Department DSP Policy

Principles of Understanding

  1. Understand that every student’s accommodation will be different and what works for one student may not for another.
  2. Understand that some students will not be able to provide notice of their requirement for accommodations in advance. Exacerbations of a disability can happen at any time and accommodations may change or new accommodations may be required because of an exacerbation. If you hold any concerns about notification timelines, please contact the student’s DSP specialist directly.
  3. Please note, during the intake process with DSP, students are asked to request extension requests prior to assignment deadlines.
  4. Depending on the nature of the disability and associated impacts, there may be times when students are not able to anticipate when an exacerbation of disability may occur. Further, due to disability management needs, the student may not be able to communicate the extension request in real-time.
  5. Some students may only start to require accommodations after the start of the semester. Not all students who require accommodations during the semester will have registered with DSP at the beginning of the semester. A student may experience symptoms of a possibly previously undiagnosed disability at any time.
  6. To best prepare for the various terms and needs of student accommodation, faculty and staff should complete this training: Disability, Accommodation, and Access in the UC Classroom.
  7. The department strives toward a universally designed curriculum so they can be taught to everyone without the need for any accommodations, although it is understood that this is not always possible.

Accommodation Protocols

  1. Email should be used as the primary, if not exclusive, communication method for discussions with students and DSP about accommodations so an accurate record is maintained.
  2. After receiving confirmation of their accommodation, students should contact the instructor and request a meeting if they wish to discuss their accommodations at any time during the semester.
  3. The Letter of Accommodation (LoA) is the communication that initiates the process for the professor to review and determine if they have questions or concerns about any accommodation. If they do need to communicate with the DSP specialist about the LoA, they should do so within 72 hours of receipt.
  4. At any time, faculty may request a meeting with the DSP advisor and their supervisor to discuss a related matter.
  5. If a DSP advisor contacts a faculty member to request a meeting or request further information, a response must be sent within 3 business days after receipt of the request or termination date of an active away-from-email declaration.
  6. If a meeting with a DSP advisor is requested, it should be scheduled within 14 business days of receipt of the request.


  1. Review the letter and if there are any accommodations requested that you anticipate would fundamentally alter your course standards, then contact DSP right away to discuss those concerns and try to resolve them.
  2. If a student requests additional accommodation or extension, ask that they do so in a documented format, such as in writing (if possible) and that they must CC their DSP advisor.
  3. Do not try to resolve issues with the student directly. DSP should always be consulted.
  4. Direct students to DSP upon the request of any further accommodations.
  5. Once any issues are resolved through DSP, faculty will offer to meet with the student.

At the meeting with the student

  1. Do not ask about the nature, symptoms, or impacts of their disability.
  2. Do not ask for any medical information or official documentation.
  3. Do ask about their accommodations and how they envision them being implemented.
  4. If the student holds accommodation for assignment extensions, do ask the student to provide you with notice if they are going to need an extension, and ask that student to indicate how much time they require for the extension.

After the meeting:

  1. Provide a summary via email about what was discussed and agreed upon to the student and CC their DSP advisor. This creates a record of the agreement and allows all parties to request further discussion if there is any confusion.

If issues cannot be resolved with DSP, contact the department Equity Advisor and/or graduate student or undergraduate student advisor for assistance.

If you need assistance with course design, universal design, or have any other questions, information on where to get support is available on the DSP Resources for Faculty page, including:

  • Improving Communication with Disabled People
  • Teaching and Inclusive Design
  • Tips for Creating Accessible Word Documents
  • MS Word Accessibility Checker
  • How to make an accessible PDF
  • Hyperlinks best practices
  • Center for Teaching and Learning Resources