Guidelines for Documentation for Specialized Housing Request
In order to accurately and equitably evaluate a specialized housing request as an accommodation for a disability, documentation is required that explains the nature of the condition and why the condition results in a need for the specialized housing. No documentation is required if a student’s disability is readily observable. The Documentation for Specialized Housing Form must be completed by an appropriate professional (not a relative of the student).
As relevant to the condition, documentation must include:
- A diagnostic statement of the disability, including the date and a summary of the most recent evaluation;
- The current impact of (or limitation imposed by) the disability on the student as it relates to the need for specialized housing (e.g., the student has limited mobility and requires grab bars for support in the restroom, or the student has severe environmental allergies and needs to have individually controlled AC);
- The housing features/elements that are required by the student as a result of the disability;
- An indication of the level of need for the recommended configuration of specialized housing (and the consequences of not receiving it);
- Possible alternatives if the recommended configuration is not available;
- The credentials of the diagnosing professional.
Factors Considered When Evaluating Requests:
Housing assignments and the residential learning environment are integral parts of Sarah Lawrence programs, particularly for first year students. The submitted request and supporting documentation are reviewed carefully on a case by case basis using the following criteria. A follow-up conversation with the treating professional by the associate dean of studies and disability services may be necessary in some instances.
1. Severity of the Condition
Will the student be able to reside in Sarah Lawrence housing if the request is not met?
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 disability 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?
2. Timing of the Request
Was the request made with initial housing request?
Was the request made before the deadline for housing requests for the semester in question?
Was the request made as soon as possible after identifying the need?