How to Refer a Student to DSPS - Disabled Students Programs and Services

Do you have a student you think might benefit from DSPS services? Not sure how to refer him or her?

The best time to bring up your concerns would be in a private meeting, when other students are not present. Please keep in mind that students benefit most from honest yet kind feedback about their performance in class, whether they have a disability or not. The following are some suggestions on how you might express your concerns.

  • Do not ask the student directly if they have a disability, this might put him/her on the defensive and cause some discomfort.
  • Instead gather information about a few resources on campus, in addition to DSPS, such as Learning Resource Center/Tutoring, Counseling, Student Health Center, Transfer Center, Bookstore, EOPS/CARE/CalWorks, Financial Aid, Veterans Resource Center, etc.  You might say, “I want to share some information on campus services that you might find helpful”
  • When you mention DSPS, you could ask the student, “DSPS is services for students with disabilities to get academic accommodations.  Any student who had an IEP, 504 Plan, attended resource classes in High School might qualify for these services.  Examples of some accommodations are extra time on exams and quizzes, notetaking support, assistive technology, etc.
  • Some students feel their disability isn't “severe enough” to warrant utilizing DSPS services and feel guilty because they don';t want to take away from “more deserving” students.  You may assure your student that DSPS serves all types of disabilities and that requesting services through DSPS in no way affects the level of services someone else with different needs shall receive.

Ultimately, it is up to the student to decide whether or not to disclose a disability and pursue DSPS services.  However, do feel free to let students know that you are willing to work with them and DSPS to ensure they have equal access to your curriculum.

Once you have broached the subject and your student wishes to pursue DSPS services, what can you do to facilitate the process?

  • You may advise your student to go to the DSPS office, where he or she may initiate the process of becoming a DSPS student.
  • Some students will benefit from being walked over, which is certainly acceptable as long as it is what the student wishes.  Please keep in mind that students with disabilities are not required to use DSPS services.
  • Please do not ask the student to prove you with any disability related documentation.  The DSPS office will take care of getting the appropriate paperwork from the student.
  • Please advise your student that he or she will need to provide documentation of a disability and that we will provide a simple form for his or her doctor or other professional to complete.  Many students will qualify based on having received services in high school, in which case they may bring in their IEP and Psycho-Educational Testing Report to serve as disability verification.
  • Students who suspect they have a disability that has never been identified should be referred to the DSPS office.  The DSPS Director will meet with them to guide them, through an interactive discussion, on what steps and/or procedures to follow to be eligible for DSPS services.