Types of Disabilities, Documentation Guidelines, and Potential Accommodations
DISABILITY A person with a disability is defined as any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) has record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks. Examples of disabilities that can impact a student in postsecondary education include but are not limited to, AIDS, cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes, Epilepsy, head injuries, hearing impairments, learning disabilities, loss of limbs, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, psychiatric disorders, speech impairments, spinal cord injuries, and vision impairments. Some of these conditions are visible, while other conditions, such as learning or psychiatric, are "invisible. " Factors such as fatigue, pain, or medication side effects can also impact an individual's ability to perform specific life and academic-related tasks. Federal regulations note that a finding of disability: is not based on the name or diagnosis of the impairment…but on the effects of that impairment on the life of the individual. Thus determination of disability is made on a case-by-case basis considering (1) the nature and severity of the impairment, (2) the duration of the impairment, and (3) the permanent or long term impact of the impairment (29 C.F.R. Sec. 1630(j).
ACCOMMODATION An adaptation, adjustment, or modification to rules, policies, or practices. Removal of barriers (architectural, communication, transportation), provision of auxiliary aids and services.