Housing Accommodations

New College of Florida, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities in on-campus housing.

HOUSING ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations are considered for new or current students whose disabilities substantially limit their ability to live in New College’s traditional housing arrangement.

In order to accurately evaluate housing accommodation requests, documentation is required to establish the existence of the condition that necessitates accommodations. Documentation consists of a written evaluation by an appropriate professional that explains the nature of the condition and why the condition results in a need for housing accommodations.

Documentation Guidelines:

Reports must be on letterhead, typed, dated, and have the original signature of the evaluator. Reports must also include the full name of the student and reflect the following:

  • A diagnostic statement of the condition, including the date and a summary of the most recent evaluation
  • The current impact of (or limitation imposed by) the condition on the student as it relates to the need for housing accommodations (e.g. the student has limited mobility and requires grab bars for support in the restroom)
  • An explanation of how the condition relates to the request for housing accommodations
  • The housing features and/or elements that are required as a result of the condition
  • An indication of the level of need for the requested housing accommodations
  • Possible alternatives if the requested accommodations are not available
  • The expected duration of the condition
  • The credentials of the diagnosing professional

Housing accommodations, including requests for off-campus housing, are determined on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the Housing Office; according to documented need and prevailing standards for reasonable accommodations. Housing accommodations are made after a determination of the student’s disability status and the necessity of adjustments to the living environment and usual housing options. Note: Accommodations only relate to the type of room, not a specific room.

All students are required to complete the Housing Accommodation Request Form as well as to meet with SDS. Students must also comply with Residential Life and Food Service policies and must meet deadlines for submission of Housing Preference Forms.

Housing request deadline

In order to receive a disability-related housing accommodation for the academic school year, your request and letter of accommodation must be completed prior to the Spring Housing Selection Process. Prior to fall housing, during the Spring Term, if you qualify for disability-related housing at that time, housing accommodations will be recommended for the next academic year.

In order to be considered for a disability-related housing accommodation for the Spring Term, students must apply to Student Disability Services by the first week of December. At that time applications will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be issued housing accommodations based on room availability. For the Spring Term, accommodations are entirely subject to room availability and are not guaranteed. Accommodations only relate to the type of room, not to a specific room

While requests for accommodations submitted after these dates will be accepted and considered, SDS cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet late applicants’ accommodation needs, including any that may develop during the course of the semester.

Please note that the housing accommodation request deadlines listed above are also applicable to other disability-related accommodations, including Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals. In order to fulfill student requests for all housing accommodations, dates are firm.

SERVICE ANIMAL PROCEDURES

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. To determine eligibility, students must register and meet with Student Disability Services. When it is not obvious what service the animal provides, Student Disability Services may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform.

Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

 

Emotional Support Animal (ESA) procedures

In order for SDS to consider eligibility of an ESA, students must submit a Emotional Support Animal Request Form along with documentation from a medical provider or a licensed mental health professional with a thorough understanding of the student’s mental health history (outside of the CWC) with a thorough understanding of the following:

a. The student’s mental health history; which demonstrates that the ESA is part of an ongoing treatment plan and addresses the standards identified by the Fair Housing Act.

b. The professional literature concerning the therapeutic benefits of Emotional Support Animals for individuals with disabilities.

ATTENTION:  Student Disability Services strongly advises students against taking ownership of an animal PRIOR TO FULLY COMPLETING all requirements and receiving official approval from the Director of Student Disability Services as well as receiving clearance from the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs.  Students found in possession of an unauthorized animal in campus housing are subject to a daily fine.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES:

 

Reports must be on letterhead, typed, dated, and have the original signature of the evaluator. Reports must also include the full name of the student and reflect the following:

  • There is a medically diagnosed disability.
  • The animal is necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the dwelling.
  • There is an identifiable relationship or nexus between the disability and the assistance the animal provides.

Students applying for an ESA are required to complete a Housing Request Form and meet with Student Disability Services prior to the Housing Request Deadlines. While requests for accommodations submitted after these dates will be accepted and considered, SDS cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet late applicants’ accommodation needs, including any that may develop during the course of the semester.

All students approved for an ESA are required to complete subsequent Housing procedures including but not limited to the Housing ESA Agreement. DEADLINE IS MARCH 10, 2017.

MEAL PLAN ACCOMMODATIONS

Students with disabilities may require residential and/or meal plan accommodations in order to fully participate in campus life. Meal plan accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. Dietary preferences not relating to the corresponding disability should be addressed with Dining Services.

Eligible students should register with SDS and provide documentation from a licensed medical professional addressing specific dietary restrictions. Meal plan accommodations will only be granted following approved medical documentation stating specific dietary restrictions, not dietary preferences.

Please note that students will first be referred to the meal service provider to evaluate whether or not their dietary needs can be accommodated. The maximum accommodation granted to students will be for an off-campus meal plan.

Meal plan documentation guidelines

Reports must be on letterhead, typed, dated, and have the original signature of the evaluator. Reports must also include the full name of the student and reflect the following:

  • A current statement of the diagnosis and date of onset.
  • A summary of the procedures and laboratory results used to arrive at the diagnosis.
  • A list of the diet recommended for this student. An explanation of why the regular menu does not meet the student’s dietary needs.

PERSONAL CARE ATTENDANTS (PCAS)

Student Disability Services is available to assist students who require the services of a Personal Care Attendant. Examples of services may include transfer from a car/van to a wheelchair, transportation around the campus or to/from the classroom, administering medication, and addressing feeding, dressing or other tasks of daily living.

There can be circumstances in which a PCA may be required to address the personal needs of a student thus allowing them to participate in college. It is the student’s responsibility to hire their own personal care attendant and to secure funding for these services. It is also the student’s responsibility to have the PCA in place prior to participation in any college related activities, (i.e. orientation, mini-classes and class attendance). SDS cannot be responsible for providing PCA services on an interim basis until the student secures a personal care attendant.

SDS will assist in identifying and making referrals to community agencies who specialize in either providing or identifying qualified service providers. SDS cannot take an active part in the interviewing or hiring process, but upon request, will assist the student with information relative to securing and effectively using a personal care attendant in the college setting.

Direction of the activities of the personal care attendant while on campus is the student’s responsibility. The PCA must abide by the college’s student code of conduct. PCAs will not be allowed to proctor tests. If the student requests the PCA to provide note taker services, SDS will not pay the PCA a note taker stipend. PCAs will not actively participate in a class unless appropriately directed by the student and approved by the faculty instructor.

It is essential that the student have a backup PCA or an alternative plan of action should the regular PCA not be available to work with the student on a particular day or within a particular class.