Incoming Student Resources

Why Register with the DRC?

Did you know that disabilities aren't always visible? Or that students with documented disabilities are entitled to certain rights that create a more equitable learning environment? We at the DRC want to help create the educational opportunities for yourself by educating you about your rights and by offering you specialized services such as academic counseling, alternative media technologies, and learning disability testing. We are here to help you achieve your academic goals, and ultimately show you how to advocate for yourself today and in the future.


3 Steps to Apply to the DRC:

Fill out the DRC Application for Services. If you need any assistance to complete the form, please contact us and we will help you. (Ex: If you cannot type or see very well, we'll be your scribe and type your answers for you over the phone).

You will be asked to upload your documentation to your application.

  • Option 1: If you do not have documentation because you want to be tested for a Learning Disability, you do not have to submit any documentation.  However, you do need to submit the Learning Disability Packet, which can be found on our Forms page.
  • Option 2: If you cannot find your documentation, that's okay. 
  • Option 3: If you do have documentation, here are the types of documentation that we accept:

    • A copy of your Psycho-Ed report or Learning Disability test results
    • A copy of your IEP
    • A copy of your 504 Plan
    • A copy of your medical examination results (e.g. eye exam, hearing test, etc)
    • A letter on letterhead verifying a diagnosis by a doctor or other qualified professional. If you will be submitting a doctor's note, please make sure it includes the following:
      • Letter/note must be on letterhead 
      • It must be dated within the last month
      • Must disclose or explain your health condition/challenge
      • A description of the current impact in an educational setting
      • Must include the duration of condition/challenge (this will determine how long we can provide accommodations for you). 
      • List of recommended accommodations 
      • It must have a signature (electronic is signature is okay) 
  • Option 4: If your doctor or medical professional does not have the time to write a letter for you, you can also ask them to complete the Medical Verification form instead. You can upload this document onto your application, email it to, or upload it to our "Upload Disability Documentation"link.
  • Contact us to schedule your intake appointment.  You can do this in any of these ways: 
  • Go over your disability.
  • Talk about how your disability limits you in school.
  • Create accommodations customized just for you.
  • Create your AAP (Academic Accommodation Plan), which is a summary of everything we talked about. We’ll have you check this and sign it. You will keep this somewhere safe, because you will be referring to it every semester.
  • Draft your memo together.
  • Review your responsibilities and rights.
  • If you have not attended an orientation, you will be given an overview of DRC services, which include:
    • Specialized tutoring
    • Priority registration
    • Access to assistive technologies
    • Other resources on campus

DRC Services

Students with learning and health challenges are provided with accommodations based upon individual need in the educational setting resulting directly for the documented disability.  

  • A DRC counselor will process your request for accommodations at the beginning of every semester
  • After you receive your accommodation memo, remember to meet with all of your instructors to discuss how your accommodations will be implemented in their classes. It will also give you the opportunity to let them know what accommodations may not apply to their classes. For example, you may be approved for a notetaker, but you may not need a notetaker for a dance class.
  • Many students ask, "How important is it to go over my accommodations with my professors?"
    • It is very important that you and your professors discuss each accommodation and how they apply to their classes. This is critical because not all accommodations apply to all courses, and not all accommodations will be implemented in the same way by all professors.
    • It is also important to determine what to do for any "what if" situations (ex: What if my recording device fails? What if my note taker is absent?).
  • If you feel like we need to make a change to your approved accommodations, please email us right away. We understand that life can change at any moment and that means, we may need to add new accommodations to meet your needs. Sometimes, it's just a matter of explaining to us what's going on. Other times, we may need new documentation. But contact us so we can talk to you about it as soon as possible. 

The DRC has trained professionals who are available to provide academic advisement too.  It is important to see an academic counselor:

  • When you need advice on which classes to take.
  • When you want to know what the requirements are your associates, certificate, or transfer. 
  • When you want to review your progress toward your academic goals.
  • You should be checking in with your academic counselor at least once a year!

