Information for Instructors

An IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is the document that outlines a student’s accommodations and services in the K-12 educational setting. That document alone does not directly provide accommodations to the student in college. All college accommodations start at the DSPS, through the student's counselor. Please refer or walk the student to the DSPS (building 2400) to make an appointment with a counselor. 

Once connected to the DSPS, a student who is eligible for accommodations will bring in a one-page document to show you. That is the Academic Accommodations Plan document that has been signed by student and Chabot DSPS counselor. That document is the student’s verification to show instructors. It will list the specific academic accommodations the respective student is receiving. 

At the college level, students are expected to be proactive with their accommodations. For example, if the student receives alternative testing such as extended time, they will need to complete the appropriate document in the DSPS office to start the process. If you have questions about how to navigate an accommodation pertaining to your class (such as receiving extended testing time or having a student notetaker in the class), please contact the DSPS. 

Instructor, you may come across a student who is doing many things right (such as going to tutoring, turning in class work, spending hours on homework) but you observe that the student could use additional support beyond office hours and the tutoring center. What does that conversation look like?

Your referral conversation could take place over one meeting or multiple short meetings. Instructor, you may prefer to refer students directly to DSPS and/or to LNSK classes or to meet one of our friendly LNSK faculty or staff. Some faculty refer students directly to our LNSK 116 course because sometimes students are hesitant to enter the DSPS office at first. LNSK 116 is a great segue into DSPS services because at the end of the course, students who are eligible for services are required to make an appointment with a DSPS counselor in order to initiate their accommodations. Instructors, scroll to the bottom of this section for more information about the LNSK 116 course.

If this is your first time having such a conversation with a student, there are a few tips below. Your conversation with the student is about sharing some helpful information with them so they are aware of all resources available to them for additional support, whether they opt to connect to LNSK/DSPS or not. Students may react to the converstation in a number of ways. The best case scenario is that the student sees how much you care and are receptive to exploring these additional tools and resources. The best scenario is that the student may come in (to LNSK or the DSPS), get tested and get the academic support they need (our favorite result!). Here are some recommendations for faculty looking for ways to start the conversation.

Some preparations/considerations

  1. Note all the positives you’ve observed about the student and his/her efforts or work in the class
  2. Mention your specific observations about the student having a particular challenge. Some examples could be: 
    1. “I see you are making an effort in class and noticed that exams seem to be difficult.”
    2. “I can see you are working hard. Let’s talk about ideas on how to improve your performance in class”. 
    3. “At the beginning of the semester, you were doing well. Recently, I have observed…”
  3. Get feedback from the student and have a pool of campus resources to offer the student, a list which include DSPS or Learning Skills classes
    1. See if the student is turning in all work, if not, discuss that with the student and how they plan to get work in on time.
    2. See if the student has a outside-of-class homework or study routine
    3. See if the student is going to tutoring, and if so, how it is helping.
    4. You can preface your resources as “These are some resources that many students find helpful when they are struggling in classes. I wanted to make sure you were aware of all the options available to you.”
  4. Another recommendation is to conclude the conversation by inviting the student to make an appointment with the DSPS (or visit the tutoring center, etc) and check in with you and to reflect afterwards if that was a helpful resource. The student will know you care and also have more accountability to follow up with those resources you recommended.

An example conversation starter A - LNSK 120/121 Study Hall

  • "I noticed that the work you are turning in is not matching what the assignment was asking for. You participate in class discussions, turn in homework, and visit the tutoring center. Those are all strong student skills. If you're interested in understanding the assignments better, there are a few more student resources you can utilize. Have you taken LNSK 120 or 121 before with my colleague [Heather or Mr. Telles]? That's a study hall class where they not only tutor students on the assignment, but will work with you on new learning strategies. Would you be willing to see how that class will help you with this class? Great! Let's email the instructor for an add number, right now. Let's meet again after you've attended three classes so you can let me know if you find that a helpful resource for this class."

