Types of Disabilities

A disability is an impairment (see also temporary conditions) that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The most represented categories of disabilities that the Disability Services Office provides academic accommodations for include, but are not limited to:

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a neurobiological, genetic disorder, characterized by difficulty sustaining focus and attention, hyperactivity, and /or difficulty controlling behavior. Although ADHD appears in childhood, the disorder is often lifelong.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders include High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. These conditions are thought to be neuro-biological and developmental disabilities affecting many aspects of functionality. Specific functional limitations are unique in nature and vary from person to person.

Some common limitations are difficulties with social reciprocity and friendships; social awkwardness; imaginative impairments and repetitive adherence, including concrete and literal uses of language, and a preference for routines; language impairments, including pronoun reversal, Echolalia, and late or no development of language; physical impairments, including fine or gross motor difficulties, and hyper- or hyposensitivity of the various senses; and learning impairments, including difficulty with organization, sequencing, distractibility, and slow processing.

Chronic Medical

A variety of medical conditions that may restrict a student’s full participation in all activities of the University. These conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spina bifida
  • Allergies (Food/Environmental)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Cancer
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Epilepsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis

 

Cognitive

A learning disability is a neurological disorder where the brain works differently in how it takes in, uses, and outputs information. Although most individuals with a learning disability possess average to above average intelligence, they have difficulty with one or more areas such as math, reading, speaking, writing, spelling, visual-spatial perception, and understanding language.

Hearing

A hearing impairment describes an impaired ability to hear and/or discriminate sounds. There may be a decreased ability to hear, no ability to hear at all, or a student may struggle with processing sounds, i.e. (central) auditory processing disorder. Hearing impairments can occur in different areas of the hearing pathway and may be genetic or caused by non-genetic factors.

Mental Health

Mental or behavioral patterns that may cause significant impairment or distress in several aspects of a student’s life, such as school, relationships, career, etc. These conditions include but are not limited to:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bipolar
  • schizophrenia
  • PTSD

 

Physical/Mobility

A mobility impairment is a broad category that includes any condition that makes it difficult for the student to move about and use their upper and/or lower limbs.

Seeing

A visual impairment describes vision loss, resulting in either impaired vision or a complete lack of sight. Visual impairments may be categorized as partially-sighted, low vision, legally blind or completely blind.

Traumatic Brain Injury

An acquired injury to the brain that manifests limitation in any of the above categories as well as cognitive impairments

The Disability Services Office works with students to provide reasonable accommodations that insure students with disabilities have equal access. Accommodations are provided on a case-by-case basis to meet the individual needs of each student.  Students must be able to perform the essential requirements of a course with or without accommodations, academic standards are not lowered or waived.

If you have a disability/chronic medical condition, we encourage you to register with the Disability Services Office.