Assistive computer technology is available for use by students who are registered with the DRC. Among those technologies available are audio recording/transcription apps, smartpens, screen readers, text enlargers, and speech recognition software. Our Assistive Technology Specialist, Kim Saccio, meets with all new students to discuss tech tools that support learning accommodations.

We also provide training for students, faculty, and staff about how to use assistive technology resources such as:

  • Kurzweil 3000 – text-to-speech software for reading support
  • Echo 2 Smartpen
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking – voice recognition and dictation
  • ZoomText Xtra 9 – screen magnification for DSO and Windows

This software is available on computers in our Alternate Media Center (Building 5, Room 207). To use the Alternate Media Center, students with disabilities must have basic computer skills and meet eligibility requirements of the Disability Resource Center. 

You may also be eligible for a free account on (for note taking support) and Mindomo (mind mapping). If you have not met with our Assistive Technology Specialist, and you would like to use any of these supports, please fill out our online Assistive Technology Request form. Kim will be in touch to schedule an appointment. 

If you have any questions about the technologies that we offer, please email our Assistive Technology Specialist, Kim Saccio, at

Students with visual, learning, and physical disabilities may request textbooks and class materials in an alternate format. This includes the following:

  • Digital files for text-to-speech software
  • Captioning services for your instructors
  • Converting text to braille
  • Creating tactile materials

If you are a new DRC student and have assistive technology as an accommodation, please follow these steps:

  1. Complete and submit the Alternate Media request form as soon as you register for your classes. Requests can be made before the semester begins and before you purchase your textbooks and/or course materials.
  2. Please Note:  The Alt Media team cannot start prepping your request until they have proof that you have been issued an accommodation memo for the following semester. They will check your file to see if one has been issued to you.  If you do not have an official memo for the following semester in your DRC file, they will contact you to ask you to ask you to have a DRC Counselor send them confirmation that you have requested accommodations for the next semester and are waiting for it to be processed. Once Alt Media gets that confirmation from the DRC Counselor, they will begin prepping your Alt Media request.  
  3. When you buy your course textbooks, submit your copy of the original receipts (which is your Proof of Purchase) for each textbook and/or course reader directly to an Alternate Media Specialist or uploaded through the alt media request form.
  4. If you have any questions please contact the DRC's Alternate Media Specialist, Donald Lariviere, at
Please know that when it comes to proctoring, you should always consider which option is best for you.  Here are your options:
  • Take the exam with the professor (this could be in any of their classes or even in their office)
  • Take the exam in the Learning Center (this is the best option if all you need is a quiet place and more time)
  • Take the exam with the DRC (this option is best if you require a reader, a scribe, or other more complex testing accommodations)

Please know that if you only want extra and a quite place to take your exam time but for some reason, cannot take your exam with the rest of your class, we recommend you have the Learning Center proctor your exam. They accept walk-ins and do not require any appointments, which will make things much easier for you and your professors. Here is the Proctoring Request form. 

However, if you have more complex testing accommodations that you would like to use (such as having a reader and/or a scribe), please follow our updated proctoring procedures:

Step 1:  Submit the online Proctor Request form for each class within the first couple of weeks of the semester.  You only need to turn in one proctor request per clsss for the whole semester. The from can be found by ckicling "Proctor Request" above, or on our Forms page.

Step 2: We will sent your professor a link to their proctor information form, which will include:

  • the tentative dates for their exams
  • the materials that you are allowed to use
  • how much time the rest of the class gets so we can calcuate your extra time testing accommodation
  • anything else that the professor would like us to prepare for your proctoring appointments with us.

Step 3: The DRC will email you and your professor(s) a list of all of your scheduled appointments for the semester. Please make sure you note these appointments in your calendar and check in with your professors regularly to make sure you are on the same page with everything you need to prepare for your proctoring appointments with us. 

Step 5:  Show up to all of your proctoring appointments on time with all of your materials that your professor requires you to use during your exams.

After each of your proctring appointments are complete, the DRC will email your professor confirmation that you have finished your exam and the DRC will follow your professors directions on how to deliver the exam to them. 

