The Accessibility Services Office (ASO) is responsible for evaluating requests from students with disabilities who are in need of reasonable housing accommodations at Iona. In evaluating the request, the ASO staff will determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary and reasonable.
In processing requests for reasonable accommodations, the ASO 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. Information regarding the request will be shared on as-needed bases and only to those who are involved in the determination and implementation of accommodations.
To apply for accommodations, please complete the following steps:
- Review the information regarding Determining Reasonable Housing Requests and Documentation Guidelines included below.
- Complete a Request for Special Housing Accommodation form through your PeopleSoft account. To access this form, log in to your student account and choose PeopleSoft > Self Service > Electronic Forms > Accessibility Services Forms > Petition for Reasonable Housing Accommodations.
- Submit a Medical Provider Questionnaire (except if the disability is obvious) which must be completed by the treating professional with the credentials to assess the disability.
After reviewing the submitted information, the ASO staff will invite you to meet to discuss eligibility and individual accommodations.
Once a decision is made about the appropriate housing accommodations, the ASO will notify the Office of Residential Life so that the implementation process can be finalized. Please note that this process may take several weeks.
Deadlines for submitting housing accommodation applications:
- Current Iona College students: February 15 (for the following academic year) This deadline allows the Accessibility Services staff adequate time to review requests prior to the complex lottery process, which begins in March.
- Entering students who have submitted their deposit to Iona: June 15 (for the fall semester).
Should a need for housing accommodation arise beyond the above timelines, you should follow the general Request for Special Housing Accommodation application process.
The Accessibility Services staff will review post-deadline requests and the College will make every attempt to implement approved accommodations based on current availability. Please note that availability for certain types of accommodations may be limited at later points in the year.
The determination of reasonable housing accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis, and involves the student report and all information relevant to the documented functional limitations caused by the disability. Reasonable accommodations are not granted solely based on the recommendations of medical providers. Therefore, statements or recommendations from a treating physician or medical provider should not be interpreted as automatic approval of a specific housing accommodation or room assignment.
There is generally at least one meeting between the student and the ASO staff so as to get a clear picture of the disability and overall associating barriers. It also allows the staff and student to review the supportive documentation together and adjust the accommodations as needed.
The ASO considers requests for accommodations based solely on the impact of the student’s documented disability, not preferred building, suite or roommates. Requests for particular housing assignments or living environments based on a student’s preference, rather than need, is not considered reasonable, and will not be approved.
Single rooms represent a small portion of available housing options and are reserved for individuals with documented and substantiated needs, and for whom a standard housing assignment with a roommate is not viable. Single rooms are also not guarantees of an allergen-free environment. A single room will not prevent a student from having to interact and negotiate living arrangements with other students, such as alone time, sleep patterns, and study schedules. By virtue of the shared facilities, resources, and number of persons sharing a common space in the residence halls, a single room will not necessarily provider a quieter, more distraction-free space than a standard shared room. For example, a student with ADHD or anxiety who is seeking a single room to serve as a quiet, undisturbed place to study or sleep, represents a preference, not a necessity.
In considering accommodation requests, it is often necessary for the ASO to consult with The Office of Residential Life prior to determining a reasonable and necessary accommodation. Depending on the type of request, other parties may need to be consulted and/or notified, including but not limited to, Counseling Services, Facilities, Campus Safety and Security, and Dining Services.
A request for accommodation is considered not reasonable if:
- the condition does not meet the standard of a disability (see Determining a Disability);
- the requested accommodation will not mitigate the disability;
- the requested accommodation is not reasonable and/or necessary;
- poses an undue financial and/or administrative burden on the institution;
- the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the College’s operations;
- the accommodation poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others;
- the accommodation would cause substantial property damage to the property of others, including, but not limited to, College property; and/or
- the application and supportive documentation was submitted after the deadline.
If the disability and need for the accommodation are not obvious, the ASO will require you to complete the Medical Provider Questionnaire and provide information from a reliable third party who can verify that you have a disability, and that the requested accommodation is reasonable and necessary, in order for you to use and enjoy College housing.
A reliable third party is someone who is familiar with your disability and the need for the requested accommodation. A reliable third-party includes someone who provides medical care, therapy or counseling to persons with disabilities, including, but not limited to, doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers.
In cases where you submit only a partial application, or insufficient or unclear documentation, you will be notified in writing within ten (10) business days. Failure to submit the appropriate documentation will delay the process.
- If you submit all the necessary documentation, you will be contacted within ten (10) business days and invited for an in-person meeting with an ASO staff. The meeting allows you an opportunity to describe the impact of your disability and for the ASO staff to gather additional information that will assist in the decision-making process. If the documentation and information shared during the interactive process is clear, and substantiates the need for the requested accommodation, you will be informed during the meeting. Within seven (7) business days of the meeting, you and the Office of Residential Life will be contacted in writing of the decision. You will need to contact the Office of Residential Life for specific information on the implementation of the accommodation.
- If you do not provide sufficient information before, during, or after the interactive process, you will be informed of the insufficiency in writing within seven (7) business days. In order for the ASO to determine whether an accommodation is necessary, the ASO staff will inform you of this during the meeting. You will also receive written confirmation, within seven (7) business days, of the insufficiency. The ASO staff will explain whether additional information is needed from you, a medical provider, or both.
It is important that you cooperate with the ASO in a timely manner in providing the requested information needed to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary and reasonable. Should you decide to adjust your requested accommodation based on information shared during the meeting, you will be required submit an adjusted request via email to the ASO.
If the documentation and information provided by you does not establish that the condition meets the definition of a disability as defined by the ADAA, the requested accommodation will be denied, with explanation. You will receive written explanation of the decision as well as instructions on how to appeal the decision.
If the ASO staff determines that you have a disability, but the requested accommodations are not reasonable and/or necessary, and you are unwilling to accept any suggested alternative accommodation, the ASO will provide written notification to you within ten (10) business days. You will also be provided with reasons for the denial, the right to appeal the decision, and the procedures for appealing the decision.
In cases where your request for accommodations is submitted after the deadline, the ASO will contact the Office of Residential Life to inquire about availability. The Office of Residential Life will make every effort to accommodate your need of special housing, however this may not always be possible.