OSTEOGENESIS IMPERFECTA:
Checklist of Possible Accommodations To Review When Visiting Colleges
 
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a highly variable genetic condition characterized by bones that break easily--often from little or no apparent cause.  There are at least four distinct forms of OI, representing extreme variations in severity and affecting 20,000 to 40,000 people in the United States.  For example, a person may have as few as ten or as many as several hundred broken bones in a lifetime.  Additional symptoms may include loss of hearing, brittle teeth, short stature, skeletal deformities, or respiratory difficulties. An individual's involvement may be mild, moderate or severe. While fracture frequency decreases after puberty, any person with OI is at risk for injury.
 
A student who has osteogenesis imperfecta may need a great many accommodations while at college or very few and this may vary from one semester to another. Try to think through your needs during a typical day. Determine what you as an individual need to take care of yourself, get around, study, and be a member of the community.

 
Considerations That Affect All Types Of OI
  1. Serious fracture may necessitate withdrawing from part of a semester.
  2. Mobility aids wheelchair, walker, crutches might be needed, daily or only occasionally.
  3. Some required courses may not be appropriate i.e. PE
  4. Short stature and/or muscular weakness may require some adaptations in seating, building entrance/egress (heavy doors), restrooms, dorm, and dining center.
  5.  Wheelchair use may require adaptations to the physical plant.
  6.  Accommodations for hearing loss may be needed. Hearing loss in young adults with OI can be mild to severe.
  7. Note-taking assistance may be needed.
  8. Accessible parking and/or on campus transportation to classrooms, dorms, student center, dining facilities, sports center.
  9.  Acceptance by all members of the college community.
  10. Career counseling services must be able to take the disability into consideration.
 
Considerations for a Person with Mild to Moderate OI (Types I and IV)
  1. Coping with a less visible disability.
  2. May need accommodations only occasionally.
  3. Person may need additional physical accommodations later in life.

 
Considerations for a Person with OI Type III
  1. Person is more likely to use a mobility aid, at least part of the time.
  2. Adaptations for a person of short stature may be necessary.
  3. May need a personal assistant while on campus if a commuting student, and in dorm if a resident.

 
Academic Program Accessibility Considerations
  1. What types of assistance are available to the student with a special
  2. need? (note taking, books on tape, alternate test taking arrangements such as extended time)
  3. Does the school provide assistive technology and/or interpreters for hearing impaired students?
  4. Does the college provide special career counseling for students with a disability?
  5. Are graduation requirements adaptable?
  6. Can substitutions be made in a graduation requirement?
  7. Are procedures in place to help cope with loss of time from a semester due to surgery or accident?
 
Building Accessibility Considerations
  1.  Are all university offices accessible to students using mobility aids including wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches?  
  2. How accessible are the classroom buildings?
    1. Are they easy to enter, are there ramps, are the doors easy to open, are automatic doors installed?
    2.  Are accessible restrooms available in all buildings?
    3. Are lights in offices, study areas, and restrooms automatic or on a low switch?
  3. Are Libraries and Computer Labs fully accessible? See the publication "Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities" on the University of Washington web site, doit@u.washington.edu.
  4. Are dining facilities accessible in terms of counter and table height and room for wheelchair or walker?
  5. Are Residence Halls accessible for living there and for visiting friends?
    1. Room considerations should include, position of light switches, emergency egress, closets, space for mobility aid.
    2. Other considerations include location and type of shower and restroom facilities, laundry, and telephone.
  6. Are distances on campus between dorms, parking, and major buildings reasonable for your ability to get around?
  7. Will you be able to cope with the weather? Are there connecting tunnels or walkways?
  8. What is the availability of on campus transportation?
 
Accessibility of Social Life Considerations
  1. Is the college community already inclusive?
  2. Do students with disabilities live apart or intermixed with other students?
  3.  Are students with disabilities members of fraternities, sororities, student government and other extra-curricular activities?
  4. Are there recreational opportunities?
  5. Are both the on and off campus student hangouts accessible?
  6. Are sports arenas and stadiums accessible?

Questions Frequently asked by Students with a Disability
  1. What kinds of services are offered by the Office of Students with Special Needs?
  2. How do I get disabled parking on campus?
  3. How do I get rides to school if I break my leg and can't drive?
  4. How do I get extra time on my exams?
  5. How many students with disabilities are on campus?
  6. I need long term parking. Where do I go?
  7. I need special parking for a few weeks. Where do I go?
  8. How do I go about getting a notetaker?
  9. How do I go about getting admitted at this college if I have a disability?

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