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Accessibility Training for Teaching Assistants at USC: Office of Student Accessibility Services at USC

Organized and developed by a collaboration between Undergraduate Student Government (USG), Graduate Student Government (GSG) and USC Libraries as a resource for acccessibility training for teaching assistants.

What is DSP?

                Office of Student Accessibility Services Logo

What is our Purpose?

Office of Student Accessibility Services (OSAS) is the unit at USC responsible for ensuring equal access for students with disabilities in compliance with state and federal law. OSAS serves undergraduate, graduate and professional students; on-ground and on-line students; and students in all credit-granting courses and programs of study.

What is our Mission?

The OSAS team is committed to serving the USC community through: ensuring equal access, removing disability-related obstacles, supporting civil rights, and increasing education and awareness on behalf of students with disabilities.

How do we Practice?

OSAS strives to provide a welcoming and mutually respectful environment for our students, campus partners, our staff and the broader USC community. To that end, OSAS welcomes interactions with all its constituencies in person, or via telephone, email, or virtual platform, that are respectful and that serve to professionally meet the needs of our students and the campus community.

OSAS reserves the option to limit or place boundaries around interpersonal interactions that do not meet the office’s expectations for professional, respectful communication.

Types of Academic Accommodations

One of OSAS's main functions is to provide accommodations to students with disabilities. The purpose of OSAS accommodations is to provide "equal access to the academic environment for students with disabilities." There are five types of academic accommodations, which you can learn more about below.

Sometimes, students have disabilities that impact their ability to attend courses. This type of accommodation allows OSAS to verify the difficulty of attendance requirements, but ultimately, it is up to faculty members on whether or not modifying course attendance policies is reasonable. 

A full description of this accommodation can be found here.

When appropriate, substitutions of some course requirements may be approved as an accommodation by OSAS. If approved for this accommodation, students are still responsible for meeting the credit requirements of their program of study and the University.

Course assignments and deadlines for those assignments are determined by faculty at the college, departmental or individual course level. Occasionally, students may have disabilities that impact their ability to meet course deadlines.  While OSAS can verify that the student’s disability may cause difficulty with deadlines, and an accommodation may be in order, it is within a faculty member’s expertise to determine if and when granting deadline extensions is reasonable for a specific course.  In some cases, deadlines are fundamental to the course.  In other instances, faculty may determine that meeting course deadlines is not critical to the course learning objectives.

 

TAs and students can reach out to the OSAS staff to get help with questions or concerns about this accommodation, or to assist with mediating the process to reach an agreement between students and their instructors.

Priority Registration may be considered as an appropriate accommodation in order to allow the student equal access to the educational experience. Rather than addressing the registration process itself, Priority Registration most typically helps to address disability-related obstacles with regards to activities of daily life and/or when other approved accommodations involve a good deal of advanced logistical planning for OSAS.

Occasionally, the impact of a student's disability may make it unreasonable for the student to manage a full course load.   In these cases, a student may be eligible for an accommodation of a reduced course load. This means the student is enrolled in less than full-time credits/course load. However, the student maintains full access to the facilities and programming of the University.

Please read more about Reduced Course Load and Financial Aid on AskUSC