Alternate Formats

Yes. Due to copyright laws that we do not want to breach, you will still need to rent/purchase your books and show proof of purchase in order to obtain copies of your course materials in alternate format.

We try our best to obtain all books in alternate format, however there are some cases where books are not available to us. If the publisher is unable to provide an electronic file of your textbook, or if the book is not available from one of our databases, the binding may have to be removed for scanning. Your book will be rebound with comb binding

Alternate Media accommodations are given to students by counselors depending on their disabilities. Although you may be granted one form of Alternate Media, you may not be able to use all. This should not cause a problem since you will still get the appropriate accommodations and will not need access to all platforms that fall under alt media.

Ideally, placing your requests at least 3 weeks before the start of the semester will ensure that you’ll have most if not all your books in alternate format before classes begin. Check for required books as soon as you register for your classes. If you are not able to obtain book information 3 weeks before the semester, please place your requests as soon as possible. You can view your books on the CCSF Bookstore website. All you need to do is input your CCSF ID number and it will provide you with the required books for your class. If your book is not listed, you can email your instructor to ask for book information.

The amount of time you have to wait before receiving your textbooks in alternate format varies. It is depending upon when you submit your Request for Alternate Media. Submitting your Alternate Media requests as far in advance as possible (i.e., right after you register for your classes) makes it more likely you will receive your Alternate Media at the start of the semester.

If you submit your request for Alternate Media during the busiest Alternate Media production time of the semester (i.e., during the first 4 to 5 weeks of the semester), you should speak with the Alternate Media Specialist in order to submit everything they’ll need in order to try to speed up the request. You must keep in mind that there may be students in line ahead of you who have already submitted their requests and who will have priority.

In order to add any accommodation to your CATAV, you will need to speak with a counselor. To make an appointment with one, please reach out to our DSPS front office at or by calling 415-452-5481 (currently voicemail only). With your message, please provide your full name, student ID number and your phone number.

Reach out to the Alternate Media Specialist as soon as you start having trouble with any resource given to you. They will be able to direct you towards the best help for the matter at hand.

Testing Accommodations Request for Students

Feel free to contact us directly as well as provide DSPS contact information to the student and encourage them to make an appointment to inquire about available services and resources. Keep in mind, a student’s participation in DSPS is voluntary and they have the additional option of requesting accommodations directly through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator

DSPS specialists base their recommendations on current medical/educational information and their professional knowledge of the student’s disability. If a student presents you with a Classroom and Test Accommodation Verification form (CATAV), that student’s disability has been documented. You may contact DSPS if you have any questions. But, as the student’s records are confidential, DSPS staff will not be able to provide you with any information about the student’s specific disability. With a signed Release of Information, we can discuss specific situations and assist with problem-solving. You should know, however, that denial of a legitimate request is a violation of the student’s civil right. It is your responsibility to work closely with the student and DSPS to provide reasonable accommodations required under the law. 

If the student has requested an accommodation that conflicts with the goals of your class, please discuss your concerns with a DSPS Counselor. In this way, a reasonable compromise can be achieved which upholds the goal of equal opportunity for students with disabilities while maintaining the academic integrity of your class. 

Title 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 establish that students with disabilities must have equal opportunity. A disabled student’s excellent performance in a class (or their ability to finish exams on time) is not, by itself, a compelling argument that the student is being given equal opportunity. In order to have equal opportunity, the student may require accommodations: extended exam time, the use of a computer, or other techniques specified on the CATAV. 

You should refer them to DSPS. Providing an accommodation without verification of disability related needs can establish a precedent which may give an unfair advantage or the perception of an unfair advantage and is not warranted under the law.    

DSPS students are informed that test accommodations must be arranged 7 days in advance and by deadline for final exams. In some cases, when a student has just been found eligible for this accommodation or when a test/quiz was not scheduled in advance, every effort will be made to provide the test accommodation without 7 days notice. However, under most circumstances, it is the student’s responsibility to schedule the testing accommodation in advance. One way to aid timely arrangements is to provide a notice on your syllabus alerting students with disabilities who are requesting accommodations to give you and the DSPS office reasonable advance notice of their needs. 

