Kentucky's Office for the
Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA Kentucky logo and link to the ADA home page

Cerebral Palsy Case Study


Ralph is a first-year student at a local community college. He has severe cerebral palsy; therefore, he cannot speak, but uses a communication board. Ralph has no cognitive problems and is quite bright. He uses a wheelchair and requires assistance to place his hands on the controls.

Necessary Accommodations:

  • ***Ask Ralph if he needs accommodations.***
  • Ask Yes/No-type questions whenever possible.
  • Make sure classroom and building are accessible.
  • Allow Ralph to have extra time for quizzes, tests, and in-class assignments.
  • Allow Ralph to take breaks, due to spasms that result in fatigue.
  • Ask Ralph what test-taking method would be best for him.
  • See if Ralph needs a note-taker.


  • Do not lean on Ralph’s wheelchair.
  • Talk to Ralph, not his attendant.
  • Provide assistance if Ralph asks.
  • Use person-first language (i.e., "Ralph is a person with cerebral palsy" NOT "Ralph is the cerebral-palsied student").
  • It is OK to ask Ralph to repeat himself if you do not understand what he says.



 Back to the disabilities definitions page.


We welcome your feedback! Please contact us for questions or comments about this site.

Contact Us
Education Cabinet and Workforce Development Cabinet
300 Sower Blvd., 4th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-564-3850

TDD 711
Fax: 502-564-23


Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet