Berry is a talented student with a keen interest in the sciences and strong motivation to learn. Instructors can see that he pays attention in class. His work is of high quality much of the time. However, instructors also notice that he seems to have difficulty sitting through an entire lecture comfortably. He has missed several days of class time due to illness which he has let his instructors know about. After watching him struggle to stay focused in class one day, Berry’s instructor decides to ask how things are going for him and if there is anything that the college could do to support his learning. Barry shares that he is enjoying the class, but that he is experiencing a great deal of back pain from a recent car accident. This makes it very difficult for him to sit through a 1.5 hour lecture and on some days his pain is so severe, he can’t come to class.
Barry’s instructor lets him know about the Disability Services office and asks if he is aware of the services they can provide. Barry explains that he did not know that his situation would be considered as a disability. The instructor explains that he believes it could be since it has a significant impact on his ability to learn.
On the instructor’s advice, Berry meets with a Disability Advisor. He is able to access an adjustable chair to use in his classes. He also is able to access a set of notes from a student note taker and to record lectures. This allows him to review content that he may not have been able to focus on properly during class due to his pain levels that day. Finally, he can access more time for exams and a separate setting. This allows him to take short breaks or to adjust his position during tests which improves both his stamina and concentration during tests. Berry still finds managing his pain levels challenging but these added flexibilities are helping him to get more out of class and to provide the balance he needs.