Faculty Handbook

The Cerritos College Student Accessibility Services (SAS, formerly DSPS) program is predicated upon equity and the belief that any student can reach their full potential and achieve their educational and career goals. SAS faculty and staff assist students with disabilities so they have equal access to all educational programs and activities including classroom, clinical, laboratory, internships, student organizations, classroom and sponsored events.

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides Cerritos College students with disabilities access to curricula, programs, and college activities in order to facilitate learning, development, and promote success. Since accessibility is the shared responsibility of the campus community, SAS collaborates with faculty and staff to identify and minimize barriers through the design of universal and inclusive learning environments. SAS is committed to providing students equitable opportunities to pursue their individual, educational, and career goals.

Please review our new Faculty Handbook, where you will find pertinent information about SAS and the services we provide students with disabilities:

table of contents

Cerritos College is committed to fostering an academic and work environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment (See BP 3410 and AP 3410 for additional information). In compliance with, but not limited to, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended 2008 (ADAAA); Sections 504 and 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, this SAS faculty website section is intended to remind all faculty about our collective commitment and obligation to accommodate students with disabilities.  
Our Charge

Students with limitations due to a disability may receive support services and instruction from Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Those students with physical, visual, hearing, speech, mental health, learning and intellectual disabilities as well as other health conditions, acquired brain injuries, autism, and ADHD are served. 
Student Accessibility Services is responsible for the administration of Cerritos College commitment to ensuring access and participation for all students with qualifying disabilities or medical conditions. SAS facilitates academic accommodations in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). SAS provides access to the numerous educational opportunities available to students on our campus and empowers students to realize their academic potential.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a federal civil rights law that protects individuals from discrimination based on disability in a variety of settings, including employment and education. It was amended in 2008 to expand the definition of who is considered an individual with a disability and the amendments are referred to as ADAAA – “Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act”.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 promotes equal access and participation in postsecondary programs and services. These laws provide that students must have an equal opportunity to obtain the same educational outcomes and level of achievement as a student without disabilities. Accordingly, postsecondary institutions may neither deny students with disabilities any benefit or service, nor offer any benefit or service that is not as effective as those offered to students without disabilities. Failure to comply with federal disability laws may subject both the college and individual faculty members/instructors to lawsuits and significant monetary penalties.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal agencies to ensure that their information and communication technology (ICT) is accessible to people with disabilities.  Educational institutions that receive any form of federal funding, including Financial Aid, are considered federal agencies under this law.  Items which must be accessible under this law include textbooks, electronic course materials, learning management systems, software, and websites.  Educational software and/or web-based interfaces which are industry standard for which there is no accessible option shall undergo a process to determine an Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan to ensure that every individual has access to the course materials.


Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations are the state laws pertaining to education in California. The sections that relate to disability services at the Community College level are §§ 56000-56088.  These cover the role and responsibilities of the disability services programs (DSPS in Title 5), including services, reporting and other program requirements, and special provisions for students with disabilities.


SAS is committed to ensuring that all disability-related information including documentation, accommodation letters, correspondence, and consultations are considered confidential and need-to-know in accordance with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations (Section 56008), and Cerritos College AP 5140. Only authorized personnel within SAS can access a student’s disability-related information. Information in student files will not be released except in compliance with federal and state law. 


Any student, employee, or District affiliate who believes they have been subjected to discrimination and/or harassment on the basis of a physical or mental disability may file a complaint with the ADA/504 Coordinator in the Office of Diversity, Compliance, and Title IX at (562) 860-2451 x 2276 or Title IXCoordinator@cerritos.edu. Information regarding the District’s policy and procedures relating to the ADA/504 Complaint process can be found in AP 3412.

All Cerritos College community members are encouraged to utilize all reporting agencies available to them.  As such, individuals can also file a complaint directly to the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. OCR: Discrimination Complaint Form

The ADA defines an individual with a disability as a person who:

  1. has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of that person,
  2. has a record of such an impairment, or
  3. is regarded as having such an impairment.
What are Major Life Activities?

Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, lifting, bending, learning, and the operation of a major life activity, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. 

The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as medication, equipment, auxiliary aids and services, or other such measures.

Obvious and Non-obvious Disabilities 

The faculty and staff in SAS provide support services to students with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, psychological disabilities, developmental delay, brain injury, visual impairments, health problems, and hearing impairments. Many of our students have “invisible” disabilities including, but not limited to, cognitive, learning, neurological, and developmental diagnoses. Some examples of “invisible” disabilities include anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and asthma. Students with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations to ensure their educational success in classroom, laboratory, clinical and internship settings.

