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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What are the OSD’s hours of operation? Are you open evenings and weekends?

A: The OSD is open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The office is not open on evenings, weekends, or University holidays, and may close on occasion for staff training.

Q: Do you have drop in appointments?

A: No. All appointments must be scheduled in advance. Students are welcome to call the OSD after 2 p.m. each day to see if there are any cancellations for the following day.

Q: Is there a specific Orientation session or Summer Bridge program for students with disabilities?

A: No, not at this time.

Q: Are all students with disabilities registered with the OSD?

A: No, since students with disabilities are not required to register unless they are requesting accommodations, there are many students who do not register with us.

Q: How long are student records kept by the OSD?

A: Paper and electronic records are kept for 5 academic years after the last contact with student. After 5 years, records are destroyed.

Q: What adaptive equipment is available for students to use and where is it located?

A: All Apple computers around the campus have accessibility options that can be enabled by the user. If you require a screen reader for Windows besides Narrator and/or need to request for other adaptive services, visit

The UC San Diego campus is an Aira Access Location. With just a couple of taps, Aira connects people with a live agent that can describe visual information to individuals who are blind and low vision for free anywhere on the UC San Diego campus. To begin using the service, visit, and after downloading the app onto your smartphone, sign up with your email address or phone number. To read more about the Aira service, please visit

Q: How do I request captioning or interpreting for campus events?

A: Contact the department hosting the event directly to request for captioning or interpreting services.

Q: Does the OSD loan out wheelchairs, crutches, or knee scooters?

A: No. These are considered items for personal use so the OSD does not loan these out. For a list of equipment rental organizations, visit

Q: What are my options if I feel I’m being discriminated against because of my disability?

A: To learn more about the procedure for Disability-Based Grievances, visit

Documentation and Accommodations

Q: What type of documentation do I need to provide?

A: Our Intake and Consent forms along with forms for medical professionals can be found at Any copies of IEP or 504 plans, accommodation letters from other institutions, and/or accommodation letters from national testing boards, such as the GRE, MCAT, GMAT, SAT, AP, etc, should also be submitted.

Q: Will I receive the same accommodations at UC San Diego that I received in high school or at a community college?

A: It depends. Through an interactive process with students, OSD staff reviews a student’s history of accommodations, their self-report of the impact of the disability, and third party documentation to determine reasonable accommodations. Learn more about the Interactive Process at

Q: What type of accommodations are typical at UC San Diego?

A: To view a list of accommodations, visit

Q: Does UC San Diego pay for neuro-psychological or psycho-educational assessments?

A: No. However, students who are on the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) can have the majority of the cost of the assessment paid for minus a co-pay. Financial aid can assist with add-ons if students have difficulty covering the co-pay.

Q: Why might I need to provide updated or additional documentation?

A: You may need to provide updated or additional documentation if the documentation does not clearly specify your current functional limitations, if there are discrepancies in the information received, if the information is outdated, and/or you are making requests for accommodations that are not supported by the documentation currently on file.

Q: How are accommodations determined at UC San Diego?

A: OSD staff meet weekly to review case files and determine reasonable accommodations based on student self-report, history of accommodations previously received, and current documentation that outlines functional limitations.

Q: Am I required to pay for accommodations?

A: No, students are not required to pay for accommodations. However, they are required to pay for services such as personal care attendants and equipment that is for their own personal use.

Q: Will my parents have access to my file and/or information about my disability/accommodations?

A: No. Students are afforded confidentiality of their records per University Policy and FERPA. However, students may list a parent on their consent form if they want to give OSD staff permission to speak with them. However, students are expected to be the primary communicator with the OSD.

Q: How can I request copies of my documentation?

A: You will need to make a public records request through Records Administration. To get started, visit

Q: Will my academic record (transcripts, diploma) indicate that I received accommodations?

A: No.


Q: How will instructors and departmental staff (OSD liaisons) be informed that I need accommodations for a particular course?

A: Once a student is eligible for accommodations, he/she will need to accept their accommodations in the OSD Student Portal and send their electronic Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) letters to instructors and OSD academic liaisons. The student is responsible for discussing specific arrangements for accommodations with instructors and liaisons.

Q: Do I need to request accommodations each quarter?

A: Yes. While in some cases diagnoses and limitations may not change, the requirements for courses may necessitate changes to accommodations.

Q: Can I ask for accommodations after the fact?

A: No. Accommodations are NOT retro-active.

Q: Do I have to use all the accommodations for which I am approved?

A: No. However, if you decline an accommodation, you cannot request it for an exam, quiz, or assignment that has already passed. You may use it for future exams, quizzes, and assignments.

Q: What type of lecture capture accommodations do you provide?

A: To learn more about Note-taking accommodations, visit

Q: How do I request captioning or interpreting for my classes?

A: To learn more about requesting for captioning or interpreting, visit

Q: Who is responsible for providing exam accommodations, such as extended test time and a separate room?

A: These exam accommodations are the responsibility of your instructor and the academic department. Your Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) letter indicates who is responsible for providing the accommodation.

Q: I have a documented disability that impacts my ability to complete a math or foreign language course successfully. Can this course be waived?

A: No. Courses are never waived. Consideration may be made for a course substitution so long as the substitution does not fundamentally alter the major or program requirements.

Q: Is tutoring an accommodation? Where can I access tutoring?

A: No. Tutoring is not an accommodation. Tutoring services can be accessed through the Teaching and Learning Commons. Learn more about the Teaching and Learning Commons at

Q: Who do I contact if an instructor or department is refusing to accommodate me?

A: Notify the OSD immediately regarding your concern. To learn more about the procedure for Disability-Based Grievances, visit

Transportation and Parking


Q: What if I need accommodations in student housing or dining?

A: Requests for non-academic accommodations are the same as requesting academic accommodations. Read more about Housing Accommodations at,-Dining,-&-Transportati.

Q: Do students with disabilities who have campus housing accommodations all reside in the same building?

A: No, the Housing Liaison will work with you on your housing assignment once you have submitted your OSD Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) Letter to them at

Q: UCSD is a smoke/pet free campus. If either are a concern for my health, should I request for a housing accommodation?

A: Yes, if you have any medical needs for a housing space, you should request a non-academic accommodation.

Q: Is there student housing for students who use wheelchairs?

A: Yes, Housing has accessible spaces. It is important to work on your non-academic accommodation to ensure you are assigned to an appropriate space. Please note that ADA requirements will vary based on the date of building design, but the Housing Liaison will work with you on your needs once you have submitted your OSD Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) Letter to them at

Q: Is there student housing quipped with auditory/visual fire alarms?

A: Yes, there is student housing available equipped with both auditory and visual alarms.