Table of Contents

Sample Guidelines for
"Relaxation of Attendance Policy"
Disability Support Services

  1. Attendance is an essential component of post-secondary education. As such, students are expected to comply with class attendance policies.
  2. The College/University recognizes that there may be times when a student cannot attend class because of disability-related reasons.
  3. Disability Support Services may request a "relaxation of attendance policy" from an instructor after discussion to determine if attendance is an essential element of the course in which the "relaxation" is requested.
  4. A relaxation of attendance policy does not mean a relaxation of course requirements. Students are required to fulfill all course requirements and evaluation standards as specified in the course syllabus.
  5. The following questions will be considered when determining the reasonableness of this accommodation:
    • Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among the students themselves?
    • Do student contributions in class constitute a significant component 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 class constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
    • What does the course description and syllabus say regarding attendance? Each instructor may have different requirements regarding attendance.
    • What is the method by which the final course grade is calculated?
  6. Students who are approved for this accommodation are expected to contact instructors in advance of an anticipated absence. For emergencies or unexpected absences, contact should be made as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of any make-up work and/or to verify the reason for the absence.
  7. Instructors are encouraged to contact the Disability Support Services if it is believed that disability-related absences have become excessive.
  8. Students are made aware that absences will hurt them academically, even if the attendance policy has been relaxed, and, as such, must make every attempt to attend class. Special effort by the student must be made to attend class for quizzes, exams, and deadlines for submission of assignments.
  9. Students will be required to submit a letter from Disability Support Services to each instructor confirming that this accommodation has been verified as reasonable. The student will sign the letter stating an understanding of the policies and procedures developed for this accommodation. This letter also states that the student agrees to abide by these policies and procedures.
  10. A "Relaxation of Attendance Policy" will not be approved for summer terms because of the limited number of class periods scheduled during these times.
  11. Accommodations are not retroactive. All accommodations, including the Relaxation of Attendance Policy, become effective when the student delivers the above-referenced letter to the instructors in question.
  12. As with all accommodations, a "Relaxation of Attendance Policy" is recommended on an individual, case-by-case basis depending upon (a) the submission, to Disability Support Services, of supporting medical or psycho-educational documentation from a licensed professional and (b) the reasonableness of this accommodation in each requested class as determined by discussions between Disability Support Services and the course instructor.

(Insert your college/university attendance policy)

Class Attendance (Sample policies).

(U. Mississippi) - Students are obligated to comply with class attendance policies. It is the responsibility of each instructor to notify classes at the outset of each course of the attendance requirements to which each student must adhere. The University reserves the right to sever its relationship with any student who has been excessively absent, and that student who incurs excessive absences may be dismissed from a given class upon recommendations of the instructors and approval by the student's academic dean. When it appears to an instructor that a student has discontinued a class without authority, the instructor will report this fact to the student's academic dean.

If a student is out of class for an extended period of time due to reasons beyond the student's control, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the teacher. If the student is out of class due to an emergency in which the dean of students has intervened, a note will be sent from the Office of the Dean of Students to the student's instructors.

(Montgomery College) - Students are expected to attend all class sessions. In cases involving excessive absences from class, the instructor may drop the student from the class. "Excessive absences" is defined as one more absence than the number of classes per week during a fall or spring semester; the number of absences is prorated for accelerated sessions.

If you have questions or require additional information regarding Disability Support Services' policies and procedures for a "Relaxation of Attendance Policy," please contact a DSS counselor at:

(College/University contact information)

Adapted from the University of Mississippi, "Policies and Procedures for Relaxation of Attendance Policy" - 11/16/2000

Sample Guidelines for "Relaxation of Attendance Policy" in MSWord

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Last updated 6/21/02 [merrick]