Academic Accommodations

How to Request Academic Accommodations

Students are responsible for connecting with our office each semester for which they are seeking accommodations. Accommodation requests are not retroactive. Approved Accommodations start from the date the faculty receives an official letter from DSO.

If you are requesting accommodations for the very first time the steps outlined in prompts below will be slightly different than if you are already registered with Disability Services Office (DSO) for other accommodations.


Requesting academic accommodations for the first time is a simple four-step process. All steps must be completed for requests to be processed.

Step 1. Submit a New Student Request Form 

In order to receive accommodations, students must submit a formal request for accommodations to Disability Services Office (DSO). Students who have not previously requested accommodations from DSO should submit the New Student Accommodation Request Form and upload documentation of disability with this form.

If you do not have access to your documentation of disability at the time that you submit the form, you can upload documentation in Accommodate. If you choose to submit documentation at a later time please keep in mind that your request will not be considered complete until we receive both your form submission and documentation. If you have questions about the type of information we look for in documentation please refer to Disability Documentation Guidelines.

For all students: We are not able to fully process accommodation requests until after the student has been registered for courses and has finalized their course schedule, which includes Course Advising Day.

Once the Disability Services Office has received a student’s New Student Intake Form, a Disability Services professional will review their form and documentation and will follow up with them accordingly if any additional items are to be submitted. 

Be sure to monitor your CalArts email address regularly!

Here is a video to help guide you: How to Submit an Accommodation Request Form

Step 2. Submit Documentation of Disability

Documentation of the Disability must be provided in order to verify the need and eligibility for the accommodation(s) and determine whether the provided accommodation is appropriate to the nature and extent of the disability and its functional impact in the educational setting. Applications with no supporting documentation will be put on hold until documentation is provided.

Students should be prepared to provide the following preferred disability-related documentation to DSO in order to determine eligibility for accommodation services:

  • Psycho-Educational Evaluation Report (Might be part of an IEP)
  • Medical Documentation

Please note: While an IEP or 504 can be helpful, they are not considered sufficient documentation to document a disability. DSO will accept IEPs or 504s as additional information, however, please be prepared to submit additional documentation.

If the documents listed above are not available to you, please refer to the Disability Documentation Guidelines.

Here is a video to help guide you: How to Access Accommodate 

Steps to upload Documentation of Disability: 

  1. Log into Accommodate
  2. Click on Accommodation
  3. Select Document 
  4. Click on Add New
  5. Select New Accessibility Document and follow the prompts

*Please note that due to Covid-19, we are unable to receive or send physical mail or faxes. Please submit documentation through Accommodate using the steps above. Email is not a secure method.

Step 3. Register for Courses

We are not able to fully process accommodation requests until after the student has been registered for courses and has finalized their course schedule, which includes Course Advising Day.

For Music Placement Exam students only: 

We are not able to fully process accommodation requests for a semester until after you have taken the Music Placement Exam and registered for courses. If you need accommodations for the Music Placement Exam, please contact us at dso@calarts.edu for an appointment. 

Step 4. Meet with DSO Staff

Once we receive a student’s complete request, documentation of disability, and the student has registered for classes, the student should then schedule a meeting with us through Accommodate. 

At this time, all meetings with students will take place on Zoom. During this meeting we will discuss the request and documentation in more detail and answer any questions about using the requested accommodations. Students should leave this meeting with an understanding of what accommodations will be approved, but a formal letter of approval or denial will be sent via email in the days following the meeting to the student and appropriate faculty.

Parents/family are welcome to join in these meetings as valuable partners in supporting their students as long as they have permission from their student. However, please keep in mind that in the college environment students are expected to act as their own primary advocate when it comes to having questions or concerns. Our staff are sensitive to the fact that this may represent a change in roles for many families.

Check out these videos to guide you through setting up an appointment with our office:


Renewing your previous academic accommodations is a simple three-step process. All steps must be completed for requests to be processed.

Step 1. Submit a Semester Request

Previous accommodation requests are not retroactive. Students who have requested accommodations of any type in the past must log in to Accommodate and submit their Semester Request in order to renew their current accommodations. Step-by-step directions to complete the supplemental request are below.

