Occasional Absences


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 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. Students are encouraged to meet with faculty to discuss implications that absences may have on course requirements as early as possible in the semester as well as review the pertinent information in the course syllabus.

In the event a student’s disability may impact their attendance in class, ODS staff will engage in an interactive process with the student and faculty to determine appropriate accommodations. Students should provide documentation to support a request for occasional absences during the interactive process. This may include but is not limited to, flexibility with assignment due dates, alternate assignments and/or make-up quizzes/exams. Students will not incur a grading penalty due to disability-related absences. Students are advised of the following:

  • Students are responsible for completing all course requirements;
  • Students should attend class as much as possible;
  • Students should notify the faculty member of a disability-related absence as soon as possible;
  • 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.

Any questions regarding this accommodation should be directed to your counselor within the Office of Disability Services (ODS).