The Offices of Disability Support Services (DSS) and Residence Life at Canisius College work to promote academic excellence and personal growth for all Canisius students. Appropriate housing assignments enable students to build a foundation for academic success and create an environment that fosters healthy lifestyles. Special-Need Housing Accommodations are based on medical, psychological, or other disability-related needs.
All students are expected to complete the Residence Life Housing Application, meet the appropriate housing deadlines, and pay the housing deposit. In addition, students requesting special-needs housing accommodations must register with the office, complete the DSS intake form, as well as the special-need housing accommodation form, and provide proper documentation by a licensed or certified official. A new housing form must be submitted to DSS at the beginning of each academic year. It is recommended that students requesting special housing make an appointment with the Director of Disability Support Services at least two weeks prior to the housing application deadline to discuss the requested accommodation(s). DSS will only facilitate special-need housing accommodations for Canisius students living in buildings/houses owned by Canisius College. Housing rates are set on the basis of the building, type of room, and occupancy of room. Rates are the same for all students regardless of a disability and a list of the rates are available in the Office of Residence Life. All information regarding special-need housing accommodations is kept in the DSS Office and is strictly confidential.
To assist in fully and fairly evaluating each request and ensuring that the prior accommodation(s) are made, DSS requires:
- Documentation of the disability/condition, the functional limitations, and the treatment or prognosis (if applicable) that are the basis for the request;
- A clear description of the recommended housing accommodation;
- An explanation of how the request relates to the impact of the disability/condition;
- An indication of the level of need for the recommended accommodation;
- A statement of the level of need for (or the consequences of not receiving) the recommended accommodation;
- Possible alternatives if recommended accommodation is not possible.
In order to fully evaluate your request, students need to provide current documentation as is appropriate for their disability. The type-written documentation should be provided by a licensed physician or psychologist that describes the student’s medical disability/condition and provides support for special housing accommodation(s). The documentation should include:
- A diagnostic statement including the date of the most recent evaluation;
- The current impact of (or limitations imposed by) the disability/condition with a description of the level of severity, duration, and frequency of the above medical or psychological disability/condition;
- Description of the current medical or psychological treatment plan, medications, devices or services currently prescribed or used to minimize the impact of the disability/condition;
- Description of how the current medical or psychological condition may require special housing accommodations;
- Alternatives in the event that the requested accommodation is not possible.
The Disability Support Services Office evaluates all requests for special-need housing accommodations carefully. Below is a summary of the factors considered when evaluating special-need housing accommodations.
Severity of the Disability
- Is the impact of the disability life threatening if the request is not met?
- Is there a negative health impact that may be permanent if the request is not met?
- Is the request an integral component of a treatment plan for the disability?
- What is the likely impact on academic performance or social development if the request is not met?
Timing of the Request
- Is the request made with the initial housing request or before the housing application deadline?
- Is the request made as soon as possible after identifying the need? (Based on date of diagnosis, receipt of housing application, change in status, etc.)
Availability and Feasibility of Special-Need Housing Accommodation
- Is space available that meets the student’s needs?
- Is the student in special interest housing — can the requested accommodation be met within that area?
- Can space be adapted to provide the requested accommodation without creating a safety hazard (electrical load, emergency egress, etc.)?
- Are there other effective methods or housing accommodations that would achieve similar benefits as the requested accommodation?
- How does meeting this request impact housing commitments to other students?
- Is the cost of meeting the request prohibitive?
If a student with a documented disability believes that he/she has not been provided with a reasonable housing accommodation, the student should direct his/her concern to the Dean of Students or designee. The student must provide in writing the nature of the concern and any other relevant information. The decision of the Dean of Students or designee is final.