Campus Life

Documentation/Verification Guidelines for Housing Accommodation Requests

Documentation Guidelines for General Housing Accommodation Requests (ie AC, close campus proximity or ground level access, specific restroom needs, off-campus housing, etc.): 

Students who wish to request a housing accommodation because of a disability should have their physician or treating professional submit a letter containing the following information:

• Verification that the student has a disability, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;

• How long the treating professional has known the patient;

• Methods of evaluation used in making the diagnosis;

• Symptoms and effects of the diagnosis/disability;

• Type of housing accommodation being recommended;

• Description of how the requested accommodation (s) will alleviate the symptoms or effects of the diagnosis/disability;

• The level of need for the requested accommodation and the anticipated consequences of not receiving the requested accommodation.

The letter should be on letterhead, dated and signed by the physician or treating professional. (Documentation on prescription pads is not acceptable.)

Documentation Guidelines for an Assistance Animal (AA) or Emotional Support (ESA) Housing Accommodation:

MHU adheres to the US Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards regarding Assistance Animals. Assistance Animals are not required to have had special training but may perform work; provide assistance; perform tasks or services; or provide emotional support that alleviates one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of a person’s existing disability. Assistance Animals are only approved for a student’s residence and are not approved to be in public buildings /campus venues or in other students’ residence halls. To request permission to have an Assistance Animal (AA) the university requires third-party documentation/verification that meets the following standards and includes the following information:

The student shall provide verification from a reliable professional third party is who familiar with the individual’s disability and the necessity for the requested accommodation. A reliable third-party includes, but is not limited to, a physician or other medical professional, or from a non-medical or social service agency. 

Verifiable documentation should come from a qualified healthcare or mental health professional who is familiar with the student’s disability and the necessity for the requested accommodation. Form letters/certificates from commercial websites guaranteed to provide letters of verification for a fee from third parties who have no established professional relationship with a student are not considered to be reliable verification.

Verification may be completed on the MHU Housing Accommodation Request Verification Form, or the same information as referenced within the form may be provided instead on official letterhead.

Upon approval, the student will be asked to meet with Disability Services Coordinator to review the MHU Service/Assistance Animal Policy and Care Agreement .

Documentation Guidelines for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Service Animal (SA) Accommodation:

A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. In most cases, service dogs are allowed to accompany the student for the purpose of doing work in public buildings and campus venues of the campus.

Any student who intends to have a Service Dog reside within University Housing needs to arrange to meet with Disability Services Coordinator to register their dog and review the MHU Service/Assistance Animal Policy and Care Agreement.

When the need for a service dog is not readily apparent, students requesting the accommodation of a service dog shall provide verification from a reliable third party is who 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 professional, or from a non medical or social service agency.

The provider’s statement should include: 

• Verification that the student has a disability, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;

• Information that describes how the Service Dog is required due to the functional limitations of the requesting student’s disability;

• A description of what work or tasks the Service Dog has been trained to perform for the benefit of the requesting student.

The letter should be on letterhead, dated and signed by the physician or treating professional. (Documentation on prescription pads is not acceptable.)