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Modified Attendance Accommodation

In most cases, class attendance is critical to a student’s mastery of the knowledge and skills that are taught in a specific course, and students are expected to follow the attendance policy established by the instructor in each class. If a qualified student with a disability believes it may not be possible to abide by the attendance policy due to disability-related reasons, the student should contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) prior to the beginning of the semester, or as soon as possible after the need for an exception arises, to discuss the matter of a possible accommodation. SAS will engage in an interactive process to assess whether a reasonable accommodation related to modified attendance schedule is available. Through this interactive process, SAS may determine that a student’s disability entitles the student to a modification of the usual course attendance policy.

Modifications of course attendance policies will be determined on an individual, case-by-case basis depending upon the extent to which the supporting medical or psychological documentation from a licensed professional qualified to diagnose and treat the disability, supports the need for modification to an attendance policy. The determination will be indicated on the student’s letter of accommodation. Since each class and situation is different, the extent of the modification should be determined by a discussion between the student, faculty, and SAS. Students will complete a modified attendance agreement with the faculty and send this agreement to SAS for review. After review, the student and faculty will be provided a copy of the agreement by SAS. If the student or faculty has questions or would like to renegotiate the agreement, they may notify SAS. SAS will renegotiate the agreement if necessary. When necessary, the academic chair or other academic administrator will be included in the discussions.

The University of Tampa will make every effort to reasonably accommodate students’ disability-related academic needs. However, neither the university nor an individual faculty member is required to waive essential or fundamental academic requirements of a course regardless of the nature of a student’s disability. If a faculty or department can demonstrate to SAS that attendance is an essential or fundamental academic requirement for the course, they may put in place reasonable attendance requirements.

SAS will determine the appropriateness of a modified attendance policy by consideration of such details as:

  • Statements in the syllabus and course description regarding attendance grading methods
  • Whether student participation is an essential method for learning
  • The need or lack thereof for classroom interaction
  • The impact, if any, that non-attendance will have on the educational experience of other students

Regardless of the modification of the attendance policy, the student is required to meet all of the academic course requirements and to complete all assignments and examinations. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the material and notes from missed classes. The student will be graded according to the criteria stated in the class syllabus. If a student finds that they are not doing well in the class due to extended absences, the student is urged to consider options such as dropping the class, withdrawing from the class or taking an incomplete. It is important for the student not to abuse the modification of the attendance policy. Modification of the attendance policy does not mean that unlimited absences will be permitted. The number of absences permitted will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Absences for non-disability-related reasons will not be excused by the modification. Accommodations are not retroactive and will not apply when a student has not discussed with their faculty their approved accommodations. No medical or psychological information will be shared with instructors.

Modified Attendance Process and Modified Attendance Agreement:

To help facilitate the reasonable use of the modified attendance accommodation and set parameters between an instructor and a student, a modified attendance agreement must be completed by students and faculty, in collaboration with a SAS staff member, to clarify expectations and set guidelines.

At the beginning of each semester and as students are approved for accommodations throughout the academic year, SAS will send students’ letters of accommodation directly to faculty detailing the student’s approved accommodations. In order to utilize their accommodations, students must meet with their faculty to discuss their approved accommodations. If modified attendance is an approved accommodation, students should initiate the modified attendance agreement with each of their faculty. If at any point students or faculty do not feel comfortable completing the modified attendance agreement, SAS should be contacted immediately to take the lead on the agreement.

Initiation of Modified Attendance Agreement

To initiate the agreement, students must log into Accommodate, navigate to the resources tab, and download the modified attendance agreement. Students must fill out and sign page 2 of the agreement. After filling out the agreement, students then need to set up a meeting with their faculty to discuss the agreement and have the faculty fill out page 3 of the agreement. After both parties fill out and sign the agreement, the student should send the agreement to SAS (, so the appropriate SAS staff member can review the agreement and the reasonable nature of the allowed absences indicated. If determined reasonable, SAS will send the agreement to both the faculty and the student. From this point, students are able to use their modified attendance.

If at any point either party does not feel comfortable in completing their portion of the agreement, SAS should be informed and will take the lead in finalizing the agreement.

Student Responsibilities

  • Initiate conversation with faculty early, prior to the need for the accommodation, and fill out and sign the modified attendance agreement.
  • Understand that not all classes can offer flexibility in attendance if in-person attendance is fundamentally essential to the academic program/class.
  • Have a conversation with faculty to plan out ways to meet the requirements of the class when there is a disability-related absence.
  • Students must contact their faculty via Spartan email and SAS via email at services@ut.eduprior to any disability-related absence, CCing their assigned SAS staff member on the email.
  • The student is required to complete all coursework.

Faculty/Instructor Responsibilities

  • If you have students with modified attendance indicated on their letter of accommodation, download the modified attendance agreement via the resources tab in Accommodate.
  • Fill out the modified attendance agreement with the student and send the agreement to SAS at
  • Be available to review or renegotiate the agreement as necessary with the student or SAS.
  • If you believe the requested modified attendance accommodation would fundamentally alter a course, SAS should be contacted as soon as possible to discuss.
  • Instructors should be clear about expectations when meeting with the student and contacting SAS for any assistance.
  • If a student’s absences become excessive, Instructors should let SAS know so we can follow up with the student if needed.
  • When a class is missed due to a disability-related absence, a general rule for determining a reasonable time frame for a makeup or postponement of an assignment (such as a paper, exam, or quiz) is the time equivalent to that which was missed.
  • Instructors who need assistance in making this accommodation work for their students without fundamentally altering the essential academic and technical standards of the program/course as defined by the academic catalog and course syllabus should contact SAS to discuss this further.