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In order to provide proper services to students with temporary impairments, UAB requires that students provide verification of their temporary impairment to Disability Support Services (DSS) at the time services are requested. This information will be utilized to establish appropriate accommodations. A temporary injury does not usually qualify as a disability under the 1990 American with Disabilities Act (ADA); however, the severity and duration of the injury will be taken into consideration. DSS will make every effort to accommodate temporary injuries when possible. Some examples of temporary impairments addressed by these guidelines include broken extremities, hand injuries, torn ligaments, etc.

Who can verify a temporary Impairment 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 should be on official letterhead and include the following:

  • a statement which classified the individual as impaired
  • onset, nature, estimated duration and severity of impairment
  • any adverse side effects caused by medication
  • recommended assistance to accommodate the individual’s impairment
  • a signature from the diagnosing professional

The documentation must be recent enough to describe how the impairment affects the individual currently.

Accommodations through DSS

Accommodations for a temporary impairment are approved for one semester or less, and will be determined after a review of the documentation and recommendations from the treating professional. Students approved for accommodations based on a temporary impairment will be provided a letter listing the accommodations approved by DSS.

Since temporary conditions can occur at any point during the semester, the timing can significantly impact the accommodation options available to the student. Timely and open communication with DSS, faculty and other campus offices, as needed, about the nature and duration of the condition and requested assistance can often result in satisfactory solutions to the short-term issues caused by the injury or condition. Students with temporary impairments are encouraged to contact DSS to determine accommodation options.