Policies and Procedures
DSPS Section 508 Policy
As a recipient of federal funding, Marin Community College District (MCCD) is required to comply with the provisions of Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (http://www.section508.gov/).
In essence, this mandates that, regarding MCCD's development, procurement, maintenance and use of Electronic and Information Technology (EIT), individuals with disabilities must have equal access to and use of information and data, except in cases wherein this "would impose an undue burden" upon MCCD (in which case MCCD is still responsible for providing "an alternate means of access that allows the individual to use the information and data").
Alternate media formats which meet these requirements include, but are not limited to, closed-captioned videotapes and DVDs, accessible web sites, electronic text (E-Text), recorded books on tape, Braille, large-type text, tactile graphics, live-captioned videoconferencing and descriptive narration.
MCCD compliance with Section 508 will be the responsibility of an Alternate Media Team, consisting of an Alternate Media Specialist, an E-Text Technician, and designated staff of Media Services. The Alternate Media Team will:
- serve as a liaison between faculty, students and Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) to secure and translate instructionally-related materials into alternate formats in a timely manner;
- provide guidelines, training and technical assistance to faculty, staff and committees for access requirements, design of distance education offerings, and the formatting of documents and information;
- produce information in alternate formats;
- develop and maintain a current resource bank of access strategies for the various types of disabilities which students may have, for the various instructional media used by faculty, and for the various types of electronic information, including self-contained closed products such as information kiosks, utilized by MCCD.
MCCD students with disabilities will have access to computers with adaptive software, at key campus locations such as libraries, media centers and computer labs. Instruction in the use of these computers and this software will be available on request or by appointment from the Adaptive Media team.
Videos and DVDs
Instructors purchasing instructional videotapes and DVDs will attempt to locate closed-captioned versions. If this is not possible, alternative choices of videotapes and DVDs will be considered. If this is not possible, MCCD's Alternate Media team will engage an outside company to close-caption the material, or the team will itself close-caption the material. Previously-purchased instructional videotapes and DVDs will be replaced with closed-captioned versions or will likewise be closed-captioned by an outside company or by the Alternate Media team.
Textbooks and Other Printed Materials
Instructors purchasing textbooks and other printed materials will attempt to locate materials that are also available from the publisher in alternate media formats. [NOTE: California Assembly Bill 422 requires publishers of instructional materials to provide the materials at no cost in an electronic format for use by students with disabilities at the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges systems. This electronic text provided by the publisher may be used to produce large print, be translated and processed by a Braille embosser, or be accessed directly with speech synthesizers or refreshable Braille displays.] At the request of a student with a verified disability, any other printed materials will be acquired or reproduced by the Alternate Media team in an appropriate alternative format and in a timely manner, as specified in MCCD Alternate Media Procedures.
All web-based materials, whether instructional or for the general public, will comply with standards mandated by Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (See Section 508 checklist).
DSPS Policy on Suspension and Termination of Services
A student may face suspension and termination of services for inappropriate use of services, which is defined as a failure to comply with the policies and procedures for individual services that students are using. Failure to comply with the terms stated within each specific service area may result in the termination of that service.
- Only services that have been used inappropriately may be terminated in the middle of a semester.
- Prior to the termination of a service, the student will be notified in writing that unless s/he meets with his/her DSPS counselor to discuss the area of concern, the service will be automatically terminated one (1) week from the date of the letter.
- At the time of the meeting with the counselor, the student will need to sign off on the Warning of Suspension or Termination contract which outlines the guidelines for continuing service.
- If a service is terminated, it will be terminated for the current semester.
- Terminated services may be reinstated during the current semester only on the authorization of a DSPS counselor, and only if there are extenuating circumstances which warrant the reinstatement of service.
- Reinstatement of services for subsequent semesters will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- The student may appeal suspension and termination of services to the Dean of Student Success.
DSPS Procedures for Access for Students with Sensory Disabilities
Students with sensory disabilities will receive accommodations and access by first meeting with a DSPS Counselor. Once the disability or disabilities have been verified by the student’s medical or other qualified professional practitioner, an Accommodations Plan will be created in collaboration with the student, the Counselor, and (as appropriate) the DSPS Support Services Technician, the DSPS E-text Technician and the DSPS Alternate Media Specialist. All accommodations require a Counselor’s written recommendation, and Counselors notify faculty when their cooperation is needed.
The Support Services Technician will be responsible for in-class accommodations and testing. These responsibilities include:
- Note-taking services
- In-class Aide assistance (for safety or health purposes only)
- Testing services (using scribes, readers, laptops, CC-TVs, enlarged print and Braille)
- Equipment loan (tape and audio recorders, hearing devices, bookstands, inflatable back-pillows, etc.)
- Adaptable furniture (special chairs and tables)
- ASL (American Sign Language) interpreting services for the Deaf.
