Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S)

DSPS Student Handbook Table of Contents Part 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Procedure for Requesting Academic Accommodations

Student Grievance Rights

Eligibility Requirements

Student Rights

Students’ Responsibilities

DSPS Responsibilities

Termination of Services

Measurable progress

Abuse of Services

Appeal Process

Confidentiality

Absence Notification Guidelines

Financial Aid

Campus Access

General Provisions

New Students

If you are new to NVC and need accommodations for a disabiity, begin by scheduling an appointment with a DSPS Counselor in the Counseling Center, located in Building 1300.  You can schedule an appointment in-person or by calling Sheryl Fernandez.  If you have a Learning Disability you can schedule your appointment with a Learning Disabilities (LD) Specialist (located in Building 1700, Room 1766 or by calling 707-256-7720).

How to make and what to bring to your first appointment

Make an appointment to verify your learning disability with Learning Services in the Library and Learning Resource Center (LLRC), building 1700, room 1766, or by calling 256-7417. Be sure to bring past IEPs or testing documents from other community colleges or private professionals that verify your learning disability. The NVC Learning Disability Specialist will determine next steps for each individual.

Continuing Students

Continuing students who will be using the same services as in their previous semesters(s) only need to follow the information in the Programs & Services section of this handbook.  However, you must meet with a DSPS Counselor or DSPS Faculty at least once a year to maintain your eligibility for services and once a semester to request accommodations.

Returning Students

Students who have been away from NVC for a year or more need to schedule an appointment with the DSPS Counselor in order to reactivate their file and re-authorize services.  


Procedure for Requesting Academic Accommodations

Students request academic accommodations based on functional limitations of disability.  The student must initiate the request for accommodations with the DSPS Counselor or if it is a learning disability, with a Learning Disabilities Specialist located in Learning Services, 1700 Building, phone 256-7442.   The approved accommodations are relayed to the instructor by the DSPS Program Specialists via an accommodations letter and / or the student’s self-disclosure.

Student Grievance Rights

Students shall be informed that they have a right to file a complaint concerning any allegations of failure to comply with the laws, regulations and procedures as set forth for individuals with disabilities.   Complaints shall be processed through the existing college grievance procedures listed in the Napa Valley College Affirmative Action, Sexual Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedures manual.

Eligibility Requirements

Students receiving services through DSPS must be enrolled at NVC and must have a chronic disabling condition that has been verified by an appropriate professional.  The students disabling condition must limit one or more major life activities, and that imposes an “educational limitation.” an educational limitation is a disability related functional limitation in the educational setting that occurs when the limitation prevents a student from fully benefiting from classes, activities, or services offered by the college without specific, additional support services or instruction.   Examples of qualifying disabilities are physical, communication, acquired brain injury, psychological, and developmentally delayed learning and learning disability.

Students must possess the ability to respond appropriately to questions, follow directions, and demonstrate the potential to benefit from special programs and services.

Students must demonstrate appropriate adaptive and/or self-help behavior.  This includes providing their own personal attendant care.  DSPS staff will not provide this service.

Students must demonstrate annual measurable academic progress.  Failure to do so may result in termination of services.

Students requesting services and/or academic accommodations offered at NVC are advised to arrange an appointment with a DSPS counselor or LD Specialist and complete an application for services.  DSPS will then establish a Student Educational Contract (SEC) and verify the disability and DSPS eligibility by using one of the following means:

  1. Review of documentation provided by appropriate agencies or certified or licensed professionals outside of DSPS;
  2. Assessment by appropriate/DSPS professional staff; or
  3. Observation by DSPS professional staff with review by the DSPS Program Manager.

Once a student’s disability has been certified, the DSPS professional will identify the educational limitations, document them in the Student Educational Contract, reviewing and updating it annually. 

Services may be denied if it is determined that a student does not meet one or more of the above eligibility criteria.  Students seeking to appeal the denial of services should seek remedy through Rebecca Scott, the DSPS Coordinator at 256-7417.  If, after consulting with the DSPS Coordinator, students are still not satisfied, they may appeal to the Vice-President of Student Services (Building 1500, Room 1531 or 707-256-7150).


Student Rights

  1. Participation by student with disabilities in DSPS is entirely voluntary.  Students may also choose to request services through the ADA or Section 504 Coordinator (Rebecca Scott).  These coordinators will then designate the district official with knowledge of accommodation requirements to review such requests.  Students will be required to provide disability verification before services are provided.  While working with the ADA Coordinator is an available option, the DSPS process has been designed to be the most expedient in meeting student needs.
  2. Receiving support services from DSPS does not prevent a student from participating in any other course, program, or activity offered by the college.
  3. All records maintained by DSPS personnel pertaining to students with disabilities are protected from disclosure and are subject to all other requirements for the handling of student records.

