Frequently Asked Questions

The SSWD Questions and Answers page has three main components:photo

If your question is not addressed below, please feel free to contact our office at (916)278-6955 or sswd@csus.edu.

For Prospective/New Students

  1. How do I notify the University that I have a disability and need accommodations After you receive notification of your admission to Sacramento State, visit the SSWD Application/Documentation Forms page and follow the instructions. The respective verification form must be completed by an appropriate professional and submitted to the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD) in Lassen Hall 1008, (916) 278-7825 (Fax). Supplemental documentation may be required. 
  2. How do I go about using the services offered by Services to Students with Disabilities? After you apply for SSWD services and your eligibility for SSWD services has been determined, you will be notified by the office with information regarding your next step in the eligibility process. Services are provided to individuals on a disability-related needs basis.
  3. Does the University have a specific class requirement for students with disabilities? No. The requirements for graduation for all students are clearly listed in the Sacramento State Catalog.
  4. Are there special financial aid packages, scholarships, etc. available to students with disabilities? Students can see an SSWD Counselor for information and referral to campus resources. Information regarding financial assistance for all students is available from the Financial Aid Office in Lassen Hall. Other resources may include the State Department of Rehabilitation and the Social Security Administration. Additional links including scholarships can be found at Financial Aid and Literacy Resources. To get an update on your financial aid status, log on to My Sac State at http://my.csus.edu/ or go to the Financial Aid Office.
  5. Where can I get my Student ID card? For detailed info on the OneCard, how to get a Student ID card and set up an account, etc., go to: http://www.csus.edu/onecard/.
  6. Where do students with disabilities obtain academic advising services? Academic advising on General Education requirements, graduation requirements, petitioning and other procedures is available to all students at the University's Academic Advising office located in Lassen Hall Room 1013. Also contact your major department about major advising. Each major department handles advising a little differently; contact the department to determine if advisors are assigned based on last name, if students select their own advisor, if all faculty do advising or if only certain faculty, etc. (Note: Some departments require advising or a hold will be placed on your registration for classes.) SSWD offers advising and counseling related to disability management.
  7. Does Sacramento State waive course and/or test requirements for students with disabilities? All students must meet both the course and test requirements for graduation. In rare instances, students may petition to have a graduation requirement substituted with appropriate coursework for disability related reasons.
  8. What is the Writing Proficiency for Juniors (WPJ) Exam and how do I register?  On this campus, students can satisfy the GWAR (Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement) by taking the WPJ exam and following the course path according to their placement or by satisfactory completion of English 109 (course) and Writing Intensive course. Contact the Writing Programs office, Calaveras Hall room 111, (916) 278-6409 for complete information. To register online for the WPJ, go to the Writing Placement (for) Juniors (WPJ) web page. See your SSWD counselor no later than the Friday of the first week during the WPJ registration period, BEFORE you register for the exam, if you plan to use any accommodations (such as an interpreter for the directions). Preparing for the WPJ: Sign up for a free informational workshop, (no writing practice involved in the workshop), offered by the English Dept. Check outside Calaveras Hall, Room 109 for a schedule of workshops before each WPJ. If you plan to attend a workshop and need an interpreter or captioner or other accommodation, contact SSWD.
  9. What types of services are offered by Services to Students with Disabilities? Appropriate and reasonable support services and accommodations for students with disabilities may include disability related counseling, alternate forms of testing, extended time for testing, note-taker service, readers or scribes for tests, adaptive computer technology, alternative media, interpreting services, tape recording, training in compensatory and learning strategies, and golf cart transportation. Accommodations are based on an individual's documented functional limitations. Students with a need for services should meet with a SSWD counselor to go through an in-depth needs assessment to develop an individual educational plan.
  10. How do services vary among the community colleges and the CSU systems? How is college different from high school for students with disabilities?   Each campus and system has developed separate policies and may offer different services.  Therefore services a transfer student received in one system may not be available in another system.  For example, the availability of tutors and priority registration may differ among campuses. At Sacramento State, priority registration is available for individuals on a disability-related needs basis only. There are many differences between high school and college, such as the academic and physical environment, responsibilities, stress, support, and legal requirements. For more information on transition issues faced by students in college, see Transition Handout (.doc). The handout is available in alternate formats upon request by contacting sswd@csus.edu.
  11. How do I make a complaint or express a concern about provision of general services or accommodations? If you are a person with a disability and you have a concern about provision of general services or accommodations that you may need, you should take the following steps:
    • Contact the individual involved (e.g. SSWD staff, faculty member, etc.) about your concern. You can also complete the SSWD reporting concerns form online.  
    • Try to solve the problem informally with the individuals involved.
    • If a solution cannot be agreed upon, you may request a meeting with the individual’s supervisor or head of the department.
    • If the problem still cannot be resolved, then you can contact the Student Issues Coordinator at scc@csus.edu (916)278-5344. You may formally file a discrimination complaint through the Academic Program Access for Students with Disabilities Conflict Resolution process  by contacting the Office of Human Resources, Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Del Norte Hall, Room 3001, (916) 278-6907. As noted in the Academic Program Access policy students also have the right to file a formal complaint of discrimination directly with the Office for Civil Rights or other appropriate federal or state departments in lieu of or in addition to using University procedures.  If a complaint is filed all current accommodations continue during that process without interruption and retaliation for filing a complaint is prohibited.
  12. Is the confidentiality of a student's records/status maintained through SSWD? Yes, strict confidentiality is maintained. No information is released to outside parties from the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities without written consent from the student. Furthermore, no record of disability status appears on any academic transcript or permanent document maintained by the Admissions and Records.

