Guidelines for Housing Requests Based On Medical, Psychological, or Disability Related Needs
The learning environment and residential living are central to the Walla Walla University experience. Requests for special housing accommodations due to health impairments or other disabilities are evaluated carefully. If documentation supports the requested accommodation, the Disability Support Services Coordinator will notify the Office of Student Life and verify the appropriateness based on ADA/504 eligibility criteria. The Office of Student Life will make the final decision based on the availability of suitable rooms and spaces.
Housing accommodations for disabilities may take time to arrange and Housing & Residence Life receives many such requests. For this reason, it is important that accommodation requests for pre-existing conditions be made at the time of application or as soon as possible in the room selection process. To be able to process housing accommodation requests, documentation of the disabling condition and request for accommodation should be submitted at least eight weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter.
Requests for accommodations should be made through the following procedure:
- For all housing requests, the student must complete the housing application. For accommodations outside of the housing policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a written request to live in Village Housing or off-campus housing for review by the housing committee in collaboration with DSS.
- Student must submit documentation of the disability to the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office. Documentation guidelines are listed below. Student should also contact the DSS office for an intake interview with the DSS Coordinator.
- Documentation should be submitted from your physician/psychiatrist/psychologist or other appropriate professional and should include the following information:
- A clear statement of the diagnosed disability, including the date of most recent evaluation;
- A description of the diagnostic criteria or tests used;
- A summary of the symptoms, level of severity, and description of how the disability impacts or limits the student;
- Treatments, medications, devices or services currently prescribed or used to minimize the impact of the condition;
- The expected duration, stability, or progression of the condition;
- Recommended accommodations needed and why;
- The credentials of the diagnosing professional, including the state in which they are licensed.
- Documentation may also include reports, records, or letters from your health care provider. A one-line letter or prescription pad statement is not adequate for ADA eligibility. The cost of documentation is borne by the student.
- Be current. In most cases, this means within the past year. Due to the nature of some psychological and psychiatric disorders and impact of medications, updated reports may be requested. Since assessment constitutes the basis for determining reasonable accommodations, it is in a student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to serve as the basis for decision-making about a student's need for accommodations in an academically competitive environment.
- Requests for housing accommodations should be submitted at least sixty days prior to the beginning of the quarter. Contacting the DSS Office and the Office of Student Life later than this date may significantly limit the staff's ability to respond to requests for accommodations.
- The DSS Coordinator will review documentation submitted. The DSS Coordinator may gather information from Student Life, Housing Services, Plant Services, Safety & Security, and other departments as appropriate. Once all necessary information is gathered, the DSS Coordinator will inform the Office of Student Life Housing Committee if the student meets criteria for accommodation and may recommend suitable housing options (if appropriate) to the committee.
- The Office of Student Life Housing Committee will make the final determination on the request for housing accommodation. For off-campus requests, the Vice President for the Office of Student Life will communicate final accommodation decisions to the student.
- If students with disabilities choose to live on campus beyond the time they are required to by the housing policy, we will do our best to accommodate their needs. However, accommodations may not be available at the same level that they are for students who are required to live on campus by policy.
- Documentation is confidential and will be kept at the DSS office. It will not be released without written permission from the student.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What if I need a personal care attendant?
Individuals needing the support of a personal care attendant (PCA) are expected to make arrangements on their own. PCA is a support which the University is not required to provide. Efforts will be made to accommodate students or guests using PCA services. Some assistance may be available to locate suitable individuals who may be willing to work in this role, but at the expense of the person with the disability.
What if I need to have quiet surroundings to study?
Residence halls and student housing are designed as living areas. There are no guarantees that residence halls will be quiet study areas, and thus do not fall into the category of needing to be quiet for disabilities that affect focus, concentration, or distractibility. Numerous areas on campus are designated study areas. DSS staff can help students find possible areas on campus for studying.
What if my doctor says I need a single room or to live off-campus? Will the request be granted automatically?
Each request is evaluated individually based on the disability, severity, and symptoms. While a doctor may recommend a single room or off-campus housing, it is not a guarantee that the request will be granted. A variety of factors are considered with each request before any decision is made.
Housing Accommodation Requests:
Jon Nickell - Director of Residential Life and Housing
Office of Student Life
Walla Walla University
204 S. College Ave.
College Place, WA 99324
Phone: (509) 527-2539
Cindy Saldana, DSS Coordinator
Student Development Center
Walla Walla University
204 S. College Ave.
College Place, WA 99324
Phone: (509) 527-2366
Policy approved: 6-9-04
EVALUATION OF HOUSING REQUESTS BASED ON
DISABILITY RELATED NEEDS
Housing assignments and the residential learning environment are integral parts of Walla Walla University’s programs. We evaluate all requests for need-based housing assignments carefully. Below is a summary of the factors considered when evaluating housing requests.
SEVERITY OF THE CONDITION
- Is impact of the condition life threatening if the request is not met?
- Is there a negative health impact that may be permanent if the request is not met?
- Is the request an integral component of a treatment plan for the condition in question?
- What is the likely impact on academic performance if the request is not met?
- What is the likely impact on social development if the request is not met?
- What is the likely impact on the student’s level of comfort if the request is not met?
TIMING OF THE REQUEST
- Was the request made with the initial housing request?
- Was the housing request made before the deadline for the quarter in question?
- Was the request made as soon as possible after identifying the need? (Based on date of diagnosis, receipt of housing assignment, change in status, etc.)
FEASIBILITY & AVAILABILITY
- Is space available that meets the student’s needs?
- Can space be adapted to provide the requested configuration without creating a safety hazard (electrical load, emergency egress, etc.)?
- Are there other effective methods or housing configurations that would achieve similar benefits as the requested configuration?
- How does meeting this request impact housing commitments to other students?
- Is the cost of meeting the request prohibitive?