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Housing Accommodation Policy

There are a large variety of reasons students may need to request a housing accommodation.  Below are some of the most common reasons: 

  • Accommodations due to a chronic medical condition like diabetes, Chrone’s, migraines or IBS
  • Emotional Support Animal for a mental health condition like anxiety, depression, or PTSD
  • Need for certain housing amenities due to disability 
  • Adjustments to the meal plans and food services

To start the process of requesting a housing accommodation please fill out the OKCU CAMPUS DISABILITY REGISTRATION FORM.  In addition, most disabilities will also require documentation from a medical professional.  *Note, Emotional Support Animals are a housing accommodation and follow the housing accommodation process. For an Emotional Support Animal, documentation must be provided from a mental health professional, and not a general practitioner. 

Housing Accommodation Policy

Campus Disability Services is responsible for evaluating whether to grant or deny requests for reasonable accommodations in University housing. 

In evaluating the request, Campus Disability Services will consult with the University Housing, the OCU ADA/504 coordinator, and OCU General Council as needed to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary and reasonable. 

Individuals with a disability who reside or intent to reside in University housing who believe they need a reasonable accommodation must contact Campus Disability Services. 

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 Request Form For Disability Housing Accommodations (the Request Form) to request a reasonable accommodation. Contact Campus Disability Services to receive a copy of the request form. 

OCU will accept and consider requests for reasonable accommodations in University Housing at any time. The individual making the request for accommodation should complete and provide the Request Form as soon as possible before moving into University housing.

However, if the request for accommodation is made fewer than 60 days before the individual intends to move into university housing, OCU cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the individual’s accommodation needs during the first term of occupancy.  

If the need for the accommodation arises when an individual already resides in University housing, he/she should contact Campus Disability Services and complete the Request form as soon as practicably possible. OCU cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the accommodation needs during the semester or term in which the request is received. 

Response Time

Absent exceptional circumstances, the University will attempt to provide a written response to a reasonable accommodation request within ten (10) business days of receiving the information described in paragraph 2 below. 

Information That May Be Requested for Housing-Related Reasonable Accommodation Requests

Campus Disability Services shall limit its request for information to only the information necessary to verify whether the individual making the request has a disability and/or evaluate if the reasonable accommodation is necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing. 

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 an accessible room), the individual need only explain what type of accommodation he/she 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 a letter from your medical provider confirming the requested accommodation is necessary to equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing, but may not seek information about the individual’s disability.

If the disability and necessity for the accommodation are not obvious, Campus Disability Services will require the individual to produce either medical documentation or a letter from a doctor verifying the individual has a disability, what the current treatment is, and what accommodations would be necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University Housing. 

Medical Professional

A medical professional is someone who the individual has been treated by for a long enough time they are familiar with the individual’s condition and needs. For requesting an Emotional Support Animal, the letter must be from a mental health professional (e.g. psychologist, counselor, psychiatrist; not a primary care physician). For other accommodation it should be the primary doctor the individual is seeing for the condition.

Absent exceptional circumstances, within five (5) business days of receiving the medical documentation and the completed Request form, Campus Disability Services will determine if the accommodation is necessary because of a disability to provide the individual equal opportunity to use and enjoy University Housing. 

Response Time

If the information from the medical professional and on the Request form does not contain sufficient information for Campus Disability Services to determine whether an accommodation is necessary, Disability Services will inform the individual in writing that more information is needed and may request more information including speaking directly with the medical professional supplying that information, within five (5) business days of receiving the documentation.

The individual making the request for accommodation must cooperate with Campus Disability Services in a timely manner in providing all information to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary.

Determination of Reasonableness

Disability Services may deny the requested accommodation if it is unreasonable. Disability Services shall consult with University Housing to  determine if implementing the requested accommodation is reasonable.

An accommodation is unreasonable if it: 

  • Imposes an undue financial and or administrative burden;
  • Fundamentally alters university housing policy;
  • 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
  • Is otherwise unreasonable to the operation of the University.

Campus Disability Services may inquire as to the size/breed of the animal in order to determine the reasonableness of the accommodation. 

Denial of Accommodation/Appeal

Response Time

If Campus Disability Services determines a requested accommodation is necessary but unreasonable, Campus Disability Services will contact the individual, in writing, within five (5) 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. 

Verbal Explanation and Written Notification

If the individual is unwilling to accept any alternative accommodation offered by Campus Disability Services or there are no alternative accommodations available, Campus Disability Services 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 the appeals process.

 The notification shall be in writing and made within five (5) business days of the notification from the individual of his/her unwillingness to accept any of the alternative accommodations offered or the determination that there are no alternatives accommodations available. 

Appeals

All appeals are reviewed by the Director of Housing. If the appeal is denied, the Director of Housing shall provide written notification of the denial to the individual and a written explanation with all of the reasons for the denial. 

An individual may also use the grievance procedure provided under the general university antidiscrimination policies. This grievance procedure can be found here.

Confidentiality and Record Keeping

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. 

Confidentiality Measures

Such measures may include limiting access to such information to individual’s specifically designated to determine and  implement requests for reasonable accommodations, who will disclose the information only to the extent 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  otherwise by law. 

Non-retaliation Provision

OCU will not retaliate against any individual because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation in University Housing.

Emotional Support Animal Policy

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