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Housing Accommodations Policy at the University of the Arts

Application for Special Housing Exceptions and Exemptions 
(online, requires UArts credentials)

The University of the Arts is committed to providing reasonable accommodations in residential housing for individuals with disabilities. The Office of Educational Accessibility and Office of Residence Life will consult to determine reasonable modifications and accommodations based on a student's documented disability.

Requests for reasonable accommodation in University housing 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. Please contact OEA at 215-717-6616 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 student's accommodation needs during the first semester or term of occupancy.
  • If the need for the accommodation arises while the semester is underway, students 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.

 2. Documentation for Accommodations in Residential Living

In order to qualify for accommodations in the residential environment students must provide documentation that substantiates the need and shows a direct link between the condition and the requested housing accommodation. 

Documentation requirements: 

  • The form of a letter or report from a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other medical provider who is qualified to make the diagnosis and is currently treating the student for a disability.  
  • Documentation must be on official letterhead and be signed and dated within the last year
  • Include a diagnosis, the functional limitations (impact on residential living) and the the specific housing recommendation.  Information should also include date and summary of most recent evaluation and the expected duration of the condition (chronic, cyclical, etc.)
  • Include possible alternatives if the requested accommodation is not available.
  • Provide evidence that the provider is currently treating you for the condition for which the accommodation is requested.

3. Determination of Reasonableness

  • Educational Accessibility may deny the requested accommodation if it is unreasonable. Educational Accessibility shall consult with the Office of Residence Life + Conduct 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 Director 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.

Meal Plan Accommodations at the University of the Arts

Please Note: A fully documented disability may necessitate the need for an accommodation; complete meal plan exemptions are only provided in extreme circumstances.

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. 

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).

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.

For questions about accommodations to the 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 Office of Student Affairs, Gershman Hall 311, studentaffairs@uarts.edu. The University of the Arts dining facilities are not Kosher or Halal.

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.)