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Temporary Impairment

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, nonchronic 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 are not limited to:

  • The common cold
  • Seasonal or common influenza
  • A sprained joint
  • Minor and nonchronic gastrointestinal disorders
  • 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 website is offered to help students with temporary conditions negotiate the services available at Penn State for such circumstances.