Housing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Elizabethtown College is committed to equal access to and full participation in all of its courses, programs, services, and activities. While the college requires students to live on campus for all four years, we recognize some students may have a disability, such as POTS or Cohn’s disease, certain sleep disorders or psychological disorders, or allergies to fragrances or pollens, making it difficult to live in residence halls. Elizabethtown College considers Residence Life an integral part of a student’s development, and makes reasonable modifications for students with disabilities. Reasonable modifications might include a room on the first floor, a room close to a bathroom, ADA grabs bars in the bathroom, or smoke and fire detectors with strobes. Other possible modifications, depending on the specific circumstances, may be to allow the student to live in a single room without a roommate, a room in a building with a particular type of HVAC system, or other modifications as necessary to provide access to Residence Life.
Requests for housing accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis, and the college will prioritize requests based on documented need and availability. Requests must be submitted and reviewed on a yearly basis and, in some cases, additional or updated documentation may be requested from the treating health care provider. While we try to honor all requests, the college cannot guarantee all accommodations granted for one academic year will be granted for subsequent years. The college expects specific modifications will be the result of an interactive process between the student, the Director of Residence Life, and the Director of Disability Services.
Requests for a single room: Any student may request a single room if they believe this arrangement will be more convenient or beneficial to their residential experience. There are a limited number of single rooms available and there is an associated increased room rate over the traditional double rate. Students with documented disabilities that might be improved by living in a single room may request this as a residential accommodation through the Office of Disability Services. The student's health care provider must submit documentation to Disability Services that must: 1) include a clear statement of the condition(s), including diagnosis and expected duration of the condition, 2) demonstrate current functional limitation(s) imposed by the impairment and describe how it substantially limits a major life activity, 3) outline the treatment protocol, 4) describe how a single room will enhance the treatment protocol (receiving a single room, in and of itself, is not considered a treatment protocol), 5) provide supporting information regarding whether this accommodation is best conceptualized as “helpful/beneficial “or “medically necessary/required” in order for the student to have access to the residence halls. As an example, a student using a wheelchair who requires a service animal and other personal equipment in her dorm room may require a single room in order to live in one of the residence halls.
The information must be submitted on official letterhead contain contact information for follow up information. The health care provider’s primary relationship with the student must be professional, rather than a relative, business associate, or family friend. The health care provider’s letter will be reviewed by the Director of Disability Services, who will make a recommendation to approve (or not). The single room rate will be charged for all requesting students for whom the request is a matter of convenience or believed to be helpful or beneficial. While all attempts are made to honor approved requests for disability-related singles, they are subject to space availability. Students who request and are approved for a single room as a residential accommodation will be given priority for single rooms as they become available.
Requests to be released from the housing contract: Requests to be released from the housing contract should be directed to Assistant Dean Allison Bridgeman, Director of Residence Life. Ms. Bridgeman will consult with the appropriate college offices in considering each request.
Housing Accommodation Request Procedure :
1. The student will submit Housing Accommodations Request Form along with supporting documentation from their treating health care provider (see above italicized) to Disability Services. The student should also request a meeting with the Director of Disability Services.
2. The Director of Disability Services will meet with the Director of Residence Life and/ or the Housing Coordinator to discuss the modification and consider options and suitable alternatives based upon current and anticipated availability. In some cases, this interactive process may also include the student.
3. In situations where the college is unable to immediately grant the requested accommodation, the student will be notified and placed on a waiting list until a suitable arrangement becomes available. These students should refer to the housing registration information available in the housing selection tab in their JayWeb account.
4. It is the student’s responsibility to notify Disability Services of any changes in the requested housing modification during their enrollment in the college.
5. Students’ whose requests are denied or who are dissatisfied with the process or its outcome have the option to file a petition using the Grievance Procedure.
For the 2015/2016 academic year, Housing Accommodations Request Form should be submitted to Disability Services prior to March 9, 2015 for returning students or July 1, 2015 for incoming First-Year and Transfer students. Requests after these dates will be considered based upon availability and documented need. The following factors are taken into consideration when evaluating housing requests:
- Clarity of student requests and supporting documentation
- Availability of residential space at the time of the request
- Alternative accommodations that would achieve similar benefits
- Negative health/academic impact if the request is not granted
*Elizabethtown College does not charge individuals with disabilities for medically necessary residential modifications or other actions required by the ADA.