Disability Rights, Responsibilities, and Academic Accommodations

STUDENT Responsibilities

San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) is committed to providing students with disabilities academic accommodations to access the same educational opportunities available to other students. Students are afforded rights and responsibilities related to accessing academic accommodations, fully described in Procedure AP 3105.1 and outlined below:

  • Students provide documentation of a qualified disability to Disability Support Program and Services (DSPS) to support requests for academic accommodations. Absent verification of a learning disability, students contact DSPS to initiate an assessment, if needed.
  • Students participate in a careful, deliberate, and interactive process with a DSPS Counselor to determine eligibility for accommodations and services, and to to reach an agreement on effective and reasonable academic accommodation(s).
  • Once eligible for services, students request DSPS accommodations in a timely manner each semester and provide academic accommodation letter to their instructor(s).
  • Students make measurable progress toward their educational goal.

About academic accommodations

The purpose of academic accommodations is to allow students with disabilities access to the same educational opportunities available to other students. The district has adopted procedures that are intended to provide for consistent and timely processing of requests for academic accommodations. 

Accommodations may include the modification of the course delivery and/or evaluation process, course substitution or waiver, as well as allowing for the use of electronic devices.  The most common accommodations for the classroom are extended time on tests, note-takers, sign language interpreters, and recording of lectures. Academic accommodations:

  • Promote independence and maximum participation of the student.
  • Relate directly to student's educational plan or course of study.
  • Are informed by the specific functional limitations resulting from a verified disability.
  • Maintain the instructor's ability to measure the student's skills and aptitudes.
  • Maintain academic standards for all students.
  • Maintain the fundamental requirements of the educational program.


The student, classroom or DSPS faculty may dispute an accommodation. If there is a dispute, the accommodation(s) originally authorized by DSPS will be provided during the problem resolution process, and subsequent challenges.

STEP 1: Informal Resolution Procedure (encouraged, not required)
  • Instructors who have questions or disagree with an accommodation should contact the DSPS faculty who authorized the accommodation(s).
  • A student who disagrees with the academic accommodation(s) authorized by the DSPS counselor should discuss their concern with DSPS Coordinator or Dean.
  • A student who is not provided an approved academic accommodation by the instructor should notify the DSPS Office to schedule an interactive meeting to resolve the issue.
  • The DSPS Coordinator or Dean shall convene an informal meeting of the parties (i.e. student, DSPS counselor, instructor and/or discipline department chair) within 5 instructional days following the notification of the disputed accommodation(s). Every effort shall be made to resolve the matter informally, where appropriate.
  • A written denial of a student's requested academic accommodation will be provided by the DSPS Office with information to proceed to next steps if desired.
STEP 2: Formal Resolution Procedure (when not resolved during informal process)
  • If there is no agreement with the informal resolution, the student, the instructor or the DSPS faculty may provide a written complaint to the campus compliance officer responsible for 504 matters within 10 instructional days of notification of the informal resolution. Contact information for a campus 504 Officer can be found at sdccd.edu/students/complaint-process/index.aspx
  • The compliance officer responsible for 504 matters will review the written complaint and carefully research the facts. Written notification of his/her decision will be provided to the student within 10 instructional days of receipt of the complaint. The student will be provided a written notification of the option to file a complaint under AP 3435 Discrimination and Harassment Investigations if student is not in agreement with DSPS faculty or 504 decision.



  • Students who request a course substitution or waiver should file a Petition for Modification of Graduation Requirements or a Petition for Math Substitution as an Academic Accommodation with the appropriate college committee/office/department.
  • Requests for course substitutions or waivers will be adjudicated by the appropriate committee, department or office and will include at least one DSPS faculty when the petition states the request is for an academic accommodation. The 504 Officer may be included as determined by the committee chair.
  • Transfer institutions are not bound by decisions made by the San Diego Community College District regarding course substitutions or waivers. Students are responsible for contacting potential transfer institutions regarding the acceptability of prior coursework.
  • If the student does not agree with the outcome of the request they may file a complaint under AP 3435 Discrimination and Harassment Investigations.


  • A complaint of disability discrimination is described in AP 3435 Discrimination and Harassment Investigations. The contact person is the 504 Officer at each campus.
  • The process can be initiated in several ways. Referral to the 504 Officer can be made online, through DSPS, or directly by the student. 504 Officers can be located at the following link: https://www.sdccd.edu/students/complaint-process/index.aspx