Classifications of Disabilities and Accommodations

The chart below is a general list of common disability categories along with their typical academic accommodations. However, it is important to note that each individual’s disability affects him/her uniquely (two people with the same diagnosis may function in drastically different ways). Accommodations are as diverse as the uniqueness of each person.



Learning Disabilities
Attention Deficit Disorder
Psychological Disabilities
Brain Injuries

Test Accommodations (e.g. 50-100% extended time, quiet separate room, use of a calculator), notetakers, tutorial support, proofreader, books on tape, permission to tape record lecture.

Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Sign Language Interpreters, Realtime Captioners, notetakers, Assistive Listening Device (ALD) (faculty will need to wear FM mic for ALD), closed captioning for videos, advanced copies of syllabus and technical terms for student and interpreters, priority enrollment (it takes advanced notice to hire and schedule interpreters and arrange video captioning needs), advance notice of location or format changes, preferential seating, faculty attention to lip-reading needs.

Mobility/Orthopedic Disabilities (e.g. arthritis, amputation, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, etc)

Wheelchair accessible classrooms, test accommodations (e.g. extended time, scribe, use of a computer), notetakers, voice recognition software, transcriber, scribe, library assistant, lab assistant.

Visual Impairments

Test accommodations (e.g. readers, scribes, use of a computer, enlarged print or other alternate format, extended time), class materials in alternate formats (e.g. scanned texts, books on tape, Braille, e-text, enlarged print), library assistant, lab assistant, mobility assistant (helps orient student to surroundings), hard copies of overheads/power point, preferential seating, CCTV (magnifier), advanced copies of syllabus, priority enrollment (it takes advanced notice to begin working on putting textbooks on tape, etc).

Chronic Systemic Disorders (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Seizure Disorders etc)

Test accommodations (e.g. alternate test date or time, extended time), adapted course schedule/priority enrollment (e.g. condition flare-ups may occur more in the morning; thus afternoon classes might be better, or a student may want to arrange a schedule around medication administration needs), notetakers.