Accommodation Process

The determination and issuance of reasonable accommodations is a methodical and interactive process between the student and SAS Faculty Specialists. The Faculty Specialists in SAS have the necessary expertise to determine reasonable accommodations based on the student’s medical and other records. If a student in your course requests an accommodation, including but not limited to, auxiliary aids or academic adjustments as a result of a disability, including those relating to attendance or exam/homework deadlines, please refer them to SAS. Please proceed to the next section for further information on accommodations.

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to an academic course, technical program, policy, procedure, service, activity, or facility that enables a student with a disability to have an equal opportunity to enjoy the benefits, opportunities, and privileges that are available to all students. Cerritos College has an obligation to provide auxiliary aids and services for persons with disabilities, unless to do so would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations offered, or would result in an undue financial or administrative burden to the program, division, or district.

Why do postsecondary institutions provide accommodations?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stipulates postsecondary institutions are responsible for providing necessary accommodations when a student discloses a disability. At Cerritos College, SAS is tasked with determining the necessary accommodations to facilitate a student's access to instruction and participation in the college academic experience. Faculty members are important SAS partners, as they can help ensure that students have access to the accommodations to be effectively implemented.

Understanding accommodations

Accommodations are tools and procedures that provide equal access to instruction and assessments for students with disabilities. Access is the opportunity and ability for an individual to participate in the instruction, discussions, activities, products, and assessments provided to all students within a public institution covered by ADA mandates. Accommodations are provided to “level the playing field.” They are intended to offset the effects of disability and to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills. Accommodations are intended to reduce, or even eliminate, the effects of a student’s disability.

They do not, however, reduce learning expectations and should not give a false picture of what a student knows and can do. Reliance on accommodations should never replace appropriate and rigorous instruction in the content area.

To make effective accommodations decisions, SAS Faculty Specialists gather and review as much disability-related information about the student as possible. Initial intake appointments focus on what accommodations SAS determines to provide the student with equal learning opportunities.

Accommodations are generally grouped into the following categories:
  • Presentation accommodations include providing instruction or assessment in an alternate format. Some examples include ASL (American Sign Language), captioning, assistive technology devices, Braille, large print, or a reader.
  • Response accommodations allow students to complete assignments or exams in diverse ways (e.g., verbal, use of reference aids, clicker, use of computer, etc.).
  • Timing/Scheduling accommodations increase the allowable length of time to complete a test or assignment and may also change the way the time is organized (e.g., extended time, frequent breaks).
  • Setting accommodations change the location in which a test or assignment is given or the conditions of the assessment setting (e.g., private exam room, distraction-reduced).

Faculty will be informed of a student's SAS approved accommodations on their Letter of Accommodation, which will be available in the SAS Faculty Portal;  email notification will automatically be sent to faculty when a new Letter of Accommodation becomes available.  We have provided descriptions of our most common accommodations on our SAS Accommodations webpage but please note that the list is not exhaustive, since reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Determining Essential Components and Fundamental Alterations

Note that reasonable accommodations do not require faculty to fundamentally change the program requirements or constitute an undue burden to the program, division, or District. A faculty member may not make the final determination that a recommended accommodation by SAS constitutes a fundamental alteration or undue burden without consulting with the Dean of Student Accessibility and Wellness Services. Please contact Student Accessibility Services at (562) 860-2451 x 2335 or sasapply@cerritos.edu to schedule a consultation.   

Student Rights

SAS students with disabilities have the right to:

  • The right not to self-identify if accommodations are not being requested.
  • The right to equal access to courses, facilities, Cerritos College-sponsored courses, programs, and activities. If accommodations are required to ensure equal access, the student must register with SAS to determine eligibility and appropriate accommodations.
  • The right to be protected from discrimination.
  • The right to make decisions regarding the release of personal disability information.
  • The right to challenge decisions or submit a complaint to the ADA/504 Coordinator in the Office of Diversity, Compliance, and Title IX.
Student Responsibilities

Students who are self-identifying with the intent of requesting accommodations have a responsibility to:

  • Follow all procedures for registration with SAS, including submission of appropriate professional documentation, identifying the disability, and detailing the functional limitations caused by the condition.
  • Read and respond to all correspondence from SAS.
  • Self-identify in a timely manner, meeting deadlines and allowing reasonable time for review of documentation and implementation arrangements prior to the need for accommodations.
  • Follow SAS procedures when receiving accommodations, including any procedures which require interaction with faculty or staff.
  • Utilize the Student Portal each semester to provide notification letters of approved accommodations to faculty.
  • Notify SAS if the approved accommodations are not effective or no longer necessary.
Faculty Rights

Faculty Members Have a Right to: 

  • Maintain the fundamental nature of course content;
  • Require students to demonstrate knowledge of essential course material;
  • Ask a student who requests an accommodation to provide a SAS Accommodation Letter.
Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty Members Have a Responsibility to:

  • Follow the procedures to view a SAS-registered students accommodation letter by logging into the SAS Faculty Portal using their Cerritos logon and password. 
  • Implement the individualized academic accommodations provided in SAS accommodation letters for a SAS- registered student in their course. 
  • To comply with laws and regulations, it is important that approved accommodations be provided without interruption. 
  • Not inquire about the nature of a student’s medical condition or disability.

