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Office of Accessibility Services

Elliott Union 224
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4421
Fax: 660.543.4724
mayfield@ucmo.edu



absence

Absence Due to Disability

One possible accommodation the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) may indicate for a student is "Occasional absence due to disability." Some of the disabilities that might necessitate this accommodation are: orthopedic impairments such as arthritis or fibromyalgia; chronic pain; mental health; diabetes; epilepsy; and others. Applying the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of disability, these are permanent or long-term physical or mental impairments which substantially limit one or more major life activity (e.g. the educational process). The student must provide OAS with appropriate professional verification of the disability indicating that occasional absences are a possible occurrence with the disability.

The accommodation would be employed when a student's disability creates an inability to attend class and perform as a student or when there is a need for hospitalization or other treatment. Faculty are encouraged to seek verification of the disability-related absences through OAS. Students who are absent frequently or for multiple days may need to provide OAS with documentation of those periods of absence.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify OAS of the absence due to disability and request OAS to notify the instructors.  The student must also determine what he/she missed and work with the instructor on making up any missed work in a timely manner.

ADA also requires that a student be "otherwise qualified" as a student. Therefore, the absences cannot be of such an extent that the student fails to obtain the critical information of the course. This criteria may vary from course to course. Due to instructional style and classroom activities, a fewer number of absences may be permitted for some courses before the student is considered unable to obtain the critical material/experience of the course.

Some instructors permit a given number of absences to be used for oversleeping, family business, sick children, etc. All students are entitled to use these "free" absences at their own discretion. A student with a disability would not be required to use the free absences for disability-related purposes as this does not constitute equal opportunity. An accommodation is a provision outside standard classroom procedures provided to achieve equal opportunity for the student with disabilities.