When in doubt, check with ARC (Accessibility Resources Center).
Sometimes it makes little/no sense to accommodate students in situations like missing homework without an excuse or skipping a class to take care hairball (sorry cat lovers.) However, there is one situation when we shall NOT deny accommodation: when a student has a legally protected status that grants him/her accommodation at no fault, such as documented accessibility needs, pregnancy, etc.
(1) No rule by instructors, labs or departments shall be used to deny student's right to accommodation.
For example, none of the following can be used to deny accommodation:
- The syllabus says to drop the lowest of the 5 exams.
- The instructor says no late homework is accepted.
- The department says no makeup for lab-related exams.
If an assignment or test has little or no impact on the grade, the instructor may try to persuade the student to ignore it, but the student still has the right to make it up if he/she so chooses.
(2) The College works with the instructor on providing accommodations.
Generally ARC tells faculty to either (a) do it for all students or (b) only exactly what is approved by the ARC. In the case of (b), ARC will coordinate the effort for the student to receive the accommodation, and the instructor should not turn the student down unilaterally.
(3) How do I know when a student MUST be accommodated for having a legally protected status?
Refer the case to ARC for assistance and cooperate with ARC. When in doubt, check with ARC.
Dr. Ben Weng