Housing Accommodation Policy
Section I. Introduction and Background
The University of Louisville recognizes the importance of providing reasonable accommodations in its housing policies and practices where necessary for individuals with disabilities to fully participate in the University Housing program. This policy explains the specific requirements and guidelines which govern requests for reasonable accommodation in University Housing. Students who receive housing accommodations are held to all other terms, conditions, policies, and procedures as other students who reside in University Housing. The University of Louisville reserves the right to amend this policy at any time as circumstances require, and will review the policy on an annual basis to refine as needed.
Section II. Procedure for Requesting Reasonable Accommodation
The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is responsible for evaluating whether to grant or deny requests for reasonable accommodation in University Housing. In evaluating the request, the DRC may consult with University Housing, the ADA Coordinator, or other appropriate University personnel, as necessary, to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary and reasonable. Individuals with a disability who reside or intend to reside in University Housing who believe they need a reasonable accommodation must contact the DRC.
Note: This procedure excludes Service and Emotional Support Animal accommodations. For additional information about those accommodations, please see the University’s Service and Emotional Support Animal Policy.
Requests for reasonable accommodation in University Housing policies and practices are governed by the following requirements:
Requesting a Housing Accommodation
- An individual with a disability must complete the Housing Accommodation Request Form (the “request form”) to request a reasonable accommodation. The Housing Accommodation Request Form is available on the Disability Resource Center website. If the individual requires assistance in completing the request form because of his/her/their disability, the DRC will provide assistance in completing the form.
- UofL will accept and consider requests for reasonable accommodation in University housing at any time. The individual making the request for accommodation should complete and provide the request form to the DRC as soon as practicably possible before moving into University Housing. However, if the request for accommodation is made after the priority deadline, the University cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the individual’s accommodation needs during the first semester or term of occupancy. The priority deadlines for housing accommodation requests are June 1 for the Fall semester, November 1 for the Spring semester, and April 1 for the Summer terms.
- If the need for the accommodation arises when an individual already resides in University Housing, he/she/they should contact the Disability Resource Center and complete the request form as soon as practicably possible. The University cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the accommodation needs during the semester or term in which the request is received.
- Absent exceptional circumstances, the University will attempt to provide a written response to a reasonable accommodation request within 10 business days of receiving the information described in “Information that May Be Requested for Housing Accommodation Requests”.
Information that May Be Requested for Housing Accommodation Requests
- Obvious Disability: If the individual's disability and the necessity for the accommodation are obvious (e.g. an individual with a physical disability using a wheelchair needs a wheelchair accessible room), the individual need only explain what type of accommodation he/she/they is requesting. No verification of disability and/or necessity is required under these circumstances.
- Non-Obvious Disability/Necessity
- If the disability is obvious but the need for the accommodation is not obvious, the University may require the student provide supporting documentation that explains the impact of the disability and the student’s related needs in the residential environment. The Housing Accommodation Documentation (PDF) form can be used by a reliable third party who can verify that the requested accommodation is necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing, but information about the individual’s disability may not be necessary.
- If the disability and necessity for the accommodation are not obvious, the DRC will require the individual to provide documentation that explains the nature of the individual’s disability, impact of the disability, and student’s related needs in the residential environment. The Housing Accommodation Documentation (PDF) form can be used by a reliable third party who can verify that the individual has a disability and that the requested accommodation is necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to fully participate in University Housing.
- A reliable third party is someone who is familiar with the individual's disability and the necessity for the requested accommodation, such as a doctor, mental health provider, or other medical professional.
Absent exceptional circumstances, within 10 business days of receiving the request form and appropriate documentation from a third party, the DRC, after consultation with any appropriate personnel, will determine if the accommodation is necessary because of a disability to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University Housing.
If the third party provides documentation without sufficient information for the DRC to determine whether an accommodation is necessary, the DRC will inform the individual in writing of the documentation’s insufficiency and may request additional information, including speaking directly with the individual supplying the documentation, within 10 business days of receiving the documentation. The individual making the request for accommodation must cooperate with the DRC in a timely manner in providing all information needed to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary.
Determination of Reasonableness
- The DRC may deny the requested accommodation if it is unreasonable. The DRC may consult with University Housing to determine if implementing the requested accommodation is reasonable.
- An accommodation is unreasonable if it: (1) imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden; (2) fundamentally alters university 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 University property; and/or (4) is otherwise unreasonable to the operation of the University.
Approval of Accommodation
- If the DRC determines a requested accommodation is both necessary and reasonable, they will contact University Housing regarding the accommodation that has been approved for the student.
- If the student is unable to self-assign to a space that meets their approved accommodations during the room selection process, the student will contact University Housing for assistance with identifying an appropriate housing assignment.. University Housing will identify a space that provides the student with the approved accommodation, but as is true for all students, cannot guarantee that a room change will be possible due to student preference once an assignment is made that meets the student’s accommodation needs.
- Once the room assignment is made, University Housing will email the student at their University of Louisville email address to let them know their assignment is available.
Denial of Accommodation/Appeal
- If the DRC determines a requested accommodation is necessary but unreasonable, the DRC will contact the individual, in writing, within 10 business days of its 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.
- If the individual is unwilling to accept any alternative accommodation offered by the DRC or there are no alternative accommodations available, the DRC 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 10 business days of the notification from the individual of his/her/their unwillingness to accept any of the alternative accommodations offered or the determination that there are no alternative accommodations available.
- All appeals are reviewed by the University of Louisville’s ADA Coordinator. If the appeal is denied, the ADA Coordinator shall provide written notification of the denial to the individual and a written explanation with all of the reasons for the denial.
Confidentiality and Recordkeeping
In processing requests for reasonable accommodations, the University 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, keeping all written requests and accompanying documentation in a secure area to which only those designated individuals have access, except as otherwise required by law.
The University of Louisville will not retaliate against any individual because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation in University housing.