Frequently Asked Questions - Students

Will you discuss my progress at Cal with my parents, or answer their questions if they write or phone?

We urge you to keep in close personal contact with your parents throughout your years at Cal. However, DSP cannot normally discuss any information about your progress at Berkeley with a third party, including your parents. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the University policy regarding the release and disclosure of student information generally prohibit DSP from disclosing confidential information to anyone but the student.

What do I have to do in order to prove that I have a disability?

Please see "Documentation for DSP" for more information.

If you have already sent us certification but we conclude that it either is not sufficient to support a disability diagnosis, or does not give us the information that we need to plan appropriate accommodations and services, we will send you a letter informing you of this fact and requesting additional materials.

What are my responsibilities for ensuring that I receive the accommodations I am entitled to?

The individual assessment and accommodation process is an interactive one. Consult with your Disability Specialist if you are uncertain about the accommodations or services you believe you are eligible to receive. Try to participate fully in the process and exercise all due diligence in ensuring that the University is aware of your needs.

Why is there a difference between the services I was offered in high school and those I am eligible to receive at Berkeley?

In general, disability services at UC Berkeley are intended to provide student access to educational programs rather than remediation of the student's disability. For example, extended test time is an accommodation that promotes access by giving the student enough time to demonstrate mastery of course material. Instruction in the phonics method of reading (not offered at DSP) is an example of a service designed to remediate disability.

Why did you request that I submit to more learning disability testing?

Additional or updated testing is normally requested when the existing testing does not give us enough information to determine appropriate services for you. You may review the specific criteria for the diagnosis of learning disabilities and the determination of appropriate service.

If I was eligible for disability services in high school, will I automatically be eligible for similar services at Cal?

IEP's and 504 Plans are not binding on the University of California or any organizations outside of the schools in which they were developed. Accordingly, you will not automatically be eligible for specific services or accommodations simply because you present your high school Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan.

Will I automatically receive services from DSP if I submit a "certification of disability" during the admissions application process?

No. Services are not provided by DSP automatically. All students seeking services through DSP must complete an application. If you are unable to complete the online application process, you can also request assistance in person from the Receptionist at the DSP office.