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UCLA Center for Accessible Education

What is the purpose of this accommodation and how is it determined?

If a student has a chronic documented disability with unpredictable or cyclical acute episodes, adjustments to the attendance policy may be appropriate as an accommodation and will be considered on a case-by- case basis. The purpose of this accommodation is to mitigate, to the greatest extent possible, the impacts of the student’s disability. The accommodation is meant to adjust when or if there is an exacerbation of disability-related symptoms that prohibit a student’s ability to attend class, lab, or discussion section. This accommodation is determined by an individual assessment of, but not limited to:

  1. the student’s functional limitations listed in the medical documentation,
  2. the student’s narrative in relation to their functional limitation,
  3. the course requirements.

How do I implement the accommodation?

CAE has established a general set of rules that apply in most cases for an adjusted attendance accommodation. While students with this accommodation eligibility may request absences beyond these general parameters, each request is subject to review by CAE staff. Students MUST exhaust all of their options under these general parameters for accommodations prior to requesting individual reviews with their CAE Specialist. The general parameters are as outlined below:

  1. In most courses, a student should not miss more than 20% of the scheduled course meetings. This means that students should generally only miss 6 absences for a course that meetings 3 times a week, 4 absences for a course that meets twice a week, and 2 absences for a course that meets once a week.
  2. Student should report absences that fall under these general parameters directly to their instructors.
  3. For missed exams, quizzes, and finals, students are responsible for scheduling a makeup with their instructor and the CAE Testing Center.
  4. For seminars or other courses in which in-person activities are critical to the learning outcomes, these parameters may shift upon negotiation with the instructor and/or the student.

Instructors are responsible for following these general parameters of the adjusted attendance accommodation unless they believe one or more may fundamentally alter the couse objectives.

What if I believe one or more of the General Parameters would fundamentally alter my course?

CAE has already defined, through the accommodation general parameters, what the reasonableness standard for this accommodation is. However, instructors are welcome to objective to these general parameters by completing an Alternative Accommodation Agreement. In this agreement, the instructor (in consultation with CAE) must assess whether a certain number of absences could be considered a reasonable accommodation, taking into consideration the learning objectives of the course and the purpose of course meetings. We encourage faculty, when consulted with CAE about this accommodation, to consider the following questions:

  1. Interactions between the instructor and the CAE student:In how many course meetings is there significant interaction between the instructor and students during the class meeting (e.g., discussion, interactive experiences, problem solving)?
  2. Interactions between classmates and the CAE student:In how many course meetings is there significant classroom interaction among students during the class session (e.g., peer review, teamwork, group discussion)?
  3. Active student participation:How do the fundamental learning objective of the course rely on active student participation during the class meeting (e.g., lab experiments, paired language learning, performance work, clinical placement rotations)?
  4. Impact to Collective Learning: Will the student’s absence or variable attendance constitute a significant loss of the educational experience for the student and/or classmates (e.g., group or paired projects, performances) and/or cause a disturbance to course instruction?

This agreement, once completed, will outline the altered parameters for requests for adjusted attendance for a disability-related reason for any student in the course with this accommodation eligibility. The parameters requested include:

  1. a general number of additional absences the student may request beyond the course attendance policy
  2. the responsibilities of the student and/or instructor to facilitate the accommodation throughout the academic term
  3. any exceptions to parameters where the accommodation may not apply due to fundamentally altering the basic course expectations
  4. the parameters for making up any missed components of the course, including participation in course meetings and exams, quizzes, and finals

This agreement should be completed within 7 days of receiving the student's accommodation letter and ONLY if you object to the general parameters of the accommodation listed above.

Complete an Alternative Accommodation Agreement

What Adjusted Attendance Isn't

Students who are approved for this accommodation are still expected to meet the course requirements, including attendance and participation requirements outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus. Included in these expectations are:

  1. Students are expected to attend class regularly, arrive prepared for class, and be knowledgeable of the course material previously covered.
  2. Exception to the attendance policy does not mean exception to any of the academic requirements of the course. Students are required to fulfill all course requirements and will be held to the same evaluation standards as specified in the course syllabus.
  3. Absences unrelated to the documented disability are not covered by this accommodation.
  4. Although an exception to the attendance policy may be made, absences may have a negative impact on academic performance simply because of the content and experiential learning that has been missed by not being in class. For this reason, students should make every attempt to attend class and to observe deadlines for submission of assignments.
  5. Instructors are not responsible for providing extraordinary assistance to students to help them catch up after a covered absence has occurred.

As UCLA operates on the quarter system, the CAE generally considers the following allotment of absences reasonable for a standard 10-week course. However, please note, any approved adjustment to an attendance policy as a reasonable accommodation can be determined on a case-by-case basis should the general parameters of the accommodation not apply to your course. The following are a good guidelines for what could be considered reasonable and appropriate for most courses:

  • 6 absences in a course meeting 3 times per week
  • 4 absences in a course meeting 2 times per week
  • 2 absences in a course meeting 1 time per week

Generally, requests for adjusted attendance support outside of the general parameters or an alternative accommodation agreement will not be considered. However, each of these requests will be reviewed on an individual, case-by-case basis in consultation with the instructor of the course and the student making the request to determine if it is reasonable and appropriate.