Navigating Temporary Impairments

Navigating Temporary Impairments

Temporary Impairment Considerations

A temporary impairment may be the result of an acute injury, medical condition, or hospitalization which has an anticipated duration of a few days and up to six months.

Examples include a broken limb, concussion, knee/hip surgery, etc. Typically, arrangements with individual instructors can be made during short recoveries. However, a temporary impairment imay be so significant that it impacts the ability to complete course requirements within the term and withdrawal options can be considered. Students are encouraged to connect with a Student Advocacy and Intervention in the Dean of Students Office for support navigating options.

Direct Student Communication with Instructors

  • Communicate directly with instructors immediately (and in advance when possible) to discuss the duration and impact, such as lifting, walking, time it takes to complete tasks in the classroom.
  • Identify impacted aspects of course (notetaking, test taking, etc.) and discuss potential options.
  • Send follow up email to confirm the agreed upon arrangements.

Parking, Transportation and Navigating Campus

  • Transportation is an individual responsibility.
  • Additional time may be required to navigate campus. For navigating campus, personal mobility devices should be determined in consultation with a healthcare professional and may include a motorized scooter, knee scooter, or crutches.
  • Review the campus map to determine paths of travel.
  • Consider using the campus shuttle service and CCU’s Live Shuttle Tracker.
  • CCU Public Safety may have short term parking permit options on campus. Please obtain documentation from your medical provider and submit your request to Public Safety.


  • If short term hospitalization for treatment or recovery are necessary, explore the Student Emergency Notification request through the Dean of Students Office.
  • Follow up with each instructor to determine if attendance in another course section could be used to make up missed material.
  • Absences can greatly impact the ability to complete essential course requirements.

Courses/Academic Schedule

  • If a temporary impairment or injury is anticipated, such as recovery from upcoming surgery, consider alternate class meeting times and alter your schedule to provide more time in the morning or more time to travel between classes. Consult with an academic advisor to consider a lighter class load or online course options to allow for recovery.
  • For unanticipated temporary impairment, consult with an academic advisor regarding options to reduce credit hours, etc.
  • If unable to continue with current course load, contact Student Health Services regarding medical and Counseling Services regarding psychological withdrawals.

Academic Tasks

  • Tests: Discuss with instructor options for missed or make up tests. Determine if the instructor drops the lowest test grade, or if a test can be rescheduled for office hours.
  • Test format: If handwriting or typing is impacted, determine if the test can be taken in an alternative format. For example, highlight answers or type responses instead of bubble sheet or handwritten responses.
  • Time to complete tests: If more time is needed to complete academic tasks (concentrating, writing, etc.) discuss alternatives such as taking tests with instructors during office hours with extra time or computer use for typing essay responses.
  • Course notes: Take a photo or scan a classmate’s notes.
  • Participation: Determine with instructor if absences will prevent completion of essential course requirements.

Limit Screen Time due to Concussion

  • Explore the accessibility features on a computer or phone such as Text-to-Speech (to read materials) or Speech-to-Text (to dictate responses for papers, email, etc.).
  • Modify screen tone and brightness or adjust to a warmer and dimmer screen tone which is often easier on the eyes, brain, etc. than a cool screen tone, via settings on phone or computer. Use blue-blocking screen glasses to reduce eyestrain.
  • Print instructor PowerPoints in advance in order to utilize the paper version during class, rather than the projected or electronic version.

Classroom Setting

  • Students experiencing a concussion may want to wear a hat or sunglasses in class to reduce symptom exacerbation from bright lights in a classroom.
  • Consider placement/seating within the classroom.


  • Room change requests to an accessible location can generally be made a couple weeks into the semester via a room change request through University Housing.
  • Have a discussion with your RA and roommate to implement an agreement establishing parameters for creating an optimal environment for recovery.
  • Use noise cancelling headphones, disposable earplugs, sunglasses, hat, blue-blocking screen glasses, sleep masks, etc.

Process to Request Temporary Accommodations

Individuals who need official accommodations through ADS must complete the connection process. Temporary accommodations are generally limited to audio recording lectures, use of assistive technology, and proctoring exams.