  1. Log into Accommodate
  2. Select the “Accommodation” tab on the menu bar on the left-hand side of the page.
  3. Select the third option “Semester Request” tab on the menu bar on the left-hand side of the page.
  4. Fill out all form fields and click “Submit Application.”

Here are some videos to help guide you:

Step 2. Register for Courses

We are not able to fully process accommodation requests until after the student has been registered for courses and has finalized their course schedule, which includes Course Advising Day.

Step 3. Meet with DSO Staff

Once we have received a student’s semester request, the student must set up a meeting to discuss accommodations for the semester in more detail. Students should leave this meeting with an understanding of what accommodations will be approved, but a formal letter of accommodations will be sent via email in the days following the meeting to the student and appropriate faculty. 

Check out these videos to guide you through setting up an appointment with our office:

 


Making a change to your academic accommodations is a simple three-step process. All steps must be completed for requests to be processed.

Step 1. Submit a Supplemental Semester Request Form

To request a change or addition to their current accommodations for the semester, students should submit a Supplemental Semester Request Form. Please be prepared to submit additional Documentation of Disability if what is on file is not enough to support the change request. 

Step-by-step directions to complete the Supplemental Semester Request are as follows.

  1. Log in to Accommodate.
  2. Select the “Accommodation” tab on the menu bar on the left-hand side of the page.
  3. From the drop-down options choose the second option “Supplemental”.
  4. Choose “Add New”.
  5. Fill out all form fields and click “Submit”.

Here is a video to help guide you: How to Access Accommodate 

Step 2. Submit Documentation of Disability

Once the Disability Services Office has received a student’s Supplemental Semester Request, a Disability Specialist will review their form and documentation and will follow up with them accordingly. 

Disability Services will try to use the documentation already on file to support a change to accommodations. However, if the documentation on file does not support the request we may ask for additional documentation, particularly if the documentation on file doesn’t directly address accommodations in the academic environment. If you have questions about the type of information we look for in documentation please refer to the Documentation Guidelines page of our website.

Here is a video to help guide you: How to Access Accommodate 

Steps to upload Documentation of Disability: 

  1. Log into Accommodate
  2. Click on Accommodation
  3. Select Document 
  4. Click on Add New
  5. Select New Accessibility Document and follow the prompts

*Please note that due to Covid-19, we are unable to receive or send physical mail or faxes. Please submit documentation through Accommodate using the steps above. Email is not a secure method.

Step 3. Meet with DSO Staff

Once we have received a student’s Supplemental Semester Request Form, the student must set up a meeting to discuss accommodations for the semester in more detail. Students should leave this meeting with an understanding of what accommodations will be approved, but a formal letter of accommodations will be sent via email in the days following the meeting to the student and appropriate faculty. 

Check out these videos to guide you through setting up an appointment with our office:

How to Access Accommodate 

How to Make an Appointment Using Accommodate

 

Be sure to monitor your CalArts email address regularly!

Academic accommodation requests are accepted on a rolling basis; there is no deadline for submission. However, in order to receive prompt accommodations and services, students are advised to submit a request along with documentation of disability at least a week in advance of when they would like accommodations to be implemented. 

Please note, requests for accommodations that are submitted after the last day of classes cannot be implemented in that same semester. For example, a student who submits a request for testing accommodations during finals week will not be able to use testing accommodations during finals as it takes time to process the request and review documentation. Such requests will be implemented beginning the following semester.

Unsure of what accommodation(s) to request?

If you have been recently diagnosed or haven’t used formal accommodations in the past you may be unsure of what accommodations to request. This is an excellent question to ask of your disability documentation provider as they can give recommendations and include those recommendations in your documentation. 

Additionally, each student’s request and documentation is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and our meetings are designed to be an interactive discussion. Therefore, feel free to request anything that you feel is necessary to provide you with equal access to learning activities or environments here at CalArts. If you are still unsure what to request, feel free to indicate that on your request form and we will brainstorm possible accommodations when we meet.

Be sure to monitor your CalArts email address regularly!


QUESTIONS?

  • Contact us by email (dso@calarts.edu)
  • Location: F201H
  • Summer Office hours: Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed on Fridays.

PLEASE NOTE: Disability Services is not open for drop-in or in-person meetings but we will be meeting via Zoom.