Guidance for Instructors Utilizing the Course Policy Accommodation
Course Policy Accommodation is appropriate when a student has a chronic disabling physical or mental condition that is cyclic in nature. The student’s condition is stable; however, there are periodic flare ups that prevent a student from attending classes and are unpredictable. Examples include, but are not limited to: Crohn’s Disease, chronic severe migraines, Sickle Cell Anemia, various autoimmune conditions, Bipolar, panic attacks, etc. Documentation (i.e., doctor’s note) is not required when a student is absent due to a disability flare up.
Students have two options to initiate the use of the Course Policy Accommodation.
Option 1, they work directly with you, the professor.
Option 2, they submit a form to SAS and SAS will contact you.
Examples of reasonable solutions for the Course Policy Accommodation:
Attendance requirements vary widely from course to course: lab, activity and hands-on courses usually involve a lot of in-class learning that cannot be easily made up outside of class, while lecture classes provide more flexibility. Likewise, each instructor may have a different policy for student attendance.
If a student believes s/he will miss class with some frequency due to a disability, the student must talk with an Accessibility Consultant as early in the semester as possible about previous experiences and current semester expectations. During that conversation, the Accessibility Consultant will explain that determining whether an attendance accommodation is reasonable must be done on a case-by-case basis because of course differences.
In determining whether an accommodation to a course policy is reasonable, it is the responsibility of UCF (SAS and the professor) to consider the following:
Essential components of the course;
The reasons for the attendance policy;
How much interaction there is in class between the instructor and student;
How much of the learning is based on in-class participation;
How other students’ learning is impacted if any student misses class a lot;
When flexibility in the attendance policy is available for other reasons, such as athletic travel;
The nature of the course assessments (tests and assignments, etc.) relative to the essential components.
Based on the medical condition and the nature of the class, it is important to address the following questions:
What potential barriers exist relative to the design of the course and the nature of the specific disability? For example, how does the student’s disability affect deadlines?
Is there a reasonable modification to the attendance policy and what, if so? Is there a limit to the number of classes that can be missed?
Is it reasonable for a test to be rescheduled if missed because of a medical situation and under what conditions if so?
Is it reasonable for assignments to be made up if not submitted due to medical reasons and under what conditions if so?
Is it reasonable for online discussion expectations to be modified due to medical reasons and under what conditions if so?
How and by when the student need to tell the professor if s/he has to miss class or an assignment/test?
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Students need to understand that even with a Course Policy Accommodation:
The CPA is not a license to miss class whenever. Most every class has an absence limit that, once exceeded, makes it impossible to satisfy course objectives.
Responsibility for completing class work is always in effect.
Extensions for assignments and arrangements for making up missed tests CANNOT be promised as a component of this accommodation. In some cases, it may be reasonable to miss class but not reasonable to miss a test and thus the course policy for missed tests must be followed. Students are highly encouraged to make every effort to not miss a class on key course dates.
SAS promotes good time and project management skills as well as effective decision- making relative to personal circumstances. This accommodation does not address inefficiencies in these areas. Thus, the SAS position is that assignments with more than one week to complete can be done successfully with proper management and planning and need not warrant an accommodation except in extenuating circumstances.
If absences become excessive unexpectedly, students must talk with an Accessibility Consultant and professor about whether a medical withdrawal, late withdrawal, withdrawal, or incomplete should be explored. If a student completes a course and/or takes the final exam, a Medical Withdrawal is not an option.
Once a Course Policy Accommodation plan has been implemented, then the student, SAS and the course instructor will refer to it as needed as course scenarios evolve.
For more specific questions, please call SAS or email the Accessibility Consultants at SAS@ucf.edu.