The accommodation process for college is quite different from high school.

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. Students should visit the NCOD: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services website to become familiar with the registration process and documentation guidelines.
  2. Students with multiple disabilities or those seeking accommodations other than communication services should visit the Disability Resources and Educational Services, (DRES) website to become familiar with their registration process and documentation guidelines.
  3. NCOD provides communication access services for deaf and hard of hearing students.  Students registered with DRES can request alternative testing and other accommodations through DRES each academic term.  Their Student Access and Accommodation System (SAAS) guides and instructional videos are on the DRES SAAS information  website or contact the DRES office at 818-677-2684 for additional assistance.
  4. 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 postsecondary 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 do this.
  • 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. 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 on NCOD’s website.  The DRES consent form can be found at the reception counter in the DRES office or on their Forms and Appeals website.
  • Requesting Accommodations – Each semester, students should log-in to SAAS to manage and request their approved accommodations or support services. Accommodation procedures may be found on NCOD’s “Current Students/Request Services” webpage and the DRES Accommodation Procedures website
  • Self-Advocacy – In K-12 education, parents and school personnel are the primary advocates for the child. In the postsecondary setting, the onus is upon the student to make their needs known. Initiative, independence and self-knowledge are all important for success at CSUN. NCOD 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