Concussion Management

for active uri students:

when is it treated as a resolving illness vs. a temporary disability?

University of Rhode Island Health Services, and outside medical providers regularly treat or recommend treatment for students who have experienced concussions due to head-injury.  Providers may provide medical statements on letterhead to document the diagnosed conditions.

acute/resolving illness:

Most concussions completely resolve within 10 days; but during that time providers may recommend complete rest, refraining from computer work, avoiding excessive reading, etc.  For at least several days this will impact the student’s ability to attend class, perform on exams, or to meet deadlines.   In the early stages, such situations are handled as recommended by the University Manual Section 8.51.13 and 8.51.11, regarding serious illness or accident:

[8.51.13 When serious illness, accident, personal tragedy, or other serious matters prevent students from attending classes, taking examinations, or meeting deadlines, the instructor(s) concerned shall offer the student an alternative listed in section 8.51.11. Disagreements over the seriousness of an illness, accident, personal tragedy, or other serious matter may need to be mediated by the concerned instructor’s department chair, dean, or eventually the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs…]


[8.51.11 The instructor(s) shall then make one of the following options available:

  1. the same quiz, test, or examination to be administered either before or after the normally scheduled time;
  2. a comparable alternative quiz, test, or examination to be administered either before or after the scheduled time;
  3. an alternative weighting of the remaining evaluative components of the course which is mutually acceptable to the student and instructor(s).]

temporary disability:

When the effects of a concussion linger beyond the initial recovery period, it becomes a more persistent concussive condition that is then handled by Disability Services for Students as a temporary or long-term disability.  Medical documentation, according to documentation guidelines is submitted to DSS, and is evaluated to determine eligibility for accommodations.  The student is asked to follow the standard accommodation procedure each semester until the situation resolves or until the student graduates.  Students will contact their professors with official Disability Services Accommodation Request letters and should meet privately with their professors to discuss how to implement the recommended accommodations.

For assistance with rescheduled or make-up tests/exams, faculty may contact the Academic Testing Center (ATC) by Telephone: (401) 874-4421, or Email:

for further information please contact:

Health Services – 401-874-2246

Disability Services for Students – 401-874-2098

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