Flexibility on assignment deadlines when necessary due to a disability-related event 

The AEC establishes flexibility with assignment deadlines when necessary due to disability-related barriers as an accommodation when a documented disability may periodically impact a student’s ability to meet deadlines and reasonable adjustments and/or alternatives should be explored. Students are expected to meet deadlines and should not plan on utilizing this accommodation, as it may not be reasonable for many assignments. This accommodation is intended for acute, unpredictable, disability-related events that may coincide with a course deadline and should be communicated about as close as possible to the deadline.

Determining the scope of reasonable assignment deadline adjustments

The AEC does not establish course assignment deadlines but supports instructors in determining reasonable adjustments and/or alternatives on the basis of disability. Even for acute, unpredictable, disability-related events, flexibility on assignment deadlines may not be a reasonable accommodation in some situations. Instructors may – in consultation with the AEC – need to reduce the scope of this accommodation when necessary due to class and assignment formats. Students should anticipate that if reasonable, flexibility with assignment deadlines may only provide them with 1 to 3 extra days for submission without penalty, depending on the nature of the assignment. Occasionally, more time may be appropriate depending on the nature of the assignment and the requirements of the course. Extension length may vary significantly depending on the situation.


Students approved for this accommodation should send their AEC notification letter to their instructors as early as possible in the term.

If an eligible student experiences a disability-related event that impacts their ability to meet a deadline, it is their responsibility to communicate prior to the missed deadline, or as soon as possible thereafter, when requesting an assignment deadline adjustment. These requests will be considered case-by-case, and students may be asked to submit additional information to AEC that supports the request.

Student will:

  1. Email the instructor and cc their AEC access advisor when the need for a disability-related deadline extension request occurs. The following template may be used:
    1. “I am registered with the AEC for disability-related services and I receive accommodations for flexibility on assignment deadlines. This email is to request an extension for (ASSIGNMENT NAME) originally due (DATE) for disability-related reasons. With your permission I would like to submit it on (DATE). If you have any questions or concerns regarding this accommodation or its use, please contact my AEC access advisor who I have included in this correspondence.”

Instructor will:

  1. Confirm deadline adjustment has been made, OR:
  2. Contact the AEC if a deadline extension is believed to fundamentally alter the nature of the course.

Joint responsibilities:

If an instructor is concerned that a student’s deadline extension will interfere with their ability to meet essential learning objectives, or believes that the length of a student’s extension request does not seem reasonable, they should notify AEC as soon as possible. AEC will work with the instructor to determine the appropriate scope of this accommodation for their class. Questions to guide this assessment include:

  • What is the late work policy for the class? Are exceptions made in any situations?
  • Is the assignment deadline related to course goals and/or objectives?
  • Is the deadline an essential component of the assignment (such as assignments that are time sensitive, completed in groups, part of a sequence, etc.)?
  • Would granting the extension request fundamentally alter the course?

If students or instructors have questions about the application of this accommodation in their classes, they should contact AEC.