The Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) does not have a role in determining the fundamental components of a course. Because course assignments may be integral to the learning process and/or a fundamental component of a course of study, these policies are set by faculty at the college, departmental, or individual level. Faculty are not required to provide accommodations that constitute a fundamental alteration of the course.
In determining the appropriateness of an accommodation, it is the CSD’s goal to ensure that a student receives the accommodations necessary for the course and to fashion such accommodations so as not to fundamentally alter the essential course requirements. When the need for accommodations in a specific course arises, the instructor will receive an accommodation letter from the CSD with the requested academic accommodations. Students are encouraged to meet with their faculty to discuss the implications of their accommodations.
The Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) does not have a role in determining course attendance policies. Because attendance may be integral to the learning process, these policies are set by faculty at the college, departmental, or individual level. In some cases, participation is fundamental to course objectives; for example, students may be required to interact with others in the class, to demonstrate the ability to think and argue critically, or to participate in group projects. In other instances, faculty may determine that students can master course content despite some or many absences. Similarly, faculty also determine policies regarding make-up work and missed quizzes and exams. Faculty are not required to lower or make substantial modifications of standards for accommodation purposes.
In determining the appropriateness of an accommodation, it is the CSD’s goal to ensure that a student receives the accommodations necessary for the course and to fashion such accommodations so as not to fundamentally alter the essential course requirements. Modification to a class policy regarding attendance as an accommodation to a disability is appropriate when it is reasonable to do so. It is not reasonable to make such modifications when doing so means a substantial change on a course’s essential elements. Students using wheelchairs or who have mobility disabilities may encounter obstacles to getting to class on time. Others may have periodic or irregular difficulties, either from their disability or from medication.
In the event that a student’s disability may impact his/her attendance in class, the CSD will provide an accommodation letter to each faculty member verifying a student’s disability and documenting his/her needs for occasional absences from class. Students are encouraged to meet with their faculty to discuss the implications that absences may have on course requirements. Students are also apprised that a considerable number of absences may require alternate assignments in order to fulfill class objectives. The decision to provide alternate assignments is at the discretion of the faculty member based on course requirements. Faculty are encouraged to include attendance/make-up policies in their syllabi in order for students to make informed choices regarding course selection.