An example conversation starter B - LNSK Academic Classes

  • "I see that you are getting frustrated with [reading, writing, workload, content] in this course. How have you learned in past classes? ... It seems that it's the reading [or writing, or basic math functions] causing your concern. Would you be interested in taking a class that will help you build those specific skills, so that that you'll be ready to tackle this class in a semester or two? Great! Let's contact my colleague who teaches LNSK [117, 118A, 118B, 119)"

An example conversation starter C- LNSK 116 Diagnostic Clinic

  •  “I see that you are working hard, doing your homework, getting tutoring, studying long hours, and still struggling. There is a program that might be able to help by giving you an assessment to see if you might be eligible for additional learning tools. The program is called Learning Skills. They do testing for learning strengths and challenges in a class called LNSK 116. Would you be interested in learning more about your own learning? I can walk you over to … (LNSK or DSPS) … who can answer questions you have about the class and give you an Add-Card”

Dear Faculty, the Learning Skills program will Add students into a class any time during the semester, with the exception of LNSK 116 (*more info below). The sooner they connect to our program the more learning support they will receive.

Overview of LNSK 116: Diagnostic Clinic 

The first half of the course consist of the diagnostic portion of the class. Students are given various state mandated protocol and additional surveys (scantrons, writing, math, timed tests, etc). Even though we don’t always get to cover all topics due to time, the remaining weeks are where students participate in discussions, presentations and activities that cover topics such as:

  • Overview of Learning Disabilities (such as dyslexia)
  • Overview of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
  • The Brain and Steps of Learning
  • Accommodations and Services
  • Disability Laws: Rights & Responsibilities
  • Confidentiality & Disclosure
  • Transitioning from High School to College
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator
  • Learning Styles Inventory and strategies
  • Growth Mindset
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Multiple Intelligence Theory
  • Test Anxiety
  • Different Styles of note-taking
  • Talking to an instructor about Learning Disabilities/accommodations
  • Managing distractions
  • Time Management
  • Reading Strategies
  • Study Strategies
  • How to Navigate Group Work
  • Chabot College Campus Resources

We have multiple sections of this 9-week course. We have sections beginning at the start of every semester and another round of classes beginning around the 9th or 10th week of the semester (often falling in October in the fall semester, and March in the spring semester) and one or two sections in the summer. *Due to the intensive testing process  we add students only up the third week of the session even though there are some circumstances within our program that may allow us to to add students past the third week. Please contact the LD Specialists for any questions you have about LNSK 116. Currently there are three: Heather Clements, Joshua Telles and Shirley Pejman.

Just by opening this card, you are already doing a wonderful service for your students as an educator's new learning tends to benefit all students.

Please check back periodically, as additional resources will be added.


California Community College Chancellor's Office Assessibility Center (CCCCO)

Training and resources. Free training sessions (to CCC employees) and information about accessible technology and disability related educational tools.


California Association for Postsecondary Education and Disability (CAPED)

Association and annual conference. Higher Education (also Psychologists and Adult Ed participate) with a wide range of topics pertaining to disability, including new legislation and best practices.


The Learning and the Brain Society

Association, annual conferences and learning institutes. Events are hosted by a collaboration of various university Education, Neuroscience, Psychology programs pertaining to best practices and new research about the brain, learning, teaching.



Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of strategies and practices that make courses more accessible for all students. Some describe UDL as simply ”good teaching”. Research and experience shows that UDL friendly courses benefit all students, and even lessen the need for special academic accommodations.

The three key principles of UDL

  1. Multiple means of representation - give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge
  2. Multiple means of expression - provide learners alternatives/various modes for demonstrating what they know
  3. Multiple means of engagement - tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation

Examples of how to integrate UDL in a course

  • Use closed captioning on videos 
  • Check that your Canvas and website are accessible
  • Provide weekly learning objectives, guided notes, and graphic organizers
  • Create multiple means of accessing materials: including print, digital, text-to-speech and audiobooks 
  • Offer a project-based learning activity
  • Ask students to provide feedback or weekly personal reflections about learning


Check out the Chabot College DSPS website for resources on accessibility for Canvas, Microsoft Word and more. 

Below are some links to other college website information about UDL:

Check out the Learning Disabilities Resources page for a robust list of websites and books about various learning disabilities. Some are technical and others are narratives. It is a living list that will be modified as new (and improved) information and resources find us.