Disability Information Student Handbook

DSS Counseling Services


◊ Accommodation Consultation ◊

◊ Disability Management ◊

◊ Transition Planning ◊


Accommodation Consultation

Counselors in Disability Support Services (DSS) and LD Specialists on the Learning Disabilities Support Team understand the impact of disability on college participation.  Since each disability is unique, they are familiar with a wide range of disability-related educational limitations.  They can recommend accommodations, services, and strategies that are effective and afford students an equal opportunity to participate and succeed, while maintaining the course's academic rigor and standards.  Special Education Division Awards Legacy

Individual course requirements vary.  It is helpful if students bring the class syllabus or outline and requirements to the DSS Counselor or LD Specialist so they can evaluate specific course expectations, the student's functional limitations and potential accommodations.

Together, the student and their DSS Counselor or LD Specialist will:

  • Identify academic goals and the course patterns to achieve them
  • Develop and implement an individualized list of accommodations and services that: 
    • Are appropriate to the goals
    • Address specific educational limitations
  • Monitor academic progress
  • Identify additional on- or off-campus resources
  • Establish and monitor an individual Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP)
  • Adjust goals or accommodations, as needed.

The DSS Counselor or LD Specialist can also help students who need assistance with how to explain their needs to instructors and can consult with students and instructors about accommodation requirements and options, if necessary.

If a student encounters a perceived barrier to participation in a college program, students should bring this concern to their DSS Counselor or LD Specialist's attention.  It may be that the college has addressed the issue and with additional information, the student finds the issue is resolved.

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Disability Management

Counseling in DSS aims to empower students to develop and use effective disability management and problem solving skills to achieve educational and vocational goals.

DSS students may use the college counseling and advising services through Counseling and Advising Center to supplement disability management counseling in DSS if they choose. DSS Counselors or LD Specialists may refer students, when appropriate, to other campus programs when specialized counseling and advising services are called for, such as for specific information available through Transfer Center, Career Services, etc.

Students with Learning Disabilities receive disability management counseling and learning strategy coaching from their LD Specialist and may receive additional counseling services from a specially-designated liaison counselor assigned from the college's Counseling and Advising Center.

Keys to the effective use of disability management counseling.

Students meet with a DSS counselor or LD Specialist when they first enter the program to

  • Set appropriate educational goals
  • Plan an academic program that takes into account student goals and disability-related needs
  • Determine necessary academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and services
  • Orient to the college and services
  • Complete an Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP)

Students then meet with their DSS counselor or LD Specialist at regular intervals

  • For priority registration
  • To request specific accommodations
  • To review and update their AAP
  • For on-going monitoring of academic progress

Students can schedule appointments with DSS counselors or LD Specialist as needed for additional assistance. The DSS counselors or LD Specialists understand how having a disability may affect a student's success in college or on the job. With the student, they can

  • Discuss progress,
  • Help make adjustments in plans and accommodations,
  • Problem solve issues that arise and impact the educational program,
  • Address the impact of life adjustment issues and disability status on their educational program.

While DSS does not provide personal therapy, DSS counselors or LD Specialists can refer students to such resources for assistance.

DSS counselors or LD Specialists are available by appointment through the DSS Office and they also keep a regular schedule of Drop-In hours for short consultations.

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The DSS and other programs in DSPS work to help students with disabilities:

  • Enter De Anza College from the High School setting,
  • Adjust to the college setting, and when ready,
  • Proceed to the next phase of their lives, which may include additional training, higher education, or employment. Each program provides advisement, as appropriate.

DSS also works closely with staff in the California Department of Rehabilitation, high schools, other colleges and universities, and other appropriate community programs to assist students with disabilities in the transition process.


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Last Updated: 6/1/17