What is a temporary condition or injury?

Temporary conditions or injuries do not last long (typically 8 weeks or less), are not chronic, and have little or no outstanding or lasting effects. Temporary Conditions or injuries lasting six months or less are not considered permanent disabilities and generally do not qualify as a disability under federal or state laws. The University does recognize that temporary conditions and injuries can be problematic and may adversely affect a student’s ability to fully participate in class. This website is designed to inform students with these conditions of strategies and resources which may be beneficial.

Examples of Temporary Conditions or Injuries:

  • A sprained or broken hand, finger, leg, or other joint that will heal completely within a few weeks or months.
  • Minor or non-chronic medical conditions or disorders that last more than a few weeks.
  • Medical conditions that last several weeks without lasting effects.
  • Surgeries that temporarily impact a student in a course without lasting effects.
  • Condition caused by an accident or injury that will heal under six months’ time with no lasting effects.

Should a temporary condition have continued lasting effects (examples might include concussive syndrome or complications due to surgery that cause permanent injury), then the Office of Disability Services should be contacted for a consultation and an intake interview.

For students with temporary conditions or injuries, it is important to read this website first and follow the recommendations.

Information for Students with Temporary Conditions:

Difficulty getting to and from classes:

  • Parking : If you still have the ability to drive and have a Rutgers parking permit additional options may be available to you.
  • Transportation : If you are unable to use the Rutgers campus bus service additional options may be available to you.
  • Classroom Accessibility : If you need to determine the accessibility of a particular classroom or building, the Digital Classroom Services website is a good place to start.
  • Wheelchair or scooter rentals : If you are having difficulty getting to or from classes, renting a wheelchair or scooter may be helpful.

Absences or making up work:

  • Self-Reporting Absences: For absences in class or labs less than a week that are not confidential in nature, students need to inform faculty directly by using the Absence Reporting System (ARS) (https://sims.rutgers.edu/ssra/)
  • Longer Periods of Absence: If you anticipate missing more than one week of classes for serious illness, confidential, or sensitive personal reasons, you should also consult with a New Brunswick Dean of Students, Newark Dean of Students, or Camden Dean of Students who will help to verify your extended absences from classes.
  • Absences due to illnesses: If your absence is due to illness, visit New Brunswick Health Services, Newark Health Services , Camden Health Services for information about campus health services, including information about: how to make an appointment, self-care advice for colds/flu, mental health and counseling options.
  • If you have missed course work or a lab due to a temporary condition or injury, please notify your professor as soon as the injury or incident occurs and attempt to work with them about making up the work. If additional assistance or verification is needed about your injury, you should work with your academic advisor or the Dean of Students at your campus.

Difficulty writing due to hand, arm, or shoulder injuries:

Injuries to the hand, arm, or wrist may require assistance with many forms of writing including note-taking, test-taking, typing, filling in scantrons, taking tests and quizzes. Below are suggestions that have worked for other students:
  • Class Notes
    • Use a laptop or computer to type notes if typing is an option.
    • Use your smartphone, a tablet, digital recorder, or other software (e.g., Livescribe smartpen, OneNote, etc.) to record lectures with the instructor's permission.
    • Ask a friend or another student in your class to borrow their notes.
    • Ask your instructors to help you recruit a student to assist and share their notes.
    • Photocopiers are available in some classroom buildings, residence halls, student centers and libraries, simply make copies of others notes.
    • See if your professor is willing to post notes or slides online
  • Written or Typed Assignments
    • Ask a friend or family member to write or type for you outside of class. If this is not possible, you may need to hire a writing or secretarial service to assist you.
    • You may also consider speech-to-text software programs. This technology allows you to speak into the computer through a microphone and the software then converts your speech into written text. Free versions are available to download or you may purchase software (e.g., Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Mac Speech Dictate, etc.).
  • Course Exams and Quizzes: Exams may present special challenges for those with temporary conditions. With advance notice, the strategies listed below might be acceptable alternatives to suggest to your professors and/or teaching assistants:
    • Instead of using a scantron, mark answers selections directly on exam.
    • Instead of handwriting an essay, use a laptop.
    • Ask your professor, if appropriate, if you can make an appointment with them or a teaching assistant to give oral answers to an exam or lab.
    • Use a scribe (provided by your professor/ teaching assistant).
    • For lab related experiments or “hands on” exams, orally describe what you would do, why you would do it, what you observe, etc.
    • If you think you may need extra time to complete an exam, let your professor/teaching assistant know in advance.
    • Take breaks during the exam.

If additional assistance is needed or not found on this site, simply fill out our web form with your questions or concerns which will be directed the appropriate university personnel. Once the form is submitted, someone from the University will promptly follow up. It is recognized that providing assistance for such conditions is a team approach at the University. There are many departments, offices, and individuals that may assist a student with temporary conditions, including the student themselves, their instructors and their peers.