The Disabled Students' Program (DSP) at UC Berkeley provides a wide range of services, including federal and state legally mandated services and accommodations for eligible students with verified disabilities, non-mandated services, and exam proctoring services for faculty.
Services for students are individually designed, and are based on students' individual needs as identified by their Disability Specialist.
- Academic Advising
- Academic Accommodations
- Alternative Media
- Attendant Referral
- Auxiliary Services
- Disability Access Services
- DSP Student Grant
- Financial Advising
- Housing Services
- Priority Enrollment (Tele-BEARS)
- Proctoring Services
- Residence Program
- TRIO/Student Support Services
- WAIV (Workability IV)
Students are urged to contact academic advisors in their colleges or within their majors as soon as possible after arrival. Our staff members are not students’ academic advisors, however DSP Specialists can help students with some academic decisions (i.e., deciding how many courses to take, and in what combinations). Other DSP services may include consultation with faculty members about disability-related accommodations and recommendations to the student's department.
Academic accommodations are determined by an Individual assessment of each student. Disability specialists base their recommendations on students’ particular disabilities, disability-related learning needs, and the academic requirements of a course. DSP Specialists may write letters to instructors specifying the required accommodations.
DSP students who have been approved by their DSP Specialists for alternative media academic accommodations (print materials to electronic materials or large print or Braille) are served by our staff in the Alternative Media Center in 23 Wheeler Hall. Students who have been approved for alt media services need to follow the Guidelines governing this service when submitting their requests. If you have been approved for this accommodation be sure to read and learn our Alternative Media Guidelines governing this service. If you have any question about alt media services, please contact our Alt Media Liaison or ask your DSP Specialist.
The Attendant Referral Advisor screens and interviews prospective attendants for personal care and household chores, and maintains listings which can be consulted by students with physical disabilities.
DSP provides funding for a range of Auxiliary Services that students may need in order to offset the effects of their disabilities. At the beginning of each semester, students meet with their Specialists to determine which services will be necessary for particular courses. Students themselves have the responsibility for locating auxiliary service providers, however the student’s DSP specialist and staff members shall assist when appropriate. Auxiliary services may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Notetakers*, readers, sign language interpreters, real-time captioning, assistive listening devices and alternative media.
*Please read the Notetaking Procedures, which contains important time sensitive dates to enable DSP to provide your classnotes as soon as possible.
Disability Access Services provides information and assistance to the campus community and individuals with disabilities who require access to participate in University-sponsored non-course related programs or activities. Make online requests for Communication Services (Sign Language Interpreting and Real-Time Captioning) and Mobility Accommodations. (See also Accessible Off-Campus Events.)
DSP staff members can provide information about the Technology Grant, which is a financial aid grant administered by DSP to assist eligible students with disability-related equipment not covered by other funding sources or already available on campus.
DSP staff members assist students in informing the Financial Aid Office about any disability specific circumstances that may affect their eligibility for Student Financial Aid. These circumstances may include the following: 1) inability to work while attending school, 2) taking reduced course loads, 3) disability-related extra expenses (for example, medical or therapy expenses, attendant care or the cost of testing to determine the nature of a student’s disabilities), and needing additional semesters to graduate. DSP's Financial Specialist can explain eligibility for disability benefit programs such as Social Security.
If your plans include living in the UC residence halls, you may have a disability-related need for housing accommodations, such as a single room or wheelchair access. Housing and Dining Services allots a certain number of spaces within the residence halls to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities. In order to request the use of one of the allotted spaces, you must provide DSP with documentation of your disability-related need for special housing
Students with disabilities receive priority enrollment so that you are able to predict your course schedule in advance and are able to provide DSP with advance notification of your accommodation and auxiliary service needs. Don't miss this important opportunity to inform DSP as soon as possible about your accommodation and auxiliary service needs. Although DSP students receive priority in enrolling in classes, that does not guarantee enrollment into any particular course (regardless of DSP status or Priority Registration), so please plan your schedules carefully.
Proctoring Services is run by the Disabled Students’ Program. Academic departments are encouraged to arrange accommodations and proctoring at the local level when they have available space and staff to serve as proctors. Focusing proctoring arrangements initially at the departmental level allows the faculty member to have greater control over the test-taking process.
For faculty who are unable to locate resources at the departmental level, the campus offers a centralized proctoring service. The instructor, not the student, should fill out this online form to arrange for centralized proctoring and space for administering the exam. The instructor will inform the student(s) where and when to report for exams. Upon completing the request form, Proctoring Services will follow up with the course instructor by email to verify the names of students requiring accommodations.
Campus Proctoring Service Deadlines
Fall/Spring Midterms and Quizzes:
2 weeks prior to the regularly scheduled exam/quiz
Final Exam Deadlines:
Fall Semester: November 1
Spring Semester: April 2
The Disabled Students' Readiness Program (DSRP) provides eligible students with significant mobility impairments (requiring daily attendant assistance care) an opportunity to attend Cal while developing the critical skills and confidence needed to live independently. Students participate in the DSRP for two semesters living in fully accessible private dorm rooms with the general residence hall student population. DSRP staff members assist students in hiring, training, and using personal assistants. Staff also act as resources linking the new students to campus and community services and events. In addition, a unit-credit class is offered in independent living.
The DSP TRIO/SSS Project is designed as a critical component of DSP’s services for undergraduate students to promote retention and graduation. The Project provides supplemental support services to students who are new to Cal, students who are at academic risk, students whose disabilities are particularly challenging, and students who are preparing to make the transition to graduate school or careers.
Support Services that TRIO Provides to undergraduates include:
- Assistance making the transition from high school or community college to Cal.
- Disability-management counseling.
- Academic advising and individual consultations on reading efficiency, study skills, test anxiety, and initial academic planning.
- Tutoring for some courses through a cooperative program with the Student Learning Center.
- Disability-specific problem-solving groups in which students support one another as they share strategies for success.
- For students with learning disorders, a two-unit class that increases understanding of disability and promotes academic success.
- Assessment and instruction in assistive technology.
- Financial aid counseling for all TRIO students and student grant-in-aid awards for eligible Pell Grant recipients in their first two years of college.
- Peer mentors and alumni mentors who can serve as role models and provide useful information.
- Newsletter and e-mail announcements of TRIO/campus events and opportunities.
- Post-graduation planning including workshops, group for students planning on attending graduate school, and an interactive alumni website.
WorkAbility IV, commonly referred to as "WAIV," is a collaboration between UC Berkeley, employers, students, and the California State Department of Rehabilitation. WAIV pairs students with job coaching, internships, mentors, and employers to help students find employment after college.
In order to join, you need to be a UC Berkeley student or recent graduate. You need to have a permanent, verifiable disability that makes you eligible to become a consumer of the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), if you are not one already.