Housing, Dining, and Other Non-Academic Accommodations

In addition to academic accommodations, DSS also work with students who may need accommodations in other non-academic settings and situations. Please review the following sections below regarding these non-academic accommodations and their processes.

Housing Accommodations 

Students who pursue on-campus residency and have medical-related needs can apply for housing accommodations. DSS will review each accommodation request and work with the Housing Services team to implement reasonable accommodations if approved. Some accommodations may include: living closer to an elevator or on a low floor; having bed shaker/visual alarms; emotional support animals (ESAs); etc.

Please note:

  • Having an academic accommodation does not necessarily mean that the student will qualify for a housing accommodation.
  • DSS works closely with Housing Services to ensure the housing accommodation process aligns with the general housing application and placement processes, so please be sure to review and adhere to any deadlines they provide.
  • Because most students are not required to live on campus, if a requested accommodation is determined to be unreasonable or otherwise unavailable, a student may find that living off campus better suits their needs.

For more information on campus housing, please visit the Housing Services webpage: https://discover.trinitydc.edu/campus-housing/

Emotional Support Animals

Having an emotional support animal  (ESA) may constitute a reasonable accommodation for certain students with disabilities, and DSS will consider any request for having an ESA as an accommodation on a case-by-case basis. Any student who wishes to request this accommodation should complete non-academic accommodation request form and submit supportive documentation. Once supportive documentation is submitted, the DSS Director will need at least 5 business days to review the information provided before meeting with the student. After meeting with the student, the DSS Director will make a determination and inform the student and Housing Services.

There are specific documentation requirements for requesting an ESA as an accommodation:

  • Documentation must be provided from a licensed, treating physician or mental provider who can make an objective qualifying recommendation for the accommodation. The provider recommendation must be provided on official letterhead and include the provider name, title/professional credentials, address, telephone number, email address, licensure information, signature, and date of the report.

The report itself must include the following:

  • Provider disability diagnosis, history of the diagnosis, and detailed discussion of current impact by disability as well as treatments used
  • Provider explanation of any recommendation for an emotional support animal (ESA) as treatment method for the disability and information about relief the ESA provides, specific to the student’s diagnosis
  • Provider explanation of any recommendation for use of ESA as needed by the student in an on-campus housing setting
  • Provider explanation of any possible alternatives to use of ESA as an accommodation

If a student is approved for use of an ESA as a housing accommodation, the student must apply for renewal of the request each year of on-campus residency.

An ESA may not be on campus unless it has been approved by DSS via the housing accommodation process.

Please note:

  • If approved:
    • DSS will provide the student a letter that indicates the ESA accommodation, so they may keep it readily available on their person or on their phone to provide as proof if needed.
    • The student must submit up-to-date vaccination and veterinary records to show that the animal is vaccinated and in good health, in order to reside on campus and in close proximity to other students and individuals. These records include: rabies and distemper; flea/tick; and proof of spay/neutering.
    • The presence of the ESA must adhere to all local District of Columbia applicable laws and policies.
    • ESAs are only permitted in the student’s residence hall and other university-approved spaces (such as designated outdoor areas).
    • The student must be agree to be the sole caretaker of the animal while it resides on campus. An emergency contact who lives within driving distance of Trinity must be provided for the animal, in case of an emergency.
  • An ESA accommodation may be revoked if the animal harms itself, the student, or another person; if there are continued issues with its care and treatment; and/or if the animal provides continued disruption while on campus.

Service animals: Different from ESAs, service animals are dogs that provide a unique service to a person with a disability. According to the Department of Justice, “Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. 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.”

Service animals do not require an accommodation; however, if you have a service animal, you are encouraged to inform DSS, in case of classroom spaces and/or other accessibility related issues.


Dining Accommodations

While there are a variety of dining options available in the dining hall, students with dietary allergies or other disabilities that impact their dining capability may apply for a dining accommodation using the form below. After submitting the request, the student must provide specific documentation that addresses the following:

  • The student’s allergy or diagnosis, history of the diagnosis, and the impact of the diagnosis on the student as it relates to eating in a university dining hall
  • Any treatment that is prescribed for the diagnosis or allergy (such as food avoidance; use of medication, including epi-PEN, etc.)
  • The provider recommendation for accommodation, if any

Please note that documentation must come from a licensed medical practitioner who has the ability to diagnosis and treat the disability in question. The documentation must include the provider name, credentials/title, licensing information, address, phone number, email address, signature, and date of report.

For more information on campus dining, please visit the Dining Services webpage: https://discover.trinitydc.edu/student-affairs/campus-dining/


Other Non-Academic Accommodations

Any student who believes they have need for any non-academic accommodation not listed on this page, should submit the form below so that DSS can understand the need in question and work with the student to find a productive way forward.


Process for Requesting Non-Academic Accommodation

This process includes the following steps:

  1. Submit your request for a non-academic accommodation via email to DSS@trinitydc.edu
  2. Once the request has been submitted, supportive documentation must be provided to indicate the medical need for the accommodation.
  3. After receiving the request and related documentation, the DSS Director will review the information and meet with the student to provide a determination and discuss next steps.