Guidelines for Flexible Attendance & Due Dates
Flexibility with course attendance and flexibility with assignment due dates are reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. Students approved for one or both of these accommodations have a documented need. SDS’ role is to determine accommodations in consideration of disability-related needs aligned with current legal precedent.
Faculty role is to consider the nature, requirements, and learning objectives of their course and the extent to which flexibility in attendance and/or assignment due dates can be provided without compromising essential components.
While attendance and due dates are important for learning and adherence to course policies and requirements are considered primary student responsibilities in general, some amount of flexibility can usually be made, more or less, dependent on the course design and delivery and method of assessment.
Students are aware that attendance may be more critical in courses where learning may largely take place through participation, group activities, lab work, online discussions, etc. that would make it more difficult to re-create, simulate, or make up at a later date. In situations such as these, flexibility may be more limited.
Similarly, students are aware that for some assignments, flexibility with due dates may be more limited, as certain learning objectives may be dependent upon the progression of course material. For example, there may be situations where current material is built on previous material or discussion posts are only relevant for a specific period of time or there’s group work or other hard deadlines, etc.
To ensure a fully transparent and interactive process, SDS encourages that students and faculty meet to discuss the specific accommodation(s) and relevant course policies, requirements, expectations alongside the specific accommodation needs, and where possible and appropriate, determine and clarify the extent to which flexibility with attendance and/or assignment due dates can or cannot be reasonably made in consideration of the essential course components.
SDS developed two Syllabus Amendment Forms that faculty may choose to utilize in order to note any reasonable modifications. There is a Syllabus Amendment Form for flexibility with attendance and a Syllabus Amendment Form for flexibility with due dates.
SDS staff are available to consult with faculty and students on issues that may arise surrounding the provision of this accommodation and to facilitate the completion of this form as is necessary. Please inform SDS if consultation is needed.