Some disabilities may occasionally prevent a student from dedicating sufficient time to an assignment, and a strict and punitive deadline policy would prevent them from demonstrating their mastery of course material.

In such cases, flexibility with deadlines may be approved as a reasonable accommodation. This accommodation does not afford a student a “blanket” extension for all assignments in a class, though generally, if a certain number of late assignments are permitted in the class syllabus, the maximum number of extensions for a student with this accommodation should be higher than that number. The number of extensions that is reasonable, and a reasonable timeframe for extension will vary from course to course, and frequently from assignment to assignment. For this reason it is crucial that the student and instructor communicate up front about which deadlines may be reasonably extended, by how long, and how students should request an extension should they need one.

After providing their instructor with their accommodation letter, students must contact their instructor directly to initiate the conversation regarding reasonable deadline extensions. As with all accommodations provided by the Disability Services (DS), these accommodations do not apply retroactively to deadlines before the instructor’s receipt of the accommodation letter.

Professors and students must discuss implementation details. These details should be documented in writing. Instructors may use the DS Flexibility with Deadlines Form. Contact the DS office to receive a copy of the form.