Psychiatric or mental health impairments, which range from mild depression to chronic disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, are “invisible” disabilities that can present challenges in an academic setting. Students with mental health impairments may have difficulty receiving, processing, and recalling information during times of stress; side effects from medication may impact their attention, memory, alertness, and activity level. The episodic and unpredictable onset and recurrence of illness can affect their class attendance or student employment. They may also be more susceptible to the common stressors of college life (e.g., academic demands, interpersonal relationships, living alone or away from home for the first time).
Typical accommodations for students who have mental health impairments include:
- note takers
- early notification of deadlines for projects, exams, and assignments
- flexible attendance requirements
- quiet locations for work or tests
- course materials and lecture notes in electronic format
Specific Academic Activities
- Academic Accommodations for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
- Invisible Disabilities and Postsecondary Education
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