Occasional Deadline Flexibility

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, occasional deadline extensions 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 Letter of Accommodation (LOA), students must contact their instructor directly OR contact their Disability Services Specialist to initiate the conversation regarding reasonable deadline extensions. As with all accommodations provided by the DRC, these accommodations do not apply retroactively to deadlines before the instructor’s receipt of the LOA.

Professors and students, with or without the assistance of a Disability Services Specialist, must discuss implementation details. These details should be documented in writing. As a guide for conversation, and a means to record details, instructors may use the DRC’s Deadline Extension Planning Form.