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Graduate Studies

Types of disabilities

The following is a sample of the types of disabilities most commonly accommodated at McMaster.

Acquired brain injuries

Any person who has incurred a trauma to the head from injury or accident (e.g., concussion, stroke, etc.).

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

People who have ADD/ADHD often present with inattentiveness, impulsivity, limited concentration, limited recall, and in some instances hyperactivity. Symptoms are sometimes closely aligned with those of anxiety. ADD/ADHD is often correlated to obsessive or compulsive behaviours.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Common symptoms of ASD can include a reduced ability to read nonverbal social cues, obsession with a single subject area, repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests, and sensitivity to the environment.

Blind or visually impaired

Persons with 10 percent or 20 degrees of field of vision or less in the better of both eyes are legally blind. Other persons with visual impairments may need assistance though not legally blind.

Chronic medical condition

Medically related disabilities are most often invisible and can affect attention, concentration, participation, and attendance. Some examples include diabetes, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, heart conditions, chronic fatigue, and cancer.

Deaf, deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing

Persons with a moderate to severe hearing impairment may be Deaf, deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing. Some people may wear a hearing aid, use an FM hearing system, or sign language support services. Many people rely on lip-reading to gather information. Sign language, captioning, FM use, or lip-reading generally achieve at best approximately 60 to 70% information accuracy.

Learning disability

Learning disabilities can affect the way in which a person takes in, processes, recalls, understands, and expresses information.

Mental health

Common mental health disabilities accommodated on campus include students with anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, OCD, and eating disorders. People with invisible disabilities of these types are often reluctant to disclose for fear of stereotyping.

Physical  disability

Any type of condition that limits movement, gross or fine motor function (e.g., paraplegia, quadriplegia, CP, MD, MS, amputation, chronic back injury, tendinitis, carpal tunnel, etc).