Chronic Health Disabilities

Students may have medical conditions that are “invisible” (not easy to see), but cause serious problems in an educational setting. Students can be disabled by chronic illnesses such as asthma, allergies, arthritis, diabetes, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Lyme disease, migraines, cardiac conditions, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, seizure disorders, among many others.

Symptoms of all these conditions can be unpredictable and fluctuate. Students with chronic illnesses or pain may have limited energy and difficulty walking, standing, or sitting for a long time. Some medical conditions may cause students to become dizzy and disoriented, or they may lack physical stamina. Thus, they may be unable to get quickly from one location on campus to another.

In addition, students may miss class occasionally due to exacerbations, flare-ups, or treatment schedules. Medical conditions, including medication side effects, can cause problems with fatigue and stamina, which can adversely affect attention and concentration.

Web Resources

The websites listed are for informational purposes only. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement by the CSD.

  • The College Diabetes Network (CDN)
    The CDN assists young adults and their families during this challenging transition period by providing tools and support for success. The following form may be completed to request materials including CDN brochures, Off to College materials, Off to College Booklets, Off to College Event Hosting Kits, and more.
  • Explore the Frontiers of Chronic Care
    The web has a variety of sites devoted to the topics covered by “Who Cares: Chronic Illness in America”. This site lists a number of excellent resources on chronic care and chronic illnesses. There are medical news stories, the latest research on various diseases, and online communities. They are sponsored by professional associations, patient groups, and the federal government.
  • FARE College: Resources for College Students
    Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) supports colleges and universities with training and free resources through the FARE College Food Allergy Program. Learn more about the program and resources you can share with your university.
  • Invisible Disabilities Association
    The Invisible Disabilities® Association (IDA) encourages, educates and connects people and organizations touched by illness, pain and disability around the globe.
  • UConn Nutrition & Physical Activity Services
    UConn Nutrition and Physical Activity Services offers students nutritional and physical activity counseling, as well as resources and support groups. UCONN S.H.A.P.E. is a peer education group that strives to promote accepting attitudes towards all body shapes and sizes while helping to encourage self-esteem and positive body image.
  • UConn Student Health Services- Diabetes Resource
    UConn Student Health Services offers a variety of resources for student’s needs. For students with diabetes who require testing, Student Health Services offers free sharps containers and disposal.