Residential Accommodation Requests
Residential/Housing accommodations are available upon request from new or current students whose disabilities substantially limit their ability to live in New College’s traditional housing arrangement. Residential accommodations requests may include:
- Single room
- First-floor access
- Access to full kitchen
- Reduced meal plan
- Off-campus space
- Assistance animals
Students requesting accommodations for campus housing are required to register with AALC. Registration entails timely submission of the online application with supporting documentation for review, determination of appropriate accommodations and a face-to-face meeting with AALC staff to discuss accommodations. All documentation submitted is considered confidential. The failure to submit a residential request in a timely manner or to provide the appropriate supporting documentation may result in a delay of a decision. In addition, Housing and Residential Life may not be unable to accommodate late requests due to limited availability of housing options, even if there is a recommendation from the AALC.
Note: There are no quiet dorms at NCF, but there are quiet locations on campus where students can go such as the library.
Residential Accommodation Request Process
The steps to follow for students requesting a reasonable residential accommodation are:
- Students must complete New Student Request Form with the AALC and submit reliable 3rd party information from an approved source (For example: letter from a medical professional) to the AALC that includes:
- Verification of a disability
- Describes needed accommodation
- Show relationship between the student’s disability and the need for requested accommodation.
- Once documentation is submitted it will then be reviewed to help determine eligibility for housing accommodations.
- AALC staff will contact students to schedule an in person or virtual intake appointment. No accommodations are final until the student has met with a member of the AALC.
- If eligible, the student will be sent an eligibility letter with the details of their approved accommodations to share with housing
- Students must complete all procedures required by housing (For example: submit room deposit) by the required deadlines.
- Incoming students may schedule virtual or in-person appointments during the summer months prior to moving onto campus.
New College of Florida is committed to compliance with state and federal laws regarding students with disabilities. This policy addresses reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities who require the use of service or emotional support animals. A pet is not considered a service animal or emotional support animal and students are not allowed to have pets in buildings at New College.
NOTE: Housing accommodation requests are for students. The AALC does not approve requests for residential spaces on campus to be changed or altered to accommodate an assistance animal. Contact housing for questions about spacing for your room assignment.
A Service Animal is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained, or untrained, are not service animals. Although not a “service animal,” the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability is permitted under the ADA in limited circumstances.
When it is not obvious or apparent what service an animal provides, NCF may ask: (1) if the animal is a Service Animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.
Work or tasks performed by the service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- pulling a wheelchair,
- assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks,
- alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds,
- assisting an individual during a seizure,
- alerting individuals to the presence of allergens,
- retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone,
- providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and
- helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.
The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition. Therapy animals and companion animals are not service animals under the ADA.
Service animals assisting individuals with disabilities are generally permitted in all facilities, NCF owned housing, transit vehicles, and programs on the NCF campus that are open to the public or students. A service animal can be excluded from a facility if its presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
Students who wish to bring a service animal to campus are strongly encouraged to partner with the AALC beforehand, especially if other reasonable accommodations are required. If students want the option to register their service animal on campus with the animal’s current vaccination records, they can do this by filling out an online application with the AALC.
Emotional Support Animal (ESA), sometimes called a therapy animal or companion animal, is an animal that is necessary to afford the student with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy NCF owned housing and provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability upon the recommendation of the student’s physician, psychiatrist, social worker, or other licensed mental health professional. An ESA is limited to the student’s specific residence assignment and designated outdoor areas on campus and is not permitted in academic buildings and other campus facilities. An ESA unlike service animals is recognized under the Rehabilitation Act or ADA.
All requests for emotional support animals should be directed to the Advocacy and Accessible Learning Center (AALC) process for “residential accommodation requests”. If a student requests more than one ESA a letter needs to be submitted for each request. The college will determine, on a case-by-case basis, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, whether the animal is a reasonable accommodation on campus. In doing so, the college will balance the needs of the individual student with the impact of animals on other campus patrons.
NOTE: The Advocacy and Accessible Learning Center strongly advises students against taking ownership of an animal PRIOR TO FULLY COMPLETING the ESA request process. Students found in possession of an unauthorized animal in campus housing are subject to a daily fine and removal of the animal.
Care and Supervision:
Care and supervision of a service animal or emotional support animal is the responsibility of the individual who benefits from the animal’s use. The care, arrangements, and responsibilities for the service or emotional support animal, and the costs associated with the same, are the sole responsibility of the owner at all times.
Hygiene and Cleanliness:
Service animals and ESAs must be clean. Daily grooming and occasional baths should be utilized to keep animal odor to a minimum. Adequate flea prevention and control must be maintained. If an animal’s odor is offensive to other individuals, the owner will be directed to bathe the animal before returning to the facility. Repeated occurrences may result in the animal being temporarily barred from the facility until steps are taken to comply with the rules regarding cleanliness.
The owner/handler is also responsible for ensuring the clean-up of the animal’s waste and, when appropriate, must toilet the animal in areas designated by the college consistent with the reasonable capacity of the owner. If a disability prevents the owner/handler from cleaning up after a service animal, this information must be provided to the Advocacy and Accessible Learning Center (AALC) so the AALC can work with the individual with a disability on reasonable modifications to this rule.
The owner/handler is required to maintain control of the animal at all times. A service animal or emotional support animal must have a harness, leash, or carrier. If the handler is unable to use a harness, leash or carrier due to the handler’s disability, the service animal or ESA must be otherwise under the handler’s control. If the animal is not under the control of the handler, the college reserves the right to have the animal removed until such time as the animal is under the handler’s control.
All individuals must abide by current city and state ordinances/laws pertaining to licensing and vaccination requirements for animals. It is the responsibility of the owner/handler of the animal to know about and comply with these ordinances and/or laws, some of which are noted below. ESAs that are cats and dogs must have current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag. Local licensing and vaccination requirements are followed and must be kept up to date.
Sarasota County requires all dogs, cats and ferrets be licensed. ESA must always wear license tags which verify that the rabies shots required by law have been given.
ESAs to be housed in university housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Documentation can be an annual vaccination certificate for a dog or a cat or a veterinarian’s statement regarding the animal’s health for an animal that is not a dog or a cat. The University has authority to direct that the animal receives veterinary attention.
The University may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on animals brought on to campus, depending on the nature and characteristics of the animal.
The owner/handler of an animal is personally responsible for any damages to a facility or sponsored event due to that animal. Owners are financially responsible for the actions of service or ESAs including bodily injury, property damage, cleaning and/or replacement of furniture, carpet, blinds, and any and all other damages which may arise.
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 and must be submitted before the third week of the semester if the accommodation is to be in effect for that semester and going forward.
Eligible students should register with the Advocacy and Accessible Learning Center (AALC) and provide documentation from a licensed medical professional addressing specific dietary restrictions. Meal plan accommodations will only be granted following approved medical documentation that verifies a disability and includes specific dietary restrictions that relate to the student’s disability.
Once documentation is received, AALC staff will communicate with dining service to see if they can accommodate the student’s dietary needs. The maximum accommodation granted to students will be for a reduced cost off-campus meal plan. Dietary preferences that do not relate to a corresponding disability should be addressed with Dining Services.
Please submit the Dietary Accommodation Request Form.
Personal Care Attendant
The Advocacy and Accessible Learning Center (AALC) is available to assist students who require the services of a Personal Care Attendant (PCA). 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). The AALC cannot be responsible for providing PCA services on an interim basis until the student secures a personal care attendant.
The AALC will assist in identifying and making referrals to community agencies who specialize in either providing or identifying qualified service providers. AALC 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, the AALC 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.