Housing and Food Services Accommodations
Mars Hill University will consider reasonable housing accommodations for students with disabilities. If a student requires a particular type of housing as a result of a condition that impacts a major life function, the student is asked to complete the Disability Services Request for Housing Accommodations Form and to provide supporting documentation/verification from a physician or professional health care provider who is familiar with the disability. Both the MHU Disability Services Request for Housing Accommodations Form and the professional documentation/verification should be submitted directly to the Disability Services Coordinator. The DSC will review the request along with supporting professional documentation in consultation with the Director of Residence Life and/or Disability Services Committee to determine eligibility for reasonable housing accommodations.
The DSC will inform the student within 10 business days following the receipt of the completed request of any decision or further recommended action regarding housing accommodations. Financial consideration may be granted to students whose documentation clearly establishes that a medical condition necessitates specific housing requirements in order for the student to access university programs and services. However, requests for disability housing accommodations must be approved in advance of the semester for financial consideration to be applied.
New Students: Requests for housing accommodations along with supporting health care provider documentation should be submitted as early as possible and preferably by June 1 for Fall Semester and November 1 for Spring Semester. While all completed requests will be evaluated in a timely manner to determine eligibility and feasibility, and reasonable effort will be made to accommodate all verified needs, students need to be aware that requests submitted within 60 days of the need for occupancy may not be guaranteed.
Returning Students: Students who have been granted previous disability housing accommodations and who wish to renew their housing accommodations will be given notice of instructions to complete a Housing Accommodation Renewal Form prior to the Office of Residence Life Housing Selection/Room Preference Process that occurs during Spring Semester. Previously approved students will receive this form and instructions via campus email address. Returning students must complete all communicated instructions in a timely manner in advance of the start of the new semester in order for their choice of housing to be renewed as a disability accommodation and for any appropriate financial consideration to be applied. Students who are unable to register for housing due to outstanding obligations as required to be completed for the Housing Selection/Room Preference Process cannot be guaranteed priority room preference. Accommodated housing space will be determined at the time that the student becomes eligible to register.
If the need for the housing accommodation arises suddenly, such as with an injury, or during the time the individual already resides in University housing, the student should contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as practically possible. MHU cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the accommodation needs during the semester or term in which the request is received, but will strive to accommodate verified requests as much as possible. Current documentation will be required if a housing accommodation for a temporary disability needs to be renewed for additional semesters. Additional documentation may be required to verify the need to continue a housing accommodation after the estimated duration of the condition has expired.
Request for Modification of Residence Requirements & Meal Plan Guidelines
Students who wish to request a modification of the MHU Residence & Meal Plan Requirement Policy due to a disability must submit their request in writing to the Disability Services Coordinator via the MHU Disability Services Request for Housing Accommodations Form as well as provide supporting documentation from a health care provider. Requests will be reviewed in consultation with the Director of Residence Life and/or Disability Services Staff Committee. If a student with a food allergy or other health condition needs to modify the University’s food services as an accommodation, the student must provide professional healthcare provider documentation to verify the condition and identify specific dietary needs. Once the Disability Services Coordinator establishes that the provided professional verification is sufficient for consideration, the student will be asked to meet with the Director of Food Services and the Disability Services Coordinator to determine how or if the student’s dietary needs can be met.
When the Disability Services Coordinator and the Disability Services Committee agree that Food Services and/or Residence Life cannot meet the student’s disability related needs, a waiver of the MHU Residence and/or the Meal Plan Requirement be granted.
Documentation/Verification Guidelines for Housing Accommodation Requests
Students may need to request specific types of housing in order to accommodate a disability. Housing accommodations may include having AC; close campus proximity or ground level access; specific restroom needs; single room; off-campus housing; etc. Students who need to request a specific type of housing accommodation because of a disability related reason should have their physician or treating professional submit a letter containing the following type of 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.