limits for a student with a disability that slows him/her down.

Remember that many disabilities are invisible. If a student needs some sort of accommodation, DPS will notify you. If you do not receive such a notification, please contact us, and we will try to help you determine if the student really needs accommodations.

Because of privacy issues, we may not be able to reveal the exact nature of the student's disability, but we can confirm if the student really needs the accommodations requested.

By law, much of the information the student gives us is confidential. Occasionally a student actually wants us to tell you, and we will, if the student has signed a release form allowing us to do so.

Remember that there are degrees of disability. One student may have little difficulty with an assignment that another student with the same disability may find overwhelming. Also, some students simply deal better with their disability than others do. This will vary a lot with the general psychological state of the student and the recency of the disability. Additionally, one student may have some additional, invisible, disability that the other student does not share.

In post-secondary settings it is the student's responsibility to request special accommodations, but faculty members can make a student comfortable by inquiring about special needs. One easy way this can be done is to include in the syllabus a statement inviting students to discuss their special needs with you (this also makes it a general statement, not neglecting students with invisible disabilities or singling out the one student who appears to have a disability).

Example #1: "If you have a disability documented by a physician or other appropriate professional and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact the DPS office ASAP. Please be sure to allow adequate time to arrange an appropriate accommodation."

It might also be helpful if you add a statement about the accessibility of texts, electronic media, etc.

Example #2: "DPS makes available to qualified students alternate formats of texts, handouts, and videos. These alternate formats are: Braille, Electronic Text (E-Text), and Closed Captioning. DPS also has a High Tech Computer Lab with a large variety of assistive technologies and some are available for checkout. Call DPS at for more information. Please be sure to allow adequate time to arrange an appropriate accommodation."

The Alternative Media and Technical Specialist is responsible for making arrangements for all Chaffey College District "legacy" video tapes to be captioned. Legacy video tapes are those videos the Chaffey College District has purchased for use in the classroom (as prescribed by the curriculum) that were not closed captioned and cannot currently be purchased in a closed captioned format from the distributor/copyright owner. All current videos purchased that support the mission of the Chaffey College District must be closed captioned according to section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (amended 1998). For more information, visit the video captioning page.

Here is a helpful tutorial on how to add subtitles. How Add Subtitles to a YouTube Video pdf