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 Residence Life 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.

Please note: 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 Disability 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 Disability Services
      • Complete an online Intake Form
      • Set up an Intake Interview with the Associate Dean of Disability Services. Call (508) 286-8215 to schedule.
      • Students already receiving accommodations through Disability 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.
      • 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
      • Please ensure that the relevant forms are complete to avoid delay in considering your request.
      • 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.

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

Fax 508-286-5621
Email Housingaccommodationcommittee@wheatoncollege.edu
Mail Disability Services-Housing Accommodation Committee
Wheaton College Filene Center
26 E. Main Street Norton MA 02766

 

Please note: Students, parents and/or medical providers may choose to use technology to communicate with the Housing Accommodation Committee.  Please note that all documentation received in any form will be stored electronically by the Housing Accommodation Committee.  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. 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.
  • 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 following due dates. Thus, 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, s/he should register with ODS 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/2016 Semester  Spring/2017 Semester
Returning students March 1st  December 1
New students June 15th  December 1

 

Please note upcoming due dates for 2017-2018 academic year:
Returning Students for Fall 2017 - Due date: March 1, 2017
New Students for Fall 2017 - Due date: June 1, 2017
New and Transfer Students for January, 2018 - Due date: December 1, 2017

Additional Procedures:

Students with service animals, those requesting permission to have an assistance animal and/or students who wish to have a Personal Care Attendant must also refer to the respective information about additional policies, procedures and expectations.

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

Service/Emotional Support Animals

Personal Care Attendant

Emergency Evacuation: Students who may 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 Residence Life, Disability 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. Decisions will be emailed to students by the end of the month of application and students will be given instructions for proceeding with room selection.

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 disability housing 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 that their accommodation request is not approved. Students who are denied an emotional support animal on campus must refrain from bringing the animal to campus until an approval is granted.

 

 

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