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Academic Support & Access Center

Disability-Related Housing Accommodations Requests

General information about disability-related housing accommodations

Acronym Key
ASAC: Academic Support and Access Center
SAQ: Student Accommodations Questionnaire
HDP: Housing & Dining Programs

American University is committed to ensuring access to university programs and activities for all qualified students with disabilities. Please note the following: 

1. a request for a disability-related housing accommodation must be initiated through the ASAC; and

2. a student requesting disability-related housing accommodation must also participate in the general housing application process through Housing and Dining Programs (HDP). 

Documentation for a disability-related housing request consists of an evaluation by a qualified professional that relates the current impact of the impairment to the request and describes how the accommodation is necessary to provide access.

Decisions on requests will be made after review of the submitted documentation,  the student’s self-report (SAQ), the Disability-Related Housing Accommodation Request Form, and after the student has met with an ASAC staff member, either in person or by telephone.

Some examples of accommodations that American University may provide include: visual fire alarm; electronic door; accessibility features in room, bathroom, or common area; and proximity to an elevator. Because of numerous locations on campus that are available for reduced-distraction study space, housing accommodations are not generally provided for academic-related needs. Students requesting an accommodation for time management reasons are encouraged to utilize skill-building workshops and services at the ASAC. We cannot guarantee an allergen-free or quiet living environment. First year students have a high chance of being placed in a triple room. Residence halls, by nature, are a communal living experience. Students are encouraged, but not required, to live on campus.


Due to heavy demand for on-campus housing, YOU MUST adhere to all housing application deadlines advertised by HDP. The earliest possible communication with the ASAC about your accommodation needs is encouraged. Failure to meet the ASAC deadlines may seriously impact the availability of rooms for assignment that will meet your disability accommodation needs.

Procedures for Requesting Disability-Related Housing Accommodations

Procedures for requesting disability-related housing accommodations vary according to your enrollment status. Please refer to the appropriate category as listed below.

1. First-year (freshman) students, including Washington Mentorship
2. Transfer students
3. Washington Semester Program students
4. Current students requesting housing accommodations for the first time
5. Students currently receiving housing accommodations who wish to renew request
6. All students who wish to live in on-campus housing for summer

Evaluation of Disability-Related Housing Accommodation Requests

Housing accommodation requests completed in compliance with the guidelines below are considered carefully as part of a deliberative process on a case-by-case basis. The following may be considered in this process:

1) Does the impairment described substantially limit major life functions and rise to the level of a disability?

2) Severity of the Condition
  • Is the impact of the condition 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 condition in question?
  • Is the accommodation sought necessary to give the student access to residential housing?

3) Timing of the Request

  • Was the request made within all applicable deadlines?
  • If the deadlines were not met, was the request made as soon as possible after identifying the need?
4) Feasibility and Availability
  • Is space currently available that meets the student’s needs?
  • Can space be adapted to provide the requested configuration without creating a safety hazard (related to electrical load, emergency egress, etc.)?
  • Are there other effective methods or housing configurations that would achieve similar benefits as the requested configuration?


Students will be notified by the ASAC if their request is granted or denied. If granted, students will be notified of room assignments by HDP. If you have been approved for an accommodation that is not reflected in your room assignment notification, or if you have any questions about disability-related accommodations, please contact the ASAC at 202-885-3360.

Please Note: The above guidelines are intended to inform students about the university’s decision-making process but are not exhaustive since we cannot anticipate every situation. This publication must be considered informational and not binding on the university. The university reserves the right to amend these guidelines with or without notice. Consult the ASAC for additional information.

If a student wishes to appeal a decision about a housing accommodation request or voice a formal complaint, please be aware of American University’s Disability Grievance Procedures.