The Marist Community

Mobility and Manual Dexterity Impairments

Services for Students With Mobility and Manual Dexterity Impairments

The Office of Accommodations and Accessibility (OSS) provides support and accommodations to students with mobility and manual dexterity impairments. With assistance, students can learn to manage the college environment successfully and reach their educational goals.

What Are Mobility and/or Manual Dexterity Impairments?

A mobility impairment is generally defined as any disability that restricts the person's gross motor functioning and which may require the use of specially constructed equipment to allow access. The effect of a manual dexterity impairment on a student's functioning depends upon the degree of impairment present.

A wide range of conditions may limit mobility and/or manual dexterity. Among the most common are partial or total paralysis, amputation or severe injury, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Additionally, respiratory and cardiac diseases, which are debilitating, may consequently affect mobility. Any of these conditions may also impair the strengths, speed, endurance, coordination, and dexterity necessary for proper hand functioning.

While the degree of disability varies, students may have difficulty getting to or from class, performing in class, and managing out-of-class assignments.

Getting To and From Class

Physical access to classrooms is a major concern to students with mobility limitations. Those who use wheelchairs, braces, crutches, canes or prostheses, or who fatigue easily, may find it difficult moving about within time constraints posed by class schedules. Tardiness or absence may be caused by transportation problems, inclement weather or elevator or wheelchair breakdown.

In Class

Some courses and classrooms present obstacles to the full participation of students with mobility impairments. Consideration should be given to classroom seating, laboratory stations, etc., that may pose barriers to their full integration and participation. These students may also have difficulty with in-class writing assignments and taking written tests.

Out-of-Class Assignments

Students with these impairments may have to ask for assistance from library personnel when trying to access bookshelves, microfiche, and library equipment/technology or for manipulating the pages of publications. Off-campus assignments and fieldwork may pose similar problems of access. Students need to discuss in advance their special needs with their instructors so every attempt at accommodation can be made.

What the Office of Accommodations and Accessibility Can Provide

  • Pre-admission counseling
  • Assistance with registration
  • Personal, academic and career counseling
  • Classroom adjustments (tables, special seating, etc.)
  • Testing accommodations (extra time, scribe, use of computer, etc.)
  • Notetakers
  • Training in the use of adaptive technology
  • Peer tutoring
  • Attendant referral
  • Liaison and advocacy with faculty and campus offices
  • Liaison with local, state and Federal agencies
  • AND a willingness to explore ways of providing the most efficient assistance possible.


The Office of Accommodations and Accessibility provides a comprehensive range of support services and accommodations that promote the full integration of students with disabilities into the mainstream college environment. Services and accommodations are individualized to meet the needs of each student, and may vary depending upon the disability and/or course content.

Marist College supports the concept of self-advocacy for all students. The Office does not provide faculty with prior notification of a student's enrollment. Requests for academic accommodations are made directly by the student.

Marist College Office of Accommodations and Accessibility. (2003). Services for Students With Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.). [Brochure] Poughkeepsie, NY: author