Temporary Illness, Injury, or Condition

The first step in acquiring accommodation during a temporary illness, injury, or disabling condition is to consult with your faculty advisor and/or instructors. Discuss with them your needs and what recommendations you feel would be appropriate to deal with your situation.

The following are examples of common temporary situations students may find themselves in.

Temporary loss of use of writing hand (due to injury or surgery)

  • Note-taking - ask your classmates to share their notes with you or ask your instructor to recruit volunteer note takers from your class.

  • Exam writing - talk with your instructors during their office hours and discuss how they can arrange for you to write your exams. Some of the following options may apply to your situation:

    • Complete exams with essay or short answer components with the assistance of a scribe, or by writing with additional time if you are still able to write slowly or with rest breaks.

    • Complete multiple choice portions of exams by placing a mark next to your choice answers directly on the exam paper rather than on the scantron sheet.

    • Ask the instructor to test any science lab knowledge that requires use of your hands by having you describe what you would do, why you would do it, what you observe, etc., rather than physically carrying out the experiments or procedures.

  • Readings, assignments, studying

    • Buy a light-weight, sturdy, portable book holder.

    • Have friends or family member type or scribe papers for you.

    • Allow additional time in your schedule for school work.

    • Consider reducing your course load until you are healed.

    • Allow additional time in your schedule for rehabilitation.

Be careful not to strain a hand which is not injured and which does not normally perform as your dominant hand.

Temporary illness causing you to miss classes

  • Ask your doctor about what to expect in terms of the course of the illness, i.e., the length, the severity, the impact on your studies, and, of course, how to get better.

  • Talk with your instructor about the situation and determine what agreement can be reached about the classes you are going to miss or have missed.

  • Ask classmates for copies or scanned versions of their notes for the missed classes.

  • Make sure you get any instructions you may have missed from your instructor when you return to class.

  • Establish an agreement with your instructor about any assignments which are due for which you may miss the deadline. Contact your instructor prior to the agreed upon due date if you are going to require a further extension.

  • Discuss how you might make up for any class participation or labs required. If your illness has caused you to miss a midterm, consult your instructor as soon as possible.

If your illness caused you to miss a final, review the instructions in the University of Alberta calendar (Section 23.5) about missing final exams including the need for medical documentation. If you expect to miss a major part of the term, consider with your instructor whether you might be wiser to drop the course at this time.

Temporary problem getting around (due to injury or surgery)

  • Consult with AR or the head your your Department if classrooms are not accessible (e.g. cannot manage stairs with crutches)

  • Allow more time for getting to and from classes.

  • Tell your instructors you may be a bit late to class if necessary.

  • Approach library staff for research assistance.

  • Navigate around campus with a buddy.

  • Consider taking a reduced course load until you are completely back on your feet.

  • Consider obtaining a locker to keep items in that you do not need to carry around with you at all times, preferably one close to the majority of your classes.

Field placements/Professional Practicum

If you are scheduled to go out on a field placement experience or practicum during your recuperation, contact the appropriate faculty advisor and arrange to meet with them in person. Discuss with them any concerns you have about how your medical condition may impact on your abilities to perform at your best in a field placement.

If your health or injury does not return to normal or your condition becomes an ongoing one, please return to talk with an Accessibility Advisor at Accessibility Resources.