How we make medical (ADA) accommodations

The University of Iowa and University Housing and Dining is 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 on-campus and we value the contributions all students make during their time living with us.

Housing on our campus is intended for students who do not need adult supervision and can successfully live on their own. We understand that student needs differ individually and our team works to make reasonable accommodations for any student with a disability. 

Request an Accommodation

Submit a request for a reasonable accommodation by filling out our form.

How it works

Our team 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.

Once a complete request has been received, a member of our contracts and assignments team (or University Dining if a meal plan accommodation has been requested) will contact you.

If you submit an accommodation request after the priority deadline, it will be filled as space allows.

Please note that not every residence hall room is accessible to students with disabilities.

Our team will review completed requests with our campus partners in Student Disability Services and provide an outcome to your UIOWA email address. If you are offered an accommodation after our priority deadline, our team will work to meet your accommodation as space allows. 


We are here to help you find what you need. You can reach out to our team at 319-335-3000 or email

Key dates

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

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. 

February 15

The priority deadline for an accommodation request to be submitted for a returning student.

December 15

The priority deadline for an accommodation request to be submitted for a student for the spring semester.

May 15

The priority deadline for an accommodation request to be submitted for a new student.

May 15

The priority deadline for an accommodation request to be submitted for a student for the summer semester.

What we offer

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 room accommodations, dining accommodations and assistance animals. 

All of our residence halls are equipped with a variety of air conditioning methods. Each room will have air conditioning available during the months that cooling is needed, allowing windows to remain closed. Leaving windows closed assists in reducing allergens but it does not resolve issues completely. Many students with environmental allergies find relief with allergy medicine and/or a personal air purifier.  

If you need an accommodation that does not impact your housing or dining situation, you will need to contact Student Disability Services. We require completion of a separate form and additional documentation as it specifically relates to your housing assignment. If you are requesting accommodations from both offices, please make sure to have the appropriate paperwork submitted to each department. 

Common accommodations

Residence hall room accommodations commonly offered to students include:

  • Ability to bring or rent more than one MicroFridge refrigerator for medical supplies. Refrigerators approved for accommodations are not provided by University Housing and Dining.
  • Rooms and/or restrooms that accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
  • Bed de-lofted prior to moving into the room.
  • Evacuation plan for emergencies.
  • Strobe light fire alarm for students with hearing loss.
  • Ground floor room or room on a lower floor.
  • Kitchen access for individual meal preparation.
  • Pillow shakers for students with hearing loss.
  • Proximity reader access to automatically open doors.
  • Semi-private restroom.
  • Strobe light, flashing fire alarm and/or doorbell.

Adjustments to a student's housing assignment due to health-related symptoms that do not rise to the level of a significant disabling condition, such as living with a particular roommate, religious practices, proximity to academic/campus buildings, or a desire for a quiet/undisturbed place to study, are considered housing preferences. Housing preferences cannot be accommodated through the ADA/Medical accommodations process.

Dining accommodations commonly offered to students include:

  • Help navigating the market places.
  • Discussion about dietary questions and specific nutrition needs.
  • Having staff meals prepared in the kitchen to limit the possibility of cross-contact for allergy-related concerns.

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

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. 

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 the accommodation form above. You will also need to include a statement from your health care practitioner regarding the specific accommodation required.
  2. Once approved, you will be emailed documentation to submit regarding your assistance animal. You will need to fill out and send back to us the following forms:
    • Assistance animal request form
    • Veterinarian verification form
    • A photo of the animal
    • A copy of the animal’s Johnson County license (for approved cats and dogs)
    • A copy of the current vaccination records
  3. After all documentation has been verified, you will meet with someone from our team to review and sign the guidelines and expectations form for assistance animals.
  4. The date the animal is approved to enter the building will be determined. 
  5. Our team will notify the residence hall community of the assistance animal and provide expectations for engagement.  


Request academic accommodations

Housing accommodations are separate from accommodations that help you navigate your academic experience at Iowa. Learn what accommodations are appropriate for you.