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What You Need To Know if You Experience a Temporary Disability with Mobility Impairment

Sometimes a temporary disability with mobility impairment occurs as a result of an accident and sometimes it is part of recovery from a planned surgery. It's important to understand what services may be available to you for transportation and what arrangement you might have to make.

Off Campus College Transport provides a fully accessible fixed-route bus service and a small paratransit service designed for students whose permanent disabilities prevent them from using the regular buses.  The paratransit OCCT Lift bus service is limited but is occasionally able to provide Lift Service on a space-available, short-term basis to a few students with temporary disabilities which significantly restrict mobility.

If you anticipate a temporary need for transportation assistance as a result of a planned surgery, please make arrangements in advance to learn about your options. The Services for Students with Disabilities office (SSD) can help you with this research. Then, ask your doctor to provide you with a description of your limitations and why transportation assistance is needed. The duration of your need should also be estimated. This information should be submitted to the SSD office, even before you return to school if possible. If no lift service is available, you will need time to make other arrangements.

Should you experience an accident that results in a sudden disability, the university will try, if space is available, to provide Lift Service. Please remember that you may be required to submit supporting medical documentation and an information release permitting SSD to consult with the University Health Services before Lift Service authorization is granted.

Ultimately it is the student's responsibility to make transportation arrangements when a temporary disability occurs. The university will provide you with information about options but cannot guarantee personalized lift services. Since OCCT's fixed-route buses are all lift-equipped, however, the regular bus service usually meets the needs of most students, both on and off campus.

Self-help Strategies and Campus Resources For Students with Temporary Disabilities

If you develop a temporary disability during or between semesters, and want to continue your studies while you're recovering, there are a number of things to consider and explore:

1. The Nature of Your Disability

What is the nature of your disability, the functional limitations it places on you, the personal strategies you've developed to compensate for them, and the expected duration of your disability-related challenges?

2. Living on Campus

While housing adjustments and/or academic accommodations may be possible, living on campus and fulfilling your academic obligations requires a significant level of independence and self-care. The university is not responsible for providing disability-related personal care assistance, on-call individualized transportation, or academic accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of its courses.

3. Personal Resources and Strategies may include things such as:

a. Bringing a car to campus or taking taxis to doctor and or physical therapy appointments. If you have mobility impairments you may apply to Services for Students with Disabilities for temporary disability parking on campus.

b. Researching and utilizing Off Campus College Transport's fixed route bus services from and to campus and/or their on-campus Residential Shuttle (please visit for additional information).

c. Arranging for voluntary assistance from friends, on a time-limited basis, for things such as helping you carry your food tray, getting your mail when they get their own, etc.

d. Researching and utilizing speech recognition computer technology if you've injured your dominant arm and/or hand, asking friends to share copies of notes from classes in which you were present but physically unable to take notes.

e. Reducing your course-load for the semester and allotting extra time between scheduled classes to allow for longer travel times.

4. Alerting your faculty to your temporary disability

a. Notify your faculty as soon as possible regarding your disability and how it may affect your class attendance and/or participation.

b. If your temporary disability interferes with your ability to take notes by hand, we encourage you to request their permission for you to tape record class lectures and discussions for later review. Assure them that you will use the recording only for your personal study and that you will not share or use the recording for any other purposes.

5. Campus Advisors and Resources include:

a. Resident Advisors – may be able to provide you with very short-term assistance in bringing you food from the dining hall, problem-solving minor issues with you, or referring you to other campus resources.

b. Transportation:
i. Off Campus College Transport – see "3b" above.
ii. Services for Students with Disabilities can authorize students with mobility limitations to flag down the University Maintenance Shuttle as it makes its continuous run around the main brain of the campus.

c. Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), Academic Advising and the Dean of Students offices – can assist you in reviewing the campus-related challenges you will encounter during recovery and support you in your creative problem-solving as you determine whether you should press on with your studies on campus, investigate course options at colleges near your home or through distance learning (at Binghamton or elsewhere), or take a semester off to focus on your healing. The university does not provide wheelchairs or scooters.

Additional Information

Additional information on Services for Students with Disabilities, the Dean of Students office, Student Health Services, the University Counseling Center, and Academic Advising offices for the university's individual schools can be found at the following web addresses:

Academic Advising Offices for Binghamton University's Colleges and Schools:

Last Updated: 12/7/18