SAS accommodations for a student may only be shared with other Cerritos employees on a need-to-know basis to effectively implement. Sharing student information must be in compliance with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. 

SAS staff has the right to:
  • Require appropriate, professional documentation demonstrating the nature and extent of the functional limitations caused by a condition.
  • Deny a request for failure to complete the SAS registration process or where the information does not indicate an accommodation is necessary in providing equal access to the educational environment.
  • Refuse a request for unreasonable accommodation’s or one which would alter an essential element of a course or degree.
  • Discuss specific disability-related information with Cerritos College faculty or staff on a need-to-know basis.
SAS responsibilities:
  • Review requests for accommodations and documentation submitted to SAS. 
  • Maintain confidentiality of student documentation and communications, in accordance with FERPA.
  • Engage students in an interactive process to discuss reasonable accommodations.
  • Determine reasonable accommodations and make recommendations to faculty regarding the implementation of accommodations.
  • Act in accordance with Federal and State laws that prohibit disability discrimination.

Students with disabilities who wish to utilize accommodations should apply to SAS if they haven't already.  Please encourage any student who requests accommodations, including for absences/adjustments related to a medical condition or hospitalization, to apply to SAS to determine reasonable accommodations.  Since not all students are aware that SAS exists, the below syllabus statement is a good way to ensure students receive information about out program.

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) recommends that each course syllabus contain a statement reflecting compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Ideally, faculty should provide a detailed syllabus that includes course objectives, weekly topics, classroom activities, required reading and writing assignments, and dates of tests, quizzes, and vacations;  this provides valuable information to all students and allows students with disabilities to identify the accommodations they will need to request for that class as well as arrange for materials in an alternate format, if necessary.  Whenever possible, provide syllabi and other course materials in an electronic format to provide direct access.

As a recommended best practice designed to promote an inclusive classroom environment, faculty should include a syllabus statement directing students to SAS for disability-related academic accommodations.  Consider including the following statement on your course syllabus:

If you are already registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) please request your Letter of Accommodation in the Student Portal. If you are seeking registration, please apply for services via the SAS online application. For more information, please visit the SAS website, visit them in the LA/SAS Building or contact them by phone at (562) 860-2451 ext. 2335. 

Faculty members are also encouraged to make textbook selections as far in advance as possible and to avoid changing the selections unless there are compelling reasons.

Cerritos College is committed to establishing a barrier free learning community, or Universal Access, to all individuals. This is an institutional responsibility, which includes all faculty, administrators, and staff. Of particular concern is the need to provide electronic and information technologies (EIT) in accessible formats, in compliance with the ADA and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Cerritos College AP 3411 Accessibility of Information and Communication Technology affirms the College's responsibility to comply with federal accessibility laws.  Additionally, Cerritos College AP 4005 Duties and Responsibilities of Faculty Members stipulates that any electronic textbooks and/or course packs must be available to students with disabilities.  Faculty seeking support for developing accessible course content should consult the CTX Accessibility webpage.

Please DO:
  • Include our recommended syllabus statement on all of your syllabi;
  • Log into the SAS portal at the beginning of the semester to view all of your students' accommodation letters;
  • Encourage students to discuss their disability-related needs with you during office hours;
  • Refer to a student's SAS accommodation letter for their approved accommodations; 
  • Direct students to SAS when any accommodations that don't appear on their letter are requested;
  • Familiarize yourself with the Guidance Memorandum Regarding Disability Accommodation  to ensure you are complying with federal laws, campus Board Policies and Administrative Procedures.
Please DON'T:
  • Hesitate to contact SAS if you have any questions about a student's accommodations;
  • Refrain from referring students - confidentially - whom you believe may benefit from SAS services;
  • Attempt to determine a reasonable accommodation without consulting SAS;
  • Ask students to share any medical documentation with you, even for temporary conditions.

The SAS Clockwork Portal is where faculty can access student accommodation letters and upload tests for students who will be taking their exams in the SAS Testing Center.  The easiest way to access our portal is via the campus portal, PortalGuard.  Once logged in, you will see a tile titled SAS Clockwork Portal:  

Screenshot of SAS Clockwork Portal tile in PortalGuard

There is also a link to the Faculty portal on the SAS home page:

Screenshot of Clockwork faculty portal on SAS homepage

On the portal landing page, you will find a comprehensive Instructor Guide for using the SAS Clockwork Portal.