Many students have conditions which are chronic in nature, such as heart problems, diabetes, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. These conditions rise to the level of a disability when they substantially limit one or more major life activities. If a student approaches you requesting accommodations based upon a chronic health condition, you should request that the student provide you with a letter from the Disability Services office (DS). DS will review the relevant medical reports and make recommendations for reasonable accommodations based upon the impact of the disability.
On occasion, a health condition, along with medications and medical appointments, may cause the student to miss some classes. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires us to grant "reasonable acommodations" to persons with disabilities. Among these are flexibility in terms of class attendance. However, these accommodations are not unlimited and the student must bear responsibility for notification of absences and for make-up work and tests. It must be made clear that if a disability causes absences beyond what is educationally practical, then completion of a given course in that semester may not be possible. In that case a medical withdrawal might be the best option.
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