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Chronic Medical Illness

What is a Chronic Medical Illness?

Medical disabilities may be acute or chronic, visible or invisible, and the type of support needed is as diverse as the individuals seeking assistance.

Types of medical conditions having educational implications include chronic health problems such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, kidney disease, allergies, cardiovascular problems, cancer, diabetes, and AIDS/HIV infections, as well as respiratory and gastro-intestinal disorders. Many college students who suffer from these conditions have frequent absences due to effect of medication, fatigue and pain.

Possible Academic Accommodations

  • Use of note taker and/or scribe
  • Allowance of break periods as needed for rest and taking medication
  • No penalty for late withdrawals
  • Provision of extended time for tests and exams (usually time and a half)
  • Allowances for absences for medical reasons (i.e. Rescheduling of tests or exams)

What Should the Student Know?

  • It is important to register with the Office of Disability Services as early as possible. If an individual needs room accommodations, dietary considerations, or academic support, it is always easier if these are in place before the student comes to campus.
  • Documentation of a chronic Illness is required and can be in the form of a letter from a doctor. It is often helpful if recommendations are part of the information from a physician.