Requesting Housing Accommodations
Housing accommodations are intended to provide equal access for people with disabilities. Requests based on personal preferance can not be approved. If you believe that you have a substantial medical need or a disability that requires reasonable accommodation, please read the information below.
To be eligible, you must meet the posted deadlines and follow all policies related to the housing application and selection process. Do NOT wait to select a room until after you meet with DS. Room assignments can easily be changed if necessary. Students who wait to select a room may have fewer options.
Students who are requesting housing accommodations should complete the housing application and select a room. Room assignments can be changed if requested accommodations are approved.
Housing accommodations are based on medical evidence of need and are determined on a case-by-case basis by a team of medical and disability experts. Documentation should provide information about the specific functional limitations caused by the disability. Any recommendations should be directly linked to the impact or functional limitations associated with the disability, or medication prescribed to control symptoms and include a clear rationale based on level of impairment. While recommendations about specific accommodations from medical providers will be taken into consideration, Disability Services determines what housing accommodations are necessary to provide equal access. We strongly recommend medical providers complete our Housing - Disability Verification Form, as it contains additional information not often addressed in a typical doctor's note.
Reasons a Housing Accommodation May Be Denied
- The documentation does not support a substantial limitation of a major life activity.
- The disability-related need does not require an alteration to the living environment.
- There is a more reasonable accommodation available.
Requests for a Specific Residence Hall
Disability Services does not handle housing assignments and will not request specific residence halls for students. Our office works with Housing and Residence Life to identify reasonable and appropriate accommodations based on disability related needs only and not personal preferences. Housing and Residence Life must have your application and deposit in order to make room assignments.
Requests for a Specific Roommate
Disability Services does not get involved in the process of assigning roommates. Students may work with Housing to request specific roommates.
Single Room Requests
A limited number of single or suite style rooms are available for all students. Students who prefer to be in a single room, can contact University Housing about the availability of such rooms.
Please be advised that medical singles are reserved for individuals who document substantial needs and for whom living with a roommate is not possible. Examples of conditions that ordinarily do not warrant a medical single.
- Learning disorders / ADHD
- Insomnia and sleep problems
- Orthopedic problems
While the thought of having a roommate is often stressful for first year students, this distress does not generally warrant placing the student in a medical single as an accommodation.
Requests for a single room as an accommodation based solely on a desire to have a “quiet, undisturbed place to study” will not be granted. By virtue of the shared facilities, resources, and number of people living under one roof, it is not logical to assume that having a private room would provide for such quiet, distraction-free space to any appreciable degree beyond living in a standard double room.
Examples of Housing Accommodations
Examples of accessibility features:
- Buildings with elevators
- Room on the first floor
- Roll-in showers
- Wheelchair accessible units
- Grab bars in shower
- Private or semi-private bath
- Room equipped with a fire alarm strobe
- Dining plan exemption or modification
Housing exemptions are appropriate when the university can not provide housing that gives the student equal access. Central Washington University Housing and Residence Life together with Disability Services work diligently to make appropriate accommodations for students with serious health problems and/or disabilities. There are many types of housing available on campus and we are generally able to find a solution within on-campus housing to whatever problem is prompting the request for an exemption. Because of this, housing exemptions are rarely necessary.
Emotional Support Animals
CWU recognizes that living on campus and being in school can be stressful for students. The university maintains a “no pets” policy in on-campus housing. However, in accordance with Federal law CWU will consider requests to allow students experiencing significant mental health problems to keep an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) with them in-residence. The presence of an ESA may help students to manage their symptomology. The questions to be answered in determining if an ESA will be allowed in University housing are:
- if you qualify for an accommodation as a person with a disability,
- if the animal is necessary to provide you an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing and
- if the presence of the specific ESA being requested is reasonable in University housing.
There are a growing number of questionable website services that offer to create “ESA letters” for a set price, based on nothing more than answers to an online survey. Such letters will rarely provide the information necessary to support your request for accommodation, and are not viewed by DS as a reliable source of information.
Students who wish to have an Emotional Support Animal should submit an application to begin the request process. DS has created an ESA provider verification form (Docx) that can assist you in obtaining the information that you need from your provider. Use of this form is reccomended but not required.
ESAs are not permitted on campus until the accommodation request has been made through Disability Services, documentation has been provided, and the student has met with and the request has been approved by both Disability Services and Housing and Residence Life.
If you need an accommodation that is not listed here, please contact the Disability Services. Keep in mind that making arrangements early ensures that we can assist you and answer any questions in a timely manner.
"It has been hard to send (our student) off into the world and hope that he gets what he needs. It makes it that much easier for us, knowing he has Disability Services on his side. "