Skip to main content

Temporary Medical Conditions and Injuries

Temporary medical conditions such as injuries, surgeries, or acute illnesses are generally not regarded as disabilities. This is because the degree of functional limitation and the duration of impact are usually not substantial enough to cause a temporary condition to be considered a disability. Many of the academic concerns that arise related to temporary conditions can be addressed through Health Service. Even though professors or TAs may address injury-related arrangements directly, professors may ask you to register with AccessibleNU to verify your condition and allow us to make recommendations for reasonable adjustments. 

Accommodations requested related to routine pregnancy by student staff, staff, or faculty should be directed to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance. Student pregnancies with complications or other disabling considerations should follow the AccessibleNU registration process for disability accommodation determination for the classroom.

Northwestern recognizes that temporary medical conditions during the school year may adversely affect a student's ability to fully participate in the academic environment. Below are strategies and resources that may be beneficial for someone with one of several common temporary conditions. Note that ANU and the University does not provide point-to-point transportation services for temporary conditions or permanent disabilities.

Potential Concerns Due to Temporary Conditions and AccessibleNU Recommendations
Potential Concerns Due To Temporary Conditions AccessibleNU Recommendations
Missed Class, Deadlines, or Exams Many of the academic concerns that arise related to short-term conditions, such as additional absences, missed deadlines, or missed exams, should be addressed through Health Service.
Taking exams

If your temporary condition affects your ability to complete an exam in the allotted time, discuss the possibility of extra time or technology usage with your professor.
Note Taking ANU recommends either asking a friend for copies of their notes or downloading the 30-day trial of Glean. Glean allows the user to record and code audio and link it to PowerPoint slides reducing the amount of writing and/or typing necessary in note taking. Glean also includes transcription.
Typing Windows Speech Recognition, Mac Dictation,  and Google Voice Typing in Google Docs are built in speech recognition options that offer sufficient alternatives to writing or typing on a temporary basis.
Reading Download Read&Write Gold to have your electronic text read aloud. Northwestern offers this text-to-speech software free to all students. 
Res Hall Room Access Residential Services can typically assist with procuring an elevator key if warranted and may be able to assist in having your on-campus room relocated to the first floor or to a building with elevator access (subject to availability). 
Classroom Access AccessibleNU can typically assist in relocating classrooms if necessary.
Mobility Aids Health Service has a wheelchair loan program available for students for up to a 48-hour period. After that, we recommend students rent wheelchairs or other mobility-assistance devices from an outside company, such as Koeber's Medical Supplies in Skokie, IL.
Transportation Northwestern does not have a system to provide short-term, point-to-point transportation to and from classes or medical appointments. Students have found success relying on the campus shuttles, Uber, or Lyft.
Parking If you have a state-issued temporary disability parking placard, you can show proof to Transportation and Parking and purchase a parking permit without ANU approval. The pass allows you to park in any non-reserved space in a Northwestern lot.

If you don't have a disability placard/plate, you need to register with ANU as ANU would need to approve requests for purchasing a parking permit.
Course Load Work with your academic advisor on modifying your course load.  Students with temporary conditions also sometimes need to apply for a medical leave of absence through Student Assistance and Support Services until their condition has improved.