DSPS Processes and Procedures

1. Submit Documentation and make an appointment to see a DSPS counselorTo receive services, a student must submit documentation, such as an IEP or 504 plan. After documentation is received, an appointment is made to meet with a DSPS counselor. Diagnostic tests through English 116 are also acceptable documentation of disability, as is medical documentations from a relevant medical professional. If none of these verifications are available, still speak with the DSPS office to see about making an appointment, and the office will work with you to see if verification can be done through some other means.

2. Request appropriate accommodationsOnce the counselor and student have met and determined what accommodations would be appropriate, via the interactive process and given the individual student's need, it is now up to the student to follow through with the necessary steps to receive those accommodations. In many cases accommodations can be extra time on tests, shared notes, or textbooks converted into accessible media. The various accommodations each have their own request processes and timelines. For example, for alternative testing, an alternative test request form must be submitted in a timely manner. Best practice is two weeks, but the minimum time to process the request is one week. Adjunct instructors are sometimes only on campus once a week, and so time to get the request to them once it is entered into the DSPS testing schedule is required.

3. Check in with your DSPS counselor each semester
The best support staff can't help a student succeed if they don't do their part. Following through on test requests, alternate media requests, counseling appointments, and other aspects of DSPS accommodation services is vital for a student to benefit from the support structures in place here at Chabot. Having a clear goal, an updated Student Education Plan (SEP), and utilizing all accommodations for success are big parts in succeeding as a DSPS student.

Note: All accommodation services are provided on a request-based basis. This is one of the biggest differences between IDEA/504 (covering K-12 education) and ADA (for college and beyond).

For more information, please see the Differences in Disability Accommodations for K-12 Services versus College Services

Testing Accommodations

General Information

Students are responsible for requesting use of accommodations. Please follow the following steps and guidelines to utilize testing accommodations.

Alternative testing requests must be submitted two full weeks (14 days) before each exam accommodations are being requested. The only exceptions are exams or quizzes in the first two weeks, where you should submit a request as soon as possible.

Test Request Procedure

Contact your instructor

Early in the semester or as soon as possible, contact your instructor by email. In this email introduce yourself, let them know you are a DSPS student, and discuss your need for accommodations with them. Share the accommodations form you received from your counselor with your instructor to verify your accommodations.

Submit an Alternative Testing Request

Keep an active role in class and look out for upcoming exams.

At least two weeks before each exam you wish to use accommodations on, complete the following two steps.

  1. Contact your instructor to let them know you’d like to use your accommodation.
  2. Complete an Alternative Testing Request form and email it to rramento@chabotcollege.edu

You must submit one form for each test. Please do not attempt to use one form for multiple exams.

Be ready to take your exam

A few days before the exam, follow up with your instructor to ensure they received the request from the ACE and that your accommodations are in place.

Log into Canvas a few minutes before the exam to confirm your internet is working, that you can log into Canvas, and can navigate to the exam.

Test Proctoring

If you have an exam and you wish to use accommodations, please make sure to submit the alternative test request form (yellow sheet in Bldg 2400) and/or by emailing rramento@chabotcollege.edu to submit the Alternative Testing Request form/information.

All exams should be scheduled two full weeks in advance and fall within the following hours.

Monday – Thursday, 8:30 am – 5:00pm

Friday, 8:00am - 12:00pm

If your test with accommodations requires it to fall outside these hours, work with your instructor to reschedule. Work schedules and childcare are not reasons to have alternative testing schedules, but class conflicts are. Please remember to consider the test length, and any additional time when scheduling the exam.  For example, if you have 2 hours and 30 minutes for an exam, please schedule it to start no later than 2:30 PM Monday – Thursday, or 9:30 AM Friday

If you arrive more than 15 minutes late for an exam, it may be cancelled. In this case you would need to contact your instructor to attempt to reschedule the exam.

All reasonable test accommodations directly related to a disability or affected by other classes are attempted to be accommodated, but this does not extend to vacations, jobs, childcare, work, or similar scheduling challenges, which are not disability related.

Chabot doesn’t have dedicated note takers. Instead we utilize volunteers from the class. There are two common routes when seeking a note taker: the direct route where you contact a classmate, or the anonymous route where your instructor asks for volunteers.

Direct Route:

In this method you would identify a classmate who you believe would serve as a good note taker. Try to find someone who is organized, active, and attends class often. Once you’ve found a classmate that meets those criteria, ask if they would be interested in acting as a note taker. It can be as simple as asking if they’d be willing to share their notes with you each week. You can also incentivize them by telling them they can be paid for their service. The Accessibility Center for Education (ACE, building 2400) can make copies of the notes at no cost to the note taker. If they are interested in being paid, please have them contact Renato Ramento by email (rramento@chabotcollege.edu) or in-person at the ACE.

Anonymous Route:

In this method ask your instructor to make a generic announcement to the class requesting a note taker without mentioning your name. If your instructor has questions about the wording of the announcement, have them contact Renato Ramento by email (rramento@chabotcollege.edu). At this point it may take some time to get the note taker in place. Once someone has stepped forward, you will be able to pick up notes weekly from the ACE.






Chabot doesn’t have dedicated note takers, instead we utilize volunteers from the class. There are two common routes when seeking a note taker: the direct route where the student contacts a classmate asking them to act as a note taker, or the anonymous route where they ask you to make a generic announcement to the class. Generally if a student is approaching you for a note taker, it is because they aren’t sure what the process is, or they are hesitant to talk to another student directly. Student serving as a note taker can be paid a one time stipend for the semester. The amount depends on the number of units of the class.

