Temporary Injuries

Temporary impairments include medical conditions that temporarily interfere with a student’s ability to fully participate in academic activities (e.g., the ability to attend class, take notes, write papers, or complete exams independently).

Temporary impairments are not typically classified as disabilities unless their severity results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not obligate an institution to provide services to individuals with temporary impairments, Binghamton University recognizes the challenges a temporary impairment can create. Due to the fact that temporary impairments can occur at any point before or during the semester, the timing can significantly influence the option a student has for continuing in a particular class or remaining enrolled for the semester. Timely and honest communication with faculty and relevant campus personnel, such as the Dean of Students, about the nature and duration of the impairment and requested academic assistance can often result in satisfactory solutions to the short term problems caused by the injury or condition.

What is the first step when a temporary condition is affecting University life?

Students should first contact their instructors. Informing them of the nature of the condition or impairment is the first step. Instructors may legitimately request medical documentation for verification of a temporary condition. Students typically do not have to go through SSD to obtain temporary accommodations such as obtaining notes or obtaining a scribe if needed. Students should discuss this with their instructors who has the discretion of when and how to accommodate your situation.

It is recommended that you consult with your academic advisor also to determine if it is possible to withdraw from a course or if you are eligible to request an incomplete.


If your temporary condition prohibits you from taking notes, ask your instructor or teaching assistant if the course notes already exist and whether they would be willing to give you a copy or let you make a copy.

Find a fellow classmate who would be willing to let you copy their notes.

Talk with the instructor about allowing you the option of recording the course.

Writing Assignments

Both IOS and Windows have built-in speech to text capabilities. SSD can assist in training students on how to use this technology.

Speak with your instructors about extra time to complete papers

Taking Exams

Work with you instructor to make informal accommodations (e.g., using a computer, using speech to text to respond to short answer and essay questions, having someone in the department scribe the exam)

Absences from Class

Talk with your instructors about alternative ways to meet course requirements. Attendance may be mandatory for foreign language classes, labs and other participatory classes where replicating the classroom experience outside of class may be impossible. You may have no option but to retake these classes another semester. Other classes may provide more flexibility.

Parking and Transportation options

The following suggestions will help you use the transportation options listed below as effectively as possible:

  • Re-arrange your schedule if it's early in the semester and other classes options are still available
  • Ask faculty if you can informally attend another section of the class during your recovery.
  • Talk with faculty about leaving class early so that you can make it to your next class on time.
  • Consider reducing your course load.
      • Off Campus College Transport provides a fully accessible fixed-route bus service and a small paratransit service designed for students whose permanent disabilities prevent them from using the regular buses.  The paratransit OCCT Lift bus service is limited but is occasionally able to provide Lift Service on a space-available, short-term basis to a few students with temporary disabilities which significantly restrict mobility.If you anticipate a temporary need for transportation assistance as a result of a planned surgery, please make arrangements in advance to learn about your options. The Services for Students with Disabilities office (SSD) can help you with this research. Then, ask your doctor to provide you with a description of your limitations and why transportation assistance is needed. The duration of your need should also be estimated. This information should be submitted to the SSD office, even before you return to school if possible. If no lift service is available, you will need time to make other arrangements.Should you experience an accident that results in a sudden disability, the university will try, if space is available, to provide Lift Service. Please remember that you may be required to submit supporting medical documentation and an information release permitting SSD to consult with the University Health Services before Lift Service authorization is granted. Ultimately it is the student's responsibility to make transportation arrangements when a temporary disability occurs. The university will provide you with information about options but cannot guarantee personalized lift services. Since OCCT's fixed-route buses are all lift-equipped, however, the regular bus service usually meets the needs of most students, both on and off campus.