Temporary Medical Conditions
In the event of a temporary disabling condition resulting from injury, surgery, or short term medical conditions, the Office of Disability Resources may be able to offer services similar to those afforded to students with permanent disability accommodations. Such conditions may include: broken limbs, hand injuries, concussion, and short term limitations following surgery or medical procedures. Note: this assistance does not extend to short-term illnesses such as influenza or allergic rhinitis.
We recommend that students submit their completed intake form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with doctors’ notes, and request an appointment as soon as possible to facilitate a meaningful and efficient response to the students’ individual needs. It is not necessary to wait until you have a letter from your physician or a discharge summary before contacting us.
What to Expect
An access coordinator will conduct an individualized review of the circumstances and any available medical documentation in order to advise the student, as well as instructors, of services found within the Office of Disability Resources and supports offered in collaboration with partner student service offices.
During the initial appointment, the Access Coordinator will
- Make notes on date of injury, prognosis, impact, medication side effects, estimated recovery time;
- Discuss anticipated return to class and importance of timely communication;
- Review any available medical documentation OR ask student to obtain documentation (observable injuries may not require documentation);
- Determine the appropriate assistance that is required based upon individual interview and doctor’s recommendations;
- Set an approximate duration of temporary assistance, based upon doctor’s report. Upon request, the Access Coordinator will communicate via email with instructors and recommend appropriate assistance on the student’s behalf.
The final decision to arrange alternate exam dates or modifying due dates depends rests with the instructor, as they must weigh the impact on technical standards or essential requirements of the course. Our recommendations do not supersede established academic policies outlined in syllabi. The instructor is encouraged to consult with an access coordinator with any questions.
Depending upon the nature and severity and when in the semester an injury occurs, students may need to consider incomplete contracts or medical leave. In these instances, we may refer the student to consult with a professional adviser in the College Center for Advising Services (CCAS).
In order to promote a full recovery, students are encouraged to rest and avoid light/sound/screens/reading—much of which is necessary to keep up with academics. Persisting with academics during this time may exacerbate symptoms and prolong recovery. Students are often advised to limit or eliminate any computer use immediately after a concussion because lighting can trigger headaches. If a student simply cannot avoid computer use, changing the refresh rate, screen contrast or background color can reduce eyestrain. Some students, who initially present documentation for concussion may go on to be diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome—leading to eligibility for permanent disability accommodation.