Program Overview

History and Description

Our mission is to assist students with disabilities to participate fully in De Anza College's classes, programs and services as they pursue personal, vocational and educational goals. De Anza was and 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 support 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 and 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 start with a student's initial contact at De Anza and then continue through his or her transistion to work, university or other community options. This approach offers and ongoing 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 and 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 Sections 504 and 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.

How to Enroll as a New De Anza DSS Student

New and Returning Students
In order to receive your disability-related services and accommodations at De Anza College you must first complete these steps:

  1. Apply to De Anza College
  2. Submit DSPS Application for Services
  3. Submit Disability Verification Form
  4. See DSS Counselor

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

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.

A 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 acheive them, develop and implement an individualized list of accommodations and services that are appropriate to the goals and address specific educational limitations.  In addition, they also monitor academic progress, identify additional on or off campus resources and adjust goals or accommodations as needed.

Academic Adjustments, Auxiliary Aids and Services

Depending on the nature of the disability and its impact, recommendations may include:

Instructional and classroom accommodations, such as:

  • Test accommodation
  • Note taking assistance
  • Alternate media course materials
  • Sign language interpreting or real-time captioning

General college assistance, such as:

  • Registration assistance
  • Campus shuttle service
  • Access to training and use of assistive technology in the Computer Accessibility Lab
  • Special scholarship opportunities
  • Referral, coordination and liaison with classroom instructors, other DSPS and college programs and off campus programs.

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

  • Services and Accommodations
  • Deaf Services

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

Eligibility and Enrolling for Services

Who is Eligible?
Students who have any verified disability that meet the criteria of impairing a major life activity and causes and educational limitation in the college setting.

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

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

Course name Changes

Educational Access (EDAC)
Formerly known as Special Education (SPED)
Learning Strategies (LS)
Formerly known as Guidance (GUID)

Apply For DSSRequest Info

Visit us at Disability Support Services

Registration and Student Services, home of Disability Support Services

Location: Registration and Student Services Building, RSS Room 141 (Map)

(408) 864-8753

(408) 864-5492


Office Hours:

  • Monday 8 am - 5 pm
  • Tuesday 8 am - 5 pm
  • Wednesday 8 am - 5 pm
  • Thursday 8 am - 5 pm
  • Friday 8 am - 3 pm
  • Closed weekends and School Holidays

Larger view of map

Virtual map of De Anza College with Registration and Student Services Building highlighted

Disability Support Services

  • Building: RSS - 141
  • Contact: Patricia Whelan
  • Phone: (408) 864-8753
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