Learning DisAbilities Services - Disabled Students Programs and Services

People studying in different places: outside, inside, library, bedroom, etc.

Do you have questions about Learning DisAbilities Services? Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about our department:

Q. Do you have a brochure about Ohlone's learning disAbility services?

Yes, a Learning DisAbilities Services brochure (PDF) can be downloaded and printed.

Q. What is the procedure to receive DSPS services if I ALREADY HAVE documentation for a Learning DisAbility (LD)?

  1. Drop off a copy of your documentation at the DSPS Office.
    (Grades K-12 IEP and school psychologist’s report OR previous testing by a licensed professional)
  2. Your documentation will be reviewed and evaluated to determine LD eligibility.
  3. DSPS will contact you (phone/email) regarding your eligibility for DSPS services.
  4. If eligible, make an appt. with a DSPS counselor to initiate LD accommodations.
    (Please note: All 4 steps above can take up to one month to complete.)

Q. What is the procedure to receive DSPS services if I DO NOT HAVE documentation for a Learning DisAbility (LD)?

Ohlone College offers learning disAbilities (LD) assessments at no cost to students who demonstrate a need for this service. LD assessments are not a mandated service, and as such, may not be appropriate for all students. In addition, an LD assessment is not an immediate process. An assessment may take up to 10 hours and will include several appointments with the Learning DisAbilities Specialist. During peak times, the LD Specialist is usually booked weeks in advance; therefore, the sooner you contact the DSPS office to arrange an informational interview, the sooner we can evaluate your particular situation and initiate your LD assessment.

Q. Who do I contact for more information or to arrange an informational interview?

DisAbled Students Programs & Services (DSPS)
Ohlone College, Fremont Campus
Student Services Center, Building 7
Second Floor, Room 7217
Phone: (510) 659-6456
FAX: (510) 979-7401
Email: dsps@ohlone.edu
Website: DSPS Web Site

Q. What is a Learning DisAbility (LD)?

A learning disAbility is a learning difference that affects how a person takes in, understands, remembers, and/or expresses information. A person with a learning disAbility has average, above average, or superior intelligence, yet has significant differences from typical students in the way he/she processes information. Significant processing differences create both strengths and weaknesses for a student. When these differences impact education negatively, a student usually meets the criteria for a “learning disAbility”. When these same differences create a positive impact, typically in other settings, they are usually identified as “talent”. Therefore, information processing differences can create both a talent and a disability for a student. Hence, the spelling of LD with a capital A - “learning disAbility”. Also, LD is referred to in the plural - “disAbilities” - when speaking about more than one person, since a learning disAbility is unique to each person.

Q. Who decides the criteria for LD Eligibility?

The California Community Colleges (CCC) Chancellor’s Office (not Ohlone) determines the procedures in community colleges for an LD assessment and the criteria for LD eligibility. The procedures and criteria are the same for all 112 community colleges in CA. Once eligible, your LD eligibility is accepted at all community colleges in CA for an indefinite period of time. Note, however, that LD eligibility at a community college does not guarantee eligibility at universities (such as UC or CSU) or for high stakes testing (such as Nursing Board and GRE exams).

Q. What are the Steps for a Learning Disabilities (LD) Assessment?

An LD assessment is an individualized and confidential process with an LD Specialist. The steps for an LD assessment include: an informational interview, a personal history questionnaire and interview, a preliminary evaluation plus recommendations prior to formal testing, diagnostic achievement tests, and cognitive information-processing tests. At your last appointment, we will discuss the results of your LD assessment: your academic and cognitive strengths and weaknesses, whether you meet the CCC Chancellor’s Office criteria for a learning disAbility (plus appropriate DSPS accommodations), and recommendations for academic support and educational/career planning. Your results are 100% private.

Q. Who is the LD Specialist at Ohlone College?

Diane Cheney is the LD Specialist at Ohlone College. She has worked in the field of Learning DisAbilities for over 12 years, including work as a Special Education teacher in public schools. Diane has additional specialized training and experience with students on the autism spectrum (UC Davis MIND Institute), mental health issues (National Board Certification), and language and literacy difficulties (LindaMood-Bell, Slingerland). Her formal education includes: Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Master's degree in Counseling, Teacher Credential in Special Education, Teacher Certification in ESL Instruction, and CA State Certification as a Learning DisAbilities Specialist in Community Colleges (Certificate #04135). Diane grew up in 5 diverse countries, which has given her a unique perspective and sensitivity to the issues of cultural differences.