Disability Accommodations

Disability Accommodations

Swarthmore College provides support services and reasonable accommodations to students with medical and/or psychiatric disabilities who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Special housing accommodations require advanced planning and documentation. Students wishing to apply for housing accommodations must complete the appropriate forms electronically no later than April 1st, 2014, in order for consideration prior to the Spring Housing Lotteries. Members of the Class of 2018 are not held to this same deadline.

Students with documented disabilities or extenuating circumstances who are requesting housing accommodations should fill out this housing accommodation request form. Students with food allergies should complete this food allergy/intolerance form [doc].

Students must apply for accommodations each year; depending on your request, you may or may not need to provide updated documentation each year. Accommodations are not guaranteed to carry over from one year to the next, but we will do our best to review existing documentation before asking for additional information. You are required to be on the Swarthmore network in order to complete the request form; you must log in using your Swarthmore email address.

After receiving your request, the Office of Residential Life will consult with Leslie Hempling, Coordinator of Student Disability Services.

If your request is approved without additional documentation, you will be contacted prior to the blocking deadline.

If additional documentation is required, you will be contacted by Rachel Head or Leslie Hempling. Your physician may be asked to complete 'Medical Documentation Request Form', and return to Leslie Hempling. Faxed and electronic documentation will be accepted, so long as the official documentation request form is completed, in-full. Doctor's notes and/or copies of prescriptions do not meet the documentation requirements.

Rising Seniors: members of the Class of 2015 should be able to select a room that meets their accommodation needs during the regular lottery or via the blocking process. If you can select a room that meets your needs through the housing lottery, you should attend the senior lottery and select when appropriate.

Rising Juniors: members of the Class of 2016 may or may not be able to select a room that meets their needs through the housing lottery. If you would like to block for housing, you should go through the regular blocking process---if you are approved for housing accommodations, do not apply for a block that does not meet your needs. If you do not select a room via the blocking process, you will likely be able to pick a room that meets your needs during the regular lottery. If it appears as though your lottery number will not secure a room through the regular process, you will work with the Office of Residential Life to arrange reasonable housing.

Rising Sophomores: members of the Class of 2017 are still request to select a roommate, unless your accommodation is specifically for a single. If you would like to block for housing, you should go through the regular blocking process---if you are approved for housing accommodations, do not apply for a block that does not meet your needs. If you do not select a room via the blocking process, your room will be assigned by the Office of Residential life during the Summer 2014, when all rising sophomore housing assignments are released.

Please note: Special Needs Housing Accommodations are intended for individuals with a physical or mental disability that substantially limits their ability to function daily in a residence hall environment. There is a difference between a Disability Housing Accommodations and a housing preference. Student preferences for certain types of housing (ground floor, dorm location, proximity to friends, etc.) cannot generally be granted, whereas reasonable accommodations can be provided to students with document disabilities. Extenuating circumstances will always be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


A special note about Air Conditioning Requests: Due to the generally mild climate in Swarthmore, PA, the residence halls are not air conditioned, nor are students permitted to provide air conditioners for their rooms except in rare instances of approved accommodations. As part of the standard furniture and room arrangements, many student rooms are carpeted. Students with allergies or asthma generally do well in this environment without any special arrangements. If allergies or asthma form the basis of a special housing request, full medical documentation may be required by the Student Disabilities Office.

There are a very limited number of rooms with air conditioning capabilities. If you are approved for air conditioning you must select into an available room that can support air conditioning. These may include dorms that are not on center campus (PPR, Strath-Haven). A list of available rooms will be provided to students who are approved for the accommodation. Generally, this means:

Rising Sophomores = rooms with a/c capabilities in PPR, Strath-Haven, Woolman

Rising Juniors = rooms with a/c capabilities in PPR, Strath-Haven, Mertz

Rising Seniors = rooms with a/c capabilities in Mertz, DKAP, and Parrish