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Office of Disability Services

About Traumatic Brain Injury


What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic Brain Injury most often occurs from a head injury. Insufficient oxygen, poisoning or infection can also cause Traumatic Brain Injury. Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury include: seizures, loss of balance or coordination, difficulty with speech, limited concentration, memory loss, and loss of organizational and reasoning skills. Symptoms may lessen with time or recur episodically.


Obviously, the symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury can make learning a difficult process. The symptoms can be similar to those demonstrated by students with learning disabilities. The Office of Disability Services can help identify and obtain the accommodations necessary for success in college.


Instructor Tips

  • Instructors can help the student better organize work by using more than one means to present instructions in class.
  • Exam modifications - It may help the student to have untimed exams or perhaps to take the test in a separate room, free from distractions.
  • Time extensions - A student with Traumatic Brain Injury may benefit from having additional time to complete assignments.
  • Taped lectures or note takers - The use of a recorder or a note taker may help the student who is unable to concentrate and/or organize thoughts well enough to take complete notes.
  • Alternative assignments - In some cases, it may be beneficial to modify the assignment to meet the limitations of the disability.


Student Tips

  • Training in study skills is available by appointment in the Learning Center of the Office of Disability Services. Students with Traumatic Brain Injury may want to begin the college experience by taking a study skills course which will teach the skills necessary to succeed in college.
  • Alternate text or E-text   may be beneficial if you find reading to be an especially difficult task.
  • Please follow the procedures outlined in the note-taker packet provided by ODS if you are using a volunteer note taker.
  • Testing arrangements need to follow the procedures outlined by ODS and must be discussed with the course instructor well in advance of the scheduled exam.


Any further assistance or accommodations needed should be discussed with the Director of Disability Services.