Medical Disorder

Medical Disorders



There are students with disabilities that originate from systemic disorders. The degrees to which these disabilities affect students in the academic setting vary widely. At times, it is not the condition itself, but the medication that is required to control symptoms that impairs academic performance. Common side effects of medications include fatigue, memory loss, shortened attention span, loss of concentration, and drowsiness. In some cases, the degree of impairment may vary from time to time because of the nature of the disability or the medication. Some conditions are progressive and others may be stable.


A partial list of medically related disabilities:

  • AIDS
  • Hemophilia
  • Arthritis lupus
  • Asthma
  • Motor neuron diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Renal-kidney disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Epilepsy
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Crohn' disease


Some characteristics may include:

  • The need to leave the classroom frequently
  • The need to drink fluids frequently
  • Limitations to physical mobility
  • Need to stand or change position intermittently
  • Intolerance to weather changes


Some accommodations may include:

  • Extended time for exams
  • Enlarged printed material
  • Tape-recorded course materials
  • Readers
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Scribes
  • Flexibility in attendance requirements in case of health- related absences
  • Extension of time to complete papers or projects do to student absence

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Eligibility Verification

Eligibility for Disability Services at the College of Saint Elizabeth is dependent upon the nature of the disability and its impact on learning. A person might meet eligibility requirements of vocational rehabilitation, disabled veterans or any other rehabilitation agency; however, she/he may not meet eligibility at the College of Saint Elizabeth. One of the reasons that the College has developed these guidelines is to ensure consistency throughout the institution. These guidelines are fairly consistent with those used by agencies administering standardized assessments. The ultimate decision for eligibility on campus is a judgment that must be made by the Coordinator of Disability Services based upon the guidelines developed for each type of disability. Once a student has been verified as disabled by the College of Saint Elizabeth Office of Disability Services, a disability eligibility form should be completed and placed in a confidential file with the determining documentation.

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Medical Disorders Documentation

Includes, but is not limited to: multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, chemical sensitivities, spinal cord injures, cancer, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, Crone's disease, and spina bifida. Any physical disability or systemic illness is considered to be in the medical domain and requires the expertise of a physician, including a neurologist, or other medical specialist with experience and expertise in the area for which accommodations are being requested. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student's request for appropriate accommodations. Required documentation includes:

  1. A clear statement of the medical diagnosis of orthopedic/mobility disability or systemic illness.
  2. Documentation for eligibility must reflect the current impact the
    physical disability or systemic illness has on the student's 
    functioning (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the condition, the current status  of the student, and the student's request for accommodations). Therefore, disabilities that are sporadic or degenerative may require more frequent  evaluation.
  3. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores, if applicable.
  4. A description of present symptoms that meet the criteria for 
  5. Medical information relating to the student's needs to include the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment.
  6. A statement of the functional impacts or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being  requested.


Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the disability specialist at the institution collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.

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Medical Disorders

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