Students with physical disabilities and health problems may need housing to be able to live on campus. Most universities have a separate process for applying for accommodation based on disability or medical need. This process usually takes place before the housing selection process. The accommodation facilities and services of colleges and universities, whether for single students or families, are important elements of university education for many students.
For students with disabilities, living on campus can facilitate access to academic programs and campus activities. This publication is a resource for campus housing and residential life staff and identifies key areas of concern, provides general guidance and provides resources on access issues for people with disabilities. Campus-owned or managed housing facilities, as well as the services they offer, must adopt accessibility policies, guidelines and procedures. These facilities and services include, but are not limited to: The following questions can guide you in making housing and residential living welcoming and accessible to all.
Ensure physical access, comfort and safety in an environment that includes people with a variety of abilities, racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders and ages. State and federal regulations address most of the access requirements for people with disabilities for the construction of new homes and major renovation projects. Some campus housing programs choose to exceed requirements to provide more room for maneuver in bathrooms and kitchens, as well as kitchen facilities, such as refrigerators and stoves next to each other with controls on the front. Some campuses also offer more accessible units than the minimum number required by state or federal regulations.
See the ADA checklist for eliminating easily achievable barriers for more tips. Make sure staff are prepared to work with all students and visitors. Housing staff (including resident principals and assistants, custodial and maintenance staff, food service staff, facility managers, and programming staff) should know how to communicate and work effectively with students who have disabilities. Training can be developed in collaboration with your disabled student services office.
If residential life uses computers as information resources, ensure that the systems employ an accessible design, that staff members are aware of the accessibility options, and that there are systems in place to make the adaptations. Accessible evacuation procedures are a major concern in housing and residential life. Make sure everyone can participate in the events sponsored by your organization. Treat people with disabilities with the same respect and consideration with which you treat others.
Here are some helpful tips when it comes to giving a presentation, organizing an exhibition and interacting with people with disabilities. The student services conference room includes a collection of documents and videos to help you make student services accessible to all. They include checklists for professional services, distance learning, computer labs, recruitment and admissions, registration, housing and residential living, financial aid, libraries, tutoring and learning centers, and student organizations. The student services conference room also includes a searchable knowledge base with questions and answers, case studies and promising practices.
The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) serves to increase the successful participation of people with disabilities in academic programs and challenging careers, such as those in science, engineering, mathematics and technology. The main funding for DO-IT comes from the National Science Foundation, Washington State and the U.S. UU. All university students who wish to reside in university residences must follow the housing selection process managed by BU Housing.
Upper-class students receiving accommodation can choose to decline the assigned accommodation room and select a different room that also satisfies the accommodation, if available, through the room selection process. The office of housing and residential living and the office of services for disabled students should consider developing specific housing policies and procedures and making them available to staff and students. Once the need is documented and approved, Housing Services will initiate a work order to install an air conditioner in the appropriate location or reassign the student to an air-conditioned room (some rooms cannot be equipped with air conditioning). In addition to students living in campus housing, other people's access to housing facilities and programs must be ensured.
If the University determines that BU Housing cannot meet the student's needs for approved housing, the DAS, in consultation with Housing, may consider exempting the student from the housing contract. Housing Services offers students the opportunity to choose an air-conditioned room during the first-year room selection and assignment processes. Housing Services uses the following principles to determine the room allowance and the rate charged to students with disabilities who receive accommodation. Students who may benefit from an adaptation in their residential space due to health-related symptoms that do not reach the level of a significant disabling condition have the opportunity to identify their housing preferences during the BU housing process.