Disability Housing 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 needs housing requires advanced planning and documentation. Students wishing to apply for housing accommodations must complete the appropriate forms, available at the bottom of this page.
- Students with documented disabilities or extreme medical conditions who are requesting accommodations should meet with either Rachel Head, Asst. Dean for Residential Lifand/or Leslie Hempling, Coordinator for Student Disability Services.
- The FALL 2013 accommodation request deadline is Friday, April 5, 2013 (Members of the incoming class are not held to this same deadline)
- Students must apply for accommodations each year. Even if you have had special needs housing accommodations in the past, you must submit updated documentation and meet with the Deans each Spring. Accommodations are not guaranteed to carry over from one year to the next. These documented requests may also reviewed by the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Director of Worth Health Center, and/or the Dean of Students before the request is acted upon.
- special Needs Housing Accommodations are intended for individuals with a medical disability which substantially limits their ability to function daily in a residence hall environment.
Student requests for special housing accommodations will need to be submitted each academic year. The student will be notified in advance if additional documentation is needed each subsequent year a special housing accommodation is granted, or if previous documentation will extend an additional year. In addition, the College, acting in good faith, reserves the right to request updated documentation at any time.
To apply for disability housing accommodations, students should
- Fill out and submit the 'Student Accommodation Request Form'. Student form must be submitted to Parrish 118 NO LATER THAN 5pm on FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2013.
- Request treating physician to complete 'Medical Documentation Request', and return to the address on the form. 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.
- Students will be notified about accommodation requests on or about April 10, 2013. If student is approved for a housing accommodation, they will be notified prior to their Class Lottery. If a meeting with Rachel Head or Leslie Hempling is required, we will notify you.
Rising Seniors: members of the Class of 2014 should be able to select a room that meets their accommodation needs during the regular lottery or via the blocking process.
Rising Juniors: members of the Class of 2015 should go through the blocking process (if they choosas normal; if you qualify for accommodations, do not apply for a room 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 Housing Dean to arrange reasonable housing.
Rising Sophomores: members of the Class of 2016 should still select a roommate and go through the blocking process (if they choose); if you qualify for accommodations, do not apply for a room that does not meet your needs. If you do not select a room via the blocking process, your room will be assigned by the Housing Dean on or around July 1, 2013
- 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 Housing Accommodations and Housing Preferences. Student preferences for certain types of housing (ground floor, dorm location, proximity to friends, etc.) cannot generally be granted, whereas reasonable accommodations are provided to students with document disabilities.
- Form A: (to be completed by student) [pdf] - [all requests]
- Form B: (to be completed by physician) [pdf] - [all requests]
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 disability. As part of the standard furniture and room arrangements, 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 will be required including skin test results for allergies. Those students whose conditions are substantially limiting to a major life activity must provide detailed medical documentation to show why the condition qualifies as a disability.
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 wil a/c capabilities in PPR, Strath-Haven, Mertz
Rising Seniors = rooms with a/c capabilities in Mertz, DKAP, and Parrish