Disability Support Services

Your path to equal access

students on campus
Connect with DSS

Disability Support Services (DSS) has a Canvas page where current students can find information about our services, how to contact us and other helpful links.

Are you a current DSS student? You may now request your accommodations from our Canvas page.

Information about Accommodated Test Proctoring is also located on our Canvas page.

DSS Canvas

What is Disability Support Services?

Disability Support Services (DSS) is dedicated to ensuring equal access and inclusion for all students with either provisional or permanent physical, health, learning, sensory or psychological disabilities. Accommodations may include adaptive equipment, technology, testing, classroom tools and information.

Are you experiencing learning challenges? Do you study, but don't get the grades you want? Do you have trouble understanding what you read? Is there a subject that seems harder than it should? Is it difficult to pay attention in class? 

DSS might be able to help you get the answers you need! Come in or call us for an appointment today. We may be able to refer you for a formal evaluation at no cost to you!

Privacy is our priority, however, faculty and staff may be informed of your need for reasonable accommodations once you qualify for services. Information regarding a student's disability is considered confidential and will not be released without written permission.

Resource Center students

DSS Student Portal

New Students

Apply for Services

Getting started with the DSS office is a simple three-step process, which will be complete when you sent your Letter of ADA Accommodation to your instructors through the DSS Student Portal. So, let's get started.

  1. Gather your documentation. For help, see our Documentation Guidelines.

  2. APPLY HERE. Once you have completed your application and submitted your documentation, the DSS department will contact you to set up your intake appointment.

  3. Once your list of eligible accommodations is determined, you can send your Letter of ADA Accommodation to your instructors HERE

Continuing Students


Continuing Students must submit a Letter of ADA Accommodation to their instructors each quarter. Please click on the ‘MyDSS’ button to get started.

In MyDSS, students can:

  • Attach and upload documentation.  
  • Access DSS documents:  
    • Accommodation (ADA) letter  
    • Recording agreements  
    • Notetaking agreements  
  • Make appointments with DSS personnel.  
  • Request and distribute accommodation letters for each course.  
  • Schedule test proctoring appointments.
  • Request assistive technology and alternate formats of instructional materials.  


MyDSS How-Tos


DSS Office Location

map indicating DSS Office location

Individualized Interactive Accommodation Process (Step-by-Step) 

The student contacts Disability Support Services (DSS) to schedule an interactive intake appointment with an Accessibility Specialist to determine disability-related barriers and identify reasonable accommodations for their current academic accessibility needs.

The DSS Office staff reviews and evaluates the information and documentation provided by the student to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary and reasonable.

When an accommodation request is approved, the student will receive an approval/activation email from their Accessibility Specialist. The email will include a link to the Quarterly Activation Form.

  1. The student is responsible for clicking the link and completing the short Quarterly Activation Form to activate their accommodations. 
  2. After activating the accommodations, the student will receive an email from the DSS office with an accommodation letter for the current quarter. 

*If the student does not complete the activation form, the accommodation letter will not be sent and their accommodations will not be activated for the current quarter.

  1. After activating and receiving an accommodation letter, students are responsible for giving a copy of their accommodation letters to their instructors. This can be a physical copy or a virtual one.

*If the student does not give their instructor the accommodation letter, then the accommodations cannot be implemented.

Accommodations are not approved if they are unnecessary and/or unreasonable. Some of the factors considered include, but are not limited to, lack of medical documentation, or disability related need for the accommodation, or the requested accommodation imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden on the College, fundamentally alters the standards of a course or program, or would pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others or would cause substantial damage to the property of others.

If an accommodation request is not approved, the student will receive a notification email from their Accessibility Specialist, which will include the reason for the non-approval. The student may contact their Accessibility Specialist to provide the necessary documentation, adjust the accommodation or learn about alternative available resources.

If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome after working with the Accessibility Specialist to address a non-approval of accommodation, the student may request a Reconsideration Meeting with a DSS administrator by contacting their Accessibility Specialist or the DSS Office at dssFREECOLUMBIA_BASIN.

The Accessibility Specialist and DSS Director will meet with the student to discuss the accommodation request.

  1. The student will have an opportunity to share any new information and/or documentation pertaining to the request for accommodation.
  2. Following the meeting, the DSS Director will evaluate any new information and/or documentation provided by the student.
  3. The DSS Director may consult with other College officials as needed regarding course and/or program requirements, applicable policies or regulations or other information relevant to the accommodation request to make a final determination.
  4. The DSS Director will notify the student of the final determination or need for follow-up within 5 business days of the meeting.

