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Access and Disability Resources

Occasional Absence Accommodation

Occasional Absence Policy-Disability Related

The Americans with Disabilities Act specifies that case-by-case exceptions will be made to established policy in order to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability. To address this, the Access and Disability Resources (Access) Office has developed a Disability Related Absence Policy and Procedure.

Verification of Disability

Based on documentation provided by the student from a qualified professional, Access will verify that the student's disability may cause the student to miss classes. When a student qualifies for this accommodation, a statement will be included on the Faculty Notification Letter (FNL).

Note: Students who present documentation after absences occur will not be eligible for retroactive accommodations.

Instructor Notification

The student should meet with the instructor at the beginning of the term to address the FNL and discuss how absences may affect the completion of coursework should the student need to use this accommodation. Access staff can attend this meeting upon request. The student is not asked to disclose specifics related to their disability.


Some examples of allowances that can be made by instructors as accommodations for disability related absences are:

  • If a certain number of absences would result in a lowering of student's grade, the student may not be penalized.
  • If there were a policy that allows no make-up of missed exams, the student may be allowed to make-up the exam.
  • Arrangements may be made for recording of lectures.
  • Arrangements may be made for the provision of notes.


When a disability-related absence occurs, the following procedures should be followed:

  • The student should notify the Instructors and Acess within 48 hours of absence. If a designated representative notifies Access because the student is too ill to communicate, Access will notify the instructors. (The student should have indicated a designated representative on an Access release form.)
  • When the accommodation is questioned, the instructor, student, and Access staff should discuss whether the disability related absence accommodation is reasonable.
  • The College reserves the right to request documentation of the disability-related absence from a qualified professional.


The decision in determining whether this accommodation can be provided should be based on the following considerations:

  • Is the absence truly related to the disability? Routine medical appointments, transportation difficulties, work-related activities, etc., are not reasons to warrant the disability-related absence accommodation because they are not disability related.
  • Will the absences cause the student to miss essential components of the class? (For example, missing group work in an oral communication class, lab work in a science course, a performance in a theatre or music course.)
  • Can the activities missed by the student be made up? (For example, making up a missed nursing rotation may cause an administrative burden.)

Withdrawal and SAP Appeal

In cases where absences will affect the ability of the student to demonstrate skills required to pass the course, the student and Access Office will consult with the instructor to determine if a withdrawal from the course is the most reasonable option.

In the event of a withdrawal, the student must follow the College's withdrawal procedures, which can be viewed on the Enrollment Services > Forms for Students page. Upon student request, Access can offer guidance regarding the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal (SAP).