The first step in the process for requesting services is to schedule an intake interview with a CSD Counselor. Each campus site has a CSD Campus Coordinator who works with the CSD Counselors to facilitate smooth day-to-day operations. The center provides comprehensive support services free of charge to students with disabilities. For more detailed information on services, refer to the Student Handbook (pages 5-12).
CSD Counselors are available to guide students through the admissions/registration process. They will provide students with accommodations appropriate for their disabilities and classes they will take. CSD Student Assistants are also available to assist CSD Counselors in helping students through the registration process. Counseling includes academic and career counseling. Special training is provided to staff to support them in providing quality services. Our counselors maintain extensive contacts within the college, with community agencies, and with local high schools to better serve current and future students with disabilities.
CSD Counselors are available at each campus location to help students explore career options and select the classes that are right for them. Whether students are planning on going into a certificate program, getting an Associate degree, or planning on transferring later to a four year program for a bachelor's degree, their CSD Counselor can guide them to exactly what they need and help them avoid costly mistakes in class selection. They will also help students to understand their own support service needs better.
Sign Language Interpreting
The Center for Students with Disabilities has a team of sign language interpreters to assist students in their educational endeavors. Any student with a hearing impairment who communicates through sign language can request an interpreter. Students meet with their CSD Counselor to request services. Students should request this service when they meet with their CSD Counselor during advising for class registration, so the Campus Coordinator can schedule the service as soon as classes begin.
Note-taking services are available for students with disabilities who have a severe learning disability, have a hearing impairment, or for some other disability related reason cannot take notes for themselves. The note-taker attends the student's class and takes notes from the class lecture. If a student cannot physically write, the note-taker assumes the role of a scribe. The scribe will not only take notes but will also take dictation from that student during class activities where the instructor requires students to write. Note-takers do not tutor the student in the classroom or interfere with the direct communication between the student and instructor. Outside of class, students might prefer to use technology in the Assistive Technology Lab for dictating their work. They can also request the services of a scribe.
Students meet with their CSD Counselor to request services. It is recommended that students request this service when they meet with their CSD Counselor during advising for class registration. The Campus Coordinator schedules all in-class services, such as note-taking and scribing. Students are asked to check with their Campus Coordinator to clarify these services.
Students can request a reader or scribe specifically to assist them in completing assignments. The scribe will take dictation from the student. Students are responsible for deciding how they will answer on assignments.
Students who feel they may need this service can discuss their need with their CSD Counselor. There are alternatives to having a reader or scribe. The Center for Students with Disabilities maintains a variety of assistive technology that students may be able to use in lieu of a scribe or reader. CSD lab assistants are ready to assist students in acquiring the skills they need to make the best use of the technology available to them. Students with visual disabilities and learning disabilities can receive audio book through the Recordings for the Blind.
One-on-one scheduled tutoring and small group tutoring is available to students with disabilities enrolled at El Paso Community College; however, students with disabilities wanting this service must register with the Center for Students with Disabilities and request this service when meeting with their CSD Counselor. Once their CSD Counselor recommends the service, students meet with the CSD Campus Coordinator for their tutoring schedules. The Center for Students with Disabilities provides tutoring for students in degree, certificate programs, continuing education, and those students with disabilities who register for GED (graduation equivalency diploma) classes. CSD tutors have CRLA (College Reading and Learning Association) international tutoring certification at the regular, advanced, and master levels. They can help students with a variety of subject areas. Moreover, they are prepared to guide students with disabilities in developing insights into their own learning style, strengths and weaknesses, and to teach them learning strategies in conjunction with the subjects they are learning.
Students who have disabilities that affect their ability to take tests are eligible to receive test assistance. The specific type of testing accommodation is determined by the nature of the disability. Test assistance provided by the Center for Students with Disabilities may include any one or a combination of the following accommodations: scribing, reading, extended time for testing, testing in a location other than the classroom, monitoring, and use of adaptive equipment.
Some students may need a test reader. The reader can describe graphs and diagrams in accordance with the instructor's directions. Sometimes students need a scribe who can physically write the student's test answers. The scribe takes the student's dictation; however, the scribe is not the only option available for recording test answers. In some cases, students may be able to use assistive technology in the test taking process. The CSD Counselor and CSD staff in the Assistive Technology Lab will familiarize students with assistive technology that may be useful in the test taking process. A monitor will oversee the test taking process when assistive technology is used. Scribes, readers, and monitors do not provide any assistance in determining answers to test questions. They only assist students in documenting their own answers on tests.
Students may require additional time for two reasons. (1) Extra time is needed just to work with a test assistant or use adaptive equipment.(2) Some students may have disabilities that affect their processing speed and will need additional time to complete a test.
Test Taking Locations
When additional time is the only testing accommodation needed, students usually take their test in the Testing Center. When the student needs test assistant or adaptive equipment, students take their tests in the CSD office.
Arranging Test Assistance
Students meet with their CSD Counselor to request this service. CSD recommends that students request test assistance when they meet with their CSD Counselor during advising for class registration, so students can provide their instructors with the testing assistance notification form.
As soon as students know the test date, they should report to the Testing Assistance Coordinator or Campus Coordinator who will schedule the test during or as close as possible to the time the test is given in class. Students who receive extended time and take their tests in the Testing Center must follow their instructor's deadlines for taking the test.
Assistive Technology Labs
Assistive technology is available at each campus site. The main Assistive Technology Lab is located at Valle Verde and labs are open during regular campus hours.
Students registered with the Center for Students with Disabilities are welcome to use the Assistive Technology lab and can schedule services directly with the Assistive Technology Specialist.
Guidelines for Use of CSD Assistive Technology Labs
- You must be a CSD student or Staff member to use the Assistive Technology Lab.
- Profanity will not be tolerated.
- There are absolutely no food or drinks allowed in the Assistive Technology Lab.
- The Assistive Technology Lab is not for socializing.
- Please keep the noise level down or you will be asked to leave.
- There are no children allowed in the Assistive Technology Lab.
- The department is not responsible for security of students’ books, backpacks, personal items, etc.
- Students must provide their own pens, pencils, jump drives, CDs, books and other items needed.
- Students of this department have priority use of the equipment that is provided in the Assistive Technology Lab.
- Computer usage must be logged on the proper sign-in sheet located at the Assistive Technology Lab Help Desk.
- It is prohibited by law to copy any licensed software from our hard drives or CDs, unless it is freeware or shareware. In the case of freeware/shareware, you must ask an Assistive Technology Lab Assistant for help.
- Chatting and messenger programs are not allowed. Computers should be utilized for educational purposes.
- Do not download any programs onto any computer in the lab. If you need assistance please contact an Assistive Technology Lab Assistant.
- The use of all Assistive Technology Lab computers, adaptive equipment, literary materials, or other supplies must be scheduled by an Assistive Technology Lab Assistant.
- If you require assistance, please raise your hand or contact the nearest lab assistant.
- If any of the equipment malfunctions please contact any lab assistant immediately. Do not try to repair the equipment yourself.