A small subset of students with disabling conditions experience unpredictable acute episodes that may result in a need to miss class or deadlines with little or no advanced notice. For these students, Student Disability Services (SDS) approves the accommodation requests for attendance flexibility and/or deadline extensions. If there are stated attendance requirements, attendance flexibility means allowing disability-related absence without penalty. Deadline flexibility involves rescheduling a class assignment or assessment deadline. A student may be approved for one or both, depending on the nature, severity, and chronicity of the condition. Students are not required to see a doctor to address each episode and instructors should consider the notice from SDS as sufficient to document the cause of the absence or need for a deadline extension.
The accommodation of flexibility with a class attendance policy is approved for students whose disability manifests with episodic and unpredictable acute symptoms that will affect the ability to attend class unexpectedly.
This accommodation will be assessed within each course, in consultation with the instructor, taking into consideration the current impact of the student’s disability, the established learning outcomes of the course, and the manner in which absences from class will affect the learning outcomes for the student and classmates. The use of flexibility with attendance requirements should not compromise the course objectives or essential requirements. Students must discuss the range of absences that are allowable and how to communicate with their instructor when missing class for a disability-related reason is necessary. They should also discuss how to make up missed class material (if possible). Students should meet with the SDS staff or their adviser if the number of absences will compromise their good standing in a course. The use of attendance modification accommodations is not applied retroactively.
The accommodation of flexibility to extend deadlines for assignments is approved for students whose medical or health condition manifests with episodic and unpredictable acute symptoms that will affect the ability to submit work on the assigned deadline. It is the student’s responsibility to request flexibility with a specific deadline each time an accommodation is needed.
Assessing Accommodation Requests for Attendance Flexibility and Deadline Extensions
The Attendance and Flexibility Accommodation Agreement (PDF) for use between a student and instructor is also available to formalize arrangements for the use of attendance flexibility and/or deadline extensions.