Remote Attendance Accommodation


The accommodation of remote attendance can only be approved in very limited circumstances, if ARC determines that the accommodation is both essential and appropriate based on an environmental barrier to equal access that is directly related to a student’s disability. Remote attendance means that the student would participate in an in-person class via Zoom instead of attending in-person.


The University of New Mexico primarily offers in-person instruction, and most of the university’s academic programs have essential in-person components. Remote attendance may be a reasonable and appropriate accommodation for a very small number of students with disabilities, and Zoom can be a helpful tool. Nonetheless, it is important to bear in mind that attending an in-person class via Zoom simply cannot provide you the same quality academic experience that you would receive if at tending in-person. If you Zoom into an in-person class, it is inevitable that you are going to miss out on aspects of the professor’s teaching, or the in-class interactions that occur between students and professors, or both. This generally means that you will have to work even harder and put in more time to learn the material than you would have otherwise.


When a student asks for remote attendance, ARC will first explore with the student any possible alternative options, other academic accommodations, and compensatory strategies that could meet their needs so that remote attendance would not be necessary. ARC can only approve remote attendance if we have first explored other alternatives, accommodations, and compensatory strategies and have determined they are not sufficient to remove the disability-related barrier that is preventing the student from attending class in-person.


Remote attendance may be approved for one semester as a reasonable accommodation if a student’s disability renders them temporarily unable to participate in person. This accommodation is not intended for emergency situations, nor for multiple semesters in a row, nor to convert an in-person academic program into an all-online experience. Aspects of course design could require in-person student participation to meet specific test, group work, experiential or other course requirements. Long-term requests for remote participation will require additional steps to assess feasibility within your academic program, and we may ask you for additional documentation to support the request.


If you are temporarily unable to attend classes in-person because of a disability, we first encourage you to enroll in all online courses if possible. Your academic advisor is a great resource in exploring alternative course options.


If you are required to enroll in an in-person course and need to request a remote attendance accommodation, you must submit a letter of support from your healthcare provider. Please share our

Remote Attendance Documentation Guidance for Healthcare Providers

document with your healthcare provider to ensure that their letter meets all requirements.


We ask that you submit documentation to support your request for the remote attendance accommodation as early as possible so that we can expediently review and coordinate these requests. Our priority deadline for these requests is Friday of the last week of regular classes (either fall or spring) prior to the semester for which you are requesting the accommodation. There are two requirements for you to meet the priority deadline: (1) submit your provider’s letter of support to us; and (2) be registered for all the classes you plan to take the following semester. We will review requests received after the priority deadline, but course delivery options may be limited.


Parameters for Remote Attendance

  • This accommodation is not intended to convert an in-person academic program into an all-online experience. Additional steps may be required to assess feasibility of providing the remote attendance accommodation within your academic program.
  • Once ARC determines that you are eligible for remote attendance, full approval is contingent upon assessing feasibility of the accommodation in each of your courses in collaboration with faculty. If the course design or learning objectives make remote attendance not feasible because in-person attendance is an integral part of the class structure, then the accommodation will not be approved for that course.
  • If remote attendance is approved, there may still be aspects of a course’s design that are not ideal for a student attending remotely. Course design could require in-person student participation to meet specific test, group work, experiential or other course requirements. Remotely attending an in-person course is not the equivalent experience of taking a course designed to be delivered online. Consequently, you are encouraged to utilize instructors’ office hours and to work with your instructors to identify campus and outside resources to support your success in the course.