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Housing Accommodations

Obtaining Housing Accommodations

How to Register for Housing Accommodations

The Academy of Art University recognizes the importance of housing accommodations for students with disabilities to fully participate in university housing. Students seeking housing accommodations can submit their accommodation requests through their housing application. All housing accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Requests may be submitted at any time; however, the Academy of Art University cannot guarantee the requests received after the priority deadline will be able to be fulfilled that same semester.

Documentation to support your housing accommodation request must be provided by a licensed medical professional or other licensed diagnosing professional with personal knowledge of the student. Documentation must be written in English or accompanied by an official English translation and outline the following points:

  • States the nature of the condition for which the accommodation/modification is being requested
  • How your diagnosis substantially limits a major life activity
  • How this accommodation will provide you with equal access to Housing and Residence Life

As part of the interactive housing accommodation process, students will meet with an Accessibility Representative to discuss their disability and accessibility needs if more information is required.

Reasonable Accommodations

Accommodations are considered reasonable under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act if they are essential to ensure equal access to the same opportunities as other ArtU students. Accommodations are approved to help address disability-related barriers that prevent students from fully participating at the university.

Accommodations are not considered to be reasonable if they are solely to improve the student’s chance of success. While we hope all students find success at the university, a student’s success at the university is the responsibility of the student and not the institution. When no student has access to the opportunity requested, the request is typically considered a fundamental alteration and legally is not considered to be “reasonable”.

Please note that students are not automatically qualified for housing accommodations if they have a diagnosis and a therapist’s or doctor’s recommendation. Healthcare providers’ recommendations are certainly considered; however, the Academy of Art University must evaluate requests from the lens of what is needed for equal access to campus housing. Not all medical conditions rise to the level of being a disability that requires housing accommodations.

Single Rooms for Disability Access vs Preference

The Academy of Art University has a limited number of single rooms available. Any student may request a single room as a preference during the housing application process. Single room assignments are made based on availability. If your accommodation request for a single room is denied, you may still request a single room as a preference; rooms will be assigned based on availability.

Single rooms are one of the most requested housing accommodations. A single room is assigned as an accommodation only when professional documentation demonstrates a significant clinical history of limitations and provides a rationale to support the need for a single room to access housing.

Below are examples of accommodations that would be approved because they are needed for equal access.

I require the use of large medical equipment that only fits in a single room.

This would be considered an access need because the student needs to use the medical equipment to have equal access to campus.

Below are examples of accommodations that would NOT be approved because they are not needed for equal access.

I have anxiety or depression and want a single room to be alone and decompress.

All students living on campus are expected to find places where they can be alone to decompress outside of the room where they sleep. Students living on campus can discover places on campus and within the city to decompress, relax, and process their emotions outside of the place they sleep. Below are several ideas:

  • Common areas within Housing
  • Unused classrooms on campus
  • Rooftop gardens
  • City parks

I want a single room because I get distracted when studying or doing homework.

Students living on campus are participating in a communal living experience, and regardless of room type, it is not guaranteed to have a private quiet space to study. Students can utilize noise-canceling headphones, white noise machines, and other devices to help reduce distracting sounds. Students can also seek out quiet places to study on campus and within the city. Below are several ideas:

  • The Academy of Art Library
  • Unused classrooms on campus
  • Quiet nooks in academic buildings
  • San Francisco Public Library Branches
  • Art Café

I want a single room because I need to have control over my space.

In university housing students are participating in a communal living experience. It is unreasonable to expect to be able to control the entire space. It is reasonable to control your own belongings and set roommate boundaries. This is an important skill, but it may be a new skill for many students who have never had to share a room before. Housing staff can provide guidance on how to communicate boundaries and create roommate agreements. Students who wish to secure valuables including medication can consider purchasing a small safe to keep in your room.

I want a single room because I had a bad roommate experience in the past, and I don’t want that to happen again.

Most people who have had to live with others can recall challenging roommate situations. Having negative experiences living with others happens, and that bad experience doesn’t go away. However, you can take what you learned from a bad living situation and move forward positively. You can apply lessons and skills learned to your new situation. If you conflict with a roommate, Housing can help you navigate those challenges if needed.

Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals in Housing

Service animals and approved emotional support animals may reside with students in university housing. Students with service animals and emotional support animals will fill out and return the following forms

Maintaining a Service or Emotional Support Animal in University Housing

Service and Emotional Support Animal Information and Registration Form

Students requesting emotional support animals must also provide documentation from a licensed professional to support their request for an emotional support animal.

Please see the Service and Emotional Support Animal Policy for more information.