If you are experiencing any difficulties completing the process, please contact us at as soon as possible.

Every semester we offer a variety of tutors for students with disabilities.  To inquire what subjects and hours of our specialized tutors are available, please visit our Meet the Staff page and scroll all the way down to see our Student Assistants information.
If you do not see a specialized tutor who can tutor you in the subject or their schedules conflict with yours, please know that you have to other options:


  • "I appreciate all the help I received from Bettina, due to my health problems she was able to help me with my commendations and letting my professors know as well. She is also helping me get Incomplete for couple of my classes due to my health."
  • "I am very grateful for the support I have received from Jenna, Nicolette and Celeste. The help with technology has been invaluable. Thanks so much."
  • "Dear DRC, I wanted to say that if it wasn't for the DRC, I would have never had the opportunity to complete my education. I am a graduate from Canada 2019 and currently at NDNU. I needed 12 units of lower division courses to meet graduation requirements to graduate May 2021 from NDNU and decided to return to Canada to complete the 12 units. I contacted DRC at Canada and Jenna was great! I met with her by email and phone she completed her assessment with me...Thank you DRC for all your hard work and dedication to me and all students you serve."
  • "Hello Bettina. Thank you very much with your help with my course. I was failing it & with your help I passed. I normally am just happy to pass but because of the F in that class it motivated me to do better in the other two courses. I finished with an A in those 2 classes.And due to you & Nicolette's help I got an A in that course also.”
  • "I wanted to let you know how helpful Celeste has been. Because of my difficulties with mentation, I have a lot of problems recalling how to do certain tasks on the computer. Celeste is very patient and I appreciate her excellent assistance (3/4/2021)."
  • “Don is wonderful.  Yes, I filled out an Alt Media form. Don informed me of all I needed to provide. Nicolette is wonderful as well.  She assisted me in a swift manner and set up an appt. with Don. Because of the effort of both these individuals and Yusena (not sure of spelling) in the Financial Aid office I am all set for the Fall semester. I am stress free because of this. I am extremely grateful!” 

How is college different from high school?

Many college students do not take classes every day. This can mean more free time to spend with friends, spending time on social media, working, etc.  It sounds great, but time can easily get away from you.  This can cause you to miss class and even miss due dates on assignments. It is important for students to practice time management and to check when they have classes, assignments, and projects coming up so that they can allow themselves enough time to get work done. 

Unlike high school. we are not allowed to let any employees outside the DRC and Wellness Center know about your affiliation with our program. This includes your professors.  

In high school, all of your teachers were notified that you were receiving services. You didn't have to tell them anything. But in college, you are the one who is responsible for delivering your accommodation memo to your professors.  This ensures that your privacy is controlled by you. It also means you do not have to disclose your affiliation with the DRC to all of your professors. You can choose which classes you would like to use your accommodations for and which ones you don't. 

Studying in college means independent learning, such as reading, reviewing or revising notes, and researching. 

Unlike high school, some professors may not require you to bring your textbooks to class. College professors will spend more time lecturing and doing activities in class. They expect students to read on their own time.  

For every hour of class, about 3 hours outside of class should be spent studying. Whereas in high school, every class only required 2.5 hours a week of doing homework. This means that if you take a 3 unit college course, you will be spending 12 hours a week dedicated to that class (3 hours of class time and 9 hours of studying/work). However, if you know you process and work slower than the average student, you should double this estimate or even triple it in some cases.

Many students sometimes take too many classes, then realize too late that they cannot handle the load of work. They end up dropping or failing the class. So please practice good time management skills. Remember you need to pay tuition every time you need to retake a class. It can get very expensive and delay achieving your academic goals.

Tests in college are generally given less frequently than in high school, so grades are based on fewer opportunities. It is very important to do your best on every assignment in class and when there is a test coming up, take extra time to study, get on-campus tutoring at the Learning Center if needed. Don't forget to ask your professor any questions you may have. 

