Assignment extension accommodations

Some reasons why a student’s disability may impact timely completion of an assignment

  • episodic health complications
  • random or cyclical acute episodes affecting stamina and/or alertness, especially when there are adjustments in medical management
  • hospitalization

* due to the episodic nature of symptoms, a reduced course load or support with time management may not eliminate  a student’s need for consideration of extensions

Discuss with your student the possibility of assignment extensions and if approved, how late work will be completed and what will happen if work is not submitted according to the revised due date

  • Initiate an interactive process with your student about any assignment due dates as early as possible in the term. We encourage students to also initiate this process as soon as possible.
  • Consider and communicate the plan for due date flexibility and define what work or participation will need to be made up, how it will be completed and when it will be due.
  • Depending on the situation, (i.e. the student is hospitalized) it may not be appropriate to discuss a plan for completion at the time your student notifies you.

Some options that may be considered include:

  • How the grade is to be determined.
  • Provision of advance notice of completion deadlines. The advance notice allows students to be able to begin work earlier and be proactive.
  • Any additional reading, papers, projects and examination which you could assign.
  • A makeup assignment for points which may have been lost due to the late submission on an assignment where an extension couldn’t be given.

*The assignment extension accommodation is not meant to excuse absences. Students who have been absent for an extended period of time, and who are unable to meet course objectives, will require support to explore alternative options. In these situations, students may choose to pursue a Request for Academic Concession (RAC).

Instructor responsibilities

  • Inform students about the due date policy in your course syllabus. Establish clear expectations of how assignment deadlines and instructor notification will be handled in case of disability related requests for flexibility.
  • Deliberately consider if, or to what degree, timely completion of assignments is essential to your course and communicate this to your student(s).
  • Meet with students with extension accommodations to discuss their needs/progress.  Your student is responsible for keeping you informed of progress and following up with you as soon as possible if a plan for extension requires adjustment.

Determine if timely completion of assignments is an essential requirement of your course

  • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon timely completion of assignments as an essential requirement for learning?  
  • Are submissions of assignments a significant component of the learning process or an essential method of learning in your course?
    • I.e. does each week's content build sequentially on the outcomes learned from the graded assignment from the previous week?
  • To what degree does a late assignment constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
  • Would an extension (or multiple extensions) fundamentally alter the course?
  • What does the course description and syllabus indicate regarding late work or completion deadlines?

The student is responsible for fulfilling the essential requirements of the course

  • Evaluate requests for extensions on a case-by-case basis and review any reasonable alternatives for completion.
  • Extensions on assignments must be an appropriate response to a disability-related need without compromising academic standards or fundamentally altering the curriculum.
  • If the student does not complete the coursework or does not meet the course expectations after accommodations have been put into place, they should be graded accordingly and/or refer the student to university’s Request for Academic Concession (RAC) process: