Temporary Medical Conditions

Temporary medical conditions (TMCI) such as injuries, surgeries, or acute illnesses may not qualify as permanent disabling conditions. Disability Services does provide assistance to students and guidance on working with a temporary medical condition while attending CU Boulder. 

CU staff and faculty know these situations often impact students’ ability to attend classes and complete work effectively. Below are strategies and resources for finding needed support during a difficult time.

If you would like to meet with a coordinator to discuss a TMCI, contact 303-492-8671 or dsinfo@colorado.edu.

Being seriously incapacitated can create a host of practical and emotional consequences. Seeking support takes many different forms. Discussing the situation with someone may help you sort out your feelings and decide what to do. There are several confidential resources available on campus that can provide you with information that may be helpful in dealing with your situation.

Obtain a dated letter from your medical provider describing your condition, including the duration and limitations of your condition. Distribute these to your instructors and to campus staff (e.g., academic advisor, Registrar, Residence Life, etc.) as needed.

These are your most important allies. Keep them informed of difficulties you are facing and be proactive by suggesting possible solutions. (e.g., making up missed work, the need for notetakers, additional time or scribes for exams, getting to class on time, seating, extra space to store crutches). Decisions regarding your temporary needs are at the discretion of your professors and teaching assistants.

You may need to reduce your course load and/or allow additional time in your schedule for schoolwork and rehabilitation. Talk with your instructors immediately to reach an agreement regarding classes and assignments you are going to miss or have already missed. This includes making up missed exams and quizzes and time extensions on assignments. There may be other sections of the same class that you can attend in lieu of the one in which you are registered.

If your condition has caused you to miss a major part of the semester, it may be necessary withdraw or to request an incomplete. Discuss this with your professors and advisors. Contact the Office of Registrar for information about withdrawing from classes.

Ask a student in your class to take notes for you or ask your instructors to help you recruit a student to do this. Ask your notetaker to email you the notes or provide you with a photocopy. Disability Services can provide you with carbonless notepaper at no charge. Your volunteer can use this paper to take notes, and give you a copy immediately after class. We are located in the Center for Community Suite N200.

Another option is to consider recording class lectures using a digital recorder, pen, or software (e.g., Livescribe Pen, One Note, etc.).

Ask a friend or family member to write or type for you. If this is not possible, you may need to hire a writing or secretarial service to assist you.

You may also consider speech-to-text software programs. These allow you to speak into the computer through a microphone and the software then converts your speech into written text. Free versions are available to download or you may purchase software (e.g., Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Mac Speech Dictate, etc.).

Exams may present a special challenge for those with temporary conditions. With advance notice, the strategies listed below might be acceptable alternatives to suggest to your professors and/or teaching assistants:

  • Instead of using a scantron, mark answers selections directly on exam.
  • Instead of handwriting an essay, use a laptop.
  • For lab related experiments or “hands on” exams, orally describe what you would do, why you would do it, what you observe, etc.
  • If you think you may need extra time to complete an exam, let your professor/teaching assistant know in advance.
  • Take breaks during the exam.
  • Orally record your answers.
  • Use a scribe (provided by your professor/ teaching assistant).

If your professor or teaching assistant is unable to accommodate you with additional time or a scribe for your exam, contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 to schedule an appointment with a coordinator to discuss your options. The appointment will take approximately 15-20 minutes and you must bring medical documentation to your appointment.

If you need help dressing, bathing, or any other personal assistance, contact a home and family care agency. For help carrying books or getting around, check with fraternities or sororities for volunteers.

Wheelchair, Scooter, and Oxygen Rentals Disability Services is not responsible for providing wheelchair, scooter, or oxygen but listed below is contact information on rentals.

Parking and Transportation Services provides information about parking and transportation services around and on campus. There is no building-to-building shuttle service on campus. For accessible parking, you must have a state-issued accessible license plate, permit, decal, or place card. Temporary injury usually does not qualify for accessible parking. You may want to purchase a temporary permit to park near the building where you need to go.

Boulder community transportation resources include: