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Office of Special Services

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OSS Support Services

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"We know that equality of individual ability has never existed and never will, but we do insist that equaity of opportunity still must be sought." -Franklin D. Roosevelt

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I believe that we should be providing education to anybody that wants to show up.

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Everybody has something within them them that can be brought out.

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We're not just looking at bringing students in to the college campus

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but we're also looking about how we can make them succeed

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not only at the college but in life.

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You should be able to have the chance

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to show what you know in the best way possible.

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Everybody has a right to come to school. Everybody has a right to come to college.

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Los Angeles City College is an urban oasis

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proudly serving our students and community. LACC is an institution

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grounded in academic excellence.

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Los Angeles City College is one of the most diverse campuses in the county

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that allows us to serve students with disability.

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Striving towards excellence and inclusion, Los Angeles City College supports its Office of Special Services.

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Hello, I'm Dr. Anderson.

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I'm Dean of Student Services and Special Programs. I'd like to welcome you to the Office of Specia l Services at Los Angeles City College.

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The Office of Special Services is really the only department on campus

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that is dedicated to serving students who either have

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or think that they have a disability.

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Part of our mission is to empower you so that you can see in your classes

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and get on with your life

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in terms of your career objectives

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or transferring to a University. This office is actually here for you.

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The Spectrum

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My name is Karen Romero. My disability is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

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and I was diagnosed at the age of one and a half, so I have had arthrities throughout my whole life

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My name is Diana Carillo

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I struggled with my writing and I had really bad anxiety with math.

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I have retinitis pigmentosa.

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Basically the cells in the eye that take in the light and

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can distinguish color and all that they're just dying off.

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I should be going blind in like ten to forty years

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I have problems with reading and spelling and I get nervous when I feel rushed

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I didn't know about my disability until a few years into college

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I struggled with math I never came to terms to think about what was wrong.

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I just went ahead and said I'm not getting math I'm not getting math.

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I was born completely blind

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and I started to see in my left eye when I was few months old

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Eligibility

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Occasionally we get questions about

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who has a disability or what disabilities we serve and my response is

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any disability. You can start anywhere

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with a learning disability, speech and language disabilities,

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students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing,

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A student who has physical or mobility issues,

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students who are blind or have low vision

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students who have attention deficit disorder.

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If you're a student you have some these issues going on or if you've always struggled in certain academic subjects

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then really it's great for them to come over and say hey this is where I'm at

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this is where I am struggling what do you think?

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A lot of our students have what sometimes are called invisible disabilities.

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You really can't tell what the disability is by speaking to them.

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Usually what I tell students and faculty is that someone with a learning disability is average or higher

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intelligence but they have difficulty in one more area.

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If you learn in a particular way, if one of your modalities is much stronger than another

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it can be difficult in school.

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It usually is somebody that does great in all their English classes, they're a good writer

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but when they get to math they hit a wall.

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In the past I have had students who come to me who were very perplexed

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who say 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 do not show that knowledge.

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There are some students who need some accommodation

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but they are nervous or hesitant.

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When I first started Los Angeles City College I was very timid, I was shy.

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My disability is not something I'd like to talk about.

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I encourage them to get the help. I tell them no it's an accommodation

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it's not to stigmatize you.

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And so I point out this is not the case of you are different you're special in a way that

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many other people are and if you want the accomodation

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we have it for you and it levels the playing field.

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That's the term that usually gets them hooked.

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Once a student comes over to OSS

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we have a really great intake process

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We ask the student to fill out application for office of

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special services and they make an appointment for an intake screening.

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We have to verify that a student has a disability

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one other ways that is done is to get information or documentation from an

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appropriate professional

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that's a medical person, a psychologist

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a speech pathologist. Some students come in and say no I don't know what's wrong

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I've just got some issues.

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We get verification o f the disability and we begin to assess what their a combination of needs may be.

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Academic Accomodations

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How do we help students inside and outside the classrooms?

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We strive for that concept of universal design.

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Universal design really has to do with access

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for anyone whether you have a disability or not.

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When in terms of physical access, it's being able to get into a building. It's being able to

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have a chair

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that you can use and not having to ask for a special chair.

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It's not having to ask for a special table because you happen to be in a wheelchair.

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What's fair? is fair everybody getting the same thing?

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I don't think so, I think fair is the idea that people get what they need and

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people don't need the same thing.

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Something might work for some students something might not work for another student.

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We look at each person as an individual

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and figure out what works for that person.

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For example maybe you need to tape record your lecture

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maybe you need to sit in front of the class you need to have priority seating.

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With that I would be able to sit in a location which is in front of the classroom

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closest to the door made it a lot easier so when people get out,

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I don't get tumbled down with everybody trying to get out.

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If you're a slow processor

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you have a little difficulty reading you, have spatial

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difficulties you might need extra time

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to take your exams and we will arrange to have your tests taken here so you can take it

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in a relatively quiet environment.

