Accessibility Center

Accessibility Center

The Accessibility Center (AC) serves the Community College of Denver's students with disabilities

Our mission is to provide leadership and facilitate equal access to institutional opportunities for students with disabilities to develop independence, self-advocacy skills, learn, and achieve personal and professional success.

The AC assists with determining reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities following the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended in 2008 and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Students with documented disabilities who need reasonable accommodations for their courses should apply for services at the

AC (Confluence Building 121)

First time Steps
New to the Accessibility Center? Here is how to Connect

Students connecting with the Accessibility Center (AC) to receive accommodations for the first time must complete this process.

  1. Contact the AC by phone at 303-556-3300, via email at, or come to our office in Confluence 121 to request the initial paperwork.
  2. Provide initial paperwork and disability documentation via email to Examples of documentation are High School IEP, 504 Plan, or medical documentation on professional letterhead (physician/counselor/therapist).
  3. Once the initial paperwork and documentation of disability are received, an AC staff member will contact you to schedule an intake meeting. Meetings can be held virtually.
  4. After your intake is completed, your Accommodation Letter will be sent to your student email in CCD Connect with instructions on how to forward the letter to your instructors. After registering for classes, contact the AC to request an accommodation renewal. You will need a new letter each semester.
2 male CCD students walking alongside a female student in a wheelchair
must renew each semester
Returning Student?
Here is how to Renew Your Accommodations

Returning students must renew their accommodations with the AC each semester to receive ongoing accommodations.

  1. Once you have registered for classes, email to request your accommodations be renewed. 
  2. Your accommodation letter will be sent to your student email in CCD Connect with instructions for forwarding the letter to your instructors. 
Student Resources

CCD's Accessibility Center (AC) is happy to serve our students with disabilities. The AC has a variety of services, resources and reasonable accommodations available for those CCD students with documented disabilities who request them.

Accommodated Testing

Learn how to receive testing accommodations at CCD.

Assistive Technology

Learn about the variety of Assistive Technology available to assist students.

Alternative Format Textbooks

Learn how to receive course textbooks in an electronic format.

Additional Information

Thank you for taking an interest in the Accessibility Center (AC) and the needs of our students with disabilities. When you receive a student accommodation letter, we are here to support you in implementing accommodations in your classroom.

Resources for Faculty

For accessibility training, guidelines, and additional support making your courses accessible, please visit the Teaching Learning Center

Accommodated Testing 

All faculty and instructors must submit accommodated tests through RegisterBlast. Contact the Testing Center for additional instructions and questions.

Syllabus Statement

ADAAA (Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008): All students who identify themselves to faculty as having a disability or suspect that they have a disability are encouraged to contact the AC. Faculty members are not obligated to provide accommodations without proper notification from the AC. Students may also contact AC staff by telephone to make an intake appointment at 303-556-3300 or by email at

Tips for Universal Design in the Classroom

A classroom experience designed with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guidelines is preferred. UDL creates an inclusive learning environment for a variety of learners through flexibility where information is presented in multiple ways. 

  1. Provide electronic versions of your handouts. Students who cannot read printed materials have access to listen to electronic versions of text through specialized software available at CCD.
  2. Use multiple modes to deliver content. Some students learn better by reading, others by listening, others by doing, and others by seeing pictures. Using a variety of teaching methods motivates and engages more of your students to understand concepts essential to their success in your class.
  3. When working with technology, do not rely solely on visual cues. For example, if it is common to click on an icon to accomplish a task, imagine a blind student trying to find that icon on a screen. What keyboard shortcuts can you provide as an alternative to visual cues on the screen?  
  4. When showing a video, you must use closed-captioning to convey the information to deaf students. You will find that many students learn better by reading the information. These include ESL students, read/write learners, those in a loud classroom, and those who are hard of hearing. With audio material, have a transcript available for deaf students.
  5. Protected PDF files are not accessible to screen-reader software. If you use these files for your material, be prepared to offer an alternative option to your students with reading disabilities. Word documents are accessible. Students with learning disabilities, dyslexics, students with ADHD, people with vision issues such as cataracts and macular degeneration, and blind students use screen-reader software to read.
  6. Communicate with your students and get feedback. Elicit feedback via questions, clickers, surveys, discussion boards, or informal quizzes.  Allow feedback to be given in many forms, not just orally. 

