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Reasonable Flexibility in Attendance Policies and/or Coursework Due Dates in Case of a Medical Episode

Guidelines for this accommodation:

Due to the nature of the student’s disability, they may experience medical episodes or disability management challenges that interfere with their ability to perform daily life activities, attend class, and work on coursework.

Instructors should not compromise or lower essential requirements of the course and are not expected to take on an undue administrative burden. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, reasonable accommodations are intended to provide equal access and not necessarily success. This accommodation is not considered to be reasonable if it would constitute a fundamental alteration of an essential element of the course or program.

In consultation with the OSU-OKC Disability Services and Diversity Office, instructors can often offer flexibility to an attendance policy or an extension to coursework due dates as a reasonable accommodation. In many cases, the OSU-OKC Disability Services and Diversity Office can also help instructors successfully find reasonable, equivalent options for students to successfully complete essential course requirements without compromising course standards.

Students who receive this reasonable flexibility accommodation have been instructed to:

  • Talk with their instructor early in the semester about expectations of the course and how much flexibility in attendance policies and/or coursework due dates will be allowed.

  • Notify their instructor before class/due date whenever possible.

  • Contact the Disability Services and Diversity Office with any questions or concerns.

Reasonable Flexibility in Attendance Policies in Case of a Medical Episode

With this approved accommodation, please do not penalize the student under your attendance policy for any disability-related absences. The amount of unpenalized flexibility in attendance a student may receive as a reasonable accommodation will be determined by the course instructor on a case-by-case basis for each class. Some things to consider:

  • How does the student's disability affect them in their daily life activities and college courses?

  • To what extent does providing reasonable flexibility in attendance affect the essential learning requirements of the course?

  • Is there an equivalent alternative assignment or make-up work that can fulfill essential learning requirements if absences occur?

  • How is the learning experience for the student affected by providing reasonable flexibility in attendance?

  • How is the learning experience for the class affected by providing the student with reasonable flexibility in attendance?

There may be cases in which a student’s disability or medical episode can prevent them from communicating the need for flexibility in attendance policies before an absence occurs. In these situations, an extension or equivalent alternate assignment or make-up work can be provided whenever possible. Examples of these situations are (but not limited to):

  • Seizures

  • Mental health episodes (such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia)

These accommodations only apply to situations in which the students disability or medical episode affected their ability to participate in the course; missing class because of family care or job issues, etc. are not part of these accommodations.

Reasonable Flexibility in Coursework Due Dates in Case of a Medical Episode

If the instructor approves a due date extension, they are only required to offer the student one (1) single due date extension per coursework assignment without penalty but are welcome to offer additional due date extensions or other make-up work opportunities for each assignment at their discretion. If the student does not meet the due date for the first extension on an assignment and the instructor approves a second due date extension, instructors may deduct points for late work at that time consistent with any point deductions for late work listed in the course syllabus.

The amount of unpenalized flexibility with due dates a student may receive as a reasonable accommodation will be determined by the course instructor on a case-by-case basis for each class and each assignment.  Some things to consider:

  • How does the student's disability affect them in their daily life activities and college courses?

  • To what extent does providing reasonable flexibility in due dates affect the essential learning requirements of the course?

  •  Is there an equivalent alternative assignment or make-up work that can fulfill essential learning requirements if a due date extension is not possible?

  • How is the learning experience for the student affected by providing reasonable flexibility in due dates?

  • How is the learning experience for the class affected by providing the student with reasonable flexibility in due dates?

A due date extension or make-up work may not be possible in every course or on every assignment.  Instructors are encouraged to use their best judgment in determining whether a due date extension or make-up work for an assignment is possible on a case-by-case, assignment-by-assignment basis.

There may be cases in which a student’s disability or medical episode can prevent them from communicating the need for a due date extension before the original due date.  In these situations, an extension or equivalent alternate assignment should be provided whenever possible. Examples of these situations are (but not limited to):

  • Seizures

  • Mental health episodes (such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia)

These accommodations only apply to situations in which the students disability or medical episode affected their ability to participate in the course; missing a coursework due date because of family care or job issues, etc. are not part of these accommodations.

Recommendations

  • Please contact the student as early as possible to establish reasonable and clear boundaries on exactly how much flexibility in attendance policies and/or coursework due dates you will allow. If you grant an extension for coursework, consider establishing a clear deadline for submitting the work and communicate that to the student.

 

If you have questions about this accommodation, please contact:

Disability Services and Diversity Office
Student Center, Room 136
OSU-Oklahoma City
900 N. Portland Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
(405) 945-3385
Fax: (405) 945-9127
disability@osuokc.edu