Frequently Asked Questions

How do I qualify for the Special Services Program?

Fill out an application in our office, or print the application from our site and bring the completed application in, along with information to verify your disability.  We need signed documentation from an appropriate professional that includes your functional limitations. If you do not bring updated information or reports, etc. we will not be able to verify your disability. Evaluations or verification signatures from members of your own family are not acceptable.

If you believe you might qualify or have any questions, please visit Special Services in the Student Services Center, Room 113 and we will be happy to assist you.

Does Special Services test or diagnose disabilities?

Testing is limited to eligibility assessment for learning disabilities services. We do not diagnose Attention Deficit Disorders or any other disability. Special services verifies all disabilities by obtaining additional assessment from an appropriate professional. This information is needed for you to qualify for Special Services. Additional assessment or testing is your responsibility, however we can assist you with referrals to off campus professionals or agencies.


What are some of the support services available if I qualify for Special Services (DSPS)?

Services are offered according to your specific disability needs. Some of the support services are:

  1. Extended time for exams
  2. Specialized tutorials when available.
  3. Assisted computer technology evaluation and training with specialized software and hardware such as, voice recognition, screen readers or print enlargement
  4. E-text and/or enlarged text
  5. Interpreters or real time captioning
  6. Assistive listening devices for trial evaluation
  7. TDD or TTY
  8. Braille embossing of materials
  9. Priority Registration

In addition, Special Services offers specialized and strategic courses designed for students with disabilities.  Adapted physical education, adapted computer, lip reading and hearing conservation courses are also available.  Please review the college schedule of classes each semester to determine specific offerings.

Any student may enroll in a special class, but you should make an appointment with a counselor or specialist in Special Services before enrolling.

Does anyone else have to know that I have a specific disability?

No. Privacy laws prohibit us from sharing information about your disability without your permission. You must provide Special Services with sufficient information about your disability to be eligible for reasonable accommodations. Once we receive verifying documentation about your disability, we will keep it in your confidential Special Services file, separate from other college records. Disability information may be given to a college administrator only when there is a legitimate educational need to know. The only exception to this would be in situations when our files might be subpoenaed in legal proceedings, which is an extremely rare occurrence.


Is there a phone I can use to arrange to be picked up or call a parent?

Special Services has a telephone you may use to contact Saddleback or Irvine Valley College instructors, the Department of Rehabilitation or to arrange for transportation. All other telephone calls must be made from the campus pay telephones.

Can you help me find campus locations?

Our office will be glad to show you a map of the campus or arrange for a college tour. If you have a mobility or visual disability, we can arrange a campus orientation to point out accessible pathways, restrooms, parking, etc. It is the students' responsibility to become familiar with the campus before classes begin each semester and to provide any personal attendant/assistance needed.


If I have a problem with an Instructor, Staff member, or another student, can special services help?

Special Services can intercede if you have filled out an application for Special Services and have a verified disability. Students who believe they have been discriminated against, based upon their disability or refused appropriate accommodations, should contact Special Services and/or the campus 504/ ADA officer. (Vice President for Student Services, Room 107, Student Services building).


Can I get help in Special Services if I have a problem with my car such as keys left in the car, inability to start my car, or if I am temporarily unable to walk between class buildings, etc.?

Special Services will refer you to the Campus Police (949-528-4585) to get the help you need.

What are my options if I cannot pay for my own schooling?

Special Services will direct you to agencies and campus departments which can help. The campus Financial Assistance office is located in the Student Services Building, Room 106 (across the hall from the Special Services office).

Please check with the Financial Assistance office early each semester for specific guidelines and deadlines. 

I cannot stand in line at Admissions and Records. Can DSPS help me?

Yes. If you have a verified disability with an associated functional limitation, Special Services can issue you a pass to go to the front of the line so you will not have to wait.


I am a Special Services student. I tried to register for classes and was informed that there is a hold on my records, which does not allow me to register. What do I do?

Special Services can check your college records and make recommendations. Have you returned all equipment loaned from Special Services? Do you have outstanding balances on your school account? Do you need to complete matriculation/ basic skills testing?

The counselor assigned to me does not understand me. Can I get another counselor?

You may request another counselor in Special Services when you make your next appointment. Special Services provides specialized counseling for students with disabilities. Students may also make an appointment with a general counselor for academic or personal counseling, Room 167 in the Student Services Building.

