Academic Support Services

Academic Support Services

Services are designed to provide equal access to the instructional learning environment for all qualified students with disabilities deemed eligible to receive academic adjustments according to the implementing regulations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. UC Merced Disability Services (DS) is the sole designated and authorized student support unit that determines a student's eligibility for accommodation services by reason of disability.

Academic Support Services are planned in consultation with the student, faculty and other departmental staff as needed. Due to the fact that accommodation services are planned on a case-by-case basis, students deemed eligible to receive Disability Services must schedule an appointment and meet in person with Disability Services staff to discuss and properly plan for academic accommodation service delivery. For that reason, email is not used as a communication mechanism to discuss academic accommodation service provision as it does not adequately facilitate a collaborative and interactive process between the student and appropriate DS staff.

To be eligible for academic adjustment services, students must provide appropriate documentation according to UC documentation of disability guidelines. Each service must be approved by Disability Services and is generally tailored to the individual need of each student.

DS Accommodation Services include: 

Communication Access Services

Students who are deaf or have hearing impairments can utilize academic support services such as sign language interpreters, remote and real time captioning, or assistive listening services to ensure effective communication access and participation in UC Merced academic and campus programs.

Mobility Assistance

Students with disabilities who are in possession of a California Department of Motor Vehicles Disabled Person Parking Plate or Placard and a UC Merced student parking permit are eligible to park in designated areas.

Proctoring Services

A student may need alternative test-taking conditions to accommodate a disability. Examples may include extended time to complete exams, accessible exam formats and transcription service, large print, Braille, or quiet testing areas. Test arrangements are coordinated and facilitated by DS with the student and instructor having individual responsibilities in requesting a specific proctoring session. The alternative testing arrangement allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and ability and does not, in any way, compromise the testing process. Naturally, the content of the exam is not altered.

Notetaking Services

Students with disabilities, such as those with sensory, manual dexterity or auditory processing deficits, may require course lecture note-taking assistance to compensate for their specific disability. Course lecture note-takers are students enrolled in the same class and volunteer to provide a copy of their notes to an eligible student. Course lecture note-takers receive a DS Certificate of Appreciation, a $25 certificate to the Campus Store (bookstore), and may use DS as a recommendation reference.

Transcription Services

Transcription assistance is available to students whose disability-based needs cannot be met by their independent use of voice activated computing. As necessary, DS can fund a transcriber for students who need typing for assignments or exams.

Alternative Media Services

Students may need alternative access to print material. Students with specific learning disabilities or visual impairments may need their required reading in alternative formats, such as Braille, audiotape or large print and/or utilize assistive software technologies. In order to be in compliance with copyright laws, students are required to provide proof of purchase of textbooks prior to receiving e-texts from publishers or texts in alternate formats.  Students are encouraged to purchase course textbooks in alternate formats when they are available from holdings such as Bookshare and/or commercially available e-books.

Disability Services works in collaboration with faculty and the student in submitting alternative media format requests to course book publishers. In cases where the required reading materials are unavailable from existing publishers and/or alternative media provider sources, Disability Services will make arrangements to reproduce these materials in a format consistent with the student’s identified educational access needs.