We encourage students with disabilities to become advocates for themselves. DigiPen Institute of Technology is dedicated to promoting an equal educational opportunity for students with disabilities, but students are expected to notify the DSS Office of their need to be accommodated.
In order to receive accommodations, your first step is to contact the DSS Office, let us know you’re requesting accommodations, and schedule an initial appointment with staff. Students need to request accommodations from the DSS Office. DigiPen faculty or staff do not automatically begin this process on behalf of a student.
Once accommodations are approved, students are given official letters of accommodation to be hand-delivered to their instructors. A copy of each letter is retained for our records. Students are expected to file accommodation requests each semester and far enough in advance to allow faculty time to plan and organize DSS resources. Questions pertaining to accommodations should be addressed to the DSS Coordinator.
Students with disabilities who wish to receive accommodations have the following rights and responsibilities while attending DigiPen.
As a student with disabilities, you have the right to:
Equal opportunities to be academically successful at DigiPen regardless of disability, according to the law.
Reasonable accommodations in order to be provided with equal opportunity.
Access to auxiliary aids/assistive technology available as to other students.
Protection from discrimination due to a disability or any retaliatory discrimination, as addressed by law.
As a student with disabilities, you are responsible for:
Identifying yourself to the DSS Office if you want to receive DSS accommodations.
Actively participating in an intake interview and other meetings with the DSS Coordinator.
Meeting with faculty and requesting additional assistance.
Notifying the DSS Office when there are problems receiving the requested accommodations.
Adhering to all academic conduct policies.
Meeting and maintaining academic standards, which have been established by DigiPen and applicable departments (with appropriate accommodations where needed).
Providing current disability documentation to the DSS Office.
Following all directions and adhering to all timelines when requesting accommodations. Failure to alert appropriate staff in a timely manner may result in significant obstacles to the provision of necessary accommodations.
Becoming aware of your rights as a student and advocating for yourself.
To request accommodations, you can contact the DSS Office by email or phone to schedule an in-person intake appointment. The DSS Office will work collaboratively with you to determine appropriate and helpful accommodations and auxiliary aids.
To request classroom or testing accommodations, complete the following steps:
Email or call the DSS Office and identify as a student with a disability who would like to schedule an intake appointment.
Provide medical/clinical documentation from a qualified professional regarding your disability. Please refer to the Documentation Guidelines section for more information.
Supply faculty with your accommodation letter for the current semester and discuss with them your accommodation needs. Students must request accommodations each semester.
Students may request accommodations at any time. However, the DSS Office strongly encourages students to request accommodations at least six weeks before the semester starts to ensure faculty can prepare the appropriate materials.
Accommodations are not retroactive. An accommodation will not go into effect until you have furnished faculty with a copy of the DSS letter listing the approved accommodation(s) and discussed accommodation needs.
If an accommodation is insufficient or if any problems or concerns arise, please contact the DSS Office immediately.
DigiPen cannot provide accommodations that would fundamentally alter the nature of the degree program or the academic requirements necessary to meet accreditation standards.
To acquire accommodations for a disability, you must provide current documentation from a qualified professional, such as a physician, clinical psychologist, or psychiatrist.
You must furnish documentation sufficient for the DSS Office to make its determinations. This may involve acquiring additional or more up-to-date documentation. The age of acceptable documentation will vary depending on your disability. For example, older documentation may be appropriate for conditions that are permanent, while the DSS Office may request more recent documentation for a condition that may change over time.
Documentation from a qualified professional must indicate that you meet the necessary criteria for the diagnosis of a physical or psychological impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In an academic setting, the disability must substantially limit your ability to participate equally in activities associated with learning and/or the demonstration of specific skills or knowledge.
The documentation must establish your eligibility for accommodation(s) and include at a minimum:
Date of the evaluation
Description of the disability
Current impact of the disability in an educational setting
Past use and effectiveness of any accommodations
Recommendations for accommodations related to the impact described
Credentials and contact information of the evaluator
If the submitted documentation is incomplete or does not support your request for accommodation(s), the DSS Office may ask you to provide additional information. Please be aware that many IEP (Individualized Education Program) and 504 (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act) plans from a school district are not sufficient for most colleges and universities. If you do not have documentation or are unsure of the documentation needed, we encourage you to contact the DSS Office to explore options for support.
DigiPen will make all final determinations regarding reasonable accommodations.
Forms and Documents
The DSS Handbook includes all relevant DSS information from the DigiPen website in an easy-to-read print format.
Forms required to be considered for DSS accommodations:
Other forms, described elsewhere on this website:
Accessibility and Accommodations for Events and Meetings
DigiPen is committed to providing equal access to its programs and events, including online meetings. To request disability accommodations for any event or meeting, contact your event or meeting host in advance. Please contact us as soon as possible. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs. For more information, please contact dss[at]digipen[dot]edu.