Campus Housing: A Case Study on Accommodating a Short-Term Need

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Background

Eric is a sophomore with a psychiatric disability who lives in campus housing. He takes medication for symptoms of Schizophrenia. He experienced an increase in his disability-related symptoms during winter term.

Access Issue

It was expected that Eric's increase in symptoms would continue until his medication was adjusted and took effect. His behavior began to alienate his friends, and his roommate requested to move out. He met with his doctor, who adjusted his medication and verified Eric's need for temporary access to a private room in campus housing. The physician indicated that this would be necessary until his medication stabilized the symptoms of his mental illness and he could better self-manage his condition.

Solution

Eric obtained updated documentation from his psychiatrist regarding his disability and gave a copy to the disabled student services director. The disabled student services director wrote a letter to the housing director to explain the situation. The housing director agreed to allow Eric to remain in his double room without a roommate for the rest of the semester because there were no private rooms available.

Conclusions

This case illustrates the following:

  1. Students, housing staff, and disabled student services staff can work together to come up with accommodations for a student in a temporary situation.
  2. Students with disabilities may need temporary or long-term accommodations in campus housing.
  3. Students are responsible for providing documentation to justify short-term or long-term accommodations.

Last update or review: January 18, 2013