Exceptions to Room & Board Policies

Housing Accommodations Policy at the University of the Arts

The University of the Arts recognizes the importance of providing reasonable accommodations in its housing policies and practices where necessary for individuals with disabilities to use and enjoy University housing. This Policy explains the specific requirements and guidelines which govern requests for reasonable accommodation in University housing.  UArts reserves the right to amend this policy at any time as circumstances require.

The Office of Educational Accessibility is responsible for evaluating whether to grant or deny requests for reasonable accommodation in University housing. In evaluating the request, Educational Accessibility will consult with the Office of Student Life, 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 Educational Accessibility.

Please note, this policy is separate from the process which governs the granting of exceptions to the University Animal Policy for Service and Emotional Support Animals.

Requests for reasonable accommodation in University housing policies and practices are governed by the following requirements:

  1. Requesting a Housing Accommodation
  •  An individual with a disability must complete the Application for Special Housing Exceptions and Exemptions to request a reasonable accommodation.    Copies of the Request Form are available at the link above and in the forms section of the Educational Accessibility Website: www.uarts.edu/accessibility. If the individual requires assistance in completing the Request Form because of his/her disability, Educational Accessibility will provide assistance in completing the form.  Contact the Advising Center at 215-717-6818 to request assistance in completing the Housing Accommodations process.
  •  UArts will accept and consider requests for reasonable accommodation in University housing at any time during the year.  The individual making the request for accommodation should complete and provide the Request Form to Educational Accessibility as soon as practicably possible before moving into University housing. However, if the request for accommodation is made after housing assignments have been made (July 1 for Fall and November 1 for Spring), UArts cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the individual’s accommodation needs during the first semester or term of occupancy.
  •  If the need for the accommodation arises when an individual already resides in University housing, he/she should contact Educational Accessibility and complete the Request Form as soon as practicably possible. UArts cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet the accommodation needs during the semester or term in which the request is received due to limitations in housing types.
  • Absent exceptional circumstances, the University will attempt to provide a written response to a reasonable accommodation request within fourteen business days of receiving the information described in paragraph 2 below.

 2. Information that May Be Requested for Housing-Related Reasonable Accommodation Requests

Educational Accessibility shall limit its requests for information to only the information necessary to verify whether the individual making the request has a disability and/or to evaluate if the reasonable accommodation is necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing. Please note that these documentation requirements differ from those requirements for Service or Emotional Support Animals and the provision of academic accommodations.

  • 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 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 the individual to complete the Third Party Referral Form and designate 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 may not seek information about the individual’s disability.
    • If the disability and necessity for the accommodation are not obvious, Educational Accessibility will require the individual to complete the Third Party Referral Form and designate 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 use and enjoy university housing.
    • A reliable third party is someone who is familiar with the individual's disability and the necessity for the requested accommodation. A reliable third-party includes, but is not limited to, a doctor or other medical professional, a peer support group, or a non-medical service agency (e.g., National Association of the Deaf)
    • Absent exceptional circumstances, within seven (7) working days of receiving the completed Third Party Referral Form from the third-party, the Educational Accessibility Advisor, 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 returns the Third Party Referral Form without sufficient information for Educational Accessibility to determine whether an accommodation is necessary, the Educational Accessibility Advisor will inform the individual in writing of the verification’s insufficiency and may request additional information, including speaking directly with the individual supplying the third-party verification, within seven (7) business days of receiving the verification.
    • The individual making the request for accommodation must cooperate with Educational Accessibility in a timely manner in providing all information needed to determine whether the requested accommodation is necessary.

3. Determination of Reasonableness

  • Educational Accessibility may deny the requested accommodation if it is unreasonable. Educational Accessibility shall consult with Student Life 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.

4. Approval of Accommodation

  • If Educational Accessibility determines a requested accommodation is necessary and is not unreasonable, it will contact the individual, in writing, within seven (7) business days of its determination, to arrange a meeting to discuss the implementation of the accommodation.

5. Denial of Accommodation/Appeal

  • If Educational Accessibility determines a requested accommodation is necessary but unreasonable, Educational Accessibility will contact the individual, in writing, within seven (7) 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 Educational Accessibility or there are no alternative accommodations available, Educational Accessibility 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 seven (7) 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 alternative accommodations available.
  • All appeals are reviewed by the Assistant Vice President for Academic Support Services. If the appeal is denied, the Assistant Vice President for Academic Support Services and the Educational Accessibility Advisor 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 Office of Educational Accessibility Grievance Policy.

     The University of the Arts will not retaliate against any individual because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation in University housing.

Exceptions to the Board/Meal Plan Policies at the University of the Arts

Please Note: Exemptions and Exceptions to the Board/Meal Plan Policies are ONLY granted due to a fully documented disability or a religious exemption.

Applications for changes to the meal plan must be supported by a medical diagnosis or substantiation of disability and must be made before the end of the drop/add period of each semester. Exceptions will be considered for conditions initially diagnosed during the semester after the drop/add date. 

The University of the Arts is able to accommodate most food allergies and sensitivities within the Dining Services facilities. The Dining Services staff at the University of the Arts are specifically trained in handling food allergies and allergen-specific food preparation to avoid cross-contamination through AllerTrain(TM).

All food is prepared from scratch on campus from local ingredients and is delivered fresh daily. Any special preparations of food can be accommodated if they are arranged with the Dining Hall. All recipes for all foods and ingredients are available upon request at Terra Dining Hall, just ask for the Chef.

Because of the flexibility provided for in the meal plan, including packaging meal ingredients for preparation in room, all options must be exhausted through the meal plan before a request for exemption will be considered.  If you have any questions about accommodations to our meal plan or options available through Dining Services, please contact the Director of Dining Services at diningservices@uarts.edu.

The following common reasons given to justify a meal plan accommodation will NOT be considered:

• I don’t like the food.
• The meal schedule does not fit my personal schedule.
• I am a vegetarian or vegan or gluten free (except students with documented Celiac Disease).
• I cannot afford to be on a meal plan.
• I have more meals than I can use.
• I don’t eat all my meals.

All exceptions due to religious dietary restrictions should be referred to the Dean of Students. The University of the Arts dining facilities are not Kosher or Halal.

Application for Special Meal Plan/Board Exceptions and Exemptions

You and an appropriate third party should fill out one or both forms and return to the Office of Educational Accessibility at access@uarts.edu. (Please note you will need your UArts email and password to access these forms and may need to sign out of any other Google-managed accounts.)