Absences (Academic Consideration) and Academic Accommodations

The following information is provided for students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) who require academic accommodations, or considerations.

Please refer to the comparison table at the end of this page.

Several forms listed here are fillable PDF files available on the Queen's Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) website. In case of discrepancies, the QSAS website should be considered as the most current one. All completed forms must be emailed to the Academic Accommodation Coordinator, Catherine Gurnsey, in the Faculty Office (Beamish-Munro Hall, Room 300). If you encounter any problems with accessing these forms (e.g., broken links, etc.), please contact Catherine at engineering.aac@queensu.ca or 613-533-6000 ext. 78013.

Absences (Academic Consideration)

Academic considerations is an action taken by an educator in response to a student with an extenuating circumstance. Academic considerations are intended to minimize the impact of a serious or significant extenuating circumstance that is beyond a student’s control. Considerations may include but are not limited to: an excused absence, a brief reprieve from coursework, extended or deferred deadline, a modified schedule for assignments, labs, placements, projects, or comprehensive exams, a deferred exam or project, a medical leave of absence, an alternate assignment, a re-weighting of assigned marks, course withdrawal without penalty, or other considerations deemed appropriate by a Faculty or School Office.

Students are required to submit the following documentation, depending on the circumstances, for all absences that result in a student missing deliverables (tests, quizzes, labs, midterms, final exams). Do not submit forms to your instructors.

Of Note, the Request for Consideration Policy and forms will not be available until early September as the University is reviewing this policy and making changes to the forms. Should you require assistance please contact your Engineering Academic Accommodation Coordinator, Catherine Gurnsey at engineering.aac@queensu.ca or call 613-533-6000 x78013.

Academic Accommodations

Academic accommodations are put in place to equalize learning opportunities and access to the academic environment for students with disabilities. A disability may include a temporary (e.g., a concussion or broken arm) or permanent (e.g., a learning disability) condition. The functional limitations resulting from a disability can at times intersect with the academic environment in a way that creates a barrier for students. Some examples of accommodations include extra time on exams, permission to use assistive technology for exams, or permission to audio record lectures.

Academic accommodations are approved by Queen's Student Accessibility Services. For an overview of the procedures and types of accommodations provided, please see the QSAS website.

Should you have any concerns, questions, or require information, the FEAS Academic Accommodation Coordinator is available to assist you in BMH Room 300, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm, September to April. You may also email engineering.aac@queensu.ca or call 613-533-6000 ext. 78013.

Letter of Accommodation

The process for submitting Letter of Accommodation is different for each Faculty. FEAS students do not submit letters to instructors.

Engineering students will submit their Letter of Accommodation and the 2 FEAS Academic Accommodation forms (one for fall term courses and one for winter courses), by email, to engineering.aac@queensu.ca, Catherine Gurnsey, Academic Accommodation Coordinator in the Faculty office (BMH Room 300). This tells the Faculty Office that you wish to use your accommodations for the entire academic year.

In order to put the necessary arrangements in place to ensure your accommodations are met, students who already have Letters of Accommodation (LOA) provided by QSAS are requested to submit their letters ideally within the first two weeks of the Fall term.

For students who have QSAS appointments scheduled, please provide your LOA to Catherine within 5 days of your QSAS appointment.

If you have an upcoming academic deliverable for which you require accommodation and you have not yet had a QSAS appointment, please contact the QSAS Intake Co-ordinator to make them aware of your immediate need.

FEAS Academic Accommodation Registered Course(s) form (PDF)
(Remember to submit 1 sheet for fall courses and 1 sheet for winter courses.)

  • Short-Term Academic Accommodations

    The process for submitting a Short-term Academic Accommodation is different for each Faculty. FEAS students do not submit Short-term Academic Accommodation forms to their instructors.

    Students will submit their Short-term Academic Accommodation, by email, engineering.aac@queensu.ca to Catherine Gurnsey, Academic Accommodation Coordinator in the Faculty Office (BMH Room 300) as soon as it is issued to them. They will also submit a FEAS Academic Accommodation form with their courses for the current timeframe. This allows us time to distribute the new accommodations to your instructors as quickly as possible. If you do not submit your form to Catherine it may affect you receiving your accommodation(s).

    FEAS Academic Accommodation Registered Course(s) form (PDF)

  • Differences between Academic Consideration and Accommodation

    The table below summarizes the differences between academic consideration and academic accommodation. It includes descriptions and examples of the conditions that pertain to each situation.

    Academic ConsiderationAcademic Accommodation

    Queen’s University Senate Policy

    Academic Considerations for Students in Extenuating Circumstances (PDF, April 2017)

    Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (PDF, November 2016)


    To provide consistent and fair academic considerations to students for a range of extenuating personal circumstances.

    To provide appropriate academic accommodations for students with disabilities as part of the University’s commitment to accessibility and equity.


    An action or actions taken by an instructor or Faculty Office in response to a student with an extenuating circumstance.

    Examples of academic consideration:

    • Excused absence, deferral, extension, modified schedule for assignments, projects, labs, or placements, alternate assignment, re-weighting of term marks, permission for an incomplete grade, or course withdrawal without penalty.

    Any adaptation that reduces or eliminates barriers to participation, which arise when a student with a disability interacts with the academic environment.

    Examples of academic accommodation:

    • Extra time, different location, use of computer, adaptive technology, note-taking, alternate format (e.g., receiving textbooks in audio and/or electronic format), extensions.


    Extenuating circumstance beyond the student’s control, not to exceed 3 months)

    Chronic or ongoing physical health or mental health condition, or a learning disability.

    Examples of Conditions

    Self-Declaration for Brief Absence (up to 48 hours)*:

    • Short-term illness (e.g., stomach flu)
    • Minor injury (e.g., sprained ankle)
    • Distressing event or other physical or psychological impairment

    Extenuating circumstances (>48 hours to 3 months)*:

    • Extended illness (e.g., mononucleosis, pneumonia)
    • Serious injury (e.g., concussion or broken bones)
    • Required treatment (e.g., surgery or medication side effects)
    • Bereavement (e.g., loss of close family member)
    • Traumatic event (e.g., divorce) or other significant personal crisis

    Letter of Accommodation (LOA):

    • Long-term physical or mental illness (e.g., hearing, visual, or mobility impairments, diabetes, cancer, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD/ADD, OCD, schizophrenia, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, etc.)
    • Learning disability (e.g., dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, auditory or visual processing disorders, etc.)

    Short-Term Academic Accommodation (STAA):

    • New unexpected onset of physical or mental illness lasting more than 48 hours, unexpected surgery/injury (concussion), serious extenuating circumstances

    Responsibility for Authorizing Arrangements

    The Faculty Office verifies documentation. Instructor works with student to determine and implement reasonable academic consideration.

    Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) determines accommodation and provides Letter of Accommodation and Short-Term Academic Accommodation for instructors to implement.

* Exclusions that are not covered by this protocol:

Students that are unable to meet academic requirements due to experiencing high levels of academic or exam-related stress should seek out supports and services from Student Wellness Services and contact Tess Grant, Occupational Therapist: 613-533-6000, ext. 75842 or tess.grant@queensu.ca.