For Current Students

  1. Is individual or group counseling available? A variety of individual and group counseling opportunities exist that address personal, social, career and academic issues. Disability management counseling may be scheduled through SSWD. Students are encouraged to contact Psychological Counseling Services and other offices to seek counseling services as well.
  1. How do students qualify for SSWD services?   Services are available to students with documented disabilities. Documentation of disabilities must be provided by appropriate specialists. See SSWD Application Process and Forms. Documentation needs to be placed on file in the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD). Students need to request and arrange for accommodations through the Office of SSWD. 
  2. What is the role of SSWD in the provision of academic accommodations? SSWD verifies the existence of a disability, functional limitations, and authorizes reasonable academic accommodations and support services. SSWD recommends all students discuss accommodation requests in the first two weeks of the semester, however, students are not required to do so. SSWD is not the only one responsible for providing academic accommodations: students, faculty, staff, and the University all play a role.
  1. Do I need to disclose my disability to my professors?   No. The Certification of Test/Course Accommodation letter is all they are entitled to. You will need to speak with your professor to arrange the actual course/test accommodations, but you do not need to reveal the specific disability. To receive an accommodation, the student must request the reasonable accommodation in a timely manner.
  2. How do I make a complaint or express a concern about provision of general services or accommodations? If you are a student with a disability and you have a concern about academic assistance or accommodations that you may need, you should take the following steps:
    • Contact the individual involved (e.g. SSWD Counselor, faculty member) about your concern.  You can also complete the SSWD reporting concerns form online.
    • Try to solve the problem informally with the individuals involved.
    • If a solution cannot be agreed upon, you may request a meeting with the individual’s supervisor or head of the department.
    • If the problem still cannot be resolved, contact the Student Issues Coordinator, scc@csus.edu or (916)278-5344.
    • If an informal or mid level resolution is not possible, you may formally file a complaint through the Academic Program Access for Students with Disabilities Conflict Resolution process  by contacting the Office of Human Resources, Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/ Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Del Norte Hall, Room 3001 (916) 278-6907.
  3. What is TRIO Student Support Services?   Services to Students with Disabilities at Sacramento State has been awarded competitive grant funding since 1974 under the TRIO Student Support Services Program from the US Department of Education. SSWD was awarded its latest four year TRIO grant for 2010-2015. TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is an integral part and a critical program component of SSWD for the retention and graduation of students with disabilities. SSS provides academic support services and instruction to program participants. Currently enrolled students with disabilities certified by the SSWD office, who have a need for academic support services in order to enhance their retention and graduation, and who meet other TRIO SSS criteria may be referred to the program services.
  4. Does SSWD have a program to assist students with writing and mathematics? What other instruction is offered through SSWD?   The following courses/instruction are available through the TRIO Student Support Services program to assist eligible students in writing and math: Writing Instruction and LS 8 Math Instruction (based on ELM score, functional limitations and math preparation). Additional limited instruction in Adaptive Computing Technology may be open to eligible SSWD students upon counselor referral and instructor permission (through the SSWD High Tech Center).
  5. Does SSWD provide tutors to assist students with disabilities?   Academic tutor service is considered apersonal service and not a required auxiliary aid under Section 504. Many departments have tutoring services (e.g. Writing Center, etc.; see www.csus.edu/saseep for partial listing) and some instructors also arrange for group study sessions to supplement the classroom experience. The student can utilize tutorial assistance offered through the academic department/or available elsewhere on campus. SSWD also provides limited paid tutors to work with eligible undergraduate students through the Student Support Services program. Occasionally, requests for tutors may go unfilled due to availability or scheduling conflicts.
  6. Are taped/recorded textbooks and other alternative media formats available? SSWD has a list of readers who can provide taped textbooks for eligible print-disabled students. Students can also utilize Learning Ally (formerly Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, RFB&D) or Bookshare digital audio textbook services. Scan/read systems and text-to-speech software are available through the High Tech Center for students who wish to scan and read their textbooks using adaptive technology. Students requesting alternative media formats should do so at least one month before the text will be required to avoid delays.
  7. Are provisions made for note takers or for taking class notes using tape recorders? Note takers are identified by the faculty to assist with note taking for students as a reasonable accommodation. Many faculty also post notes on their course web sites. Students with a documented disability-related need may also request permission to audio record classroom lectures. For more information, see a SSWD disability management counselor or LD Specialist.
  8. Can arrangements be made to take course tests in alternative ways? Students with documentation of their disability may request testing adaptations such as extended time, a reader or a scribe. Testing accommodation requests must be approved in advance by SSWD. Alternative testing arrangements are made through the Testing Center.
  9. How do I register for courses, get a copy of my schedule and check my grades? Access My Sac State at: http://my.csus.edu/ (you must have a SacLink account). Log on using your SacLink ID and password to obtain/print information on courses and grades.

