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Guidelines for Students With Disabilties

The following notes are intended to offer assistance to students at California Lutheran University who choose to identify themselves as having disabilities which qualify them by federal law as eligible for reasonable services and accommodations. It is the stated philosophy of this university to provide an environment of equal access and opportunity for students with disabilities that in turn may lead to their independence. Disability Support Services (DSS) strives to provide needed aids and services to meet the needs of students with disabilities. DSS is located in the Academic Services building (#40C on the online campus map).

Student's Responsibilities

The choice and initiative to request reasonable accommodations and aids as a person with disabilities belongs to you as the student. The first step is for you to schedule an appointment with Disability Support Services Staff. Contact DSS at (805) 493-3464 or

The initial appointment is meant to provide an overview of DSS, explore your individual disability-related needs in the academic setting, and discuss the necessary paperwork for registering with DSS.

In order to register with DSS, the following items need to be addressed:

  • Schedule a meeting with the DSS Staff. This is your responsibility as the student to schedule the initial meeting, and it is best to do so several weeks prior to the start of the semester or term.
  • Provide recent disability information stating your situation/ diagnosis with specific description how it impacts you in relation to academic goals and/or educational environment. (For further details, review the hand-out for appropriate disability information on the DSS website).
  • Complete and submit the DSS Registration Forms. Ask the DSS Professional Staff if you need to submit any other forms as it may vary depending on requested accommodations.
  • Be enrolled at Cal Lutheran.
  • While there may be other circumstances in which you, as a student with a disability, discuss your disability with various institutional personnel, official recognition of your protected status under the law begins with this contact with DSS.

If DSS eligibility is determined, you are responsible to maintain a close relationship with DSS staff so that your requests can be met in a timely and reasonable way. You are also responsible to keep DSS aware of any academic problems or obstacles you may be encountering. Communicating with DSS is crucial as we are unable to assist unless we are made aware of challenges.

Some accommodations may take more time to arrange, so you need to discuss specific needs with the DSS coordinator well in advance of when the aids or services may be needed. Accommodations are not retro-active. It is strongly recommended that you activate your DSS services, and request necessary accommodations, prior to the start of each new semester/term.

Once registered, you are responsible for activating your DSS services each new term/semester. This process typically involves emailing your individual professors with your Letter of Accommodations (LOA) and a Note to the Faculty with a CC'd copy to DSS as a record of activation. DSS will respond within a few days to confirm activation upon receiving your CC'd email(s). DSS will provide the necessary LOA and more detailed instructions to you about this procedure after you complete the registration process. You are also responsible to request and use your approved accommodations each new semester/term.

Submitting further disability information is typically not required once you are registered with DSS. It is, however, your responsibility to provide an update to the office if there is any substantial change to be made to the initial disability information provided.

Disability Support Services' Responsibilities

Our responsibility is to be accessible and responsive to your requests and concerns. We are here to see that you receive the approved, reasonable services and accommodations in a timely manner. Specifically, we are responsible to:

  • Receive and review your disability information for DSS eligibility, and determine appropriate accommodations/services. This may include presenting it to the Documentation Review Committee (DRC) for further assessment.
  • Request further disability information as needed.
  • Establish and maintain a confidential file to be kept in the office.
  • Work directly with you to address specific disability-related needs.
  • Develop your Letter of Accommodations (LOA) and provide the official copy to you. You will use this LOA to activate your DSS services each new semester/term.
  • Communicate and implement approved services and accommodations with appropriate Cal Lutheran constituents.

Initial DSS In-Take Worksheet

In order for Disability Support Services (DSS) to consider reasonable accommodations and to connect you with the best resources fitting your situation, please complete the following.

All information gathered will be used by DSS only.

I will check all of the following areas where I feel I experience the greatest barriers/challenges to achieving my academic goals.

In ClassesRequired

Class AssignmentsRequired


Under Time ConstraintsRequired

Other TimesRequired

Courses Most ChallengingRequired

Release of Information and Confidentiality Statement

Disability Support Services (DSS) is committed to ensuring that all information and communication pertaining to a student's disability is maintained as confidential as required or permitted by law.

The following guidelines about the treatment of such information have been adopted by DSS. These guidelines incorporate relevant state and federal regulations.

1) No one will have immediate access to student files in DSS except appropriate staff of DSS or Academic Services. Any information regarding a disability is considered confidential and will be shared only with others within the University who have a legitimate educational need to know.

2) Information within a student's DSS records is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

3) Sensitive information in DSS student files will not be released except in accordance with state and federal laws.

4) A student's DSS records may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena.

5) If a student wishes to have information about his or her disability shared with others outside the University, the student must provide specific written authorization to the DSS coordinator to release the information. This authorization should be directed to the DSS coordinator through a submitted "Request to Access DSS File" form, which can be found under the DSS FORMS tab of our website. Before giving such authorization, the student should understand the purpose of the release and to whom the information is being released. The student should also understand that there may be occasions when, within the University, the DSS coordinator will share information regarding a student's disability at his or her discretion if circumstances necessiate such sharing and the coordinator has determined that there is an appropriate legititimate educational interest involved.

6) A student has the right to review his or her own DSS file with reasonable notification. Such notification should be directed to the DSS coordinator through a submitted "Request to Access DSS File" form, which can be found under the DSS FORMS tab of our website.


By checking the below button and inserting the individual(s) name with relationship to me, I am permitting DSS personnel to speak with the indicated person(s) below regarding my DSS participation. Checking this button is optional.

I understand that DSS may release information from my file to be used in a confidential manner with appropriate University faculty, administration, and staff who have a legitimate educational interest while I am a student at California Lutheran University.

I have read over and understand the above guidelines for Confidentiality and Release of Information. I acknowledge my responsibility to speak to the DSS Coordinator regarding this form and policy should I have any questions or concerns.

*Modifications to this form may only be made upon the student's request. The contents of this form will remain valid in accordance with FERPA. This form only pertains to Disability Support Services; students would need to check with other University staff regarding similar forms for other offices and programs.

Upload supporting document(s)

Please review Appropriate Disability Handout for further information.

Aid and Services/Policies and ProceduredRequired

The purpose of the DSS Handbook is to define the responsibilities of both you as the student and Disability Support Services (DSS) regarding the requesting and delivering of services and accommodations for students initiating DSS services. You need to click on the DSS Handbook link below and review the stated policies and procedures.

DSS Handbook

The aids and services listed within the DSS Handbook are not an exhaustive list regarding potential DSS support. As the student, you should inquire about other potentially necessary accommodations offered by DSS.