Attendance Modification and Long Term Extensions as an Academic Adjustment (Accommodation)

Attendance Modification

“Attendance Modification – ODS Agreement to Follow – Approved” will appear on a student’s accommodation letter along with other academic accommodations.  This letter is sent directly to the student who is responsible for forwarding the letter to the faculty with whom they want to share their disability status.  Additionally, a follow-up email generated by ODS will be sent to both the student and their faculty members, advising them that this accommodation has been approved.  This email provides context to the accommodation process and includes a blank agreement form.

An attendance modification is most frequently granted for a student who has a documented chronic health problem which occasionally causes them to be absent from class. The student is directed to contact each faculty member to set up a meeting to discuss this accommodation as soon as possible.  At this meeting the student and faculty member will complete the attendance modification agreement. Once the agreement is completed, the student will return it to ODS and it will remain as part of the student’s file.

The intent of this modification agreement is to establish a plan of action prior to attendance becoming an issue. Faculty set their own attendance policies; the accommodation is simply a request for some flexibility in the policy. The amount of flexibility will depend on the nature of the class and whether class participation is a factor in the final grade. Students who are eligible for this accommodation are responsible for completing all coursework. This is not a “blank check” which allows students to miss a large number of classes for any given course. A student with excessive absences in a class should consult with the instructor about dropping/withdrawing the course or receiving an incomplete grade when appropriate.

Based on Office of Civil Rights Cases in 1994 the following six factors should be used in considering if attendance is an essential element of a course and should be consider when you are working with the student to complete the modified attendance agreement

  • Are there classroom interactions between the instructor and the students and among students?
  • Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  • Does the functional nature of the course rely on student participation as an essential method for learning?
  • To what degree does a student’s failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of the other students in the course?
  • What do the course description and syllabus say?
  • What are classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?

Long-Term Extensions – Modification

“Long Term Extensions – ODS Extensions Agreement to Follow – Approved” will appear on a student’s accommodation letter.  This letter is sent directly to the student This letter is sent directly to the student who is responsible for forwarding the letter to the faculty with whom they want to share their disability status.  Additionally, a follow-up email generated by ODS will be sent to both the student and their faculty members, advising them that this accommodation has been approved.  This email provides context to the accommodation process and includes a blank agreement form.

An assignment modification is most frequently granted for a student who has a documented chronic health problem which occasionally causes them to be incapacitated and therefore unable complete their longer term assignments under a strict timeframe. The students are directed to contact their faculty members to discuss this accommodation and work with them to complete the modification agreement as soon as possible.

The intent of this accommodation is to establish a plan of action prior to the due dates of particular assignments, and to develop a specific plan for the completion of the assignments.  The student is responsible to engage with faculty in a discussion of how this accommodation will be implemented.  This will ensure that both the integrity of the course and the student’s accommodation needs are met.