The University of Iowa and University Housing and Dining are committed to providing equitable opportunities in higher education and programs for academically qualified students regardless of disability.  Students with a variety of disabilities and chronic medical conditions are welcome and encouraged to live in campus housing and we value the contributions all students make in our living learning communities. Campus housing is intended for students who do not need adult supervision and can successfully live on their own. Student needs differ individually, and University Housing and Dining will make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. 

We will work with any student who requests housing or dining accommodations on an individual basis. It is important to communicate early and thoroughly with University Housing and Dining staff to ensure your needs can be met most effectively. If you need to request an accommodation, you will need to fill out a Reasonable Accommodation Request Form. 

Please note: We are partnering with Student Disability Services in the review of all of our housing and dining related medical requests. Please register with Student Disability Services to ensure your eligibility for on-campus/classroom accommodations.

If you have additional questions, please call us at 319-335-3000 or email uhd-ada@uiowa.edu

PDF iconRequest for a Reasonable Accommodation Form

Housing Accommodations Process

You must make a written request to University Housing and Dining for a reasonable accommodation to their room assignment. Part I is for the student to complete and Part II is for written support from a qualified health care professional. Requests are not considered complete until both portions are received. 

Once a complete request has been received, a member of the Contracts and Assignments office (or University Dining if a meal plan accommodation has been requested) will contact the student. Requests for accommodations submitted after the priority deadline will be filled as space allows. Please understand that not every residence hall room is accessible to students with disabilities.

Requests for accommodations will be verified by medical staff at Student Health and Wellness to determine our obligations based on the Americans with Disabilities Act and if the accommodation is medically required.  Factors that staff will consider when evaluating requests for accommodations:

  • Is the impact of the condition life-threatening if the request is not met?
  • Is the request an integral part of a treatment plan prescribed by a medical professional for the condition in question?
  • Was the request made by the priority deadline?
  • Is there space available to meet the student’s need?

We will make every effort to respond to your required medical accommodation as space is or becomes available.  Students providing medical documentation that an ADA accommodation is necessary will not be assessed additional charges for accommodations approved by University of Iowa staff. 

Once your documentation has been evaluated and verified as medically necessary, you will be offered an accommodation via email to be accepted by the deadline provided.  Accommodations commonly offered to students may include:

  • Ability to bring or rent more than 1 Micro Chill refrigerator for medical supplies
  • ADA compliant bathroom with roll in shower and/or shower bench
  • Bed de-lofted prior to move-in
  • Evacuation plan for emergencies
  • Ground floor room or room on a lower floor
  • Kitchen access for individual meal preparation
  • Proximity reader access to automatically open doors
  • Semi-private bathroom
  • Strobe light, flashing fire alarm, and/or doorbell

Requests That Cannot Be Met

It may be helpful to note that due to the nature of living in a residence hall community, a request for a quiet hall is not a medical accommodation that can be met.  Additionally, because a residence hall is shared by hundreds of students participating in various activities throughout the day, living in a single room does not necessarily provide a student with a quiet, distraction-free environment. 

Mutually-confirmed roommate requests submitted by the required deadline will be considered and fulfilled as we are able.  However, a specific roommate request is not a medical accommodation that will be honored.  If you have a need for support from a medical professional, they must make arrangements with a private care company.  Card access for support staff can be arranged after room assignments have been finalized. 

University Housing and Dining is also committed to provide food options that meet the needs of students with specific diets or food allergies. If you are in need of a nutrition-related accommodation, please fill out a dietary needs form. For additional questions, please contact Laura Croteau-Lopez, RD, LD, our nutrition specialist at uhd-dietitian@uiowa.edu

Assistance animals within University Housing and Dining may be either service animals or emotional support animals. Service animals are recognized under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), and are animals that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.  Emotional support animals are not recognized by the ADA, and are prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional to provide therapeutic benefits to a person with a disability.  Assistance animals are not pets.  Pets are animals kept for leisure and companionship, and therefore, are not permitted in University Housing and Dining. 

We recommend that you submit your request and documentation requesting an accommodation including an assistance animal by the priority deadline, and at least 45 days before moving into the residence halls. Assistance animals are not permitted in the residence halls until official written approval has been given by University Housing and Dining.  Accommodations will be for the course of an academic year and need to be renewed annually, or at any point where the accommodation request has changed or a new assignment has been given to the student.

University Housing and Dining may exclude an assistance animal from the residence halls if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others, or would fundamentally alter the nature of University Housing.

Assistance Animal Approval Process

  1. You submit a completed Request for Reasonable Accommodation for University Housing and Dining including a statement from your health care practitioner regarding the specific accommodation required.
  2. Once approved for an accommodation due to a disability, you will be emailed documentation to submit regarding their assistance animal, including:
    • Assistance Animal Request Form
    • Veterinarian Verification Form
    • A photo of the animal
    • A copy of the animal’s Johnson County license (where required)
    • A copy of the current vaccination records
  3. After all documentation has been verified, you will meet with a University Housing and Dining staff member to review and sign the Assistance Animal Guidelines and Expectations.
  4. A date the animal is approved to enter the building will be determined. 
  5. University Housing and Dining will notify the residence hall community of the assistance animal and provide expectations for engagement.  

Students needing academic accommodations which do not impact their housing or dining situation should contact Student Disability Services or 319-335-1462. Please be aware that requests for medical accommodations that have been submitted to Student Disability Services will not be forwarded to University Housing & Dining.

We require completion of a separate form and additional documentation as it specifically relates to a student’s housing assignment. If you are requesting accommodations from both offices, please make sure to have the appropriate paperwork submitted to each department. 

Request Deadlines

Prospective students who have a disability should make a written request for a reasonable accommodation as soon as possible after submitting their housing application.  Priority dates for consideration are:

  • Returning Students: February 15
  • New Students: May 15
  • Spring Semester: December 15
  • Summer Semester: May 5

Requests will be accepted at any time, but may be limited by space availability.  

Current students may submit a written request at any time while they live in the residence halls, however, options for an accommodation may be limited by space availability. Students who currently live in the residence halls with accommodations and wish to return next year will be able to denote this on their reapplication. If accommodations need to be adjusted, additional documentation is required by February 15.