Disability & Testing Services approves the accommodation of extensions on assignments for students who have a barrier to access which may create circumstances where that student may not be able to turn in some assignments on time. The eligibility of a student for this accommodation is usually discussed and granted during the intake appointment or in subsequent meetings about accommodation requests. It is important for students that are approved for this accommodation to be aware that it is to be requested proactively and is not available for all assignments. It is important that students know their responsibilities regarding this accommodation to better understand its applicability to their course work. There is an e-form agreement which students read and acknowledge before requesting accommodations each term that explains the following limitations and responsibilities.
- The intent of this accommodation is to grant limited extensions for course assignments which cannot be completed by the original deadline due to an exacerbation of a student’s disability related symptoms or which is created by barriers related to the student’s disability.
- This accommodation is not a blanket permission to be late with all assignments or to receive incompletes in courses.
- It is the student’s responsibility to contact the faculty to request extensions for any assignments which they will not have the work completed by the deadline prior to that deadline. If this presents difficulty for a student or if an agreement cannot be made with the faculty contact Disability Services immediately.
- This accommodation is not applicable where it would cause a fundamental alteration to a course or program. This accommodation is not applicable to group work and may also have other limitations when the completion of the work is time sensitive because of access to resources or because of interactions with other stakeholders that have limited availability.
- This accommodation will also be limited in course offerings which are condensed, where a regular 16-week class is completed in a fraction of that time. Examples of this would be if taking classes in summer semester 6-week sessions or in condensed courses for accelerated academic programs. When courses have a shorter timeline and cover the same work as full term classes extensions granted are also likely to be shorter because of the nature of the course. If a student is likely to have more difficulty with completing work on time in such condensed courses, it is recommended that students take courses in full length semesters.
- It is recommended when requesting an extension for an assignment that students give faculty a progress update for work completed and remaining and recommend a specific duration for the extension. That provides context for the faculty to make a faster and more informed decision for your request for an extension.
- It is important when requesting extensions that a specific extension of time is granted and is not open ended. Open ended extensions tend to create a snowball effect which can make deadlines for other work later in the semester harder to meet.
- If students do not meet the extended deadline, they may be subject to the same grading criteria for late assignments as other students. This could be that faculty take off points for late work or in some cases do not accept late work.
7 Questions to Whether Attendance or Extensions are a Fundamental Alteration in a Course
- Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and student, and among students?
- Do student contributions constitute a significant portion of the learning process?
- Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method for learning?
- To what degree does a student’s failure to attend or meet the deadline constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other student’s in the class?
- What does the course description and syllabus state?
- What method is used to calculate the final grade?
- What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance and deadlines?
Definition of Fundamental Alteration Under the ADA
"Fundamental alteration – A modification that is so significant that it alters the essential nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered. If a public entity can demonstrate that the modification would fundamentally alter the nature of its service, program, or activity, it is not required to make the modification. If a public accommodation (private entity) can demonstrate that a modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations it provides, it is not required to make the modification."
Faculty Notification Letter Statement
Extensions on assignments
FIRSTNAME has a chronic condition and may have occasional flare-ups of symptoms. During these times, your student may not be able to work on out of class assignments. Please grant the student reasonable extensions on assignments during these periods without penalty. If you have questions or concerns regarding the extension, please contact ODS at 216.687.2015 or email@example.com.
FIRSTNAME is aware that it is the student's responsibility to keep you informed if an extension is necessary due to valid, medical reasons. The student is also aware that if they miss an extended deadline, they will be graded in accordance with your stated course policy.
If you are concerned that this accommodation may create a fundamental alteration to your course, please contact ODS asap to review the parameters. This will ensure we can notify the student of any limitations to the accommodation.
NOTE: This accommodation is not meant to be utilized on every assignment and should not be applied to group projects.