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Q: What is DSPS?

A: DSPS (Disability Support Programs & Services) serves the needs of NVC students with disabilities. Our primary purpose is to ensure that all students with disabilities have equal access to all of the programs and services at Napa Valley College. Napa Valley College operates an integrated program and services model to maximize and simplify students’ opportunities for success.

For questions about our services, please contact us via our email address

Q: Where is the DSPS office located on the campus?

A: DSPS is located on the second floor of the McCarthy Library - Building 1700, Room 1766.

Q: How do I know if I'm eligible for DSPS?

A: According to Title 5, eligibility for DSPS services is determined through satisfying both of the following conditions:

  1. A student must have a verified disability identified via one of the following methods:
    • observation by certificated DSPS staff;
    • assessment by certificated DSPS staff; or
    • review of documentation by certificated staff provided by appropriate agencies or certified or licensed professionals outside of DSPS.
  2. The verified disability must result in an educational limitation that precludes the student from fully participating in general education without additional specialized services .

Provided those two conditions are met, the student will be eligible for academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, services and/or instruction.

For a quick guide to DSPS Title 5 related sections, please review Quick Guide to DSPS Title 5 Regulations (PDF).

Q: Will my disability information be kept confidential?

A: Yes. The DSPS office will only share the information about a student's disability or the services provided when we get a court order, or when the student gives us written permission.

Q: Are there any costs related to DSPS services?

A: No. All DSPS services are free to eligible students in the DSPS program.

Q: What happens if I need help during the semester?

A: No worries. We are here for you. Just schedule an appointment or drop by our offices.


Q: I am completely new to NVC. How do I get started as a DSPS student?

A: The intake process for an incoming DSPS student is as follows:

  1. Apply to NVC.
  2. Apply to the DSPS program.
  3. Meet with DSPS certificated staff to develop an Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP).

Q: What is an Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP)?

A: The AAP is the support services/accommodations plan. Information includes functional limitations, approved accommodations, long term educational goals and measurements, support resources, consent for release of information and student rights and responsibilities. This document needs to be signed once.

Q: Does Napa Valley College have Special Education classes?

A: The college does not have Special Education classes. You will be enrolled in the same college classes as all students.

Q: I don’t know the name of my disability. Who should I contact?

A: Contact the DSPS Specialist at 256-7447. Tell them you are trying to get into the DSPS program and need help figuring out the name of your disability.

Q: What do I need to document my disability?

A: Ask your Special Education teachers, your parents and your doctor(s) for any documentation of your disability. This includes IEPs, 504 Plans, testing results and doctor’s documents. DSPS staff need this documentation to verify your disability and determine what accommodations will work for you. If you can't locate your paperwork, make an appointment with a DSPS Counselor to verify to disability.

Q: I don’t have all of the documentation of my disability. What should I do?

A: If you have received services for a disability while in school, go ahead and make an appointment for the DSPS intake process with a DSPS Counselor or LD Specialist. Our staff can help you figure out what you need for documentation.

Q: What is going to happen at the appointment? Can I just leave the paperwork and go?

A: The DSPS staff will begin the DSPS application process through doing an intake with you. The appointment may last an hour. During this time staff will verify your disability, determine accommodations, ask you to sign a release of information form and Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP)​. Or, you may do some of the intake process and be asked to return for another appointment for testing or to meet with the DSPS counselor or Learning Disabilities Specialist. You can’t leave the paperwork and go!

Q: Do I have to go through this process every semester?

A: The good news is that you only have to go through the DSPS application once, as long as you are continuing student. You do have to work with DSPS staff to determine your accommodations for classes each semester. We will notify your professors, but you need to request accommodations.

Q: My parents have always attended the IEPs and meetings in the past. Should I bring my parents?

A: Although your parents attended meetings in the past, you are an adult (if you are 18 years old). You do not have to bring your parents and are even encouraged to begin the process of advocating for yourself. At your first meeting, you will be asked to sign a Confidentiality and Release of Information form. Information provided to us is confidential. The college will not release your information without your permission. This includes to your parents. Even if your parents call us, we cannot talk to them about you without your permission.


Q: What are accommodations?

A: Accommodations (also referred to as academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services) are provided if you have a limitation in the educational setting as a result of your disability. Examples of accommodations include:

  • Extended time on exams
  • Distraction-reduced examination setting
  • Note-taking assistance in classes
  • Reader or scribe on exams
  • Recorded lectures
  • Tutoring
  • Interpreters
  • Preferential seating
  • Spell check devices
  • Calculators
  • Audio Books
  • Speech to text (for writing
  • Priority registration

Q: Does everyone receive the same accommodations?

A: No. Not all students receive the same accommodations nor do all students with the same disability receive the same accommodations.

Q: What’s the first thing I need to do to get accommodations?

A: You must be enrolled in the DSPS program and meet with a credentialed professional to receive accommodations. Accommodations are only provided if you have a limitation in the educational setting as a result of your disability.

Q: How do my professors know that I have accommodations?

A: Per your request, the DSPS staff will send notifications to each of your professors about your accommodations.

Contact the DSPS Specialist at (707) 256-7447.

Q: How do I request my accommodations?

A: You can request your accommodations by submitting a Semester Accommodations Request form (either online or in-person), which can be found on our Accommodations & Services page. Remember that accommodations must be requested every semester.

Q: If I get Assistive Technology as an accommodation, how do I ask for training?

A: To set up a technology training appointment, give our office a call at (707) 256-7345.

Q: Do all DSPS students need to sign a recording agreement for class audio recording?

A: Yes, if the student plans to use this as an accommodation and use a DSPS issued device or personal device, a recording agreement/contract is needed before this service can be provided. The recording agreement can be found on our Forms page.

Q: How would I authorize use of a Personal Service Attendant (PSA)?

A: For more information about our internal process regarding PSAs, visit our Process for Authorizing PSA document on our Accommodations page.


Q: Do I have to be retested if I have previous Learning Disability documentation (IEP/504)?

A: No, you do not need to be retested to receive immediate accommodations. Please schedule an appointment with a DSPS Counselor so they can determine the next steps for your academic career.

Q: Can I get accommodations while I go through testing for learning disabilities at the college?

A: If we have documentation of your learning disability, and you have completed the DSPS application process, accommodations can be provided.

Q: I am deaf/hard of hearing. How do I request an interpreter for my class(es)?

A: All Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) resources, including the interpreter request form, can be found on our Deaf and Hard of Hearing webpage.


Q: My instructor is denying my accommodations in class. What do I do?

A: State and federal laws protect you against being denied your accommodations. The College will ensure that you received needed support and the college has specific procedures for filing a grievance. Click on link for Grievance Process.