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There's only 10 minutes left in the test and you're still

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not halfway through it and you're rushing

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and you see all these other kids leave quicker than you

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just takes me a little longer do things and

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this place provides that for me.

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Somebody who has an attention deficit might get very disturbed by a sound or a movement

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next to them. It could be somebody fiddling with papers

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it could be somebody's cell phone going off even on vibrate

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it can be someone talking in the next room or tapping with their pen

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or tapping their foot it could be anything.

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My name is Alredo Quispe and I am the senior sign language intepretor coordinator for here Los Angeles City College

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My responsibilities are to provide sign language interpreter services

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to all deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

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We provide a simultaneous communication between the deaf and hard-of-hearing

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student when the teacher is lecturing.

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They give you the tools to use on your own to become independent

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so you don't have to completely rely on people.

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I can use that big CCTV's they have there which is

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really helpful I can set it to a reverse contrast and zoom in as big as I need.

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Some of our students are in the tutoring center. Our tutors are trained to work with

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students who have disabilities.

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My tutors were really helpful in terms of accommodating me.

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They actually wrote really big

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and really clear and they actually try to find the

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the best way to work with me so I can understand them.

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Through this program here I did use one of the tutors for math.

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He dedicated his time and found different ways to show me how

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to grasp the different problems. There were times where I was ready to give up

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and because of my tutor he would not let me give up and say lets

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do one more problem one more problem.

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We never ever ask an instructor to lower their academic standards.

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So this isn't about something special anymore it's really about

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leveling the playing field and that's what we're trying to do with our students here

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The High Tech Center

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This is the High Tech Center in the Office of Special Services.

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The High Tech Center is another way that we accommodate students. It has a variety of computers

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and software programs that help students

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make up for whatever functional limitations they may have.

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My name Cheryl Morrison I'm the assistive technology specialist

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in High Tech Center. I assist them in learning the assistive technology

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For our blind students we have programs like Jaws where it

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reads the text out loud.

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So I'm just bringing up jaws so from here we can then go through all the menus.

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Start menu internet one of one. To navigate press up or down arrow dot dot dot

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Or for students who are visually impaired we have Zoomtext which blows up

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the size of the letters. As you can see we can get up to you six times zoom right here.

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Another good feature is it actually allows us to change the color.

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Some students actually work better if the color is inverted

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and a program like Zoomtext allows us to make those changes.

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We also have read and write gold for students who are learning disabled

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who need to hear the text read to them.

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Los Angeles City College

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The e-text reader, I just copy and paste text

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to feel when it can read it.

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I also convert student textbooks into Braille.

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I take a student's textbook and

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I convert it into a Braille format

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and then I print out their textbooks. This is one chapter.

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My major part of my job is to provide e-text service to our students.

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Basically we take the books and feed it into a high speed scanner

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and scan the books into a graphic format and then we can use the OCR software

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to get the text out from the image.

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One of the obstacles that I had was having to carry

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a heavy load of books in my backpack. This is where I get them in CD or

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mp3 format which makes it a lot easier.

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In addition we have a class called learning skills 43

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it's adaptive computer technology and

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they can come in and if they don't know how to type we have typing

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software for students that are sighted as well as those who are visually impaired.

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If they already know how to type we teach the

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visually impaired students how to navigate

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the internet and also Word documents using Jaws

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and shortcut keys.

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This is our home page. It has our mission statement and our regular information as far as our address, our phone number

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and our hours. These are our types of special services that are offered.

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I really encourage faculty to go on to the web page take a look at the faculty handbook

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because it will answer a lot of questions that you may have.

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Success and Looking Forward

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Many of our students when they're receiving their accommodations like extra time

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do extremely well.

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Back in my high school days my academic achievements were C

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C-minus. By using OSS, I

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got to the A department.

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One my students just got into UC 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 and

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when he first came here he was in ESL one. He didn't speak any English at all

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and he was completely blind.

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And now he has his master's degree.

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It's actually been a great help to my development as an individual.

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My academic life has gone from I completely failed

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high school because I just didn't have the resources available to me

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to my first semester here I got all A's except for 1b and 1c.

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We have a student who was deaf and blind and she recently graduated last year.

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After finishing two years at LACC, I transferred over to Cal State Northridge

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and after two years in the cinema television program I graduated and

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I'm currently working in my field.

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With the help of accommodations and just the help with the counselors and Department of Rehabilitation

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I then made myself active in campus. I became director of student body government.

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I was an advocate for the students with disabilities.

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I was student body president.

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What we try to provide here in this program are a set of skills that they can use

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to get on with whatever it is they're doing in education.

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You have to be able to take responsibility for what you want to do

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and where you want to go in life

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because there are a lot of tools there are a lot of strategies

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there is a lot of help that we can provide to those students to be successful

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in their educational career and in their life.

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If you're willing to work if you're willing to open your mind up

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to try these other ways of doing things you're gonna 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 Wednesday, February 1, 10am - 11am in the OSS Classroom. 

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