Only if you let all other students take the exam home and work unsupervised. Fair treatment of students with disabilities does not mean that you give up good teaching practices.

Never offer unlimited time on tests as an accommodation. Most often, testing time is extended 1 and ½ times the amount of time your other students have to take a test. When an interpreter is needed, the student has especially labored use of equipment, or there are extraordinary limitations, then twice the time or even longer may be approved. 

Ideally, proctored exams are scheduled close to the time when your class is being tested, if not at the same time. Sometimes a student must take the exam at a different time or date. You will be asked to provide the date and time the class is scheduled to take the exam on the Testing Accommodation Request (TAR). There is also space to indicate if the instructor agrees to an alternate time. The test will only be scheduled at a different time when there is insufficient space or proctoring staff or if the student has a scheduled class right before or after. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent students from asking others in the class about the test. But such conduct is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Some instructors use alternate forms of the test to reduce security problems. Alternate forms of the test are useful, as long as they are comparable in difficulty. I’m an “evening/weekend” instructor. 

Proctored test services are available through Disabled Student Programs and Services Monday through Friday during a time prearranged with the Testing Accommodation Assistant. The scheduling of the exam should be negotiated as far in advance as possible (see Procedure for Arranging Testing Accommodations in this handbook). 

Students needing evening or weekend testing accommodations can either: 

  1. Schedule to take the exam at DSPS during regular DSPS weekday hours, with the instructor’s permission, or 
  2. Discuss having the instructor provide the testing accommodation for the student during the scheduled exam time in the classroom.

Information about a student’s disability is confidential. It is the individual’s choice whether to ask for an accommodation or not or how much to reveal about their disability. In post-secondary education, it is up to the adult student to decide whether an instructor is to be made aware of disability-related information. Such information might prejudice an instructor’s opinion about the student. The only information an instructor needs to know is what accommodations (academic adjustments) are approved by the Disabled Student Programs and Services counselors. 

Students with disabilities are expected to conform to the same Code of Student Conduct rules as all CCSF students. Issues related to discipline problems are to be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs. 

DSPS requests that the student make every effort to provide documentation from their doctor or medical practitioner or from educational testing. Specific approved accommodations related to the medical information provided and resulting educational limitations will be noted on the Classroom and Test Accommodations Verification form (CATAV). DSPS encourages students to plan a realistic, reasonable, and manageable course load taking into consideration stamina and stability of the student’s functional limitations. Occasionally, an exacerbation of symptoms can occur and with documentation if necessary, may influence the instructor’s decision to extend a deadline. These circumstances should be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Students with disabilities are not required to register with DSPS. However, to receive accommodations, students must register with DSPS to verify eligibility. Many students with disabilities do not require or request services.

Do I still need to give the accommodation of additional extra time to the student with a disability? 

Yes, the laws specify that the instructor provides the approved extended time beyond what the class is provided, during each exam. 

Post-secondary students are expected to provide their own assistance for personal care such as toileting, eating, and other activities, which are not strictly school-related activities which must be attended to no matter where the student might be. This is a major change for students from services provided under the K-12 system.

A personal assistant or class aide is considered an accommodation and will be noted on the CATAV. If the student does not have this document, refer them to the DSPS office. Aides are guests in the classroom and are expected to adhere to the Code of Student Conduct. Sometimes there is alternate furniture in the classroom.

The alternate furniture located in classrooms each semester is labeled with a DSPS sticker and the course and time for which it is reserved. Students will have this accommodation noted on their Classroom and Test Accommodations Verification form (CATAV) and can show this to indicate it is reserved for them. It is sometimes necessary to request another student vacate the chair when they are not receiving this approved accommodation. 

Access to programs and services is a civil right. Generally, a classroom move will be minimal; for example, in the same building, from one floor or room to another. The law does not require the school to provide every section of every course in an accessible location. However, if the course is unique or no course section is available in an accessible location, then we are required to move the class to ensure that the student with a disability is not denied access as long as it does not fundamentally alter the nature of a program, class or course, or substantially modify academic or program standards.