Flexibility with attendance policy when necessary due to a disability-related event 

The AEC establishes flexibility with attendance policy as an accommodation when a documented disability may periodically impact a student’s ability to attend class and reasonable adjustments and/or alternatives should be explored. This accommodation should only be used for absences directly related to disability and should be communicated as close as possible to the absence. 

Determining the scope of reasonable attendance policy adjustments

The AEC does not establish course attendance policies but supports instructors in determining reasonable adjustments and/or alternatives based on disability. Flexibility with attendance policy may not be a reasonable accommodation in all situations (e.g., class sessions which are highly participatory, class sessions where aspects of the educational environment cannot be replicated, etc.). Instructors may – in consultation with the AEC – need to reduce the scope of this accommodation when necessary due to the nature of class activities.  


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 attend class, it is their responsibility to communicate prior to a missed class, or as soon as possible thereafter. These requests will be considered case-by-case, and students may be asked to submit additional information to AEC supporting the request.

Student will:

  1. Email their instructor and cc their AEC access advisor when the need for a disability-related absence occurs. The following template may be used:
    • “I am registered with the AEC for disability-related services and I receive accommodations for flexibility with attendance. This email is to notify you that my absence on (DATE) was due to disability-related reasons. 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 attendance adjustment has been made, OR:
  2. Contact AEC if an absence, or number of absences, is believed to fundamentally alter the nature of the course.

Joint responsibilities:

If an instructor is concerned that a student’s absence or number of absences has interfered with their ability to meet essential learning objectives, they should notify AEC. 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 attendance policy for the class?  
  • How is attendance related to course goals and/or objectives? 
  • How is participation related to course goals and/or objectives? 
  • Is attendance an essential component? 
  • Can there be alternative methods for meeting course goals and/or objectives, such as attending a different section of the course, reviewing recordings, submitting alternative assignments, etc.)?

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