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What facilities do we have to help diagnose or support learning disabled students?

The campus program in charge is the Disability Programs and Resource Center, in Student Services Building, Room 110, 415-338-2472.

One of my students is telling me a week before the midterm that he has a disability and wants to take the exam in a special place. What should I do?

Strictly speaking, if the student didn’t warn you in the first couple of weeks, then you aren’t obliged to give him any accomodation. (You DID put that in your syllabus, right?) However, we do want to give students their best possible chance at succeeding, so I suggest you do try to accommodate them. -EH

How does a student get diagnosed? I heard that the disabilities office charges $1,000 to diagnose a disability!!

The DPRC (Disability Programs and Resource Center) is the campus resource for disabilities. They can waive the diagnosis fee (which is not a thousand dollars anyway) in cases of financial need and urgency (yes, needing to pass Math 60/70 counts as urgent).

Mary Bravewoman adds:

A student must have first registered with the DPRC, before they are provided with any accommodations. It is the job of DPRC to verify the student’s disability; you simply need to see proof of the verification.

The DPRC does provide testing accommodations for students with a CATAV (Classroom and Testing Accommodation Verification form). However students must show you this form, and then DPRC requests a copy of your exam be sent directly to their office in advance, sometimes as much as 4 weeks early.

If your student is making a last minute request, then you need to make sure she is entitled to the accommodation. Ask to speak with her DPRC counselor and for verification of her disability.

It is the responsibility of the student to make their instructors aware of their special needs early in the semester. However, sometimes students try to get by without taking advantage of their accommodations until they get in too deep.

In any case, you should personally deliver your exam to DPRC, and insist that the proper protocol be followed in the future. I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions.

You can contact DPRC at

Disability Programs and Resource Center Student Services Building, Room 110 415-338-2472