Receive Support and Accommodations for Your Disability

DSPS opens the doors to educational opportunity for students with disabilities.

We promote equal access to programs and facilities at ARC, ensuring that students with disabilities experience the opportunity to participate fully in campus activities.

We encourage maximum independence and personal empowerment through a successful educational experience.

caregiver reading to two childern

"Believe you can and you’re halfway there." ~Theodore Roosevelt

DSPS Services

DSPS Services for New Students

To initiate DSPS services, please complete the following:

  1. Complete the application to attend ARC. If you need assistance with the application, you may visit the eServices office for support, or you may also complete the application in the Assistive Technology Lab in the DSPS Office.
  2. Complete the online orientation for ARC.
  3. To help ensure your success, you will be placed in English and math classes that match your skill level. Check with the Assessment Center for more information.
  4. Obtain copies of records verifying your disability.  Students must apply to the program and submit copies of disability verification documents to DSPS in order to receive services.  Your documentation should specify your disability diagnosis and ideally, any disability related educational or functional limitations.  You may bring Disability Verification Form  to your healthcare provider to complete with information about your disability. Common forms of disability verification include the following:
    a.  A note from your healthcare provider stating your disability
    b.  Medical records containing the diagnosis of a disability
    c.  A note from your psychologist or counselor identifying your disability diagnosis
    d.  Records from high school documenting your disability such as an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), 504 Plan, or Psychoeducational Evaluation,
    e.  Previous learning disability or cognitive testing results
    f.  Other similar documentation to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis
  5. Complete the Application for DSPS Services and submit both items to the DSPS Office at ARC. We encourage you to submit these materials in person at our front counter. You may mail or fax the materials to the DSPS Office using the contact information provided on each form.  There may be a 24-hour delay in processing documents submitted via fax or mail once they are received.
  6. Once your materials have been reviewed, you may schedule an appointment with one of our DSPS Counselors to initiate services. Your first appointment will focus on your academic goals, impact of your disability, and what services and accommodations are appropriate. You and your counselor will develop an educational plan and a student educational contract documenting the classes you intend to take to complete your goals and the services and accommodations your counselor approved.

If you are a distance education student who needs to request accommodations, please submit our online form.

DSPS Continuing Students

In most circumstances, our front counter can provide a letter of accommodation using your previous accommodations at your request. However, students who have already initiated services within the program must still see a DSPS Counselor at least once per year in order to maintain services. You may wish to see a counselor more frequently if you have unmet accommodation needs or other questions. Please contact us to schedule counseling appointments.

Online Letters of Accommodations Request Form

This form is used to request a student's Letters of Accommodations for their classes at American River College.

Letters of Accommodations refers to the accommodations the student has been approved for by a DSPS Counselor through the interactive process.

Student Responsibility:

1. Accommodations must be approved by a DSPS Counselor at American River College.

2. Letters of Accommodations will be provided to students who are currently enrolled for the classes requested below at American River College. Waitlisted classes will not receive a Letters of Accommodations. However, a Letters of Accommodations will be provided to a student who is approved for an In-class Aide, Sign Language Interpreter, or Real-Time Captioner even if they are on the waitlist.

3. Classes enrolled in after the submission of this form will require a new request form to be submitted for the newly enrolled classes.

4. It is recommended that students see their DSPS Counselor at least once each semester. Any change in accommodations will require counselor approval.

Online Letters of Accommodations Request Form

Assistive Technology Lab

Assistive Technology uses alternative software and hardware to meet the needs of students with various disabilities. The computer programs and equipment help students with class work, improve their learning skills, and prepare for tests. The ATC Lab is intended for academic use and has open lab hours as well as time set aside for training and workshops.

Tools Available in the Assistive Technology Lab

Reading Difficulties

  • Kurzweil 3000
  • Kurzweil Firefly
  • K-NFB Blio E-Text reader
  • CCTV - closed-circuit monitor for enlarging text and other colored pictures

Writing Difficulties

  • Inspiration - visual tool to help organize thought process for developing ideas
  • Windows Speech Recognition - voice recognition program used for dictation

Alternative Equipment

  • Joystick - alternate choice for mouse operation
  • Keyboard guard - to control keyboarding using a plastic guard
  • Adjustable tables - for raising and lowering computers
  • Chairs - adjustable and ergonomic
  • Bat keyboard - one-handed keyboard

To use the computer lab, counselors are encouraged to contact Rico Wood to discuss the student's disabilities and needs. Some of the computer programs may be used on a first-come, first-served basis, and others need to be reserved by appointments. To print, students are required to have money on their student ID or on their Go-Print card.

If you have any questions, please contact our ATC Lab staff at 484-8382 or by email at You are always welcome to tour the Assistive Technology Center and ask questions.

Academic Accommodations for Disabilities Reference

In accordance with current Federal and State Legislation, each student with a disability is afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the mainstream of the college programs, activities, and classes. The accommodations and services outlined are designed to allow equal access to the campus. The goal is to familiarize faculty and staff with the services provided by DSPS and the procedures required to utilize them. Additional suggestions and resources are also provided so that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to succeed in their academic endeavors. Academic accommodations for disabilities are not special privileges—they are an individual's right under the law.

Adults with Disabilities (ADA) and Section 504

Eligibility for program participation is determined in accordance with guidelines established through the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title 5 of the California Education Code.

A "student with a disability" is a person enrolled at a community college who has a verified impairment which limits one or more major life activities and which imposes an educational limitation as defined in section 56004 in Title 5 of the California Education Code. In Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the term "disability" means the following, with respect to an individual:

(a) Physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such an individual

(b) A record of such an impairment

(c) Being regarded as having such an impairment.

In order to initiate services, students must apply to the program and provide verification of disability.    Your disability information will be used at your intake appointment.

ARC Faculty and Staff Role

Faculty are an integral part of ARC's efforts to comply with equal access legislation. It is the responsibility of the academic department and its faculty to make sure that their program is accessible to students with disabilities. Instructors are responsible for authorizing the accommodations requested from DSPS. Instructors are not expected to compromise the academic credibility of their courses if the student fails to demonstrate the minimum required level of understanding and competence.

On the first day of class, instructors can request that students who need special accommodations contact them during office hours, after class, or contact DSPS for additional information. Instructors may also print this information as a part of their syllabi. This will encourage students with non-observable disabilities to communicate their academic needs early in the semester.

One way to ensure that appropriate accommodations are being rendered to students is for the instructor to speak with the students about their needs. Two students with an identical disability may not have the same needs. The most successful academic adjustments are typically mutually determined by the student and the instructor.

Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, students with disabilities have the right to privacy in regard to their disabilities. Faculty and staff should refrain from discussing their students' disabilities or accommodations around others who do not need to know about them.