Community College of Denver (CCD) is committed to providing equal access for persons with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Amendments Act of 2010 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 along with Section 508. In support of its commitment to provide equal access to all students, CCD offers reasonable accommodations and support through the Accessibility Center (AC).

Excerpt from Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) "Documentation of Disability Guidelines"

The rationale for seeking information about a student’s condition is to support the higher education professional in establishing disability, understanding how disability may impact a student, and making informed decisions about accommodations. Professional judgment is an essential component of this process.

Ensuring that “accommodations” provide effective access requires a deliberative and collaborative process that is responsive to the unique experience of each individual, as advised by the ADA. The disability resource professional should engage in a structured exchange with the student to explore previous educational experiences, past use of accommodations, and what has been effective and ineffective in providing access. The weight given to the individual’s description will be influenced by its clarity, internal consistency, and congruency with the professional’s observations and available external documentation. It is often possible to evaluate whether a requested accommodation is reasonable or not with minimal reliance on external documentation.

This is true even if the student has never received formal accommodations or recently acquired a disability and is seeking guidance to determine accommodations that might be effective. However, if the student is unable to clearly describe how the disability is connected to a barrier and how the accommodation would provide access, the institution may need to request third party documentation focused on illustrating that connection. Finally, the documentation process must be accessible: if a student’s disability impacts his or her ability to clearly describe the need for accommodation, the office must consider flexibility in its processes.

Individual Review

Each situation must be considered individually to understand if and how the student is impacted by the described condition. Disability is defined by the ADA as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities, a record of such an impairment or being regarded as having such an impairment.” There is no listing of covered impairments. Therefore, the salient question is not whether a given condition is a “disability,” but how the condition impacts the student. This determination is to be liberally construed to the maximum extent possible.

There is no one-to-one correspondence of disability to accommodation. Institutions should consider the student’s disability, history, experience, request, and the unique characteristics of the course, program, or requirement in order to determine whether or not a specific accommodation is reasonable. A clear understanding of how disability impacts the individual establishes the reasonableness of the accommodation for the individual. However, to determine whether the accommodation is reasonable in context requires an evaluation of the unique attributes and requirements of the course, program, or activity. Course modifications or auxiliary aids or services that are ineffective or constitute a fundamental alteration will not be reasonable and therefore will not meet the ADA and Section 504’s minimal standards. The ADA establishes the “floor” not the “ceiling” of protection. The ceiling is established when a proposed accommodation would result in a fundamental alteration to a course or the program of study.

Commonsense Standard

Disability and accommodation requests should be evaluated using a common-sense standard, without the need for a specific language or extensive diagnostic evidence. Using diagnostic information as a tool in reviewing requests for accommodation is different than using it for treatment. Determining accommodations requires a more limited range, level, and type of information. These two processes should not be conflated.

No third party information may be necessary to confirm disability or evaluate requests for accommodations when the condition and its impact are readily apparent or comprehensively described. No specific language, tests, or diagnostic labels are required. Clinicians’ training or philosophical approach may result in the use of euphemistic phrases rather than specific diagnostic labels. Therefore, reports that do not include a specific diagnosis should not be interpreted to suggest that a disability does not exist. The question is "Would an informed and reasonable person concludes from the available evidence that a disability is likely and the requested accommodation is warranted?"

Non-Burdensome Process

Postsecondary institutions cannot create documentation processes that are burdensome or have the effect of discouraging students from seeking protections and accommodations to which they are entitled. This was clear even prior to the amendments to the ADA. The non-burdensome standard is applicable to initially establishing a relationship with the disability resource office and to set up individual accommodations from institutional personnel, including course instructors. Students should not be required to bear responsibility for achieving access through cumbersome, time-consuming processes.   

Current and Relevant Information

Disability documentation should be current and relevant but not necessarily “recent.” Disabilities are typically stable lifelong conditions. Therefore, historic information, supplemented by interview or self-report, is often sufficient to describe how the condition impacts the student at the current time and in the current circumstances. Institutions should not establish blanket statements that limit the age of acceptable external documentation. Determining accommodations in distinctly new contexts may require more focused information to illustrate a connection between the impact of the disability, the described barrier, and the requested accommodation.

Meet the Team
Marvena L. Baker-Shriver
Director of Accessibility Center
Marvena BakerShriver
Cindy Mott
Accessibility Specialist
Carly Thiele
AT Coordinator
Smiling person in a grey turtleneck