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Office of Special Services

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Getting Started with OSS

 

 

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I believe that we should be providing

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education to anybody who wants to show

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up everybody has something within them

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they can be brought out we're not just

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looking at bringing students into the

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college campus but we're also looking

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about how we can make them succeed not

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only at the college but in life you

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should be able to have the chance to

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show what you know in the best way

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possible everybody has a right to come

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to school everybody has a right to come

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to college Los Angeles City College is

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an urban oasis proudly serving our

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students and community LACC is an

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institution grounded in academic

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excellence Los Angeles City College is

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one of the most diverse campuses in the

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county that allows us to serve students

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with disability striving towards

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excellence and inclusion Los Angeles

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City College supports its Office of

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Special Services hello I'm dr. Anderson

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i'm dean of student services and special

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programs i'd like to welcome you to the

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Office of Special Services at Los

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Angeles City College the Office of

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Special Services is really the only

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Department on campus that is dedicated

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to serving students who either have or

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think that they have a disability part

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of our mission is to empower you so that

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you can see in your classes and get on

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with your life in terms of your career

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objectives transferring to another

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University this office is actually here

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for you

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my name is Karen drew middle my

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disability is juvenile rheumatoid

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arthritis and I was diagnosed at the age

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of one and a half so I've had arthritis

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throughout my whole life my name is

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diana creo I struggled with my writing

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and I had really bad anxiety with Matt I

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have retinitis pigmentosa basically the

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cells in the eyes that take in the light

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and can distinguish color and all that

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they're just dying off I should be going

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blind in like 10 to 40 years I have

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problems with reading and spelling and I

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get nervous when I feel rushed I didn't

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know about my disability until maybe a

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few years into college I struggled with

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math I never came to terms to think

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about what was wrong I just went ahead

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and said yeah I'm not getting math on my

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guinea mouth I was born completely blind

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and I started to see in my left eye when

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I was a few months old

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occasional good questions about who has

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a disability or what disabilities we

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serve and my response is any disability

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you can start anywhere with a learning

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disability speech and language

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disabilities students are deaf or hard

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of hearing a student has physical or

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mobility issues students who are blind

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or have low vision of the students who

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have attention deficit disorder if

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you're a student you have some of these

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issues going on or if you've always

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struggled in certain academic subjects

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then really it's great for them to come

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over and say hey this is where I'm at

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this is where I'm struggling what do you

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think a lot of our students have what

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sometimes they're called invisible

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disabilities you really can't tell what

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the disability is by speaking to them

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usually what I tell students and faculty

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is that someone with a learning

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disability is average or higher

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intelligence but they have difficulty in

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one or more area if you learn in a

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particular way if one of your modalities

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is much stronger than another it can be

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difficult in school it usually is

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somebody that does great in all their

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English classes or a good writer but

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when they get to math they hit a wall in

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the past I have had students who come to

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me who are very perplexed who say

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there's something about this I don't get

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they seem to be knowledgeable in class

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their performances on quizzes and exams

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do not show that knowledge there are

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some students who need some

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accommodation but they are nervous when

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I first started Los Angeles City College

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and I was very timid I was shy my

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disability is not something I'd like to

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talk about

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well I encouraged them to get the help I

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tell no it's an accommodation it's not

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to stigmatize you it and so I point out

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this is not the case of you are

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different you are special in a way

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though many other people are and if you

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want the accommodation we have it for

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you and it levels the playing field

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that's the term that usually

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gets the booked once a student comes

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over to OSS we have a really great

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intake process we ask the student to

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fill out application for Office of

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Special Services and they make an

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appointment for an intake screaming we

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have to verify that a student has a

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disability one of the ways that that's

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done is to get information or

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documentation from an appropriate

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professional that's a medical person a

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psychologist speech pathologist some

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students come in and say you know I

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don't know what's wrong I've just got

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some issues we get verification of their

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disability and we begin to assess what

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their accommodation needs may be

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how do we help students inside and

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outside the classroom we strive for that

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concept of universal design universal

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design really has to do with access for

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anyone whether you have a disability or

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not well in terms of physical access

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it's being able to get into a building

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it's being able to have a chair that you

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can use and not having to ask for a

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special chair it's not having s or a

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special table because you happen to be

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in a wheelchair

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what's fair is fair everybody getting

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the same thing I don't think so

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I think fair is the idea that people get

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what they need and people don't need the

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same thing something might work for some

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students something might not work for

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another students we look at each person

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as an individual and figure out what

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works for that person for example maybe

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you need to tape record your lecture

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maybe you need to sit in front of the

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class you need to have priority seating

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with that I was able to seat in a

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location which is in front of the

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classroom closest to the door made it a

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lot easier so when people get out I

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don't get tumbled down with everybody

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trying to get out if you're a slow

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processor you have a little difficulty

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reading you have spatial difficulties

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you might need extra time to take your

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exams and we'll arrange to have your

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tests taken here so you can take it in a

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relatively quiet environment there's

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only ten minutes left in the test and

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you still not halfway through it and

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you're rushing and you're seeing all

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these other kids leave quicker than you

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just takes me a little longer to do

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things and this place provides that for

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me somebody who has an attention deficit

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might get very disturbed by a sound or a

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movement next to them

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it could be somebody fiddling with

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papers it could be somebody's cell phone

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going off even on vibrate it can be

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someone talking in the next room or

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tapping with their pen or tapping their

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foot it can be anything

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my name is Anne Farrell Keys Bay I'm the

