Short-Term Disabilities & Absences

Temporary / Short-term Disabilities

Commitment to assist students with short-term disabilities:

  • Marymount strives to empower students to access their studies in all contexts even when unexpected circumstances create unanticipated challenges in maneuvering campus or engaging in classes.
  • Students who experience injuries or short-term medical conditions that impact their ability to attend class or complete projects and/or assignments should contact their professors as soon as possible.

Campus resources to assist students in their time of need:

  • Campus Safety – (703-284-1600)
    • Can provide golf cart rides for temporary mobility impairments.
  • ID Office – (703-284-1608)
    • Can provide access to restricted elevators in campus buildings.
  • Parking office – (703-968-7671)
    • Can provide information about accessible parking locations.
  • Student Access Services – (703-284-1538)
    • Can provide classroom accommodations if student is able to continue to engage in courses and complete curricular requirements.  (see below for more information).
  • Office of Student Health and Well-being – (703-284-1610)
    • Can send Emergency Notifications to professors if the student is physically unable to communicate electronically or verbally.  (see below for more information).

Examples of Student Access Services Accommodations:

Accommodations approved by Student Access Services might include:

  • Reasonable flexibility with some class absences
  • Reasonable flexibility with classroom late arrival and/or early departure time
  • Ability to negotiate one exam per day
  • Extended due dates
  • Reduced screen time (course materials in hard copy format)
  • Ability to wear hat and or sunglasses in class
  • Space with incandescent or non-fluorescent lighting

Accommodations from Student Access Services do NOT :

  • Over-ride course attendance policy found on each class syllabus
  • Address communication barriers for English Language Learners

Defining a short term disability

  • A temporary impairment caused by an injury may be considered a “disability” under the ADA Amendments Act if it’s “sufficiently severe” to substantially limit a major life activity.
  • A transitory impairment that last six months or less may be considered a short term disability.
  • A short-term illness, injury or other condition lasting for more than an academic week (Monday-Friday) may qualify as a short-term disability.  For example, a student experienced a concussion with a lingering impact on their ability to think, concentrate, sleep, speak for more than a few days, may have a short-term disability.
  • Temporary conditions that are minor do not qualify as disabilities, such as colds, the flu, mild allergies, infected fingers (which could hinder typing), or mild gastrointestinal disorders.
  • A concussion may also be considered an acquired brain injury, long term disability.  Some concussive effects last more than a week, and may have lingering long-term effects.

Steps to take when requesting short-term academic accommodations from SAS:

  • Students contact Student Access Services (SAS) by emailing, calling the Student Academic Hub at 703-284-1538 or visiting the Student Academic Hub in Rowley 1005 during business hours.
  • Students gather their medical documentation, clinical letter or other form of information that describes their short terms condition and its impact on them.
  • Students meet with SAS staff members to determine appropriate academic supports and accommodations.
  • If students are approved to receive temporary accommodations, then they will receive a written Faculty Contact Sheet (FCS) from SAS.
  • Students share their FCS with their instructors and discuss how the approved accommodations will be implemented, these details typically include considerations for class absences, late assignments, or missed exams.

Steps to take when prevented from class attendance and communication with instructors:

  • The Office of Student Health and Well-being may issue an Emergency Notification to a student’s instructors if the student is physically unable to communicate electronically or verbally. The student designates an emergency contact person to inform the DSS of the need to send out and emergency notification.

Marymount University Short-Term Emergency Notification

A student who experiences an illness, medical emergency, death in the family, or family emergency that causes absence from classes for a short period of time (e.g., several days and up to two weeks) should contact the Office of Student Health and Well-being at, which may issue an Emergency Notification to the student’s instructors. This notice does not excuse students from classwork; it only makes the student’s instructors aware of the situation. The student is expected to make arrangements for missed assignments directly with the instructor and follow the course attendance policy.

If a student’s condition is serious enough to prevent completion of the semester, the student should follow the process for requesting a medical leave. The Dean of Students and the student’s associate dean are available to consult with students as they weigh their options.

Marymount University Attendance Policy:

Individual instructors have the prerogative to establish requirements for class attendance. Students are responsible for complying with the instructor’s requirements and expectations. Absences for justifiable reasons such as illness, significant family crisis, and observance of religious holidays, jury duty, or participation as a representative of the University in athletic contests, conferences or cultural performances may be excused by the instructor if previous absences are not excessive, and if the student has made prior arrangements with the instructor to make up missed work. Instructors must assess a grade of “FA” for students who fail a course due primarily to poor or non-attendance.

Students are fully responsible for making up work missed due to class absence, both excused and unexcused. When students are absent, they are responsible for obtaining class notes and assignments from reliable sources. Instructors are not required to supply notes. Assignments and projects are to be delivered to the instructor on the assigned date, even when the student does not attend class. Without permission of an individual instructor, no test or class material will be repeated or rescheduled.

Prolonged illness or extraordinary circumstances such as a death in the family must be reported to the Office of Student Affairs, which notifies the student’s instructor(s) of the absence.  Students absent for a significant time should consult with their academic advisor, or associate or assistant dean before deciding to withdraw or continue.