The E-text Technician will be responsible for E-text. E-text will be delivered in the format deemed appropriate by the Counselor, such as Braille, Word, Kurzweil, MP3, etc. The student will be responsible for supplying a copy of any text which requires scanning and conversion to e-text. Students will be strongly encouraged to meet with their Counselors at least two weeks before the beginning of the semester, so that materials can be acquired and adapted in a timely manner. Counselors may contact instructors to acquire hand-out materials.
The Alternate Media Specialist will be responsible for closed captioning of and web access to any video or online content for classes. Counselors will contact instructors to determine the existence of any such materials which will require adaptation.
DSPS Examination Guidelines
Students may receive testing accomodations from their counselor. Please see the following for examination guidelines and procedures:
- Valid photo identification (e.g. COM student ID, driver’s license, etc.) must be presented in order to receive any services.
- Advanced appointment scheduling is required for all exams and quizzes.
- Regular exams and quizzes: minimum 5 business days’ notice
- Mid-terms & Final Exam: minimum 7 business days’ notice
- You are responsible for contacting your instructor and DSPS when you have an exam in order for DSPS to receive a test in a timely manner.
- You are responsible for contacting DSPS and your instructor if, for any reason, you are unable to take your exam on the scheduled day and time. It is then up to you to see if the instructor will allow a make-up exam. If your instructor approves rescheduling, a new request must be submitted. You may then reschedule a new testing time with us. Please be aware that we must base the scheduling on room availability at the DSPS office or other designated locations.
- Arrive on or before the scheduled test time. If you are late, that time will be counted as part of your test time, just as it would for a student late for class on a test day.
- Please use the restroom prior to your arrival at the test taking site. If you must use the restroom during your exam, your instructor will be notified. Time spent going to the restroom will be counted as part of your testing time.
- Splitting of tests can only be done if pre-arranged with the DSPS test proctor. Your accommodation letter must indicate that splitting tests are permitted and all split tests must be concluded within 24 hours of the test start-time.
- Students are expected to abide by the student Standards of Conduct, which will be enforced. The Standards of Conduct are published in brief in the college catalog and the full policy is available online. Any instance of cheating is a violation and will result in the confiscation of the test, which will then be given to your instructor. You will not be allowed to complete the test. Your instructor may choose to report the incident to the department dean. The incident will be noted in your DSPS file.
- Only test materials authorized in writing by the instructor prior to the test will be allowed (class notes, dictionaries, textbooks for open book exams, etc.). Turn off your cell phone and leave it in your bag or other secure location prior to your exam.
- Please use only the scratch paper provided by the DSPS testing proctor.
- Accommodation tools such as multiplication tables, calculators, etc. will only be allowed when specifically approved in writing by your DSPS counselor.
- No children will be allowed in the testing area. Please make arrangements for appropriate childcare beforehand.
Click here for DSPS Examination Guidelines
Marin Community College District will allow an individual with a disability to use a service animal in District facilities and on District campuses in compliance with state and federal law. A “service animal” for purposes of this procedure means any dog (or miniature horse, as provided herein) that is individually trained to do work or preform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.
Click here for the entirety of the district policy on service animals.
Academic Adjustment Procedures for Students with Disabilities
Marin Community College District has developed the following procedures to provide guidance for disabled students requesting academic adjustments or auxiliary aids. The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure the appropriate services are provided in a timely manner to support student access to academic programs.
- When a student requests disability-related services, the student’s disability is confirmed by a Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS) counselor in accordance with state-mandated criteria. It is the student’s responsibility to provide professional documentation of specific educational limitations before an academic adjustment will be authorized. If the student is deemed ineligible for services and wishes to appeal this decision, he/she may address their concern to the DSPS coordinator. If a satisfactory resolution is not found, the student may appeal to the college’s ADA/504 Compliance Officer. This process should take no more than two weeks from the time the appeal is made.
- If a student seeking a particular academic adjustment for a disability does not wish to work with the DSPS, they can contact the ADA Compliance Officer, who will verify the disability and provide access to appropriate academic adjustments.
- A Disabled Students Program counselor, in consultation with the student, determines functional limitations based on disability documentation and authorizes any appropriate auxiliary aids and/or academic adjustments. These may include but not be limited to:
- Test-taking facilitation
- Interpreter services
- Reading services
- Note taking
- Transcription services
- Alternatively formatted materials
- Specialized equipment
It is the DSPS department’s responsibility to ensure that all authorized academic adjustments and auxiliary aids are provided in a timely manner.
It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program counselor well in advance of the start of the semester to ensure all services can adequately be prepared.
- Students are encouraged to initially discuss the problem with the academic adjustment with the instructor. If this has already been attempted, or the student feels uncomfortable approaching the instructor or feels it will be ineffective, the student can choose to move to the next step in the appeal process. (The student’s DSPS counselor can be invited to participate in the discussion with the instructor.)
- If no resolution to the complaint is found with the instructor, the student should contact the coordinator of the DSPS, who will investigate the complaint and seek an appropriate resolution.
- If no resolution to the complaint is found with the instructor, the student should contact the coordinator of the DSPS, who will investigate the complaint and seek an appropriate resolution.
