Special Accommodation Requests
The information and forms here relate to special accommodation requests in the following areas:
- housing accommodations
- meal plan/dining accommodations
- reduced course load
- medical disability
Also included is information on how to register with Accommodative Services as a new, incoming student.
Special Housing Accommodation Requests
|New Incoming Students for Fall||May 15|
|Returning Students for Fall||February 1|
|Summer Term||May 1|
Special housing requests are subject to recommendation by the Special Accommodations Committee (SAC) based on medical documentation and availability of the accommodation. In order to be considered for special accommodation you must complete the Special Housing Accommodation Request Form and submit it to the Director of Accommodative Services, Shelly Harrington, at email@example.com.
Students with special requests due to a medical condition are strongly encouraged to make the College aware of these needs as early as possible in the housing assignment process. Union College’s SAC will review all requests for special accommodation as outlined in Union College's Office of Community Standards Student Handbook.
Meal Plan Accommodation Requests
In compliance with relevant College policies and governing federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Union College has established procedures to ensure that students with documented disabilities have access to reasonable on-campus dietary accommodations.
Dietary accommodations can be facilitated through Union College Hospitality, where every reasonable effort will be made to support students’ dietary needs. As a four-year residential college, all students living on campus are required to purchase a meal plan. Students in need of dietary accommodations should not expect an automatic exemption from this meal plan requirement. Accommodations due to a dietary-based disability are made on a case-by-case basis, described below.
** Students requesting any academic accommodations and/or faculty notifications due to a dietary-based disability, should contact Shelly Harrington, Director of Accommodative Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request a meal plan accommodation, students should take the following steps:
- Fill out the Special Dietary Option Request ForM (Google form)
- Meet with the Director of Hospitality, or designee, for a consultation to discuss dietary needs and concerns, and determine what special dietary options are available. The College will make every reasonable effort to accommodate students with dietary-based disabilities and maintain access to dining options.
- If the Director of Hospitality (or designee) is unable to offer a reasonable dining solution to a student with a dietary-based disability through the consultation process, the student will be referred to the Accommodative Services Office.
If such referral occurs, a student who seeks a dietary-based disability accommodation will be responsible for ensuring that Accommodative Services receives the information and relevant documentation listed below from his or her health care provider:
- Dietary-Based Accommodation Request Form - This form is to be completed by a licensed physician or other professional health care provider with experience and expertise in the area for which the accommodations are being requested. Such individual must be impartial and may not be related to the student. (NOTE: If a student is seeking a housing accommodation on the basis of a dietary-related disability, both the housing and dietary forms should be submitted.)
- Supporting Documentation - Different medical conditions require different assessment procedures. Supporting documentation may include:
- Copies of office visit summaries related to the accommodation request
- A list of current prescribed medications
- A summary of assessment procedures, along with specific evaluation results
- A summary of present and/or fluctuating symptoms that meets the criteria for the diagnosis
- Relevant developmental and historical data, if appropriate
- Any information/summaries that are not part of the electronic medical records should be provided on official letterhead with clear contact information.
- Documentation for eligibility must reflect the current functional impact the disability has on the student’s learning or major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the student with regard to dining.
Dietary-based disability accommodation requests that are referred to Accommodative Services are handled by the Special Accommodations Committee (SAC). These requests are determined on a case-by-case basis, according to documented need and prevailing standards for reasonable accommodations. The SAC will review the student’s documentation and determine an appropriate and reasonable dietary accommodation, if warranted. The College does not grant accommodations solely on the recommendations of care providers. The College will make reasonable accommodation determinations based upon the entirety of circumstances presented, including, but not limited to, the recommendations of the care providers and the documented functional limitations posed by the student’s disability under governing law. The SAC will notify students of its decision in writing. If the accommodation is not granted, students may appeal the decision to the ADA/504 Coordinator. Students may also reapply for the following trimester.
Reduced Course Load Accommodation Requests
A student seeking a reduced course load must formally petition the Director of Accommodative Services and submit appropriate documentation to establish that such an accommodation is necessary based on the student’s current medical/disability related limitations.
A student may be granted a reduced course load (two courses) as a reasonable accommodation, along with a reduced tuition charge, upon providing evidence that such an adjustment is necessary in order for the student to access his/her education. Requests for reduced course load, and the accompanying reduction in tuition, must be received no later than the third day of the term. Other requests for reduced course load will be entertained but will not result in a reduced tuition. The College is not obligated to offer a reduced tuition as an accommodation. Accordingly, if a student wishes the benefit of this type of support, his/her request for reduced tuition must be submitted by the third day of the term. For more detailed information about this special accommodation request, see Union College's Office of Community Standards Student Handbook.
Students are cautioned that there may be a financial and or educational consequence to taking a reduced load and are encouraged to:
- Consult with Financial Aid Office with regard to any aid they are receiving and how that aid may be impacted by a reduced course load.
- Consult with Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, if applicable, in so far as how a reduced load might affect that agency’s support of the student.
- Consult with their academic advisor or the Dean of Studies with regard to the effect a reduced course load may have on their academic progress in their course of study, their general education requirements, and prospective graduation date.
Students requesting accommodations due to a medical disability must submit a Medical Disability Verification Form and supporting documentation, if applicable. To establish that an individual is covered under the law, documentation must indicate that a specific disability exists and that the identified disability substantially limits one or more major life activities. A diagnosis of a disorder in and of itself does not automatically qualify an individual for accommodation. The documentation must also support the request for accommodations and academic adjustments.
Register with Accommodative Services
If you are a new, incoming student and wish to register with Accommodative Services, please click here for more information and to register.