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senior sign language interpreter in 804

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here Los Angeles City College my

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responsibilities are to provide sign

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language interpreter services to all

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deaf and hard of hearing students we

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provide

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simultaneous communication between the

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deaf and hard of hearing student when

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the teacher is lecturing they give you

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the tools to use on your own to become

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independent so you don't have to

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completely rely on people I can use the

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big CCTVs they have there which is

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really helpful I can set it to a reverse

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contrast zoom it as big as I need some

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of our students are in the tutoring

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center our tutors are trained to work

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with students at disabilities my tutors

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were really helpful in terms of

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accommodating me they actually wrote

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really big and really clear and they

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actually tried to find the best way to

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work with me so I could understand them

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through this program here I did use one

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of the tutors for math he dedicated his

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time and found different ways to show me

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how to grasp the different problems

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there were times where I was ready to

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give up and because of my tutor he would

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not let me give up and say let's do

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another problem or a problem we never

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ever ask an instructor to lower their

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academic standards so this isn't about

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something special anymore it's really

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about leveling the playing field and

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that's what we're trying to do with our

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students here

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this is the high-tech Center in the

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Office of Special Services the high-tech

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Center is another way that we

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accommodate students it has a variety of

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computers and software programs that

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help students make up for whatever

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functional limitations they may have my

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name is Sheryl Morrison I'm the

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assistive technology specialist in

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high-tech center I assist them in

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learning the assistive technology for

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our blind students we have programs like

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jaws where it reads the text out loud so

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I'm just bringing up jaws so from here

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we can then go through all the menus or

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for students who are visually impaired

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we have zoomtext which blows up the size

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of the letters as you can see we can get

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up to six times zoom right here another

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good feature is it actually allows us to

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change the color some students actually

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work better if the color is inverted and

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the program like zoomtext allows us to

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make those changes we also have read and

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write gold for students who are learning

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disabled who need to hear the text read

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to them I just copy and paste text to

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field when it can read it I also convert

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a student text books into Braille I

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would take a student's textbook and I

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converted into a Braille format and then

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I print out their text books this is one

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chapter my major part of my job is to

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provide a tech service to our students

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basically we take the books and fit it

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into a high-speed scanner and scan the

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books into a graphic format and then we

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can use the OCR software to get the text

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out from the image one of the obstacles

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that I had was I'm having to carry a

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heavy load of books in my backpack this

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is where I get them in CD or mp3 format

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which it makes a lot easier in addition

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we have a class called

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skills 43 it's adaptive computer

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technology and they can come in and if

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they don't know how to type we have

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typing software for students that are

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sighted as well as those who are

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visually impaired if they already know

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how to type we teach the visually

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impaired students how to navigate the

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internet and also Word documents using

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jaws and shortcut keys this is our home

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page it has our mission statement and

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our regular information as far as our

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address our phone number and our hours

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these are our types of special services

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that are offered I really encourage

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faculty to go onto the webpage

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take a look at the faculty handbook

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because it will answer a lot of

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questions that you may have

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many of our students when they're

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receiving their commendations like extra

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time do extremely well back in my high

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school days

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my academic achievements were see see -

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by using OSS I get to do a department

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one of my students just got into UC

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Berkeley and she brought me this cup

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which I treasure

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I'm a better reader now better speller

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one of our students was born in Mexico

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and when he first came here he was in

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ESL 1 he didn't speak any English at all

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and he was completely blind and now he

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has his master's decree it's actually

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been a great help to my development as

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an individual my academic life has gone

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from I completely failed high school

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because I just didn't have the resources

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available to me - my first semester here

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I got all A's except for 1b and 1c we

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have a student who was different blind

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and she recently graduated last year

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after finishing two years at La CC I

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transferred over to Cal State Northridge

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and after two years in the cinema

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television program I graduated when I'm

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currently working in my field what the

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help of accommodations and just to help

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with the counselors and Department of

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Rehabilitation

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I then made myself active in campus I

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became director student body government

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I was an advocate for the students with

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disabilities so I was the student body

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president what we try to provide here in

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this program are a set of skills that

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they can use to get on with whatever it

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is they're doing in education you have

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to be able to take responsibility for

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what you want to do and where you want

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to go in life because there are a lot of

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tools there are a lot of strategies

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there is a lot of help that we can

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provide to those students to be

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successful in their educational career

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and in their life if you're willing to

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work if you're willing to open your mind

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up to try these other ways of doing

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things

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you're going to be a success

 Contact Us

Student Services Building, 1st Floor
(323) 953-4000 ext. 2270 (TTY/TDD)
oss@lacitycollege.edu


Mailing Address: 
Los Angeles City College
Office of Special Services
855 N. Vermont Avenue, SSB 1st Floor 
Los Angeles, CA 90029 

 Office Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8am - 4:30pm
Friday: 8am - 2:30pm

 Special Notices

IMPORTANT – ACCESSIBLE PATHWAYS during CONSTRUCTION

ATTENTION STUDENTS: OSS IS NOW OPEN! We are located on the first floor of the Student Services Building.

Orientation for new and ongoing students who are blind or have low vision:

The Orientation will be held Thursday, August 31, 10am - 11am in the OSS Classroom, Room 113. 

For individual orientation, please contact Robert Dominick at (323) 953-4000 ext. 2271 to set up an appointment.

Los Angeles City College | 855 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles California 90029

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Phone: 323.953.4000

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Emergency: 323.953.2911