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How to get Temporary Disability Help

In order to provide proper services to students with disabilities, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) requires that students provide verification of their disability to Disability Support Services (DSS) at the time services are requested.  This information will be utilized to establish appropriate accommodations. A temporary injury or acute medical condition does not necessarily qualify as a disability under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); however, the severity and duration of the temporary injury, medical or psychological/emotional condition will be taken into consideration.  DSS will make every effort to accommodate temporary disabilities when possible. The following guidelines will provide information about services and resources that DSS and the university can provide for a student with a temporary disability. Some common examples of temporary disabilities addressed by these guidelines include broken extremities, hand injuries, torn ligaments, etc. 

Who Can Verify a Temporary Disability and What Documentation is Required?

Documentation will be accepted from a certified, licensed or professional person whose training is commonly accepted for establishing a specific diagnosis. The documentation must be on official letterhead and include the following: a statement that classifies the individual as disabled; onset, nature, duration and severity of disability; any adverse side effects caused by medication; recommended assistance to accommodate the individual’s disability; and a signature from the diagnosing professional. The documentation must be recent enough to describe how the disability affects the individual currently. This process will assist DSS in establishing appropriate accommodations. Accommodations for a temporary disability are approved for one semester or less, and will be determined after a review of the documentation.

Documentation should be submitted to DSS (in 216 Pratt Hall, Advising & Testing Center), and an appointment should be scheduled to meet with a DSS advisor in order to arrange for and implement appropriate accommodations.

Services for Students with Temporary Arm, Hand or Upper-Extremity Impairments

Examples of accommodations that may be available for a temporary arm, hand, or upper extremity injury include:  

  • Extended test times
  • Permission to tape record lectures
  • Volunteer note takers
  • Scribes for exams
  • Use of word processors for essay exams

If needed, exams can be scheduled with DSS and administered with approved accommodations.

Services for Students with Temporary Mobility Impairments

DSS will provide students with temporary mobility impairments with the following:

  • Information on accessible routes and elevator access on campus
  • Referral to the IUP Police for temporary on-campus handicap parking access (updated copies of temporary disability documentation must be provided to the Police every 2 weeks while the need for handicap parking access persists)
  • Information on the Indiana County Transit Authority (IndiGO)

DSS and the university do NOT provide personal assistance in the form of building-to-building transportation or in getting to and from classes, including the transport of books or other personal items. DSS does offer the short-term temporary loan of either an electric or manual wheel-chair (when available, on a first-come first-serve basis) for use while a student is securing their own personal wheelchair or mobility assistive device for longer-term use.  Wheelchairs and other mobility assistive devices are considered personal devices and are not guaranteed or provided long-term for loan by DSS.

Services for Students with Other Types of Temporary Disabilities

Appropriate services for other types of temporary disabilities will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of the injury, medical or psychological/emotional condition, and the information and recommendations contained within the documentation of such.

Absences from Class, or Missed Exams & Assignments

If you must be absent from class because of your temporary disability, it is your responsibility to stay in contact with your professors. Generally, class attendance is considered an essential component of a course.  Excused absences from class (beyond those normally allowed by the professor for all students in the class) or make-ups for missed exams or assignments, whether or not due to disability or medically-related reasons, are not necessarily considered a reasonable accommodation.  Our office can, however, verify your disability or medical condition for any professors who you wish for us to contact.  Some professors may choose to allow for excess absences (or allow you to make-up missed exams), but they are not necessarily required to do so.  In any case, you should make arrangements to get and complete any work that you may have missed.  If you wish to have the class lecture notes for the days you are absent, you should either contact a friend in the class or send an audio recorder to the classroom to record the lectures.  If it appears that the extent of your absences from class (or missed exams or assignments) will seriously affect your overall grade(s) for the course(s), you may want to talk with DSS and receive advising over whether or not it would be in your best interest to seek a withdrawal from the course(s).

  • Advising and Testing Center
  • Pratt Hall, Room 216
    201 Pratt Drive
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-4067
  • Fax: 724-357-2889
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.