Housing Accommodations - Student Disability Services
In accordance with applicable federal, state and local disability laws, The University of Tampa will make every effort to provide reasonable housing accommodations for students who have a qualifying disability. Any student needing accommodations related to University housing or meal plan options should contact the associate director of Academic Excellence Programs, Student Disability Services, to request appropriate accommodations and provide supporting documentation. Students requesting housing accommodations will also need to meet with the associate director of Academic Excellence Programs to discuss their housing needs on campus before they can be approved for housing accommodations. Student Disability Services and Residence Life work collaboratively in order to provide appropriate housing accommodations for eligible students living on campus.
Accommodation requests and documentation should be submitted by the housing application deadline (NEW Fall students–May 1, NEW Spring students–Oct. 1, CONTINUING students–Feb. 1); requests submitted after posted deadlines will still be considered but will be subject to space availability. Student Disability Services will notify Residence Life regarding students who are approved for accommodations. Assignments will be made directly by Residence Life based on the approved accommodations.
If reasonable accommodations cannot immediately be satisfied due to capacity/facility design/availability/etc., the student’s request will be given priority over other housing requests. Each student’s request will be reviewed on an individual basis and may require a meeting with the associate director of Academic Excellence Programs, Student Disability Services.
Documentation for housing accommodations should include:
- Diagnosis or statement of the student’s condition from the student’s treating professional;
- Clear description of the desired housing configuration. This does not include requesting specific residence halls; and
- An explanation of how the request relates to the impact of the student’s disability or condition.
All documentation must be typed, on letterhead and with a signature from the student’s treating professional. Students should submit their housing accommodation requests and supporting documentation via an Accommodation Request. Any questions concerning documentation requirements should be directed to the associate director of Academic Excellence Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 257-3266.
Personal Attendant Services
The University of Tampa is not responsible for providing an individual with a disability with services of a personal nature, such as assistance in eating, toileting or dressing. If a student is planning to reside in University housing and requires personal services, the student must provide Student Disability Services with documentation from an appropriate agency or service that confirms the necessary assistance will be in place effective on the date of residency, and they have passed a background check before moving into the residence hall. If a non-University individual serves as a personal attendant for a student with a disability, they may reside in the same room with the student for whom they are providing attendant services. This individual will be required to adhere to all University policies, procedures and regulations.
Meal Plan Changes or Exemptions Due to a Medical Condition
All residents of University housing are required to participate in the University's meal plan. The 7-meal plan per week option is only available to students living in an apartment with a kitchen.
If a student has a medical condition that would limit or prohibit them from consuming foods at dining facilities on campus, they may request a reduction or exemption to their University of Tampa meal plan. Students must provide a typed letter, on letterhead and with a signature, from their treating medical professional that states a diagnosis, as well as the specific requirements of the student’s diet that would prevent them from utilizing their meal plan on campus. The documentation must also state whether the student’s condition is temporary or permanent. The student will need to submit their request for a meal plan reduction or exemption and their supporting documentation via the Accommodation Request on Accommodate by Symplicity. The student will then meet with a UT Dining Services staff member to discuss their dietary needs. Students may be exempt from their University of Tampa meal plan only after it has been determined that Dining Services cannot meet their dietary needs. Dining Services will inform Student Disability Services after they have met with the student if they feel that a reduction or exemption is warranted.
All requests for meal plan reductions or exemptions must be submitted by the end of the third week of class each semester. Requests that are received after that time will only be considered for the following semester. Charges will not be pro-rated until the student has been approved for a meal plan reduction or exemption, regardless of whether the student has been using their meal plan on campus. The process may take several weeks in its entirety. Any charges accrued before the student is approved for a reduction or waiver will remain and are the responsibility of the student.
UT welcomes service animals in all of its facilities when the animal is accompanied by its handler. A service animal is a dog (or miniature horse) that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medication or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a service animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals, and are not allowed in non-residential buildings on campus.
Assistance or Emotional Support Animals
The University of Tampa recognizes the importance of assistance and emotional support animals to individuals with documented disabilities in the residence halls and has established the following policy regarding service, assistance and emotional support animals to assist residents with disabilities. The below policy ensures that residents with disabilities who require the use of an assistance or emotional support animal in the residence hall as a reasonable accommodation receive the benefit of the support they provide. Student Disability Services and Residence Life are committed to supporting residents with disabilities and their use of such an animal in campus housing to facilitate their full-participation and equal access to the University’s programs and activities. Students requesting an assistance or emotional support animal must receive approval from the associate director of Academic Excellence Programs, Student Disability Services before bringing an animal into campus housing.
Accommodations we are unable to provide include:
- A separate low distraction living environment accommodation. If a student needs to live or sleep in a near silent environment we cannot guarantee this environment.
- A different bed. We can remove the existing bed from the room if it is deemed medically necessary so a student can bring their own bed.
- Accepting documentation which names a specific building in which the accommodation is to be provided.
- Assigning or moving a preferred roommate along with a student for which special accommodations are being offered, unless the roommate would otherwise be eligible for the space.
- Guaranteeing rooms with a private bath.
- A dust or allergen free environment.