Accommodation Solutions Online

Flicker or Pattern Sensitivity (2A)

Flicker or pattern sensitivity is a student's physiological response to a rapid switching back and forth of visual stimuli from high to low brightness or shifting patterns.
Students with flicker or pattern sensitivity have a physiological reaction to repetitive patterns, flickering video, or stroboscopic lights. Depending on the specific disability, the student's reaction might take the form of a seizure, pain, or visual overload. A flicker rate of 15 - 20 Hz is considered to be the most likely to trigger a physiological response. Flicker at or above 60 Hz are relatively safe as are very low rates, although seizures have been triggered at as few as 3 Hz.

Formal Diagnostics

  • Diagnosis of photosensitive epilepsy
  • Diagnostic information referring to sensitivity to pattern or flicker.

Intake Questions

  • When you see flashing lights or fast moving video do you become queasy or have a seizure?
  • Do complicated patterns such as optical illusions make you feel like you are motion sick?
  • Do quickly moving objects like fans or shadows from trees make you feel disoriented or off-balance?
  • What accommodations or strategies have been effective in the past?


The Building Accepting Campus Communities (BACC) project was funded by the US Department of Education Office of Secondary Education grant #P333A080070-09. The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.