Registration & Student Services Building

Disability Support Services

About Disability Support Services (DSS)
Program Overview


◊ History and Description ◊

◊ Accommodations and Services ◊

◊ Eligibility and Enrollment ◊

Related Programs ◊


Did You Know?

The mission is to assist students with disabilities to participate fully in De Anza College's classes, programs, services as they pursue personal, vocational and educational goals.

  • Student Success Board ImageDe Anza was an "early adopter" of support programs for college students with disabilities in California.  The DSS program was established in 1973.
  • Evolving over the years, it has addressed the needs of an increasingly more diverse population of students with disabilities.  It has continuously enhanced its  academic supports to increase educational achievement.
  • Today, more than 1500 students enroll annually.  Attention to individual needs encourages students to set and pursue challenging goals.
What Does the Program Do?

As a comprehensive program, Disability Support Services (DSS)

  • provides an array of legally mandated accommodations and supportive services
  • for students with a wide variety of disabilities
  • who are enrolled in De Anza's vocational certificate, degree, and university transfer programs.

Services may start with a student's initial contact at De Anza and then continue through his or her transition to work, the university, or other community options.  This approach offers an on-going point of contact providing disability management counseling, a broad array of accommodations, and coordination to increase access to campus resources.

As part of the Disability Support Programs & Services (DSPS) Division, DSS assists the college to comply with legal mandates related to access and equal opportunity for persons with disabilities, such as applicable requirements in the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, Title 5 of the California Community College Code of Regulations and Section 504 and 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.

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Accommodations and Services

How does DSS Help Students?
DSS Services are confidential and voluntary.
DSS Services are NOT recorded on the official De Anza College transcript.

The student with a verified disability works individually with a  DSS Counselor or Learning Disabilities Specialist. Together, they

  • 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
  • adjust goals or accommodations, as needed.
What Academic Adjustments, Auxiliary Aids, and Services are Available to Students?

Recommendations may include, depending on the nature of the disability and its impact:

A comprehensive list and descriptions of other services and accommodations DSS provides can be found at:

For a complete guide to the DSS program, including policies and procedures, refer to the Disability Information Student Handbook (DISH).


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Eligibility and Enrolling for Services

Who is Eligible?

Students who have any verified disability that:

  • meets the criteria of impairing a major life activity and
  • causes an educational limitation in the college setting.

In most cases, documentation must be provided on De Anza College's Disability Verification Form.

For specific information on eligibility requirements and the terms used here, see Disability Definitions and Documentation.

Students with specific learning disabilities are assisted through the Learning Disabilities Support program.

How Does a Student Apply for Services?

Before services or accommodations can be started, a currently enrolled or prospective De Anza student who wants to receive accommodations or take educational assistance classes as a result of an eligible disability must complete the following:

  • meet with a DSS counselor or Learning Disabilities Specialist for an Intake appointment
  • complete DSS program paperwork and college enrollment requirements

For specific information and steps, see  Apply for Services.

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DSS is one of four programs that comprise De Anza's Disability Support Programs and Services Division. These programs offer additional services and classes and may address the needs and goals of students with other types of disabilities.

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row of silhouettes of people with disabilities

Disability Support Services Building: RSS-141
Contact: Patricia Whelan
Phone: 408.864.8753


Last Updated: 2/28/17