Temporary impairments such as broken bones, temporary illnesses, and recovery from surgery or medical conditions are generally not regarded as disabilities. The degree of functional limitation and the duration of such impairments are typically not substantial enough to cause a temporary condition to be considered a disability. Dickinson College does recognize that temporary conditions might cause difficulties related to the student's academic progress in a given semester.

Students who have a temporary impairment should contact Disability Services for assistance when needing access to an elevator, classroom, or other area on campus. Also, a wheelchair may be available for a limited time on a first-come first-serve basis. When door-to-door service is needed, students may consider making arrangements with family or friends, or contract with a local taxi service.

The following are some suggestions that might be beneficial to someone who is temporally incapacitated:

Getting around campus due to temporary mobility impairment:

Students who are utilizing mobility aids such as electric scooters, wheelchairs, canes, crutches etc. are advised to research the most accessible route for their needs to get to and from class. The Director of Disability Services is available to act as a resource to help with planning a route and providing keys to necessary lifts. Please email  jonesmar@dickinson.edu or call 717-245-1734 for information and assistance.

Lifts on campus will require a key. Keys are available for sign out from Disability Services which is located on the first floor in Biddle House.

A wheelchair is available for temporary use from Facilities Management on a first come first serve basis. For students to request and verify the need for a wheelchair, first contact the Director of  Disability Services at 717-245-1734 or jonesmar@dickinson.edu. If a wheelchair is needed after the Advising Office is closed or on weekends, contact Public Safety at 717-245-1349.

In case of inclement weather, it may be necessary for a travel path to be cleared in advance so you have access to classrooms and other facilities on campus. To be assured of snow removal, please contact Disability Services to discuss your specific needs.


Door-to-door service is not available through Public Safety or Disability Services for students, faculty, and/or staff with temporary conditions. You may make arrangements with family or friends or contract with a local taxi service. AAAA Moonlight Taxicab can be reached at (717) 243-4343. Information regarding other taxi services can be found in the local yellow pages.

First-year students who need a car for medical reasons must send an email request to Chief Danser, the Chief of Public Safety, at danserd@dickinson.edu, and copy disabilityservices@dickinson.edu.


Dickinson College provides accessible (“handicapped”) parking on campus. Students requiring the use of accessible parking spaces must have a state-issued parking placard as well as the appropriate Dickinson College parking permit. To receive a parking permit, students must contact Public Safety to obtain the appropriate Dickinson College parking permit that must be displayed along with the state-issued accessible parking placard.

Dickinson College is not authorized to issue accessible parking placards. All accessible parking placards, permanent or temporary, must be obtained through the student's state of residence.

Students will be required to have their health care provider fill out the appropriate state application or form and submit it to the appropriate state office. For Pennsylvania residents, the application for temporary parking placards can be found at the following web address: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms/mv_forms/mv-145a.pdf

Students must meet the state's criteria to receive a temporary placard for accessible parking. Students will be required to have their health care provider fill out form MV-145A.

Classroom Situations:

Students who are in need of accommodations to support them in the academic realm will need to provide documentation to Disability Services. The type of documentation required is dependent upon the medical condition or temporary impairment. Please contact the Director of Learning Skills and Disability Services at jonesmar@dickinson.edu or by phone at 717-245-1734 to receive the appropriate documentation guideline.

Students needing information regarding a change in their course load should contact their academic advisor for advice e.g., drop/add policies, withdrawal from a class and incomplete grades. The most important advice is to communicate with your academic advisor and the instructor of the course regarding options of continuing and completing course work. Your Class Dean (Academic Advising, Biddle House), should also be informed of your situation.

When a temporary impairment results in difficulty with writing:

Speak to your professors. He or she may be able to provide suggestions regarding note-taking and testing. Also, your professor may be able to make copies of his or her notes available.

Ask fellow classmates to take notes during class lectures or obtain copies of class notes from other students.

If writing is significantly impaired to the point where it affects out of class assignments, a suggestion would be to utilize a speech to text software program such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, available through Disability Services.


A student who is experiencing a temporary impairment due to minor surgery, an injury, or a temporary medical condition is advised to consult with his or her individual professors regarding possible adjustments in their coursework.