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Services for Students with Temporary Impairments at Penn State


Temporary impairments such as broken bones, short-term illnesses, and recovery from surgery or medical conditions are generally not regarded as disabilities. Temporary, non-chronic impairments of short duration with little or no residual effects usually will not substantially limit a major life activity and therefore would not be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, 2008. These may include, but not limited to:

  • The common cold,
  • Seasonal or common influenza,
  • A sprained joint,
  • Minor and non-chronic gastrointestinal disorders, or
  • A broken bone that is expected to heal completely.


However, it is recognized that temporary conditions may impact academic progress (e.g., difficulty getting to and from classes; difficulty taking notes and taking exams). The information included in this Web site is offered to help students with temporary conditions negotiate the systems and services available at Penn State University for such circumstances.

Sponsored by Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity