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Students with Disabilities

The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) at UC San Diego provides a wide range of services, including federal and state legally mandated services and accommodations for eligible students with verified disabilities, non-mandated services, and exam proctoring services for faculty.

Services for students are individually designed, and are based on students' individual needs as identified by a Disability Specialist in the OSD, with respect to the following:

Academic Advising

Students are urged to contact academic advisors in the SOM and graduate programs as soon as possible after arrival. OSD staff members are not academic advisors, however OSD Specialists can help students with some academic decisions (i.e., deciding how many courses to take, and in what combinations). Other OSD services may include consultation with faculty members about disability-related accommodations and recommendations.

Academic Accommodations

Academic accommodations are determined by an individual assessment of each student. Disability Specialists base their recommendations on students' particular disabilities, disability-related learning needs, and the academic requirements of a course. OSD Specialists may write letters to instructors specifying the required accommodations.

Exam space and proctoring services will be offered by OSD for students requiring readers, writers, typists or adaptive equipment. The student will be given a thorough orientation and a handbook on the appropriate use of the exam accommodation process.

Auxiliary Services

OSD provides a range of Auxiliary Services to students to help offset the effects of disabilities. At the beginning of each semester, students meet with their Specialist to determine which services will be necessary for particular courses. Students have the responsibility for locating auxiliary service providers, however the student's OSD Specialist and staff members shall assist when appropriate.

Auxiliary services may include — but are not limited to — the following: Notetakers, readers, sign language interpreters, real-time captioning, assistive listening devices, and alternative media.

Adaptive Equipment & Software

Students can access an adaptive computer work station with specialized software at these locations:

  • OSD Office, 2 stations available by appointment 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • CLICS, 1 station available with advanced reservation

OSD provides several types of adaptive software to students at no charge:

  • Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Zoom Text
  • Kurzweil 1000
  • Kurzweil 3000
  • JAWS


"Communications" encompasses tools for transmitting information including telephones, announcements, signage, computer mail systems, alarm systems, printed literature, and films and videotapes.

  • These tools may include: Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf, Computer Bulletin Boards, Computer Modems, and Braille and Raised Letter Signage.
  • Services may include: Readers, Interpreters for the Deaf, and Notetakers.

DSO offers an equipment loan service, as well as academic support coordination.


Students living in UC residence halls may have a disability-related need for housing accommodations, such as a single room or wheelchair access. Housing and Dining Services allots a certain number of spaces within the residence halls to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities.

Prospective Students

If you have any questions about the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) or accommodations, feel free to reach out:

Althea Hansel

Shivani Lakkaraju