Assignment Extension Accommodation Guide

The assignment extension accommodation is used to accommodate the episodic nature of a student’s disability. Students with disabilities where symptoms are not consistent, may temporarily become unable to complete assignments by the assigned due dates, as the exacerbation of symptoms can occur unexpectedly.

Due to the episodic nature of symptoms, a reduced course load or support with time management may not eliminate the need for extensions. As such:

  • The assignment extension accommodation is included in the Accommodation Letter
  • Student provided with this accommodation should not be penalized for requested extensions

The assignment extension accommodation is not meant to be used for extended absences or with every assignment in a course. Students who have been absent for an extended period of time, and therefore will be unable to meet course objectives, will require support to explore alternative options. In these situations, students should connect with their faculty and Accessible Learning Services.

Additional Support

Students and faculty can connect with Accessible Learning Services to discuss this accommodation.

Extension Accommodation Procedure

  1. The student provides Accessible Learning Services with documentation from a regulated health care professional supporting the need for assignment extensions
  2. Accessible Learning Services develops the Accommodation Letter to include the assignment extension accommodation and reviews this procedure with the student
  3. In the event of an exacerbation of symptoms, student will request an assignment extension from his/her professor

Requests should be made by email in advance of the due date. The email should include a plan to complete the work and the anticipated submission date (within the week extension). While students are not required to inform faculty of the specific nature of their disability, they should advise their faculty that they are experiencing exacerbation of symptoms, when making their request

Email example:

Hello (insert professors name),

My name is (insert name and student number). I am in your (insert course name).

I am a student receiving accommodations from Accessible Learning Services. My Accommodation Letter includes extension on assignments as an accommodation.

I am currently experiencing an exacerbation of symptoms related to my disability. These symptoms are interfering with my ability to submit (insert assignment title and due date) by the due date.

My plan is to complete and submit this assignment by (insert date and time), which is within one week time frame offered by this accommodation. If you would like to discuss this further, please let me know.


(Insert name and student number)

  1. Faculty will accept the request for assignment extension in good faith and agree upon a revised due date

Appropriate Use

Given the diversity of assignments it is difficult to quantify the extensions that may be requested. Typically, an extension of one week for an assignment is a reasonable level of accommodation. If further and/or multiple extensions are required, the student and/or faculty should contact Accessible Learning Services.

It is expected that student will use this accommodation only when unable to complete assignments due to an exacerbation of symptoms.

Requests for extensions should be made in advance of an assignment due date. In extraordinary circumstances (e.g. hospitalization), when the student is unable to request an extension in advance, the request should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Strategies for Students

Students are encouraged to consult with their regulated health care professional to develop strategies for managing episodic nature of their disability.

Students with the assignment extension accommodation may wish to apply the following academic strategies.

  • Review learning plans to determine what the workload and course demands are. (Learning plans can be found on eLearn. If specific due dates for assignments are not included, students should connect with their faculty.) Once due dates and assignment details are given, students should develop a plan to complete each assignment well in advance of the due date
  • Seek clarification on assignment details as early as possible
  • Well before the due date, break assignments in smaller sections and work on them often. (In the event an assignment extension is needed a portion of the assignment will already be completed)
  • Submit completed assignments early, where possible
  • As soon as the student is aware an assignment is going to be late, the student can offer to submit what has been completed so far. (This will demonstrate progress and the assignment extension may only be for the portions of the assignment that have not yet been completed

If an assignment extension is still required, students should develop a plan to complete the assignment and include this plan when making a formal request to their professor.

Group Assignments/Projects and the Extensions on Assignments Accommodation:

  • Students with the Extensions on Assignments accommodation should discuss the potential need for any extension proactively with the course professor/instructor to determine how requesting an extension, if required, may impact a group assignment or project
  • When a student requests an extension on a group assignment or project, professors can request that students submit the work they have completed up to the date of the extension request. This is to ensure that students remain on track with group assignments or projects and receive the feedback they may need to continue to complete the assignment
  • Certain group assignments and projects may be arranged in a way that requires all group members to be present to perform a time-sensitive learning task that is difficult to replicate (e.g., studio and media courses, group performances). Thus, there may not be an opportunity for one group member to request an extension. When extensions for an entire group are not possible, professors/ instructors should consult with the student and the student’s Accessibility Counsellor to determine what options, if any, may be available

Teaching Strategies

Faculty may wish to consider the use of the following teaching strategies to support students in meeting assignment due dates:

  • Offer assignment completion reminders, in class or on eLearn
  • For larger assignments, suggest targets for progress. These targets can be included on the course learning plan, indicated in eLearn or on the assignment outline. (For example, if students have four weeks to complete an assignment suggest they have a rough outline done by week one, their research completed by week two, a draft completed by week three and by week four a final draft to check against the assignment rubric
  • Offer Interim Due Dates that break assignments into smaller portions and request students submit. While grades do not need to be offered, feedback on each portion regarding how the student is progressing is very valuable. For more information on Interim Due Dates, visit Interim Due Dates.
  • Anticipate that students who have this accommodation may require additional support. Offer opportunities for students to discuss assignments with a peer or faulty to support more effective time management
  • Supply an exemplar of the assignment to demonstrate the breadth, depth and score of the work. This will help students to more accurately gauge the time they will need to complete the assignment

Faculty Assistance

Faculty are encouraged to connect with Accessible Learning Services regarding the Assignment Extension accommodation and teaching strategies. Faculty can either contact the Accessibility Counsellor listed on the student’s Accommodation Letter or the ALS front desk.

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Have Questions? Need Assistance? Want to Book an Appointment?
We are here to help. Contact Accessible Learning Services by email at als [at] or by phone at (905) 575-2122.