The major objective of the Disability Support Services office at DVC is to assure educational access for students with disabilities. DSS concentrates its efforts on providing services that are not available elsewhere in the college. DSS makes the following services available to qualified students at DVC:

Architectural Barrier Removal (ABR)

There is an ongoing process on the campus for evaluating architectural barriers and recommending changes. The goal of significantly improving campus accessibility was begun in Spring 1996, the first of three to four phases of campus-wide ABR designed to maximize accessibility to the campus, its programs and services.

Accommodation in clinical settings

Students involved in programs that have a clinical component are entitled to reasonable accommodation in the clinical setting as well as the academic setting. If a student with a disability is requesting a clinical accommodation, the clinical faculty and DSS faculty and/or DSS manager will collaboratively determine on an individual basis, whether or not the requested accommodations can be made in a reasonable manner.

Alternate media services

Textbooks and class material can be obtained in alternate format such as, Digital e-text or Braille formats, by come in to the DSS office and meeting with Rose Desmond. 


We provide academic counseling, educational planning, career and personal counseling. It is considered discriminatory to counsel students with disabilities toward more restrictive careers than students without disabilities, unless such counseling is based on strict licensing or certification requirements in a profession. We coordinate necessary support services and act as a resource to help students obtain appropriate services beyond those provided at DVC.

High Tech Center

The Center offers adaptive computer hardware and software technologies to students with disabilities to assist in the process of making DVC computer labs accessible to students with disabilities. The available technology includes voice recognition software, voice synthesizers, screen reading software, braille printer, reading machines, optical scanner, and electronic keyguards. Instruction is offered in the use of word processing, spelling, and grammar checking as tools to accommodate the effects of students' disabilities. (See Technology section)

Interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing

Interpreters hired by DSS are professionals who provide sign language interpretation in the classroom to students with severe to profound hearing loss.

Learning disabilities assessment

Individualized assessment to determine eligibility for learning disabilities services is available at DVC. Students are either referred by teachers, rehabilitation counselors, or are self-referred. The process for referring students from your classes is described in the section How to Refer a Student for Support Services.

Liaison to campus and community

For reasons of confidentiality, DSS staff may not share with faculty and staff the disability status of DVC students. As a result, students are instructed to advise instructors of their disabilities and their specific accommodation needs. DSS staff assists students to understand the educational limitations of their disabilities and the specific services for which they are eligible. DSS is allowed to verify eligibility for specific services of instruction.

Mobility assistance

Two accessible shuttles are available to provide on-campus transportation. Among students who may be eligible for this service are students with temporary and permanent orthopedic disabilities that affect their mobility.

Note taking

Qualified students needing a notetaker must complete a contract for services, each term, in the DSS Office.

Compensation will be either early registration for the next term or a certificate of volunteerism showing twenty hours of service. Some instructors offer extra points for students who serve as volunteer notetakers.

Hundreds of volunteer notetakers are needed each term. You can be instrumental in helping fill requests for this accommodation in the following ways:

• Refer a student from your class to the DSS Office

• Make a class announcement, for volunteer notetakers.  In every class until the request is filled

• Provide a copy of your notes, handouts of overhead slides or access to PowerPoints to the DSS office.

Ideally, notetakers are registered in the class for which they are assigned. However, sometimes we rely on sit-in notetakers someone not registered in the class,to provide the needed notes. These notetakers should contact you directly.  They should  attend all classes, except test days or off site field trips.

If you use PowerPoint please make them available to a DSS Staff member, via email.

Contact Jonathan Cattarin for additional information or to verify the status of a notetaker,  at DVC 925-969-2178 

Priority registration

It is often important that students with disabilities enroll in specific sections of a course in order to appropriately access the college programming. This may be necessary for students to coordinate interpreter schedules, to participate in DSS curriculum, or for mobility reasons. In addition, the actual process of registration can be especially difficult and stressful for many students with disabilities. It is for these reasons that DSS offers priority registration to qualified students.

Testing accommodations

The most appropriate method of administering a test depends upon the student's disability and the design of the test. Students with disabilities that affect manual dexterity, vision, or processing speed may be allowed extra time to complete tests. Many DSS students require a distraction-reduced testing environment and/or other testing accommodations such as use of adaptive computer technology. Refer to the "Testing Accommodations" section of this handbook for specific procedures related to testing accommodations.

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