- If the issue is not resolved, the appeal should be directed to the ADA/504 Compliance Officer, who will make an interim decision pending a final resolution. The interim decision will be made within five working days. An investigation will be conducted leading to a final resolution within sixty days.
- If a student believes that he/she has been subject to discrimination related to a disability, they should file a written complaint with the college’s ADA Compliance Officer.
- A student will propose in writing a request for special consideration of an academic adjustment. This request should be directed to the DSPS coordinator and should be received not less than a month prior to the start of the class unless the student does not learn of the need until the course has started. In this case the request will be reviewed on an individualized basis with every effort to resolve the matter efficiently, but a specific timeline cannot be guaranteed. The student’s counselor can provide assistance in filing the request.
- A committee will be assembled composed of a faculty member from the relevant discipline, the department chair, the Dean from the discipline and the DSPS counselor and program coordinator.
- The committee will review the request and then meet with the student to discuss his/her concerns and consult with the student in an effort to fully understand the request and to potentially explore alternative adjustments.
- The committee will determine if the request changes the essential requirements of the class or program, is related to a licensing requirement or fundamentally changes the class, program or activity.
- The student will be informed of the decision prior to the first day of the class.
- If the student is unsatisfied with the decision, an appeal can be made to the ADA/504 Compliance Officer, who will review the decision and make a final resolution within a week of the time the appeal is made.
- All testing arrangements are initiated between the student and the DSPS counselor after a review of documentation which has been provided by the student.
- Testing facilitation can take two general forms: extra time in the classroom overseen by the instructor and/or individualized facilitation with DSPS staff or designee. The type of test facilitation is determined on the basis of the disability and the ability of the instructor to provide additional time in the classroom.
- The counselor provides an Academic Adjustment Contract for Service, and the student is asked to sign the contract.
- The student receives a copy of the “Students Guide to Testing Services,” which is intended to further articulate the student’s responsibility in the testing facilitation.
- The counselor prepares letters for each instructor notifying them of the particular academic adjustment that has been approved. It is the student’s responsibility to deliver the letter to the instructor, at which time arrangements for where the testing will take place will be confirmed.
- If the classroom can be used for the testing, no further arrangements are necessary.
- If the classroom cannot be used for additional time testing, then it is the student’s responsibility to arrange a test appointment; if the student has been approved to receive testing facilitation in the DSPS office in a distraction-free environment, the appointment should be arranged with the Support Services Specialist at 415-457-8811, ext. 7706.
- If the student has been approved for enlarged print tests, a scribe, a reader or use of a computer for testing, the student should call the Support Specialist at 415-457-8811, ext 7706, to make an appointment.
- Students approved for testing academic adjustments must confirm with their instructor the date, time and location for each test appointment.
- The instructor will send the test through campus mail to the appropriate site with complete directions, as well as specifying permission for the use of notes, scratch paper, and calculator on the test.
- The instructor will receive the proctored test through campus mail and will be responsible for grading and returning the test to the student.
- Any questions regarding the test procedures from either student or the instructor should be directed to the student’s counselor [415-485-9406].
- Eligibility for receiving alternate formatted material is determined through a review of the student’s documentation of a disability and any functional limitations caused by a disability. The student and the counselor will consider the student’s preference of formatted material, as well as the effectiveness of the particular material. DSPS staff will provide appropriate orientation and training for effective use of formatted material. Alternative materials can be evaluated by the student to determine effectiveness of different types. Only one form of material will be provided on a regular basis. If the student does not agree with the counselor’s determination, he/she can use the appeal process described in the Programs Policy statement.
- The student must request alternative formatted materials at least two weeks before the start of the semester. In the case of a request for e-text, the request should be not less than a month prior to the start of the semester. Preparation of these materials is often very time-consuming; thus, advanced notice is required.
- Late requests for alternative formatted materials will be honored, but will be responded to on a case by case basis and will be completed as quickly as possible, but with no guarantee of specific timelines for completion.
- Students requesting materials in an alternative format must own a physical copy of the textbook or other materials.
- Materials provided to the Disabled Students Program for the purpose of conversion to alternative format may be disassembled and returned to the student in an altered condition.
- Students may not copy or reproduce materials provided by the College and the alternatively formatted materials must be returned at the end of the semester for use by other students.
- Alternatively formatted materials will only be provided for College of Marin curriculum and classes that the student is taking.
- Students may request training on the most effective use of technology for accessing the alternatively formatted materials. Computer labs are available on both campuses that provide specialized software. Students needing assistance should contact their counselor at 415-485-9406.
- The student’s counselor will request from instructors copies of all in-class written materials such as syllabi, quizzes and handouts, so that these materials can be appropriately formatted in a timely manner. Instructors will be asked to provide all in-class materials well in advance of their anticipated use so that the student receives the alternative formatted materials at the same time as all the other students receive their materials.
- Students having questions about, or having difficulty with their alternatively formatted materials should contact their counselor at 415-485-9406.
- The Disabled Students Program reserves the right to discontinue services if any of the student’s responsibilities listed above are not followed.
Disabled Students Programs and Services Website