In college, a "C" (not a C-) is considered the lowest passing grade.  Anything lower can risk academic probation or dismissal from the college. If you are dismissed, it means you are expelled from the program and will need to find another degree or certificate program. In many cases, it can affect your financial aid and loss of scholarships and grants. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Student Parking Lot 6:

If you are parked in the student parking lot 6, you will be stationed infront of the Kinesiology and Wellness building. 

  • Cross the road Campus CIR. and walk your way up and pass a building  building that reads the Bookstore , and continue walking straight. 
  • Keep walking until you notice set of stairs leading downwards to a a building labeled The Grove, this is building 5. 
  • Once inside building 5, you are in the cafeteria and you will notice a lobby on the right side of the building. From there you will turn to your left and notice an office on the left side of the lobby. 
  • This is the Disability resource Center and the Personal Counseling Center. 

Student Parking Lot 1: 

If you are parked in the student parking lot 1, you will be stationed in front of Building 9, which is Canadas library. 

  • You will walk into building 9, look for a flight of stairs leading downwards, and you will pass the learning center where you will take another flight of stairs heading downwards. 
  • Continue walking straight, and you will pass building 12 and 13, you will then look for a bulding labeled, The Grove, this is building 5. 
  • Once inside building 5, you are in the cafeteria and you will notice a lobby on the right side of the building. From there you will turn to your left and notice an office on the left side of the lobby. 
  • This is the Disability resource Center and the Personal Counseling Center. 

You may use this Map of the Campus as a reference. 

Characteristics of College Students with Learning Disabilities:

Typical characteristics of LD students are listed below. Of course no student has all of these problems. 

  • Confusion of similar words, difficulty using phonics, problems reading multisyllable words.
  • Slow reading rate and/or difficulty adjusting speed to the nature of the reading task.
  • Difficulty with comprehension and retention of material that is read, but not with material presented orally.  
  • Difficulty with sentence structure, poor grammar, omitted words.
  • Frequent spelling errors, inconsistent spelling, letter reversals.
  • Difficulty copying from board or overhead.
  • Poorly formed letters, difficulty with spacing, capitals, and punctuation. 
Oral Language
  • Difficulty attending to spoken language, inconsistent concentration.
  • Difficulty expressing ideas orally which the student seems to understand.
  • Problems describing events or stories in proper sequence.
  • Residual problems with grammar, difficulty with inflectional or derivational endings.  
  • Difficulty memorizing basic facts. 
  • Confusion or reversal of numbers, number sequence, or operational symbols.
  • Difficulty copying problems, aligning columns.
  • Difficulty reading or comprehending word problems.
  • Problems with reasoning and abstract concepts.  
Study Skills 
  • Poor organization and time management. 
  • Difficulty following directions.
  • Poor organization of notes and other written materials.
  • Need more time to complete assignments. 
Social Skills
  • Difficulty "reading" facial expressions, body language.
  • Problems interpreting subtle messages such as sarcasm.
  • Confusion in spatial orientation, getting lost easily, difficulty following directions. Disorientation in time, difficulty telling time. 

Learning disabilities are due to genetic and/or neurobiological factors that alter brain functioning. 

Accommodation give students an equitable way to access the curriculum or equipment that allows individuals with disabilities to gain access to content and/or complete assigned tasks. But accommodations do not alter what is being taught or change the expectations of students' performance.  Student still must complete all of the work but they do it in a different way. 

Here are examples of accommodations:

  • sign language interpreters for students who are deaf;
  • reader for students with visual impairments or dyslexia;
  • extended time for students with fine motor limitations, visual impairments, or learning disabilities;
  • large-print books and worksheets for students with visual impairments; and
  • trackballs and alternative keyboards
  • use of text-to-speech software for reading support

So what makes an accommodation "reasonable"?  The answer is that a reasonable accommodation must provide students with the opportunity to:

  1. acquire the same information as students without disabilities 
  2. engage in the same interactions as students without disabilities 
  3. enjoy the same services as students without disabilities 


However, if the accommodation has any of these components, professors or the college may not be able to provide you certain accommodations:

  • It represents a fundamental alteration of the course of program objective.
  • It poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
  • It represents an undue financial or administrative burden. 

