Student Guide to the Limited Adjustment to the Attendance Policy Accommodation

A limited adjustment to the stated attendance policy does not mean that unlimited absences can be permitted. The number of additional absences a student may be allowed as a reasonable accommodation will be determined on a case-by-case basis for each course in consultation with the instructor, depending on the student’s individual disability limitations, the nature of the course, and the degree to which class attendance is an essential requirement of the specific course.  Attendance accommodations are not retroactive, unless an exception has been made.  Exception to the attendance policy does not mean exception to any of the other academic requirements of the course.  Students are required to fulfill all course requirements and will be held to the same evaluation standards as specified in the course syllabus.  It is the student’s responsibility, to remain engaged in the course, and to make up the work missed.  Absences for non-disability related reasons will not be excused by the accommodation.  Students who are approved for an exception to the attendance policy are expected to contact instructors in advance of an anticipated absence, if possible. This expectation is particularly important if the anticipated absence will result in the student missing a quiz or exam or a deadline for submitting an assignment.  For emergencies or unexpected disability-related absences, students should inform instructors as soon as possible to explain their absence and to discuss make-up work, if applicable.  Students should be aware that exception to the attendance policy may not be possible in every course because class attendance is an essential and integral part of some courses.  If an instructor determines that flexibility is not possible, the Access Consultant will notify the student that the modification is not granted. In the event that an exception is not granted by the DSO, students should consult with their Access Consultant and academic advisor to discuss alternate course options.

Student Responsibilities

  • Students should apply for DSO services, and provide current documentation regarding their disability. Students should ask medical providers to include information about class attendance in the documentation.
  • Students should register for courses as early as possible. We strongly advise students to meet with instructors to investigate attendance policies and course requirements as they choose their courses. Students should plan for individualized needs when choosing courses and sections. For example, scheduling classes at a certain time of day, scheduling breaks between classes etc.
  • Students should request DSO Letters of Accommodations for their instructors.
  • Students should carefully review the syllabus for each course to learn the essential course requirements and the attendance policy for the course. Then, students are advised to schedule an appointment with each instructor to discuss and clarify their attendance policy in regard to meeting the essential course requirements.
  • Students are advised to take an active part in working with the instructor to identify adjustments that are equitable and maintain course standards. DSO access consultants are available to consult with instructors and students about possible adjustments in the creation of the Reasonable Attendance Adjustment plan.
  • Students, or designee, should contact the instructor and the DSO as early as possible when an absence occurs due to disability.

When absent due to disability, students should:

  • Stay in contact with their medical provider to discuss treatment and recommendations.
  • Cooperate and follow through with all medical treatment to allow for optimum functioning.
  • When able, contact instructors to inform them of the absence and their expected date of return to class.
  • If not able to contact instructors, students or designated individuals should contact the DSO.  The DSO will contact instructors regarding the absence.
  • When able, contact the instructor immediately to discuss the possibility of making up the missed work.

Reasonable Attendance Adjustment Plan

If a limited adjustment to the stated attendance policy is granted, the DSO strongly recommends instructors and students create Reasonable Attendance Adjustment Plan.  The plan allows both student and instructor understand the expectations for when a student may need to miss a class due to disability reasons.   The DSO sends an email to both student and instructors containing examples of sample plans available for convenience.  In addition, DSO Access Consultants are available to consult with instructors and students about possible adjustments in the creation of the flexible absence accommodation plan.