In accordance with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, there are some conditions and disabilities that have the potential to impact attendance.  In those specific cases, when appropriate and reasonable, the Student Accessibility Council will provide a student with the accommodation of Absence Consideration. In order to receive this accommodation, students must supply sufficient and current documentation including a diagnosis and recommendations from professionals in the area of the disability. The student often needs to provide updated documentation in order for the accommodation to remain in effect. Medical and psychological conditions are always kept confidential, and are not shared as part of the accommodation notification process. The student will sometimes choose to disclose to faculty and staff the nature of their condition, however, they are not obligated to disclose that information. The role of the Student Accessibility Council is only to confirm that there is a condition present.

It is required that student and instructor agree on attendance expectations and communicate with each other.  Extending flexibility toward attendance due to a disability should never compromise course objectives or diminish academic standards. Professors determine policies regarding make-up work, missed quizzes and exams in their classes.  For general information, students should consult The Trinity College Student Handbook for information regarding class attendance and absence policies. Students are also strongly encouraged to consult the class syllabus for specific attendance requirements for individual courses, as attendance expectations can vary from course to course. Students must communicate with the professor on a timely basis should a question arise regarding attendance concerns.

The U.S Office of Civil Rights recently released the following guidelines for higher education professionals to consider in determining what is “flexible and reasonable “ when students have conditions that impact attendance:

  • What does the course description and syllabus say about attendance?
  • Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students?
  • Do student contributions constitute a significant component to the learning process?
  • Is the learning experience based on the acquisition of cumulative knowledge?
  • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method of learning?
  • To what degree does a student’s failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
  • To what extent is attendance used to calculate the final grade?

If you have any specific questions about disability related absences, please contact Lori Clapis.