Contact your DRC counselor or director as soon as possible, so they can contact the instructor.  Your instructor may not understand how to implement your accommodations and requires guidance from us. 

Maybe. A high school plan (IEP or 504) governs the high school setting. A DRC counselor will meet with you to determine your current functional limitations and work with you on developing accommodations for the college setting. 

Yes. The DRC serves many hidden disabilities such as: ADHD, chronic illness (e.g., AIDS, cancer, Lyme disease, etc.), epilepsy or seizure disorders, kearningdisabilities, psychiatric (psychological) disorders, recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.

Documentation is any report or letter that proves you have a disability.  

Examples of documentation that we accept:

  • A copy of your medical examination results (e.g. eye exam, hearing test, etc)
  • A letter on letterhead verifying a diagnosis by a doctor or other qualified professional. If you will be submitting a doctor's note, please make sure it includes the following:
    • Letter/note must be on letterhead 
    • It must be dated within the last month
    • Must disclose or explain your health condition/challenge
    • A description of the current impact in an educational setting
    • Must include the duration of condition/challenge (this will determine how long we can provide accommodations for you). 
    • List of recommended accommodations 
    • It must have a signature (electronic is signature is okay) 

If you have a medical challenge (physical or mental) and you cannot get a doctor's note, you may ask your medical professional to complete the Medical Verification form instead. 

Email us, call us, or drop by our office hour to let us know your situation.  Depending on your circumstance, you may not need any documentation.  

Yes. The DRC treats all student information and communication as confidential.  If students would like us to release information to a third party (including to their parents), they must give us written permission.  We highly recommend that you complete a "Release of Information" form if you would like us to discuss any of the content in your files with a third party. 

No. Students with disabilities do not have to register with the DRC, but this means that their professors are not legally obligated to provide academic accommodations to them.


Although Skyline College and the College of San Mateo are in the same community college district, we are three separate colleges with three separate sets of procedures and policies. Therefore, if you take classes at any of our sister colleges and would like to receiveacademic accommodations at their colleges, it is your responsibility to register with them.

To register for disability services at Skyline College, please visit the Skyline EAC website.

To register for disability services at College of San Mateo, please visit the CSM DRC website. 

Learning Disability Testing Procedures: 

Fill out the DRC Application for Services (aka Intake form).  If you need any assistance to complete the form, please contact us and we will help you. (Ex: If you cannot type or see very well, we'll be your scribe and type your answers for you over the phone).

You can find the Learning Disability Packet on our "Forms" page.  

  • It is a PDF form so you will need to download it and save it on your desktop first.
  • Then fill it out and save it with a unique title (preferably your name)
  • Then upload it as an attachment to an email and email it to us at

A front office staff member will contact you to make an appointment for you to meet with Jenna French, who is our Learning Disability Specialist. (If you do not hear from anyone within 5 business days, please contact us by phone, text, or email).  

The interview is how we screen students to see if they qualify to be tested. This interview can consist of any of the following:

  • career interest 
  • review of medical history
  • school history
  • work history
  • family history
The assessment is lengthy and therefore, can take more than one day.  Be prepared to have more than one appointment with our Learning Disability Specialist. 

The assessment will consist of the following:

  • Academic Achievement
  • Intelligence 
  • Cognitive Processing

After you have completed your assessment, the Learning Disability Specialist will need a few days to calculate your scores and write a comprehensive report for you.  After this report is complete, you will meet again to review the results of our assessment.  

  • If no learning disability was found, you will be given information on other resources that may be beneficial to you. 
  • If a learning disability was found, you will find out more about your learning challenges and what strategies would be best for you. You may meet with our Assistive Technology Specialist to discuss tech tools that support your learning. You will also be provided your accommodation memo and an overview of your responsibilities as a student with our program.