 

Students’ Responsibilities

Students receiving services and/or instruction through the DSPS office shall:

  1. Comply with the Student Code of Conduct adopted by the college as written in the college catalog;
  2. Be responsible in their use of DSPS services and adhere to written service provision policies adopted by DSPS (see Abuse of Services below)’
  3. Make measurable progress toward the goals established in the student’s Student Educational Contract, and meet academic standards established by the college (see Measurable Progress below);
  4. Assume personal responsibility for taking any medications;
  5. Be responsible for the provision of personal attendant care.   DSPS staff will not provide this service.

Failure to comply with these standards may result in termination of DSPS services.

 

DSPS Responsibilities

DSPS staff members help students obtain the academic accommodations necessary to allow equal access to Napa Valley College’s programs and services.  It is the responsibility of DSPS to utilize resources so that all students can receive equitable services.  We establish policies and procedures that adhere to the NVC and DSPS missions and that provide students access to reasonable accommodations.

 

Termination of Services

DSPS also has the responsibility of establishing requirements for measurable progress and abuse of services. If a student does not adhere to established policies, she/he will be notified of the possibility of termination of DSPS services.

There are only two ways that eligible students may be terminated:

  1. Lack of measurable progress, or
  2. Abuse of services.

 

Measurable Progress

A lack of measurable progress may be defined in any of the following ways and may result in a loss of DSPS services:

  1. Failure to pass (by receiving grades of W, NC, D or F) courses while utilizing appropriate accommodations.
  2. Failure to meet NVC’s academic standards as defined by the Academic Dismissal and/or Progress Dismissal policies.
  3. Two consecutive semesters of failure to follow DSPS service policies. 
  4. Insufficient progress, as determined by tutor, and/or instructor evaluations, which include student input.
  5. Failure to make progress for two consecutive semesters, toward goals established in the student’s Student Educational Contract.


Abuse of Services

Abuse of services is defined as a failure to comply with the policies and procedures of the individual services that a student is using.  Failure to comply with these policies or procedures may result in termination of that service.  Prior to the termination of a service, the student will be notified in writing that unless she/he meets with a DSPS counselor to discuss the area of concern, the service will be automatically terminated one (1) week from the date of the letter.  Once an “intent to Terminate Services” letter has been sent, the student must agree to and sign a “Contract for Continuation of Services” before the date of termination in order to avoid termination of services.

If a service is terminated, it will be terminated only for the current semester.  Terminated services may be reinstated during the current semester only with the authorization of a DSPS counselor or the Coordinator of DSPS, and only if there are extenuating circumstances which warrant reinstatement.

 

Appeals Process

Students seeking to appeal the termination of services should seek remedy through the Coordinator of DSPS.   If, after consulting, students are still not satisfied, they may appeal to the Vice President of Student Services (Building 1300, Room 1330 or 707-256-7360).

If a DSPS Counselor approves a student’s appeal, she/he will be asked to agree to and sign a “Contract for Continuation of Services” to avoid service termination.  If a service is terminated, it will be only for the current semester.  Students seeking to further appeal the DSPS counselor’s decision should seek remedy through the Associate Dean Special Services.  If, after consulting with the DSPS Program Manager, students are still not satisfied, they may appeal to the Vice President of Student Services (Building 1300, Room 1330 or 707-256-7360).

 

Confidentiality

The Right to Privacy Act ensures that all disability-related contact with the DSPS office remains confidential unless the student signs a written release.  This means that a DSPS Counselor or DSPS faculty will not discuss anything pertaining to students with any of the student’s instructors or anybody else, without the student’s expressed written permission.   However, DSPS is allowed to verify eligibility for specific services.


Absence Notification Guidelines

Classes:

The DSPS office will not notify instructors of an absence unless the absence will be for one or more weeks and is caused by the student’s disabling condition.  If a student is unable to attend classes as a result of a non-disability related problem, the student must use the procedure outlined for all students. This is the responsibility of the student.  In either case, students may be required to present medical verification of illness from their physicians.

 

Financial Aid

DSPS does not have money available to grant or loan to students.   Students may apply for Financial Aid to assist with purchases of books, supplies and other educational necessities.   There are specific guidelines and deadlines for applying for financial assistance.   Please go to the Financial Aid office for further information.

Students may qualify for funds from the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) or the Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS) for low income and educationally disadvantaged students.  The Scholarship Office grants scholarships every May for the following year for both continuing and transferring students.  This office also helps students search for scholarships from other sources.

Campus Access

If students encounter difficulties with access, please inform DSPS staff or the Associate Dean of DSPS and steps will be taken to address the problem.