College Housing: Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Section I. Introduction and Background

The Evergreen State College ("Evergreen" or "College") recognizes the importance of providing reasonable accommodations in its housing policies, practices and facilities where necessary for individuals with disabilities to use and enjoy College housing. This Policy explains the specific requirements and guidelines which govern requests for reasonable accommodation in College housing. Evergreen reserves the right to amend this policy at any time as circumstances require.

 

Section II. Procedure for Requesting Reasonable Accommodation (Excluding Requests for Service Animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act – ADA)

The Office of Access Services is responsible for evaluating requests for reasonable accommodation in College housing. In evaluating the request, Access Services will consult with the Residential and Dining Services ("RAD"), as needed, to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary and reasonable. Individuals with a disability who reside or intend to reside in College housing who believe they need a reasonable accommodation must contact Access Services.

Requests for reasonable accommodation in College housing policies and practices are governed by the following requirements:

 

1. Requesting a Housing Accommodation

a. An individual with a disability must complete the “Disability Accommodation Request Form For College Housing” (the “Request Form”) (PDF) to request a reasonable accommodation. If the individual requires assistance in completing the Request Form because of their disability, Access Services may provide assistance in completing the form.

b. Access Services will accept and consider requests for reasonable accommodation in College housing at any time. The individual making the request for accommodation should complete and provide the Request Form to Access Services as soon as practicably possible before moving into College housing. However, if the request for accommodation is made fewer than 45 days before the individual intends to move into College housing,

The Evergreen State College cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the individual’s accommodation needs during the first quarter or term of occupancy.

c. If the need for the accommodation arises when an individual already resides in College housing, the student should contact Access Services and complete the Request Form as soon as practicably possible. Evergreen cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the accommodation needs during the semester or term in which the request is received.

d. Absent exceptional circumstances, the College will attempt to provide a written response to a reasonable accommodation request within fourteen (14) business days of receiving the information described in paragraph 2 below.

 

2. Information that May Be Requested for Housing-Related Reasonable Accommodation Requests

Access Services shall limit its requests for information to the information necessary to verify whether the individual making the request has a disability and/or to evaluate if the reasonable accommodation is necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy College housing.

a. Obvious Disability: If the individual's disability and the need for the accommodation are obvious (e.g. an individual with a physical disability using a wheelchair needs an accessible room), the individual need only explain what type of accommodation they are requesting. Verification of disability and/or necessity may not be required under these circumstances.

b. Non-Obvious Disability/Necessity

i.If the disability and/or need for the accommodation is not obvious, the College may require the individual to submit the Reasonable Accommodation for College Housing: Provider Verification Form (PDF) from a reliable third party who can verify that the requested accommodation is necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy College housing.

ii. A reliable third party is someone who is familiar with the individual's disability and the necessity for the requested accommodation. A reliable third-party includes, but is not limited to, a doctor or other medical or mental health professional, service agency (e.g., Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Services for the Blind), etc.

iii. The Director of Access Services, will review the information and determine if the accommodation is necessary because of a disability to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy College housing.

iv. If the third party returns the Verification Form without sufficient information to determine whether an accommodation is necessary, the Director of Access Services will inform the individual in writing of the Verification Form’s insufficiency and may request additional information, including speaking directly with the individual supplying the third-party verification.

v. The individual making the request for accommodation must cooperate with Access Services in a timely manner in providing all information needed to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary.

 

3. Determination of Reasonableness

a. Access Services may deny the requested accommodation if it is unreasonable. The Director of Access Services shall consult with RAD to determine if implementing the requested accommodation is reasonable.

b. An accommodation is unreasonable if it: (1) imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden; (2) fundamentally alters college housing policies; (3) poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or would cause substantial property damage to the property of others, including College property; and/or (4) is otherwise unreasonable to the operation of the College.

 

4. Approval of Accommodation

a. If the Director of Access Services determines a requested accommodation is necessary and is reasonable, they will contact the student, in writing, within ten (10) business days of the determination.  If needed, the Director of Access Services may arrange a meeting with the student to discuss the implementation of the accommodation.

 

5. Denial of Accommodation/Appeal

a. If the Director of Access Services determines a requested accommodation is  unreasonable, Access Services will contact the individual, within ten (10) business days of the determination and engage in an interactive process with the individual to determine if there are alternative accommodations that might effectively meet the individual’s disability-related needs.

b. If the individual is unwilling to accept any alternative accommodation offered or there are no alternative accommodations available, Access Services will provide a verbal explanation and written notification to the individual of the denial, the reasons for the denial, the right to appeal the decision, and the procedures for that appeals process. The notification shall be in writing and made within ten (10) business days of the notification from the individual of their unwillingness to accept any of the alternative accommodations offered or the determination that there are no alternative accommodations available.

c. All appeals are reviewed by the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee. If the appeal is denied, the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee shall provide written notification of the denial to the individual and a written explanation of the reasons for the denial.

d. An individual may also use the grievance procedure provided under the general College antidiscrimination policies:  http://www.evergreen.edu/policy/studentswithdisabilities

 

6. Confidentiality and Recordkeeping

In processing requests for reasonable accommodations, the College will take all steps required by federal, state, and/or local law to protect the confidentiality of any information or documentation disclosed in connection with the requests. Such measures may include limiting access to such information to individuals specifically designated to determine and implement requests for reasonable accommodations, who will disclose the information only to the extent necessary to determine whether to grant the request, determine if the request is unreasonable, and implement any request granted

 

7. Non-retaliation Provision

The Evergreen State College will not retaliate against any individual because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation in College housing.