Medical Notification Accommodations
If a student presents an accommodation plan with the phrase:
“Possibility of medical emergency. See students for details.”
The student and faculty should engage in dialogue at the presentation of the accommodation plan. The following points provide some guidelines for the discussion.
Of course, students do not have to disclose the exact nature of their disability, but sometimes, accommodation specialists encourage students to share information so that instructors can be better prepared to assist in the event of an emergency or distress.
It is good to get some idea of illness or episode frequency – how often students anticipate a potential problem. It may have been some time since the student has had a serious episode, but the doctor has documented the ongoing potential for a problem – syncope, diabetic coma, etc.
Faculty should be aware of student distress signs. Although it is clear when a student is not responsive or requests assistance, students should be able to describe specific signs and symptoms that indicate they need immediate assistance.
Faculty should follow Auburn University emergency management procedures, but they may also discuss important instructions students offer (for example: what to do in the time period while waiting for help to arrive). With seizures, diabetes, and other conditions, there may be particular actions that should or should NOT be taken while a student waits for a seizure to resolve or awaits medical assistance.
For any perceived emergency, if you are uncomfortable or distressed by a student’s condition, the first step is to contact 911.
When reporting the emergency, it is important to indicate specific evacuation needs that you and the student discussed during the beginning of the semester. These may include use of a wheelchair or other aids, vision impairment issues, use of a respirator, breathing and stamina difficulties, etc. Students are encouraged to develop an emergency plan or strategy in advance and discuss this with you.
For further information, please consult the AU Medical Emergency Management guidelines.