I am failing some of my classes and wish to drop these classes. Can I do that?

Yes, although you must drop the class/classes by a certain date each semester. Important dates can change each semester and are located in the current class schedule. If a course is not dropped by the deadline you may receive a failing grade. You should also make an appointment with a counselor to discuss your educational contract/plan. You may also want to notify your instructors.

I feel sick. Is there someplace I can get some help or lie down?

Yes.  In the Health Center, Room 177 in the Student Services Building.  A nurse, nurse practitioner and/or physician can assist you.

I have a physical disability and drive a car to school. However, I cannot walk the distance from most of the parking lots.  Is there a way I can park closer to my classes?

Yes. If you have a California access/handicapped placard from the DMV you can obtain a specialized Saddleback parking permit from the Campus Police office. The placard and permit must be properly displayed any time you are parked on campus.

If you do not have a California access/handicapped placard from the DMV, you may obtain a temporary permit at the Campus Police office for a limited period of time by submitting a physician's statement indicating the probable length of time of your disability. Upon approval, a handicapped permit or "medical" permit (allowing you to park in staff parking spaces) will be issued.

I tried to register for classes online. I must be doing something wrong because it didn't work. What should I do?

If you are a Special Services student, our office will be glad to coach you through the registration process. Don't hesitate to ask, but please be patient. We often have many students at the same time requesting this service.

I am a Special Services student and using my legal academic adjustments. However, I am still not being successful academically and don't know what to do.  Can you help me?

Yes. You should make an appointment with one of our counselors specifically to analyze your educational needs and disability-related accommodations. Our goal is to help you succeed at Saddleback College!

I am transferring to a new school and need to have my Saddleback transcripts sent there. What do I need to do?

Admissions and Records (A&R) can help.  They will take the necessary information and forward your transcripts.  You may also request a personal copy for your records.  Please check with Admissions and Records in Room 102, Student Services Building, to determine the necessary procedures and/or fees required. You may obtain "unofficial transcripts" on your college webpage, "MY SITE." You will need to know your student ID number and the last four digits of your social security number to log on.

Is it too late to take the Adapted Water Fitness class?

You can enroll in the Water Fitness classes during the semester with the instructor's permission. Go to the pool at the scheduled class time and speak to the instructor. If possible, you will be allowed to enroll at that time.

Where is the cafeteria?

The Cafeteria is located in the second floor of the Student Services Building, directly above Special Services. There is an elevator available next to Special Services if you are unable to climb the stairs to the second floor.

I need to see a Counselor immediately. What do I do?

Special Services usually has a waiting list to see our DSPS counselors. However, some walk-in times are available each week. You may also make an appointment to see a generalist counselor in the Counseling office. Please check with them in Room 167.

I have a crisis situation, can Special Services help?

Please notify us immediately so that we may connect you with a crisis counselor as soon as possible.

In addition, the Student Health Center may provide medical or psychological assistance.

How much notice do I need to give my instructors when I need accommodated testing or other accommodations in the classroom?

It is the student's responsibility to give the instructor reasonable notice. Reasonable notice usually is defined as a minimum of two weeks before any accommodation is needed. Special Services can answer your questions related to this process. We can even provide you with a practice dialogue sheet on how to approach your instructor. If you are a Special Services student, we will provide you with documentation to take to your instructor(s) authorizing your accommodations. ASK US!

Does DSPS provide hearing tests?

Hearing screening tests are available in the Student Health Center and occasionally in Special Services. Screenings only tell you if your hearing is normal or if you need to seek further evaluation from a physician and/or Audiologist. Hearing screenings DO NOT verify a hearing disability. An audiogram from a licensed Audiologist or medical professional is needed to verify a hearing disability.

I am registered with the Department of Rehabilitation. How do I receive my funds for school?

If you are a client of the Department of Rehabilitation (DR), you must complete a deferral in Special Services immediately after you enroll. This will allow the Department of Rehabilitation time to send you a bank draft/voucher to pay your tuition fees and to submit to the bookstore your authorization for payment of books and supplies for the upcoming semester.

I am a student with a disability and am looking for work, who should I talk to?

The Career Services Center offers students assistance in creating a resume, looking for jobs online as well as helping students prepare for job interviews.