Skip Main Navigation

Disability Scenario

Lumbar Disc Herniation

Disability description and career possibilities:
This student has chronic back and leg pain due to a history of lower back injuries. He is limited to lifting no more than 25 pounds, and he cannot sit, stand, or bend for a sustained length of time. His back is prone to painful, sometimes incapacitating spasms at times. The student takes strong pain medication during times of intense pain. Many such individuals routinely attain university degrees and work at any type of occupation which does not include heavy lifting, or the need to stay in one position for a prolonged length of time.

Basic access needs for classrooms and lab:
Often, the LAP will arrange to have a small table placed in the classroom to allow the student to adjust his seating position more easily. He may also find it necessary to use some type of seat cushion or lumbar support. Even with these provisions, however, he may find it necessary to stand for periods of time in the rear of the classroom to alleviate discomfort. The student should let you know of his back condition, and of his need to move about in class. 

Note Taking
Generally, there should be no problems with the student taking his own notes. 

Test Taking
It is possible that the student’s pain level, or occasional use of pain medication, will negatively affect his level of concentration. This may make it necessary for him to take lengthy tests outside the classroom. We call this Testing Accommodations. When such accommodations are appropriate, the student will be given a form to present to the instructor. This gives the instructor control over how the test will be delivered to our office, and other details such as whether notes, calculators, or other provisions can be used by the student. 

Generally, no adaptive technology will be necessary for this student. We may, however, recommend that he obtain a desk and computer station that allows him to stand as well as sit while doing work. 

Other Considerations
This student’s condition is not stable. He may experience painful back spasms that will not allow him to attend school for several days at a time, and his absence rate may exceed that of his peers. Generally, we will work with the student to inform you of his absence, and to assist him in keeping up with his assignments until he can return to the classroom.