Flexibility with Attendance Information

What is Flexibility with Attendance? 

Flexibility with attendance is an accommodation for students who experience brief, periodic exacerbations of their disability that may interfere with course attendance. Students who receive this accommodation are permitted a reasonable number of additional DSS-supported absences beyond what is stated in the syllabus. The purpose of this accommodation is to ensure that students with disabilities are not excessively or unfairly penalized for exacerbations of their disability which may prevent them from attending class. Students are, however, expected to work with their instructors to make up any missed work. 

How do instructors determine a reasonable number of absences?

Instructors can determine a reasonable number of absences by considering factors including, but not limited to:

  • The learning objectives of the course, including how content builds from one class to another
  • The interactive or participatory nature of the course
  • The department, college, or accrediting agency rules
  • How often the course meets

What are the limitations of the Flexibility with Attendance accommodation?

Flexibility with attendance is NOT designed to support:

  • A substantial number of missed classes 
  • Absences that occurred before a faculty notification email was sent to the instructor
  • Absences that are unrelated to disability
  • A waiver of all class participation requirements
  • Lengthy delays in completing coursework (e.g., assignments, presentations, exams, tests, and quizzes) for reasons beyond brief, periodic flare-ups

Extenuating circumstances resulting in chronic absences or lengthy delays in work completion should be discussed with DSS on a case-by-case basis.

What are the responsibilities of DSS in establishing and implementing this accommodation? 

Through an interactive process that includes reviewing documentation, conducting an informational interview with the student, and assessing the functional impact of their disability, DSS determines that flexibility with attendance is necessary to provide an equitable educational experience. DSS is then responsible for: 

  • Educating students on the appropriate use and reasonable limitations of this accommodation.
  • Emailing the instructor when the student notifies DSS of a disability-related absence.
  • Assisting both students and instructors with questions or concerns.

What are the responsibilities of students when using this accommodation?

  • Review the attendance policy stated in the syllabus for each of their courses.
  • Communicate with their instructor early in the semester about the reasonable number of additional DSS-supported absences for the course.
  • Email both the instructor and DSSoffice@udel.edu as soon as they are aware they will be unable to attend class due to their disability. 
  • Communicate with their instructors to make up missed assignments, exams, presentations, etc. 
  • Contact DSS with any questions or concerns. 

For absences unrelated to disability (e.g., illness), students should contact the Assistant Dean of their college.

What are the responsibilities of faculty members in implementing this accommodation?

  • Respond in a timely manner once contacted by the student.
  • Articulate a reasonable number of absences if/when contacted by the student to discuss the implementation of this accommodation.
  • Collaborate with the student to determine how to make up missed work and/or exams.
  • Contact DSS with any questions or concerns.