Greetings NVC faculty and staff. Thank you for your commitment to our students and education. Please know that the DSPS staff are here to assist you. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns.  We’ve included a listing of current DSPS staff, campus location, e-mail and phone information.

What should I expect if a student in my class has a disability?

 The legal definition of a disability is a mental of physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (walking, seeing, hearing, caring for self, speaking, breathing, learning, working).  Although a student with a disability can request accommodations through DSPS, not all students with disabilities do. It is not a requirement and is up to the student to request services.

 Students with disabilities who have completed the DSPS intake process will receive reasonable accommodations based upon educational limitations to provide equal access to classes, programs and services. Such accommodations may include preferred seating, note-takers, interpreters, extended time for testing, assistive technology, alternate media, mobility assistance, etc.   

 The intent of the law regarding accommodations is to create a “level playing field” for all students through the elimination of barriers. Reasonable accommodations allow students to participate equally in our classes, programs and services.  Examples include a student with a learning disability that affects their reading.  Through putting their books in alternate format they are able to attain the information as other students without disabilities. Or, a deaf student is provided an interpreter to provide them access to understanding the lecture and oral course materials.

How do I know if a student in my class has a disability?

 Students with disabilities must go through an intake process through DSPS to verify their disability, establish educational limitations and determine reasonable accommodations. Once their disability is verified, they can request accommodations each semester through Specialist, Karen Travis, phone 256-7348 or by contacting Barbara Benson in the Learning Services Department room 1766, phone (707) 256-7442, or contacting DSPS Counselor, Sheryl Fernandez, phone 707 256-7229.   

 Instructors will receive an email each semester stating what accommodations have been requested for each class. We encourage students to check with instructors to ensure that they have received the email. This also enables them to have a conversation with you regarding the learning needs for your class. However, please note, many students with disabilities consider their disability private information and may not want to reveal this information or feel comfortable talking about it.


Students with disabilities are protected under key federal and state laws including Section 504 and 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)  and Title 5. These laws are included in this handbook.   NVC complies with federal and state laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, color, nationality origin, ancestry, physical of mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, age or status as a veteran or foster youth in any of its policies, procedures or practices.

 All information regarding disabilities is confidential.  Staff and personal cannot talk about the student’s disability without written permission.  To that end, students do not have to discuss their disability with instructors or staff.  Students may chose to volunteer information, but do not directly ask them without their initiation.

 Recommended Syllabus Statement

 You should include a disability statement in your syllabus. An example that can be used:  

Students in need of accommodations in the college learning environment:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a learning disability should contact Learning Services in the Library and Learning Resource Center (LLRC), room 1766, phone (707) 256-7442  A Learning Disability Specialist will review your needs and determine appropriate accommodations.

If you need accommodations for physical or other types of disabilities, schedule an appointment with DSPS Counselor, Sheryl Fernandez in the Counseling Department located in the Counseling Department in the 1300 building, phone (707) 256-7220 for appointment.  

All information and documentation is confidential.

Please feel encouraged to make an appointment with me privately confidentially discuss your specific learning needs in my class.

 What are the requirements for using technology when I teach my class?

 Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires all electronic and information that is technology developed, procured, maintained or used will be fully accessible by people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities must have an equal opportunity to participate and benefit from services provided to other students.  According to the Office of Civil Rights, “It is unacceptable for universities to use emerging technology without insisting that it is accessible to all students.” This means:

  • Make Websites accessible
  • Make software created by institution accessible
  • Make videos and DVDs accessible
  • Only purchase accessible electronic information technology


Ø  Webpages-provide a text description for every non-text element

Ø  Instructional Materials Online-all online instructional materials need to be accessible including PDFs, PowerPoints, Podcasts, videos

·         PDFs are text-based not scans or pictures of text

·         Videos must be captioned, but there are exemptions. If no users require captions, do not need to caption. Raw footage is exempt. Transcripts cannot be used for videos as it doesn’t synchronize text and video

·         Podcasts-a written transcript needs to be provided for podcasts

·         YouTube-yes, these can be captioned; however, if it is a single-use, accommodate as necessary, rather than providing access


The mission of Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) is to provide assistance and support to students with verified disabilities to equalize their opportunities to successfully access Napa Valley College’s programs and services, including instructional programs, student services and extracurricular activities. Napa Valley College (NVC) operates an integrated program and services model to maximize and simplify students’ opportunities for success.

The staff and faculty of the DSPS unit is committed to the purpose of serving students with disabilities at the college. Student success is what we are about and student service is clear in the manner by which we deliver services. As NVC continues to move forward with the use of technology to enhance the teaching/learning process, DSPS has followed this path and utilizes assistive technology to improve access and opportunities for success.

DSPS Program Components

To ensure maximum benefit of participants in NVC’s DSPS, the following services are offered:

  • Academic Advising / Counseling
  • Accommodation Services
  • Instructional Assistant Support
  • Learning Disabilities Assessment
  • Adaptive Physical Education
  • Specialized Instruction

Faculty Handbook Part 1: Disabilities at Post-Secondary Institutions:  Access Through Accommodation 

Faculty Handbook Part 2: Disability Laws and their implication for Post-Secondary Institutions