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Disability Resource Center (DRC)

Student Rights and Responsibilities

It is the policy of College of San Mateo to provide equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws.

Student Rights


Participation in Disability Resource Center (DRC) is entirely voluntary. If you receive accommodations and/or instruction through the DRC, you are still entitled to participate in any other course, program, or activity offered by the college for which you are otherwise qualified.

Academic Accommodations

Students with verified disabilities are entitled to academic accommodations for limitations in the educational setting. Some examples of academic accommodations are sign language interpreters, note takers, additional time on exams, materials in alternate formats (audio, Braille, e-text), and the use of a tape recorder. Each authorized accommodation is unique to each student and is based on both the diagnosis of a disability and evidence of the limitation in an educational setting. Accommodations can not fundamentally alter the course requirements.


College of San Mateo DRC uses the information requested on the Disability Resource Center (DRC) forms for the purpose of determining a student's eligibility to receive authorized services provided by DRC. Personal information recorded on these forms will be kept confidential in order to protect against unauthorized disclosure. Portions of this information may be shared with the Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges or other state or federal agencies; however, disclosure to these parties is made in strict accordance with applicable statutes regarding confidentiality, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232(g)). Pursuant to Section 7 of the Federal Privacy Act (Public Law 93-579; 5 U.S.C.§ 552a, note).

Students do not need to disclose the nature of their disability to instructors in order to receive accommodations. Academic Accommodation letters from Disability Resource Center never disclose a student’s disability, only the accommodations that are authorized. It may be helpful to discuss how the limitations of a disability impact learning with an instructor. For example, “my disability makes it very difficult for me to take notes and focus on your lecture at the same time, that is why I am authorized for a note taker”.

Student Responsibilities

To qualify for support services, including accommodations, a student must have a verified disability and be unable to benefit fully from the regular programs and services offered by the college. A student must self-identify and present disability verification from an appropriate, qualified professional to the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to request services.

Participation in the Disability Resource Center is voluntary. However, to receive academic accommodations, a student must provide the DRC required documentation describing the nature of the disability, the functional limitations resulting from the disability, and information specific to the accommodations and/or auxiliary aids needed to promote full participation in the educational program.

Students are encouraged to meet each semester with a DRC Counselor for check-in and to ensure the Student Educational Plan (SEP) is up to date for priority registration purposes. Students must request an updated accommodation letter each semester (you can do so using our online form). Once received, the DRC will email a copy of the current semester accommodation letter to the student and copy instructors. It is the student's responsibility to arrange for all accommodations in a timely manner in accordance with Disability Resource Center procedures. For example, test-taking services require advance notice.

Disability Resource Center Responsibilities

The Disability Resource Center must provide a student who has a verified disability, with reasonable accommodations, and/or auxiliary aids to afford the student equal opportunity and access to participate in the college's programs, activities, and services. The college may not discriminate against an individual solely on the basis of disability. The Disability Resource Center is the vehicle by which the institution provides accommodations to students although official participation is voluntary.

The college is not required by law to provide aides, services, or devices for personal use of study, nor is it required to design special academic programs for students with disabilities. Neither the Americans with Disabilities Act, nor Section 504, require the college to alter admissions or graduation requirements. Accommodations are determined individually based on the educational limitations provided in the disability verification documentation.