Flexible attendance is considered an appropriate accommodation for students with functional limitations impacting their ability to attend class. This accommodation does not allow a student to capriciously skip class; instead, it is designed to be a process that is designed to meet the disability needs of the individual. Professors and students must discuss the possibility of the student missing class, plan to discuss the situation if the absences become excessive, and discuss how the student will make up work missed while absent. Generally, when flexible attendance is assigned as an accommodation, we are asking professors to flex the attendance policy to allow 2 to 3 absences over the allowed absences stated in the attendance policy.
This accommodation is interactive and unique for every student, professor, and course. It requires interfacing with your faculty and with the DREAM office. It is your responsibility to meet with your professor and discuss your disability, how many classes you think you may miss, and come to an agreement on how to handle missed classes. You also need to assess your situation periodically to determine if you are missing more classes than anticipated. If this is the case, you need to consult with your professor. There comes a point in many classes, especially classes that build on previous material every session (such as math or foreign language), where the absences may become excessive and you may need to withdraw from the course. Keeping in regular contact with your professor about your performance in the class is the only way to know if you need to withdraw from a course because of excessive absences.
What to do at the Beginning of the Semester
Have a Disability Compliance Letter sent from DREAM to your instructor
Make an appointment to talk with your instructor during his/her office hours to talk about your accommodation
Talk about the following:
How many absences you historically have per semester – but help your instructor understand that your disability may fluctuate. *
How many absences over the number allowed by the University policy does the professor feel is appropriate?
Agree on how you will contact the professor when you are ill, and remind him/her that you will contact our office and have us send an official notice.
Make sure to set up a system to check in with your instructor about your progress in the class.
What to do When You Have a Disability Related Illness
In order to track disability related absences and interface with professors on your behalf, we ask that you adhere to the following steps when you have an absence due to disability.
Call x4134 or email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform the DREAM office that you are too ill to attend class today.
Tell us which classes you will be missing and when you expect to return.
Our office will send an official notice to your professor and keep a copy for our file to track the number of disability related absences you have in each class.
As soon as you are able, call or email your professor asking what you missed and if you have any assignments to make up. If you missed an exam due to your disability related illness, please work with your professor to make it up. Our offices are available for make-up exams in this situation.
If your illness will affect more than one day of classes, you may wish to consult with your health provider and provide documentation to the DREAM office of your ongoing medical problems.
Please call DREAM to consult if you have trouble communicating with your professor or if you need guidance negotiating this process.