Temporary Medical Conditions
The Office of AccessAbility Services (OAS) provides reasonable accommodations to students with temporary medical conditions such as injuries, illnesses, or complicated pregnancies, who may require temporary support. Documentation is required and reasonable accommodations are determined based on the nature and impact of the temporary condition on a case-by-case basis.
To qualify for temporary accommodations, a student must provide documentation of the temporary medical condition as determined by a physician or other health care provider. The follow documentation is required in order to determine appropriate temporary accommodations and services. The documentation is to be typed on letterhead with the physician’s signature and must include the following:
- A clear statement of the temporary medical condition, symptoms, and the expected length of the condition.
- Current impact the condition has on the student’s daily functioning and learning.
- The physician’s recommended accommodations.
- Some temporary medical conditions may require additional updated documentation in the future.
- Providers may also submit a Documentation of Disability Form as documentation.
A temporary medical condition due to a complicated pregnancy must create a substantial impairment to major life activities, as documented by the physician indicating medical necessity of extended absences. Possible accommodations and adjustments may also include a larger desk, frequent bathroom trips, and temporary elevator access.
The OAS does not have a role in determining course attendance policies, beyond the accommodation of “disability-related absences: up to two absences permitted outside of class policy, per professor’s discretion.” As attendance may be essential to the learning process, attendance policies are set by the faculty. It is essential for students to understand that faculty is not required to make substantial modifications in the structure of their course. A student may be referred to the Dean of Students in the case of significant absences beyond the professor’s regular attendance policy.
Title IX requires a school to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy and related conditions, for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary. When the student returns to school, she must be reinstated to the status she held when the leave began, which should include giving her the opportunity to make up any work missed. A professor or school may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester, taking part in an online course credit recovery program, or allowing the student additional time to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date.
Unless a pregnant student voluntarily decides to participate in a separate portion of her educational program or activity, the college or university cannot discriminate or exclude her from any class or extracurricular activity on the basis of her pregnancy status. If the student takes a leave of absence for childbirth or other pregnancy related conditions she must be re-instated to the status she held when the leave began.