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Frequently Asked Questions—Extended Deadlines on Assignments

Frequently Asked Questions—Extended Deadlines on Assignments

*Please note this is applicable to students with the approved accommodation of extended deadlines on assignments*

  1. How will I know when the student will need to use this accommodation?

    1. Students will notify you in a reasonable timeframe of their need to use this accommodation. Typically, you will receive a notification 24-48 hours before or after the original deadline of the assignment (advanced notification is not always possible). This reasonable notification timeframe may be adjusted under extenuating circumstances (such as a hospitalization). The Access and Equity Services Professional or student will contact you as soon as possible if there has been an extenuating circumstance.

  2. When does the extension begin?

    1. The extension begins at the time of the original deadline. Example: The student has 48-hour due date extensions. The initial discussion post for your class is due on Monday at 11:59 pm. Regardless of when the student notifies you of their need to use the accommodation, their new extended deadline is on Wednesday at 11:59 pm.

  3. How long of an extension should I grant?

    1. There are two different kinds of extended deadline accommodations. The key to accommodating students with either type of extended deadline is to be open to adjusting the length of extension when needed and to avoid blanket statements (i.e. no extension shall exceed 72 hours in length).

    2. The most common type of extended deadline is a general extended deadline, meaning there is not a specified amount of time needed for each extension. You will want to work with your department chair to decipher what a reasonable extension looks like for the assignments in your course. You will want to email the student and Access and Equity Services Professional with the reasonable extensions you have determined as soon as possible. You will also want to let them know to notify you if something comes up and they need additional time past your recommended reasonable extension.

    3. The second kind of extended deadline is a specified extended deadlines, meaning the accommodation indicates the length of extension the student will need (i.e. 24 or 48 hours). This accommodation should fully support the student as written, however you can let the student know to notify you as soon as possible if something comes up and they need additional time past the indicated extension length.

  4. Do extended deadline accommodations apply to discussion posts?

    1. Yes, extended deadline accommodations do apply to discussion posts in most cases (both initial posts and replies). When reviewing whether an accommodation is reasonable or not, in this case an extension on a discussion post, Disability/Accessibility professionals look at what the essential core competencies and learning objectives of the course is. While the interactive nature of this type of assignment is beneficial, in most cases it is not an essential component or learning objective in the course. Ultimately, the discussion posts are vehicles for students to show their understanding of course materials, research, and citations. Based on the Americans with Disabilities and Amendments Act, this means changing the deadline of the discussion posts does not alter the essential component and learning objective of the discussion posts. If you are concerned that this accommodation would undermine or fundamentally alter a core competency or learning objective in your course, please contact the Access & Equity Services Professional immediately to begin the Fundamental Alteration and Accommodation Review Process.

  5. Should I ask students why they are needing to use this accommodation?

    1. No, you should not ask the student to disclose why they need to use this accommodation. Students are only to use this accommodation for disability related reasons, and unless they say otherwise, you should move forward with the assumption they are using it for disability related reasons.

  6. What if the student tries to use this accommodation for non-disability related reasons (i.e. internet troubles, death in the family, etc.)?

    1. The student’s accommodation does not cover non-disability related reasons or circumstances. If, for example, the student says they need their extension because their internet went out before the assignment was due, you would treat that request the same as you would any other student request for the same reason. It is ultimately up to the instructor’s discretion to provide flexibility for unforeseen circumstances and life events. If a student mentions multiple different factors for needing an extension or you are unsure if their reasoning falls under their accommodation, please feel free to reach out to the Access and Equity Services Professional.

  7. Each assignment I have is open for 7 days, so students should have the ability to complete the work by the original deadline. Why might a student still need to use this accommodation?

    1. Students with extended deadlines on assignments oftentimes have diagnoses that are unpredictable and episodic in nature. This means they are not able to predict when their disability may impact them and impede their ability to turn in their assignment by the deadline. For example, a student with epilepsy might have this accommodation. They may not know ahead of time if they are going to have a seizure or the impact that seizure will have on them. If they have a seizure on the day an assignment is due, they may not be able to meet the deadline if they are hospitalized or temporarily incapacitated. This accommodation ensures the student is not penalized for something that is completely out of their control.

  8. Is there a limit to how often this accommodation can be used?

    1. No, there is not a limit to the number of times a student can use this accommodation.

  9. Won’t this student fall behind because of these extensions?

    1. This is a valid concern, and we echo your want for students to successfully complete their courses. However, the overarching goal of all accommodations is to provide equitable access and remove barriers in education. It is our job, as instructors and student staff, to provide the accommodations that will remove these barriers. The student, with or without accommodations, is responsible for the successful completion of their courses. There is an equal chance for all students, with or without accommodations, to fall behind in courses. If you are concerned about an accommodated student’s progress in your course, please feel free to share your concerns with the Access and Equity Services Professional so they can provide additional supports when needed.


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