For Faculty And Staff

  1. What’s SSWD? The Office of Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD) is responsible for evaluating and certifying, based on professional documentation, the existence of a disability(ies); SSWD is also responsible for identifying and authorizing reasonable program access, academic adjustments and accommodations. SSWD provides consultation and serves as a resource to faculty. Faculty wishing to make referrals should contact SSWD office located at Lassen Hall, Room 1008, (916) 278-6955 (Voice Only), (916) 278-7239 (TDD), (916) 278-7825 (Fax), E-mail address: sswd@csus.edu.
  2. What are the roles and responsibilities of faculty, staff, students, and SSWD?
    • Student: Meet with SSWD Counselor, provide verification, make needs known early. 
    • SSWD: Verify eligibility, authorize accommodation, coordinate support services, consult.
    • Faculty: Implement accommodation, consult with SSWD if needed
    • Staff: Facilitate request by students or faculty, consult with SSWD if appropriate
    • Disability access is an institutional responsibility.
  3. What legislation affects students with disabilities at Sacramento State?
  4. Which CSU and Sac State policies relate to students with disabilities?
  5. What are some examples of reasonable accommodation? Provision of reader, note-taker, interpreter, alternative media to access instructional materials, tape recording, extended time/alternative testing format, and course accommodations are reasonable accommodations. Substantial changes or waivers of essential skills and knowledge of course requirements are not reasonable accommodations.
  6. What is Universal Design of Teaching and Learning?
    • Architectural concept in design applied to education
    • Making the delivery of course concepts, skills, and knowledge easily accessible to a diverse student population, regardless of differences in learning styles, physical/sensory, linguistic abilities
    • Flexible and customizable delivery of content, assignments and activities
    • Remove barriers to the learning process without lowering academic standards.
    • Not “one-size-fits-all”, but meeting the needs of a broad range of students.
    • See http://enact.sonoma.edu/udl for more information.
  7. What are some ways to make classes more accessible?
    • Create a welcoming classroom environment
    • Encourage students to talk about accommodation needs early and in private
    • Have clear policies, procedures, expectations, and reading lists in syllabus, and make available in alternative formats
    • Use a multi-modal approach: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and hands-on learning
    • Choose textbooks with accessible electronic text versions and supplements if possible (check with publisher or see Louis database of accessible materials and other repositories)
    • Submit textbook selection early (at least 6 weeks prior to semester) to Bookstore to facilitate conversion to alternative formats
    • Buy and use captioned videos (see http://www.csus.edu/accessibility/captioning.html for resources)
    • Make sure facility, materials, and web pages are accessible
    • Make extended test time available, including web-based tests
    • Use a variety of methods to assess student knowledge
    • Use partners and cooperative learning groups
    • Write key phrases and outlines on blackboard
    • Face students when speaking and repeat discussion questions in class
    • Watch the CSU's "From Where I Sit" videos for more ideas
    • Use SSWD (sswd@csus.edu) as a resource when in question
  8. What is the High Tech Center? The High Tech Center is a program of Services to Students with Disabilities. The High Tech Center provides: alternative access to computers for students with disabilities, assistive computer technology training, alternative-formatted instructional materials (e.g. Braille or e-text) for students with documented print disabilities, and a supported lab environment. The High Tech Center refers faculty and staff for consultation on accessible technology issues. For more information about the High Tech Center’s services, please call (916) 278-7915 or e-mail htc@csus.edu.
  9. What are some quick tips to make websites accessible?
    • Images, graphics: Use alternate text tags
    • Skip Menu: provide "skip menu" link
    • Multimedia: provide captioning & transcripts
    • Hypertext links: Use obvious links (not "Click here")
    • Color: avoid low contrast, be careful with colors
    • Page organization: Use consistent structure and headings
    • Check your work: Use tools & guidelines to check: http://www.csus.edu/web/accessibility/ 
    • Online Quizzes/Exams: Allow extended time (SacCT Quiz: use Selective Release)
    • Usability: Ask adaptive technology users for feedback
    • See Sacramento State's Web Accessibility Issues web page 
  10. Where can faculty/staff with disabilities go for job accommodations? Please note that due to campus policy, SSWD can only provide appropriate accommodations to eligible students with disabilities. The disability accommodation procedure for current employees is listed in the University Policy Manual on http://www.csus.edu/umanual/hr/UMD03183.htm. For more information about job accommodations for faculty/staff with disabilities, contact the Human Resources Office in Del Norte Hall Room 3001, call (916) 278-3522, or E-mail davisjl@csus.edu .

Please inform SSWD at sswd@csus.edu if you encounter any problems accessing the SSWD web site.