If a student has a disability with random or cyclical acute episodes that may occasionally impact the student’s ability to attend class 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 faculty 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 faculty at the college or departmental level. 

Students are expected to meet all deadlines for assignments and exams. Faculty 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 class 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. 
  • Faculty 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, faculty are not expected to provide retroactive accommodations. However, it may still be helpful to have a DAS-approved, faculty-completed finalized agreement, even at a late point in the term. 
  • At no time is the student required to present the faculty member 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 faculty member. 
  • Absences that are not related to the effects 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.  
  • Faculty are not obligated to re-teach material missed due to not attending class. 
  • Not every course component can be provided an extension. 
  • Students are responsible for completing all class 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). Faculty should complete and submit the agreement to DAS within 3 business days. Important: The accommodation is considered to be in effect at the time notification is sent to faculty, even if the flexibility agreement is not submitted by faculty within 3 days. 
  5. Once DAS receives the faculty-completed agreement, DAS will review the agreement to ensure a reasonable accommodation is met. 
  6. DAS will send the faculty-completed, DAS-approved agreement to the student for review. 
  7. If the student has concerns or questions regarding the faculty-completed, DAS-approved agreement, DAS will resolve these issues with conversation between the faculty and/or student.
  8. Once the faculty-completed, DAS-approved agreement is sent to the student, it will be considered active 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 immediately. DAS will send the student and faculty member a copy of the finalized Flexibility with Attendance/Assignments Agreement. 

 

DETERMINING SPECIFICS IN THE FLEXIBILITY AGREEMENT 

DAS will contact faculty 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 faculty to consider the following: 

  • What is identified in your syllabus as the course attendance policy? 
  • Is 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 in 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 class? 
  • What method is used to calculate the 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 faculty 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 missed assignments 
  • Issues related to missed quizzes/exams 
    • Communication and plans for making up missed quizzes/exams 

Page updated: 09/2019