Disability-Related Absence Accommodation Policy

Students are responsible for fulfilling the essential requirements of courses/programs/degrees. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognizes that issues related to disabilities, such as chronic medical conditions, conditions that are episodic in nature, or conditions that may require hospitalization, may impact attendance and the ability to meet assignment deadlines. Attendance and participation requirements vary depending on the nature of each course. For some classes, participation is fundamental to course objectives because students may be required to interact with others in class, demonstrate the ability to think and argue critically, or participate in group activities/projects. In other classes, faculty may determine that students can master course content despite some or many absences. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) does not have a role in determining the fundamental requirements of a course, which may include class attendance and participation. Policies regarding attendance and participation are established by faculty at the college. In the event that a faculty member determines that attendance in classes is fundamental to course objectives, a request for a Disability-Related Absences Accommodation may be denied.

However, when faculty members determine students are able to master course content despite some absence from class, an accommodation involving necessary disability-related absences will be explored via an interactive process involving ODS, the faculty member, and the student (and/or the student’s documenting health care provider). Students should provide documentation to support a request for a Disability-Related Absence Accommodation prior to the interactive process. This accommodation request may include, but is not limited to, flexibility with assignment due dates, alternate assignments and/or make-up quizzes/exams. Under this accommodation, students will not incur a grading penalty due to necessary disability-related absences. Students are advised of the following:

  • Students are responsible for completing all course requirements;
  • Students will attend class as often as possible, and only necessary disability-related absences are covered under this policy;
  • Students should notify the faculty member of a necessary disability-related absence as soon as possible, preferably prior to the absence;
  • Faculty are not required to change the essential elements of the learning outcomes of a course;
  • If a course requires participation in activities such as labs, performance-based learning, group presentations, etc., flexibility in attendance may not be appropriate, and the request could potentially be denied.

** Because the nature of a request for a Disability-Related Absence Accommodation requires an interactive process prior to approval, students are encouraged to request the accommodation well before the beginning of the semester in order to allow time for the interactive process to unfold. Additionally, any approved accommodation around necessary disability-related absences is not retroactive and applies only from the time it has been approved and going forward.

Any questions regarding this accommodation should be directed to the Office of Disability Services.