Attendance Policy Modification

Attendance Policy Modification Agreement Form

The agreement should be completed by the instructor of record for the course listed on the accommodation letter.

Attendance policy modification is considered a reasonable accommodation for disabilities that may impact a student’s attendance. The disabilities covered under this accommodation are typically chronic or episodic in nature. This accommodation allows for a reasonable amount of additional absences and the ability to make up missed assignments and exams within a specified timeframe. For the purpose of this accommodation, exams will refer to both tests and quizzes.

Limitations of this accommodation assert the following:

  • Unlimited and excessive absences are unreasonable.
  • Use of this accommodation is not permitted for seasonal illness and disabilities not documented by DSS.
  • This accommodation may not alter the essential components of the course.
  • This accommodation may not be permissible where class attendance or participation is considered to be an essential component of the course.

Office of Civil Rights Guidelines

Professors may review the guidelines provided by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to assess if attendance is an essential component of their course:

  • Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among students?
  • Do student contributions in class constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  • Does the fundamental 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 other students in the class?
  • What do the course description and syllabus say?
  • What method is used to calculate the final grade?
  • What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?

The Accommodation Process

  1. Students requesting an attendance policy modification will need to register with DSS prior to the implementation of the accommodation. Documentation of a disability which may impact the student’s ability to attend and participate in class is required. Accommodations cannot be implemented until the student is registered with DSS.
  2. The student will meet with a DSS coordinator to determine eligibility for accommodations while enrolled at TWU. If approved, DSS will send the faculty member a Notification of Academic Accommodations letter via email that will include the attendance policy modification agreement along with other applicable accommodations.
  3. The faculty member should complete the Attendance Policy Modification Agreement Form upon receipt of the accommodation letter. Faculty is encouraged to make their determinations after consideration of the OCR Guidelines shared above.
    1. Tip: A general rule to consider for determining a reasonable time frame 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 or project to make up for missed class discussions or projects. Other examples of how disability absences might be accommodated may include the ability to turn in assignments/papers late without a grade penalty or the ability to make up quizzes or exams that have been missed without a grade penalty.
    2. If the faculty member determines that attendance is an essential component of the course, they will be required to provide an educational justification for the determination. DSS staff may contact the faculty member regarding their determination.
  4. Once the agreement is completed, DSS staff will enter the agreement for the course into myDSS. The faculty member, the student, and DSS staff will receive a notification of the agreement from myDSS.

What are Reasonable versus Unreasonable Accommodations?

Reasonable accommodations are modifications to University rules, policies, or practices that are designed to provide a student with a disability with an equal opportunity to meet academic and technical standards. The University is not required to modify its rules, policies, or practices to the extent that these modifications would “fundamentally alter” the essential nature of its programs and is not required to make fundamental changes to its core degree requirements.

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 DSS.
  • Students are not required to present the faculty member with medical documentation to verify disability related absences.
  • If the absences meet or exceed 50% of those agreed upon in the Flexibility in Attendance/Assignments Agreement, please notify DSS.
  • The student is responsible for following the faculty member’s syllabus regarding absences due to non-disability related issues (i.e. absences due to a common illness, car trouble, etc.).
  • Attendance policy modification 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.
  • Students have the responsibility to complete all class work per the signed attendance modification agreement.

Page last updated 1:56 PM, September 29, 2020