Defining "Reasonable Accommodations"

The term "reasonable accommodation" can be defined as a change made to allow an individual with a disability to use equipment and services and to fully participate in education and community. Unlike accommodations and modifications provided in the PreK-12 environment via Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), accommodations in higher education must be requested and may be provided. Reasonable accommodations are intended to provide equal access to services, education and activities - not to ensure success. 

According to the US Department of Education, (n.d., http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/qa-disability.html) "colleges and universities are required to provide students with appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services that are necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in the school's program. Examples of auxiliary aids that may be required are taped texts, note-takers, interpreters, readers and specialized computer equipment. Colleges and universities are not required to supply students with attendants, individually-prescribed devices such as hearing aids and wheelchairs, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature."

An accommodation is considered unreasonable if it fundamentally alters the nature of the course, program, service or facility or if it would result in an undue burden for the College. In addition, the College is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to the known limitations of an otherwise qualified student with a disability. To determine reasonable accommodations, Disability Support Services may seek information from appropriate College personnel regarding essential standards and requirements for courses, programs, services or facilities. The Assistant Director of Disability Support Services makes final determination of reasonable accommodations.

Are determined by:

  1. The barriers or limitations resulting from the interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment;
  2. The possible accommodations that might remove the barriers;
  3. Whether or not the student has access to the course, program, service, job, activity or facility without accommodations;
  4. Whether the possible accommodations would fundamentally alter the nature of or affect the essential elements of the course, program, service, or facility;
  5. Whether providing the accommodations would result in an undue burden for the College.

Accommodations are determined based upon individual need and professional recommendations. Examples of potential accommodations, when appropriate, are:

  • Extended time for assessments (typically “time and a half”)
  • Distraction-reduced, smaller setting for assessments
  • Use of computer or other assistive technology in class/on assessments
  • Permission to audio record lecture
  • Use of a calculator
  • Reader for assessments
  • Scribe for assessments
  • Note-taker during class lectures
  • Interpreters
  • Preferential course scheduling
  • Accessible classrooms
  • Emmanuel College is committed to equal opportunity in Housing and Residential Life facilities and will provide disability –related accommodations to ensure equal access for students with documented disabilities.
  • We acknowledge that certain medical conditions may cause discomfort in a collegiate housing environment, but many medical conditions do not qualify as a disability, as defined by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and may not be eligible for housing accommodations.
  • Housing accommodations are based upon medical evidence of need as determined by ADA and FHA policies and guidelines and are determined on a case-by-case basis by a team of professionals.

Who is eligible for Housing Accommodations?

Full-time, undergraduate students who wish to live in housing, are in good judicial, and financial standing with the College, have paid the housing deposit and submitted a housing lease, are currently registered with Disability Support Services (DSS) and have needs that may necessitate a housing accommodation. Students currently with a Housing Accommodation MUST reapply each new academic year or summer term.

Documentation (Requests for Housing Accommodations Form completed by both the student and the health care provider) should be submitted before the housing assignment process for the student's class year has ended. See below for specific deadlines.

If the need for Housing Accommodations arise during a semester or after the deadline, students are expected to fill out the appropriate documentation and return it as soon as possible. Documentation will be evaluated on an ad-hoc basis.


How do I request Housing Accommodations?

Students should contact Alyson Czelusniak, Assistant Director of Disability Support Services to register with DSS. Students must be currently registered with DSS to request Housing Accommodations.

Students must complete the Request for Housing Accommodations Student Form and students must have their health care provider complete the Request for Housing Accommodations Health Care Provider Form. The provider cannot be a family member of the student. Please refer to the table below for deadlines.

Housing Accommodation Form Deadlines for Fall 2017

Returning Students New Students
Request for Housing Accommodations – Student Form March 14, 2017 June 26, 2017
Request for Housing Accommodations – Health Care Provider Form March 14, 2017 June 26, 2017

BOTH forms must be submitted by the listed date for an application to be considered “complete.”

While applications submitted after these dates will be accepted and considered, Emmanuel cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet late applicants’ accommodation needs, including any needs that arise mid-semester.

If you submit your request AFTER the noted deadline, the following applies:

  • We cannot guarantee that recommended adjustments and/or changes to housing assignments will be available. Adjustments will be made only as space permits.
  • The Housing Accommodation request and documented need accommodation (if granted) will supersede any preferences or roommate selections previously requested.
  • Housing reserves the right to reassign you to a space that meets the documented need. The change will ONLY accommodate the student with the documented need, not the selected roommates.
  • There is a standard room change process through Residence Life each year. We will support students with disabilities in following appropriate procedures through the Residence Life office and will make our best effort to secure reasonable and appropriate housing accommodations.

What is the next step in the process?

A committee of Residence Life staff, Counseling staff, Disability Support Services staff and medical professionals will review each request. Based upon the documentation and the available housing, a decision will be made and each student will be notified in writing. The student will then meet with a Residence Life staff member to discuss his/her options.

The committee reserves the right to assign the student to a space that will meet the documented need which may supersede any preferences or roommate selections previously requested. As with all room assignments, preferences cannot be guaranteed.

A student who declines his/her housing accommodation and/or assignment must participate in the Housing Selection process to select an alternate room.

If the committee determines that the student is not approved for the accommodation(s), the student will be notified in writing so that he/she can make arrangements to participate in the Housing Selection process.

A student who declines his/her housing accommodation and/or assignment must participate in the Housing Selection process to select an alternate room.

Who can I contact with questions?

For further clarification or questions on the process, please contact Alyson Czelusniak, Assistant Director of Disability Support Services at czelusniaka@emmanuel.edu or 617-935-9923.


Information Regarding Emotional Support Animals

Who is eligible for Dietary Accommodations?

Full-time students who are required or have chosen to have a meal plan through Bon Appetit who have diagnosed medical conditions that require alternative dining options are eligible to request dietary accommodations. These students must also be currently registered with Disability Support Services and have their needs documented by a health care provider.

Documentation (Requests for Dietary Accommodation Forms completed by both the student and the health care provider) must be submitted to begin the accommodation request process.

How do I request Dietary Accommodations?

tudents must complete the Request for Dietary Accommodations Student Form and students must have their health care provider complete the Request for Dietary Accommodations Health Care Provider Form. The provider cannot be a family member of the student. BOTH forms must be submitted for an application to be considered “complete.”

What is the next step in the process?

A committee of Bon Appetit staff, Residence Life staff, Disability Support Services staff and medical professionals will review each request. Based upon the documentation provided, a dining plan will be created and documented, with the input of the student.

Who can I contact with questions?

For further clarification or questions on the process, please contact Alyson Czelusniak, Assistant Director of Disability Support Services at czelusniaka@emmanuel.edu or 617-935-9923.

Explore