The DSS Director’s determination following the Reconsideration Meeting is final. A student who believes they have been discriminated against based on a disability may file a complaint under the College’s Non-Discrimination & Harassment Policy and Procedure.

How Disability Services Differ Between High School and College: 

  • High School: School personnel may suspect there is a problem and notify the parents or guardian. The school may request permission to either test the student, or recommend the parents or guardian take the student to see a specialist.

  • College: An employee may refer the student to the DSS office or the student may seek it out. It is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation of their disability. If they do not have documentation, the DSS office will work with the student to find resources and help them to secure appropriate documentation.
  • High School: The parents are the main point of contact for the school, although this may change over time.

  • College: The student is the only point of contact for the college unless the student has specifically allowed it by filling out a Release of Information (ROI).
  • High School: Usually only done once a year in a meeting that is organized by the student’s case manager, this may also be their teacher.

  • College: Once the initial intake has been completed, accommodations can be changed at any point during the year, and are usually initiated by the student.
  • High School: The meeting is usually attended by the student, guardian, case manager and likely several members of the school staff including teachers and administrators.

  • College: The meeting will be attended by the student and their case manager. Guests outside of college personnel must be invited by the student. Instructors receive notice of the accommodations, not the reason for them.
  • High School: The student may take special classes that address their disability. They may also receive extra help studying by school personnel. Graduation may not be dependent on passing specific standards.

  • College: The student takes the same classes that match their degree path as all other students on the same path. The material is not modified, however the accommodations may modify how the material is delivered. Tutoring is available for all students, regardless of disability. Graduation is dependent on meeting specific standards.

Meet Our Team

As the Assistant Director, my core responsibilities include advocating for students who are enrolled in the DSS program, instructing staff and faculty on best practices relating to disability and accessibility, and providing clarity regarding disability law and policy to all interested parties. My focus includes identifying and removing barriers to access, as well as collaborating with the campus community to promote campus-wide accessibility.

Contact me: 

My job helps students have the right tools for the job, which includes the belief that they are capable of great things. 

Contact me:

My role as an accessibility specialist allows me to work alongside my students to gather them a supply of tools and resources that they can then use to build and create their own success. I may help students get started or steady, but in the end, they can attribute their success to being the phenomenal individuals that they prove themselves to be each day.

Contact me:

Headshot of Kim Cutsforth

I influence student success while interacting with students at the front desk, making it a supportive encounter and through the management of Test Proctoring, making sure it is run as smoothly as possible for our students and instructors. Behind the scenes, I work on the budget and organization for the group that help to ensure a positive experience for students who utilize our services.

Contact me:

As part of the Assistive Technology team, I support students by providing alternative formats and training with various assistive technology in order to remove barriers to allow all students the ability to reach their full academic potential.

Contact me:

As an assistive technology coordinator, my goal is to provide any available aides to students that could use an equitable way to gain access to the courses and information they have a right to. I assist with removing barriers and creating a space for learning that truly fits student needs to develop and grow.

Contact me:

For my role as Program Assistant, it’s my job to help connect students with our services. I proctor Alternative Tests and organize appointments with our Accessibility Specialists and Assistive Technology Coordinators.

Contact me:

Student testing


“Disability Support Services is awesome. They are always helpful and courteous to both faculty and students. The team is there not only to help students achieve, but also to facilitate faculty in equitably assessing student progress.”

Cara Anderson, Assistant Professor for Business

“I am so grateful for the dedicated staff of Disability Support Services (formerly Resource Center) for their commitment to helping faculty provide necessary accommodations to qualifying students. In my nearly 30 years at CBC, many of my students have used their services, mostly for students requiring extra time or other testing accommodations. They have been well organized, giving clear directions and protocols to both students and faculty. When I have forgotten to provide some necessary item, they have given reminder emails or calls. When something goes wrong, they are flexible and make sure that the end result is that the student gets their full accommodation. They go out of their way, including working long hours, to make sure that the student (and faculty) gets what they need. In their capacity, they could take a bureaucratic and officious position, but they go the extra mile with a smile, instead.”

Meg Bartrand, Senior Professor of Mathematics



What are your rights?

You have a right to services and reasonable accommodations which ensures that you have equal access to all programs and services provided by Columbia Basin College. 

Faculty and staff may be informed of your need for reasonable accommodation once you qualify for services. Information regarding a student’s disability is considered confidential. Information will not be released without the expressed written permission of the student. 


“No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of any public entity, or be subject to discrimination by any such entity.” 

Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990
Section 202 

 “No otherwise qualified, handicapped individual in the United States shall solely by reasons of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” 

Rehabilitation Act of Congress, 1973 
Title V; Section 504 

Students are encouraged to resolve concerns by first contacting Disability Support Services, 509-542-4412 or 1-800-833-6384 Relay Services for deaf and hard of hearing, to discuss their issues. It is in everyone’s best interest that disputes over reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities be settled as quickly and informally as possible. Columbia Basin College also offers a formal procedure for students to lodge a complaint or grievance with the institution. However, anyone who believes there has been an act of discrimination by the College on the basis of disability against any person or group may file a complaint with the: 

U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

1-800-421-3481 (VOICE) 
1-800-877-8339 (TDD)

Washington State Human Rights Commission 



If you need this notice in an alternative format, please Contact Disability Support Services. 

T Building, Room T403 
2600 N. 20th Avenue MS-T7
Pasco, WA 99301 


Disability Support Services 
Columbia Basin College 
2600 N. 20th Ave, MS-T7  
Pasco, WA 99301 


Disability Support Services 
Columbia Basin College 
2600 N. 20th Ave,  
T Building, Room T403 
Pasco, WA 99301 

Title IX for Pregnant & Parenting Students

Title IX protects students from discrimination based on their “actual or potential parental, family, or marital status” or based on a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom.” 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq. (2006); 34 C.F.R. §106.40).

Once the student identifies they fit the criteria under Title IX, the College must:

  • Provide equal access to school for pregnant and parenting (including lactating) students.
  • Provide equal access to extracurricular activities for pregnant and parenting students.
  • Excuse absences due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the doctor deems medically necessary. After which time, the student must be reinstated to the status held when the leave began.
  • Ensure an individual professor’s attendance policy does not conflict with Title IX requirements.
  • Treat disabilities related to pregnancy, childbirth, termination of pregnancy, or recovery in the same manner and under the same policies as any other temporary disability or physical condition.

The College cannot terminate a scholarship based on pregnancy, tell pregnant students they should drop out or switch programs, or exclude qualified pregnant students from opportunities to “work in the field,” through internships, career rotations, etc.

  1. Does a school have to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or child birth?

    Yes, Title IX requires a school to excuse a student’s absence(s) due to pregnancy or related conditions; including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absence medically necessary.  When they return, they must be reinstated to the status they held when the leave began, which should include giving them the opportunity to make up any missed work.  The professor may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work such as allowing the student to take an incomplete for later course completion.

    The college or university can require a pregnant student to provide a doctor’s certification of fitness to continue in an education program or activity only if the same requirement is imposed on all other students with physical or emotional disabilities requiring a doctor’s care.  If a professor wishes to request a doctor’s certification of fitness or excuse for the leave taken for a student, any member of Disability Support Services (DSS) can assist by evaluating whether the same is requested of other students given their disabilities.  A faculty or staff member may also refer pregnant students to DSS for other assistance, such as resources and information.  DSS can be reached by email at dssFREECOLUMBIA_BASIN or phone at 509-542-4412 (ext. 2252).

  2. If a professor adjusts grades based on class attendance, can they lower a grade because of the classes a student misses due to pregnancy?

    No. Students cannot be penalized for pregnancy or related conditions.  If a professor provides specific “points” or other advantages to students based on class attendance, the student must be given the opportunity to earn back the credit from classes missed due to pregnancy, so that the student can be reinstated to the status held before the student took leave.

  3. Does the institution/school have to let students make up the work missed while absent?

    Yes, federal law requires professors to allow students to make up the work missed while out due to pregnancy or a related condition, including recovery from childbirth.  For example, if a doctor’s note excuses the student from class for several weeks because of “bed rest” before giving birth, professors must provide the student with the appropriate assignments and information to make up the work required to be completed while absent.  The makeup assignments and tests must be reasonably equivalent to those missed, but need not be identical.  Depending on the nature of the academic instruction or program (e.g., clinical rotations), this may not be feasible and other forms of modifications may need to be made.
  4. Can a professor have an absence/makeup policy that applies regardless of any medical condition?

    No.  While a professor may have a strict attendance policy, the college or university is bound by federal civil rights law. Title IX requires the college or university to ensure that all faculty and staff comply with the law and do not discriminate against pregnant and parenting students.

  5. The student wants to take a quarter off.  Can the student keep their status, scholarships, etc.?

    Not necessarily – it depends on the leave policy at the college. If they want to take off more time than the doctor says is medically necessary, the student will need to consult the college’s non-medical leave policy. Cheryl Holden’s Office will work through any financial aid issues resulting from leaves that may result in withdrawal or leave for a quarter or more.

FAST FACTS Disabilty Support Services

1 in 4

People live with a disability in the United States


Students accommodated since fall 2016


Disability Support Services serves students in every program


Accommodations are individualized for each student


Students walking around CBC's Pasco campus