The Catholic University of America


Disability Support Services recognizes that individuals with temporarily disabling conditions that are a result of injuries, surgery or short-term medical conditions may need access to services and resources similar to individuals with permanent disabilities. Examples of temporary disabilities may include, but are not limited to: broken limbs, hand injuries, or short term impairments following surgery or medical treatments.

Disability Support Services recognizes that temporary medical conditions that occur during the school year may adversely affect a student's ability to fully participate in class and student life. Below are strategies and resources that may be beneficial for someone who has a temporary disability.

Specific information on concussions

Documentation Requirements

To receive accommodations for a temporary disability, the student must submit a registration form and appropriate documentation to Disability Support Services indicating the type of disability, severity, limitations, prognosis, and estimated duration of the disabling condition. It is also helpful to know any adverse side effects caused by medication and recommendations for accommodations. The documentation should be recent enough to identify current limitations. Additional documentation may be requested to verify the need for continued services after the estimated duration of the condition has expired.

Once documentation has been received and approved, the student will meet with The Director to determine appropriate accommodations and to discuss the accommodation process.

In situations where services are needed immediately but documentation may not yet be available, DSS will make every effort to work with the student to provide accommodations.

Potential Accommodations for Temporary Disabilities

Academic accommodations are approved on a case by case basis. Examples of accommodations which may be available for a temporary arm, hand, or upper extremity injury may include:

• Notetaking assistance
• Audio recorder for lectures
• Extended testing time
• Computer for essay exams
• Assistive technology
• Moving classes to accessible locations

Students with temporary disabilities may want to discuss:

• Potential classroom and testing accommodations
• Information on accessible routes and elevator access on campus
• Information on how to apply for a disabled parking placard or Metro paratransit services
• Emergency evacuation procedures  and Medical supply resources in the area

General tips for students with temporary conditions

• Students can ask fellow classmates to take notes or obtain copies of notes.
• Students can ask the instructor and/or Teaching Assistant for suggestions regarding note-taking and testing.
• If writing is significantly impaired to the point where it affects out-of-class assignments, the use of a speech-to-text software program (Dragon NaturallySpeaking or Mac Speech Dictate) is appropriate.
• Students needing information regarding a change in their course load should contact their academic advisors and their instructors for guidance on dropping classes and for options regarding continuing and completing course work.
• Students experiencing temporary impairments due to minor surgery or temporary medical conditions are advised to consult with their individual instructors regarding possible adjustments to their coursework.
• If students need extended time to take exams and their instructors are willing to allow extra time but not able to provide space to do so, they may work with Disability Support Services to take exams in the testing center.

When to Contact the Office of the Dean of Students

If you are experiencing an on-going and/or serious medical issue (i.e. hospitalization, long term illness, etc.), contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 202-319-5619. Staff members in the Office of the Dean of Students can assist you with developing a plan for managing the impact of the medical issue on your campus life. You should also personally notify your professors if you have missed and/or expect to miss any classes; your professors are in the best position to discuss how absences from class will affect your class performance.

The Office of the Dean of Students serves as a contact resource by providing instructors with notification of class absences in critical and emergency situations, such as hospitalization, serious illness, and serious injury of the student or death of an immediate family member. The class absence notifications from the Office of the Dean of Students are strictly informational and advisory, and are not intended to verify or provide proof of the legitimacy of the absence.

Getting around campus with a temporary mobility impairment

Students who are utilizing mobility aids such as electric scooters, wheelchairs, canes or crutches are advised to research the most accessible route to get to and from class. Wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility devices are considered personal devices and are not provided for loan by Disability Services. See Equipment Loan and Rental.

Disability Student Services does not provide personal assistance to students with temporary disabilities such as building-to-building transportation or the transport of books or other personal items.

Information on parking and transportation


Students requiring the use of accessible parking spaces must have a state-issued parking placard. Students who are interested in obtaining a disabled parking permit must apply for one through their home state DMV. 

Vehicles displaying valid state or District of Columbia issued handicapped licensed tags and/or window placards identifying the driver or passenger as handicapped will be authorized to park in designated handicapped spaces.

A valid CUA-issued parking permit must be displayed in conjunction with the state or District of Columbia issued handicapped licensed tags or hanging placard. Permits are available through The Department of Public Safety.


CUA offers the Loop Bus Service which operates from 5:00 pm - 12:30 am and a morning shuttle bus primarily for, but not limited to, staff members of the campus from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The morning shuttle route extends to north campus, going through center campus and back to the Metro Kiosk stop.  This service is coordinated through Public Safety.

Shuttle Bus Schedule:

Click for printable schedule AM - PDF

Click for printable schedule PM - PDF


Students who have mobility concerns may inquire with Housing Services to be moved to a first floor room and/or to a room with accessible bathroom facilities (as space is available). Contact Housing Services to discuss availability and options.


Please contact Disability Support Services as early as possible to determine the most appropriate course of action to be taken given the nature of the situation.  We are located in 127 Pryzbyla Center.  You may also email us at or call us at 202-319-5211.