Cumberland University

Residence Life and Special Accommodations in Housing

The Director of Counseling and Disability Services and the Residence Life Office seek to ensure consistency in evaluating special housing requests based on disabilities while at the same time carefully exploring each individual situation. A student who seeks special accommodations in housing must register with the Director of Counseling and Disability Services for special accommodations and the student must complete a Residence Life application. To aid this process, requests should include:

  1. Documentation of the condition or need that is the basis of the request;
  2. A clear description of the desired housing accommodation;
  3. An explanation of how the request relates to the impact of the condition;
  4. Possible alternatives if the recommended accommodation is not reasonable or available.

Documentation consists of an evaluation by an appropriate health care professional that relates the current impact of the condition to the request. Documentation should be typed on official letterhead and signed by the physician or other professional. The documentation should include:

  1. The current impact of (or limitations imposed by) the conditions;
  2. Treatments, medications, devices or services currently prescribed or used to minimize the impact of the condition;
  3. The expected duration, stability, or the progression of the condition;
  4. The credentials of the diagnosing professional.

Recommendations from the treating professional may be given consideration in evaluating a request and should:

  1. Provide a clear description of the recommended housing accommodations;
  2. Connect the recommended accommodation to the impact of the condition (diagnosis must be clearly stated);
  3. Provide possible alternatives to the recommended accommodation;
  4. Present statement of the level of need for (or the consequences of not receiving) the recommended accommodation.


Factors Considered when Evaluating Special Accommodation in Housing Requests:

Severity of the Condition

  1. Is the impact of the condition life threatening if the request is not met?
  2. Is the request an integral component of a treatment plan prescribed by a medical professional for the condition in question?

Timing of the Request

  1. Was the request made with the initial housing request?
  2. Was the request made as soon as possible after identifying the need? (Based on the date of the diagnosis, receipt of housing assignment, change in status, etc.)

Feasibility & Availability

  1. Is space available that meets the student's documented need?
  2. Can space be adapted to provide the requested accommodation without creating a safety hazard (electric load, etc.)?
  3. Are there other effective methods or housing accommodations that would achieve similar benefits as the requested accommodation?
  4. How does meeting this request impact housing commitments to other students?

The Director of Counseling and Disability Services will carefully consider each request when reviewing documentation and recommendations.