Welcome to the UCSC Disability Resource Center (DRC) Students Page, a comprehensive online resource designed to support both undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The page serves as a valuable hub of information and assistance, providing students with the resources needed to navigate their academic journey successfully. Students can access a range of services tailored to meet their unique needs, promoting inclusivity and empowering them to thrive in their academic pursuits. The DRC is committed to ensuring equal access to educational opportunities, programs, and services for all students, and this page is a key platform for providing support and fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment.
For information regarding the confidentiality notice for students, please visit the Rights and Roles page.
DRC serves thousands of students with disabilities, facilitated by a professional staff team and a large team of student staff. The majority of our students have non apparent disabilities. The DRC recognizes disability as a valued aspect of diversity, ensuring equal and meaningful access to campus programs in collaboration with students, staff, and faculty, and promoting more welcoming and inclusively-designed environments. We aim to always provide excellent service to our students. The following information is to assist DRC students in understanding and navigating campus resources specific to disability related needs.
DRC students do not automatically have priority status or guaranteed housing (DRC accommodations does not mean the student gain priority status for housing). The DRC can review documentation and a request for a housing accommodation and make a recommendation to housing. Housing will make note of the DRC accommodation and once housing has finished assigning the priority waitlist they will move onto the general waitlist. Housing makes their best effort to assign students to a space that meets their access needs but it is not guaranteed.
Part Time Process
If the student is a DRC student with documentation on file, please complete the additional accommodation request in Accommodate to request a part time authorization letter from the DRC to support their part time/reduced course load request. The student is not required to provide additional medical documentation to the Registrar’s Office if they request the part time authorization letter from the DRC. The part time letter is not the letter of accommodation students use for classes.
Withdrawal from classes
College advising can support the required forms and process to request a medical withdrawal. The student can make an appointment with their college academic adviser via Slug Success, or go to drop-in advising.
If the student would like to know some of the accommodations available to them, please visit Accommodations.
Lecture Capture Services
Lecture capture is not an accommodation that DRC can provide in most situations. Faculty decide whether to release lecture capture recordings to their students. There are other accommodations that DRC may be able to provide to students, if eligible, for example, student audio-recording of lectures or note taking. If students are interested in exploring other accommodation possibilities, please speak to their Coordinator.
Medical permits are short term, one to two quarters for temporary injuries or temporary medical needs. If the student requires disability related parking closer to a building longer than one to two quarters, the student should contact their doctor to get authorization for a disability placard that will provide them the closest disabled parking spot on campus.
The DMV form can be filled out by their doctor to request the DMV placard. When the form is filled out, the student takes the form to the DMV to get their placard, and then take the placard to the Transportation and Parking Office (TAPS) on campus. The student will show the placard to the TAPS office and then purchase an R-permit that they will hang in their window with the DMV placard. This will allow them to park in closer parking spots on campus like A spots and A-medical spots.
If the student is not eligible for a DMV placard and still has access needs with parking, please contact the DRC to be connected to the assigned DRC coordinator.
Accommodations are not only for undergraduate students; in fact, there are a number of accommodations that are exclusive to graduate students. It is also not uncommon for graduate students with disabilities to need employment accommodations or to take a leave of absence for disability-related reasons during their time in graduate school.
If the student would like to know some of the accommodations available to them, please visit Graduate Students Accommodations
Leave of Absence for Graduate Students
If the student needs to take a leave of absence from their studies for medical reasons, it is best to document this with DRC. It is advisable to check in with their service coordinator and department to make a plan for return and confirm that they will not face negative funding impacts as a consequence of taking a leave of absence.
To apply a leave of absence on the basis of disability, the student will need to:
- Provide supporting documentation to DRC (if they do not already have documentation supporting this accommodation on file).
- Request their service coordinator write a letter confirming that their leave of absence is for a medical reason. If they qualify, their service coordinator will notify the student and their department, and they will be copied.
- Fill out the Graduate Division’s Leave of Absence Application Form, and in the “reason” section, write that the leave is for medical reasons and “see attached DRC letter.” They do not need to provide any medical details on the graduate division form.
- Obtain the necessary signatures from their department
- Submit the Graduate Division form along with the DRC authorization to the Graduate Division. In many programs, their department will assist them with this step.