If you have multiple DSPS students in one class, a single student can act as a note taker for all of them, but they’ll be paid the same amount as if they shared their notes with only one student.

Direct Route:

In this method the DSPS student would approach one of their classmates and ask that they share their notes. If a student wants to use this method, you may be able to help them by identifying a prospective note taker. Generally a good note taker would be someone who is attentive, participates in class, is well organized, and most importantly, attends class. It may also help to organize a meeting between the two students if the DSPS student is anxious about reaching out.

Anonymous Route:

In this method you would make a generic announcement to the class requesting a note taker without mentioning the student. It can be something as simple as:

“I’m looking for a note taker for this class. As a note taker, all you would have to do is submit your notes to the Accessibility Center for Education (ACE, building 2400) once a week. If you’re interested please contact me after class.”

You can also incentivize them by telling them they can be paid for their service. The ACE can make copies of the notes at no cost to the note taker.

Once a student has stepped forward, please direct them to Renato Ramento by email (rramento@chabotcollege.edu) at the ACE to fill out the paperwork for payment, and to work through the process of submitting notes.




1. Requesting: After seeing a DSPS counselor and determining eligibility, a student submits a request for alternate media to Thomas Dowrie in the DSPS
To receive e-text, a student must submit an Alternate Format Book Request form. This form is available on our DSPS PDF forms page. The request must be submitted in full, and should be accompanied with any kind of documented receipt of the books themselves for proof of acquisition. A digital book is to provide access to a book you have purchased, rented or borrowed. Do not think of it as a free book. 

If Braille is required, or if we have to convert a textbook for you that we determine isn't available through our normal database services, then we request that you provide a syllabus or class reading schedule so that if we produce your textbook in parts, we can do so in a timely manner. Other requests for alt media, including Braille, tactile imagery, enlarged print, file conversion, or audio, are also made through Thomas Dowrie in the DSPS. You may come by the ACE (Building 2400) in person; to ensure Thomas is available, appointments are highly recommended. You can contact Thomas via email at tdowrie@chabotcollege.edu.

2. Processing: For e-text, if available, a digital version of your book will be requested from one of several online databases to create the format best suited to your need
Other requests (i.e. Braille, tactile images) are processed by Thomas on campus.
Over 90% of books requested are normally available, however, if your book is not available, you may need to arrange to send it to Thomas so it can be processed into a digital version. After processing is finished, you can have the book back. All requests should be processed within two weeks, although many are completed much sooner. Students are encouraged to make their requests as soon as possible rather than waiting until well into the semester, etc. Thomas will contact you by email or phone to inform you that your files are ready. 

NOTE: we do not provide "audio books," or books pre-recorded by a human voice. E-text files can be loaded into free reader applications (Windows and Mac OS) that produce live, computer spoken audio. MP3 or WAV files can be created from books we source, however the voices that are reading the text are still synthesized, or computerized. Students will need to work with Thomas to identify exactly what type of voice they will want to use before an entire book is created from audio. This process also adds time it takes to complete the request.

3. Delivery: The last step will be for you to receive the files
At this time, e-text files may either be downloaded via DropBox, a cloud storage and file sharing service, or picked up in person from the ACE (Building 2400). If using Dropbox, you should create (at minimum) a basic, free Dropbox account at Dropbox.com/basic so you can download your files. If picking them up at the ACE, please be sure to make an appointment with Thomas to arrange this. You may do so by contacting Thomas at tdowrie@chabotcollege.edu. Be sure to bring a USB drive with at least 500MB of available space on it.  Other materials - such as braille or tactile images - may be picked up from the ACE from the front desk.

Book Loan Program
If you are unable to find your textbook through the normal sources (Chabot bookstore, Amazon, etc.) and/or are unable to pay for your books, the DSPS offers a modest Book Loan Program in our library of approximately 500 titles. Books range from novels - such as "The Namesake" (Lahiri) - to textbooks, such as Pre Algebra (Lial, Hestwood), or "The Principles of Microeconomics" (Mankiw). Students may request books from Thomas Dowrie. Students MUST have a 2.0 GPA or better for all cumulative Chabot course work, and be in good academic standings. Students must return books by the end of the semester they were loaned. The DSPS will not purchase new books for students, sorry. We will only be able to loan what has been donated to our library. If you are interested in donating a book to the Book Loan Program, simply drop it off at the front reception desk or leave it with Thomas.

  • Interpreting or Captioning Services will be provided for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing with documented profound hearing, and/or speech impairments, but only for required course activities through DSPS. Access needs for student clubs or events must be handled by the organizing entity.
  • Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and who require captioning or sign language interpreting to participate in class, must meet with a DSPS counselor and related staff to arrange for these services. No services will be provided without request, and all requests must be made in a timely manner.
  • All interpreting or real-time captioning requests should be done during priority registration, or at least four weeks before the beginning of the semester. It may take several weeks to arrange captioning or ASL interpreting services, and any delay in making the request may delay the start of services.


  1. Discuss your need for ASL interpreting or captioning accommodations with your DSPS counselor. If you will need ASL services for the counseling appointment, please notify the DSPS when making your appointment.
  2. Fill out a "Request for Captioning/ASL Interpreting" form for each class and return it to the DSPS. At the same time, make an appointment with Shawna Crawford in the DSPS to go over the Interpreting/Real-time Captioning Process and Procedures Agreement.
  3. Notify Shawna or the DSPS office immediately of any changes you make to your schedule, including adding or dropping any classes, or skipping classes due to vacation or sickness.
  4. Meet with Shawna each semester when you register for new classes to review your interpreting or real-time captioning needs for that semester. Not all student request services for all classes, it completely depends on the individual student and what their specific needs are.