Contact Information

Office of Disability Services

William H. Moesch
2 Convent Road
Mahoney Library
Second Floor
Morristown, NJ 07960-6989

Phone: 973-290-4261
Fax: 973-290-4244

Office Hours:
M, W, Th 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Closed Head Injury

Closed Head Injury / Traumatic Brain Injury


Head injury is one of the fastest growing types of disabilities; especially for individuals 15 to 28 years of age. More than 500,000 cases are reported in hospitals each year. There is a wide range of differences in the effects of TBI on the individual, most cases result in some type of impairment. The functions that may be affected include: memory, cognitive/perceptual communication, speed of thinking, verbal communication, spatial reasoning, conceptualization, psychosocial behaviors, motor abilities, sensory perception, and physical disabilities including speech impairment.

Students with TBI may demonstrate one or more of the following characteristics, and the form may be mild, moderate, or severe.

  • Organizing thoughts, cause-effect relationships, and problem solving
  • Processing information and word retrieval
  • Interacting with others
  • Compensating for memory loss
  • Needing established routines with step-by-step directions
  • Needing books and lectures on tape
  • Needing repetition or some type of reinforcement of information to be learned
  • Demonstrating poor judgment and memory problems
  • Needing a tutor
  • Exhibiting discrepancies in abilities such as reading comprehension at a much lower level than spelling ability
  • Having difficulty with projection and clarity in voice

Accommodations may include those accommodations utilized for students with specific learning disabilities.


Eligibility for Disability Services at the College of Saint Elizabeth is dependent upon the nature of the disability and its impact on learning. A person might meet eligibility requirements of vocational rehabilitation, disabled veterans or any other rehabilitation agency; however, she/he may not meet eligibility at the College of Saint Elizabeth. One of the reasons that the College has developed these guidelines is to ensure consistency throughout the institution. These guidelines are fairly consistent with those used by agencies administering standardized assessments. The ultimate decision for eligibility on campus is a judgment that must be made by the Coordinator of Disability Services based upon the guidelines developed for each type of disability. Once a student has been verified as disabled by the College of Saint Elizabeth Office of Disability Services, a disability eligibility form should be completed and placed in a confidential file with the determining documentation.


Head injury or traumatic brain injury is considered a medical or clinical diagnosis. Individuals qualified to render a diagnosis for these disorders are practitioners who have been trained in the assessment of head injury or traumatic brain injury. Recommended practitioners include: physicians, neurologists, licensed clinical rehabilitation and school psychologists, neuropsychologists, and psychiatrists. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student's request for appropriate accommodations. Required documentation includes:

  1. A clear statement of the head injury or traumatic brain injury and the probable site of the lesion.
  2. Documentation for eligibility must reflect the current impact the head injury has on the student's functioning (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student's specific request for accommodations).
  3. A summary of cognitive and achievement measures used and evaluation results including standardized scores or percentiles used to make the diagnosis.
  4. A summary of present residual symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis.
  5. Medical information relating to the student's needs, including the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of the post-secondary environment.
  6. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the disability specialist at the institution collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.