Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Disability Services

Academics

Housing Accommodations Procedures and Guidelines

 

Wheaton College is deeply committed to the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of College life, including residential life. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), Wheaton has established procedures to ensure that students with documented disabilities receive housing assignments that reasonably meet their needs as required by law. According to the ADAAA, a disability is defined as any mental or physical impairment that substantially limits the individual in a major life activity compared to the average person. In determining the extent of one’s limitation, the nature, severity, duration, and impact of the impairment are relevant factors; thus, an accommodation provides 'access' to the Residence Life program: "As a residential college, Wheaton requires most students to live on campus. The residence halls are communities of diverse individuals living and learning together. Students are encouraged to participate in and contribute to the learning environment of their residence halls. The residence halls are an important learning environment at Wheaton. Students study together, socialize and relax with friends, build life-long friendships and work through the issues associated with living in a community."

 

When considering Housing Accommodation Requests, the Committee will consider how the specific request provides access to our Residential Program. As such, requests for particular housing assignments based on a student’s preference, rather than need, such as a single room or desire for a quiet, undisturbed place to study, may not be honored. In the same regard, granting an access request for a disability-related housing assignment may limit the kinds of preferences a student has selected on their housing application.

All students should proceed with standard room-selection procedures to ensure placement in the event that their accommodation request is not approved.

Wheaton College reserves the right to amend these Guidelines at any time as circumstances require.

Housing Accommodations must be applied for annually.

Procedures for Requesting a Housing Accommodation

Please note: Students are encouraged to keep track of their submission of the required forms, including medical forms, to ensure that their packets are complete by the specified Housing Accommodation Committee meeting. Although every effort will be made to respond to emails throughout the process, the Housing Accommodation Committee and Office of Accessibility Services may be delayed in responding to individual emails, due to the volume of requests. Students are highly encouraged to check our webpage for answers to any questions they may have prior to emailing.  

    1. Register with Accessibility Services
      • Complete an online Intake Form
      • Set up an Intake Interview with Abigail Cohen, Assistant Dean for Accessibility and Assistive Technology. Call (508) 286-8215 to schedule.
      • Students already receiving accommodations through Accessibility Services do not have to submit another Intake Form.
    2. Complete the online Housing Accommodations Request Form
      • Students must request housing accommodations annually.
    3. Submit disability documentation.
      • Make sure your providers focus on diagnosis, symptomology, and impact when completing these forms
      • Students with health or physical medical conditions please submit: Medical Provider Form
      • Students with psychiatric or mental health conditions please submit: Psychiatric-Mental Health Form
      • Forms should be filled out by your most recent/current mental health provider
      • You may provide forms filled out by multiple providers
      • Students with permanent or unchanging medical conditions are not required to resubmit documentation after the first Housing Accommodation submission.
        All other students must annually submit a medical or mental health form that speaks to the current impact of their disability.
    4. Optional supporting documents
      • Copy of most recent medical or psychiatric treatment or appointment notes
      • Letters or documents from previous providers who know you well

Submit all required forms to Accessibility Services, by any one of the following means:

Fax 508-286-5621
Email Housingaccommodationcommittee@wheatoncollege.edu
Mail Accessibility Services - Abigail Cohen
Wheaton College Filene Center
26 E. Main Street Norton MA 02766

 

*Please note that all documentation received in any form will be stored electronically.  Due to the nature of electronic communication and storage, there is always the possibility that unauthorized persons may attempt to/or inadvertently discover your personal information. While the college takes every precaution to safeguard your information, we cannot guarantee that unauthorized access to electronic communications could not occur.

Housing Accommodation Request Deadlines

Deadlines were established to allow application review and accommodation considerations prior to the general housing selection process.

  • Students are advised to start the process early to allow adequate time to obtain the necessary documentation by the stated due date. Efforts to obtain documentation from a health care provider often require advanced notice and may take several days to several weeks to prepare.
  • Incomplete application materials will delay the eligibility-determination process and may result in a denial of the accommodation request. 
  • Students must request housing accommodations annually.
  • Wheaton will accept requests for reasonable accommodations in College housing at any time but such requests will be reviewed and considered by the Housing Accommodation Committee according to the below due dates. The accommodation needs of students who miss the deadline or submit incomplete applications may not be able to be met during the requested semester.
  • If the need for the accommodation arises when an individual already resides in College housing, the student should register with OAS and submit the Housing Accommodation Request form and relevant medical form as soon as possible. Wheaton cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the accommodation needs during the semester in which the request is received.

ACADEMIC YEAR AND SEMESTER APPLICATION DEADLINES
All applications and supporting materials must be submitted by the following dates.

  Fall Semester  Spring Semester
Returning students March 1st  December 1st
New/transfer students June 15th  December 1st

 

Additional Procedures:

Students with service animals, those requesting permission to have an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and/or students who have a Personal Care Attendant must also refer to the respective information about additional policies, procedures and expectations.

Service/Emotional Support Animals

Personal Care Attendant

Emergency Evacuation: Students who require assistance in an emergency evacuation are urged to identify themselves directly to the Public Safety Department.

Committee Review and Housing Assignment

Requests for housing accommodations are reviewed by the Housing Accommodation Committee. Committee members include a representative from Residential Life, Accessibility Services, Counseling, and Health and Wellness.  Reasonable and appropriate accommodations depend upon the disability, the housing environment, and the measures necessary to ensure equal access. Requested accommodations may not be granted if deemed unreasonable, unduly burdensome, or if alternative accommodations are available. Decision letters will be emailed to students.  Letters will include instructions for next steps.

Appeal Procedures

Students who are not granted housing accommodations through this process have the right to appeal the Committee’s decision. If a decision denying the request for accommodations is made, students will receive information about the appeal process with their decision letter.

All students should proceed with standard room-selection procedures to ensure placement in the event their accommodation request is not approved. Students who are denied an accommodation must refrain from accessing that accommodation during the appeals process.  Accommodation do not go in to effect unless an approval has been granted through the appeals process.

 

 

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