High School – Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
  • School district is responsible for identifying children with disabilities
  • Evaluation of disability the school’s responsibility
  • Parents consent to evaluations and advocate for their child
  • Child’s information accessible to the parent
  • Disability defined by specific categories
College – Equal access and the opportunity to compete
  • Student must self-identify as having a disability and provide adequate documentation 
  • Evaluation of disability is the student’s responsibility
  • Student responsible for advocacy (e.g., accommodation requests, communicating functional impact of disability, etc.)
  • Student information protected under FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
  • Disability defined as a significant limitation to a major life function
  • College students are adults and their own advocates
Essentials for a successful transition to CSUN

Student’s role:

  1. Student should visit the DRES website and become familiar with registration process and documentation guidelines. 
    Note: Services are available for students who are deaf or hard of hearing through the National Center on Deafness department. 
  2. Submit disability documentation prior to scheduling an appointment. Documentation can be brought to Bayramian Hall, room 110, delivered by mail, fax 818-677-4932, or e-mailing Students without documentation should discuss their specific situation with a DRES counselor. 
    Note: The following should be included with the documentation: CSUN student ID number and current contact phone number.
  3. Set-up an intake appointment by calling (818) 677-2684 or e-mail During this one hour interactive meeting, a DRES counselor will discuss student’s needs and determine appropriate accommodations based on their disability related functional limitations and academic standards.
  4. Student should request academic and alternative testing accommodations through the Student Access and Accommodation System (SAAS) each academic term. Students may also access our SAAS guides and instructional videos on our SAAS information website for additional help or contact the DRES office at 818-677-2684.
  5. Clearly communicate accommodations with instructors well in advance.
Potential areas of confusion in the transition from high school to CSUN
  • Self-Identification – In K-12 education, the school district must identify children with disabilities and provide appropriate services to help them achieve free appropriate public education. In the post-secondary setting, it is the responsibility of the student to self-identify to receive accommodations. Some students may not realize this and expect the college to come to them.
  • Documentation – Disability documentation should contain a specific diagnosis indicating whether the disability is temporary or permanent and concise description of the functional limitations imposed by the disability. All documentation should be provided in English and be legible. If the original documentation is in another language, the student will need to provide a translated copy.
  • Accesses to Student Records (FERPA) – Parents do not have access to their child’s information unless their child provides a release. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects student information. DRES staff will not discuss a student’s case with a parent or outside party unless a “Consent for Release of Information” form has been completed by the student. This form is available at the reception counter in the DRES office or on our Forms and Appeals website
  • Requesting Accommodations – Each semester, students should log-in to SAAS to manage and request their approved accommodations or support services. Review our Accommodation Procedures page for more information.
  • Self-Advocacy – In K-12 education, parents and school personnel are the primary advocates for the child. In the post-secondary setting, the onus is upon the student to make their needs known. Initiative, independence and self-knowledge are all important for success at CSUN. DRES personnel will advise accordingly as students develop and refine their advocacy skills, learn more about themselves and their disability.
Additional Resources: 

Transition of Students With Disabilities to Postsecondary Education Guide

A Guide for Individuals with Disabilities, their Parents, and the Professionals Dedicated to Serving Them, 1st Edition (PDF)

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