Important Policies and Forms

Agreement Form for Flexibility with Attendance/Assignments

Flexibility with Attendance/Assignments Policy

Students are expected and encouraged to attend class and meet deadlines for assignments and tests. Faculty have the right to establish attendance and late work policies. However, if a student has a disability with random or cyclical acute episodes that may occasionally impact the ability to attend class and complete tests or assignments at the scheduled time, flexibility in attendance/assignments may be considered an appropriate accommodation. The number of allowable absences and length of assignment extensions depends on the interactive or participatory nature of a course, or is based on department, college or accrediting agency rules.

OAE has created guidelines for students & faculty to help navigate this accommodation. Please see the detailed policy below.

Disability Related Flexibility in Attendance/Assignments Policy and Guidelines

Attendance and Assignments Deadlines

Students are expected and encouraged to attend classes on a regular basis. Faculty have the right to establish attendance policies. 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 and encouraged to meet all deadlines for assignments and tests. Faculty have the right to establish late work policies.

What does Flexibility in Attendance/Assignments mean?

Students who may not adhere to an attendance policy or may miss an assignment deadline or test due to circumstances directly related to a disability may seek an accommodation. The process for requesting this accommodation is through the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). All requests are considered individually.

When are Flexibility in Attendance/Assignment Deadlines Appropriate?

Some disabilities are episodic in nature with random or cyclical acute episodes and as a result the disability may occasionally impact the students’ 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.

For students who are approved for this accommodation, we will seek an understanding in the role attendance plays in the design of your course. As well a basic understanding of the impact or role timing of assignments and exams play in the interactive or participatory nature of a course.

Specifically, we will be exploring:

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

If an accommodation is determined to be reasonable, OAE will work with you and your student to clearly specify:

  • How and when your student should inform you they will miss class
  • How your student will make up missed assignments and/or exams
  • The number of absences (beyond what any student is allowed) that would be reasonable
  • If it is reasonable for online discussion expectations to be modified due to disability related reasons and under what conditions
  • If it is reasonable to extend the window for completing online exams or assignments

What is the process?

The Office of Accessible Education (OAE) determines that the accommodation is reasonable. We explain to students that this does not mean that they can miss as many classes as they want. Also, the student is responsible for completing all coursework.

OAE will provide students with copies of the Course Agreement form to complete with instructors at the beginning of the semester if possible. Once instructors complete these forms, we ask students to
schedule a meeting with an OAE staff person to review and approve the agreement. Any questions
should be directed to OAE (404-471-6174). Tip: A general rule to consider for determining a reasonable timeframe for a makeup or postponement of an assignment, paper, exam or quiz is typically a minimum of 48 hours. In certain courses, it may be appropriate to consider an alternative assignment, reading or project to make up for missed class discussions or projects.

OAE will send the agreement to the student once it is received from the faculty member and approved by OAE.

If the student has concerns or questions, regarding what the faculty has indicated in the agreement,
OAE will resolve these issues with conversations between faculty and/or student.

Once the agreement is sent to the student it will be considered active in three business days if the
student does not respond. OAE, the student, and the faculty member will all receive a copy of the
agreement.

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 OAE.

Some students register late in the term and some wait to respond to the need to sign the agreement. In these cases, faculty are not expected to provide retroactive accommodations. However, it may still be helpful to have this information, even at a late point in the term.

At no time is the student required to present the faculty member with medical documentation verifying a disability related absence for this accommodation.

If the absences meet or exceed 50% of those agreed upon in the Flexibility in Attendance/Assignments Agreement, OAE should be informed by the student. This will allow OAE 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 (i.e. absences due to a common illness, car trouble, etc.) and should be addressed according to the syllabus stated attendance/absence policy. The student is responsible for following the faculty member’s syllabus regarding absences due to non-disability related issues.

An accommodation in attendance is not reasonable if regular attendance is essential to the course
and/or curriculum.

Faculty are not obligated to re-teach material missed due to not attending class.

Not every course component can be provided an extension.

Students have the responsibility for completing all class work and should be held to the same standard as all other students.

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