If a student has a disability with random or cyclical acute episodes that may occasionally impact the student’s ability to attend the course or complete exams/assignments at the scheduled time, Flexibility in Attendance/Assignments may be considered an appropriate accommodation.  


Disability-Related Flexibility in Attendance/Assignments Policy and Guidelines

 

 

What does Flexibility in Attendance/Assignments mean?

It is a DAS-approved agreement between the student and instructor to clarify expectations should an unexpected flare-up of the student’s chronic condition occur during the term.

 

Attendance and Assignments Deadlines:

Students are expected to attend classes on a regular basis. The number of allowable absences depends on the interactive or participatory nature of a course, or is based on department, college or accrediting agency rules. Therefore, attendance policies are set by instructors at the college or departmental level. 

Students are expected to meet all deadlines for assignments and exams. Instructors have the right to establish late work policies based on course design and learning outcomes. 

Please note:  

  • The Flexibility in Attendance/Assignments accommodation is not intended to be used every week, for every assignment, or every exam. This accommodation does not mean that the student is able to miss as many classes as they want. The student is still responsible for completing all coursework. 
  • Discussion boards act as “in-class” participation time, particularly for Ecampus/hybrid classes. As a result, the dialectic engagement between peers is important for the course topics to be discussed and for the class to move forward to new topics. As a result, the discussion board component of the course may not be able to be extended, or an alternative may not be available. 

 

WHEN ARE FLEXIBILITY IN ATTENDANCE/ASSIGNMENT DEADLINES APPROPRIATE? 

Some disabilities are random or cyclical in nature, and as a result, the disability may occasionally impact the student’s ability to attend class, complete an assignment, or take an exam at the scheduled time. In cases such as these, flexibility in attendance/assignments may be considered an appropriate accommodation. The process for requesting this accommodation is through Disability Access Services (DAS). All requests are considered individually. 

 

Important Information:

  • This accommodation is not a blanket reason to miss class. 
  • Instructors are still responsible for this accommodation even if they delay in responding to DAS. DO NOT WAIT! 
  • Some students register late in the term or wait to request this accommodation until late in the term.  In these cases, instructors are not expected to provide retroactive accommodations. However, it may still be helpful to have a DAS-approved, instructor-completed finalized agreement, even at a late point in the term. 
  • At no time is the student required to present the instructor with medical documentation verifying their disability-related absence for this accommodation. 
  • If the absences meet or exceed 50% of those agreed upon in the Flexibility in Attendance/Assignments Agreement, DAS should be informed. This will allow DAS to be of assistance in answering questions about the accommodations from both the student and the instructor. 
  • Absences that are not related to the effects/impacts of a disability are not included in this accommodation (e.g. absences due to a common illness, car trouble, childcare, etc.) and should be addressed according to the attendance/absence policy stated in the syllabus.  
  • Instructors are not obligated to re-teach material missed due to not attending the course. 
  • Not every course component can be provided an extension. 
  • Students are responsible for completing all course work and should be held to the same standard as all other students. 

 

What is the process?

  1. DAS determines that Flexibility with Attendance/Assignments is a reasonable accommodation. 
  2. DAS explains to the student that this accommodation does not mean that they are able to miss as many classes as they want. The student is still responsible for completing all coursework. 
  3. It is the student’s responsibility to request the Flexibility with Attendance/Assignments accommodation each term. 
  4. DAS will send a Flexibility with Attendance/Assignments Agreement to faculty along with guidelines to fill out the agreement. Any questions should be directed to DAS (541-737-4098). Instructors should complete and submit the agreement to DAS within 3 business days. Important: The flexibility agreement is considered active as of the day the student requests the accommodation for the course with DAS, or the first day of the term (whichever is later). Even if the flexibility agreement is not submitted by the instructor within 3 days. 
  5. Once DAS receives the instructor-completed agreement, DAS will review the agreement to ensure a reasonable accommodation is met. 
  6. DAS will send the instructor-completed, DAS-approved agreement to the student for review. 
  7. If the student has concerns or questions regarding the instructor-completed, DAS-approved agreement, DAS will resolve these issues through a conversation between the instructor and/or student.
  8. Once the instructor-completed, DAS-approved agreement is sent to the student, it will be considered finalized in three (3) business days if the student does not respond. If the student notifies DAS that they approve the agreement, it will be considered active as of the day the student requested the accommodation for the course with DAS, or the first day of the term (whichever is later). DAS will send the student and instructor member a copy of the finalized Flexibility with Attendance/Assignments Agreement. 

 

DETERMINING SPECIFICS IN THE FLEXIBILITY AGREEMENT 

DAS will contact instructors regarding Flexibility in Attendance/Assignments as an accommodation to gain an understanding of the attendance/assignment requirements, course design and learning outcomes. 

Specifically, DAS asks instructors to consider the following: 

  • What is identified in your syllabus as the course attendance policy? 
  • Are the attendance, late work and missed exam policies applied consistently? Are there exceptions to a policy made for extenuating circumstances, such as athletic travel or religious observation? 
  • Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?  
    • How much interaction is there between the instructor and students and among students and their peers? 
    • Does the design of the course rely on student participation (e.g., attendance and/or assignment/project contributions) as a significant method for learning? Is the content only offered during class? 
  • To what degree does a student’s failure to attend class or complete an assignment on time compromise the educational experience of other students in the course/class? 
  • What method is used to calculate the student's final grade? (attendance, assignments, discussion board posts, exams, etc.) 

If the Flexibility with Attendance/Assignments is determined to be a reasonable accommodation, DAS will work with instructors and students to clearly specify: 

  • Issues related to attendance 
    • Absence communication and notification plan 
    • Identified number of disability-related absences beyond what the syllabus states 
  • Issues related to assignments/discussion boards 
    • Communication and plans for making up/turning in missed/late assignments 
  • Issues related to missed quizzes/exams 
    • Communication and plans for making up missed quizzes/exams 

Page updated: 09/2020