Housing Accommodations

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and Housing & Residential Education (HRE) work collaboratively to provide approved housing accommodations for students with documented disabilities.

Students who have documented disabilities may request a specific housing accommodation. Housing accommodation requests are processed by Student Accessibility Services and are evaluated on an individualized basis.

SAS will engage in an interactive process with the student, and information provided during an interview will aid in the evaluation of the student’s request. The goal of the interactive process is so that SAS understands the nature of the student’s disability, as well as the rationale for the requested housing accommodation. Additionally, we want to ensure the student understands SAS’ process and procedures as stated below.

Students may find it challenging to live within a community and share space with others. However, requests for specific on-campus housing (i.e. single rooms or release from housing contracts) based solely on a student’s preferences, rather than on a documented disability, will not meet the criteria for evaluation in SAS.

Requests for specific room configurations, such as a single room based on a student's desire to have a quiet, undisturbed place to study, cannot be considered. By virtue of living in a residence hall community where the resources are shared, a single room does not provide for quiet, distraction-free space to any appreciable degree beyond living in other room configurations. Alternative quiet spaces exist throughout the College where students can study outside of their living space.

The SAS process is for individual students only. Accommodation requests for specific roommates, suitemates, or individual buildings cannot be considered.

Returning students with a housing requirement who wish to reside with a specific roommate or suite group have the opportunity to participate in HRE Housing Selection to meet their preferences.

Students are responsible for submitting a new accommodation request each year. SAS will request current documentation in support of the request.

On-Time Deadlines for Submission of Requests

  Fall Semester On-time Deadline Spring Semester On-Time deadline
Returning Students March 1 November 1
New to Emerson: First Year and Transfer Students June 1 December 1

Late Requests: Late requests will be considered. However, requests will be processed on an extended timeline. The availability of specific types of rooms decreases due to the reduced availability of housing options. Students with an approved accommodation will be granted priority status and assigned by HRE on a space-available basis in accordance with HRE established selection and placement timelines.

Note: Emerson students should maintain awareness of the College’s residency requirement policies as well as Housing & Residential Education (HRE) deadlines and processes for housing applications, financial deposits, etc. This information can be found on the Housing Portal.

Process for Requesting Housing Accommodations Based on a Disability

Students requesting a housing accommodation will engage in an interactive process with SAS and should follow
the steps below by the deadlines listed above.

To request a housing accommodation:

  1. Log in to SAS Portal with Emerson credentials. Students who are not yet registered in the SAS Portal must complete an Initial Accommodation Request form to proceed with Step 2.
  2. Once logged in, navigate to Accommodation on the left sidebar and click Housing Requests. Click “Add New” and fill out the form as directed.
  3. Provide documentation of the disability that meets the areas outlined in the Documentation Guidelines for Housing Accommodation Requests.
  4. Once the above materials have been submitted, a SAS staff member will invite the student to schedule an interview as part of the interactive process.

Information about the Review & Notification Process

A complete request consists of the request form, documentation, and an interview with a SAS staff member.
Only complete requests will be reviewed.

SAS will convene to review the materials and make a determination about whether or not the information
submitted meets the criteria outlined in the guidelines (see page 4). It must include a documented disability and
rationale for the requested housing accommodation. SAS will pause the review process during HRE Housing

Recommendations and/or statements included in the documentation should not be interpreted as automatically receiving approval by Emerson for a housing accommodation.

SAS may consult with representatives from the following offices: Emerson Wellness Center, Housing and Residential Education (HRE), Office of Student Success (OSS), VP & Dean of Campus Life and Facilities.

Students will receive written notification of SAS’ decision to grant or deny the request. The timeline for
decisions is up to 3-4 weeks for requests that meet the on-time deadline and up to 6-8 weeks for late

Students who fall under the residency requirement are advised not make any binding financial commitments to
alternative housing unless they have confirmation from the college that they've been officially released from the
housing contract.

If the accommodation is approved SAS will notify HRE, and their staff will be in contact with the student
regarding placement.

  • HRE will give priority to the student’s approved accommodation and collaborate with SAS on the
  • housing placement.
  • Spaces will be assigned in accordance with the HRE’s housing assignment timeline.
  • Based on the available housing inventory, the placement offered to the student may or may not be the approved accommodation; at times a reasonable alternative may be offered.

If the accommodation request is denied and the student believes the decision is unreasonable, they have 14
calendar days to provide additional supporting documentation to SAS for re-evaluation. The decision will be
shared in writing from the Director, or their designee, and is final. Documentation should be uploaded to the
SAS Portal (login via DUO required), sent to sas [at] emerson.edu (sas[at]emerson[dot]edu), or faxed to 617-824-8941.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against by SAS staff during the interactive process or in the
outcome of your request, you can file a formal grievance. An individual can review the grievance process and if they plan to bring a grievance should notify the Office of Equal Opportunity in writing of that
intention within 10 business days (oeo [at] emerson.edu (oeo[at]emerson[dot]edu)).


Please contact our office for questions about the process or require additional information:

216 Tremont Street (Union Bank Building), 5th Floor
sas [at] emerson.edu (sas[at]emerson[dot]edu)
617-824-8592 (office)
617-824-8941 (fax)

Documentation Guidelines for Housing Accommodation Requests

Documentation must be in the form of a typed letter and meet the following criteria:

  • Current (within one year).
  • Written by a qualified impartial professional who is treating you for the diagnosed disability. (examples include: physician, psychiatrist, psychologist/therapist or other licensed treatment provider). The writer should have expertise and experience in the area for which the accommodations are being requested. Documentation cannot be written by a family member.
  • Letterhead (name, license/certification, area of specialization, employer, contact information, credentials).
  • A valid signature or electronic signature.
  • Written in English or officially translated to English.
  • A clear diagnostic statement of disability (including DSM-V diagnosis, if applicable)
  • Description of current symptoms (frequency, duration, severity)
  • Impact the disability has on functioning in a residential environment.
  • Dates of treatment including initial appointment/treatment, most recent evaluation, appointment frequency, etc.
  • Types of treatment including medication, therapy, procedures, etc.
  • A specific recommendation for requested accommodation.
  • Rationale for necessity of accommodation and explanation for how it relates to treatment plan.
  • Additional relevant information that will aid our office in evaluating the student’s request.

This documentation will be kept confidential and will be utilized only to determine the student’s eligibility for accommodations and type of accommodation required. Emerson reserves the right to determine the adequacy of the documentation provided and the right to request additional information as deemed necessary by the College to evaluate the request.

How to Submit Documentation

Documentation should be sent in one of the following ways:

  • Upload directly to the SAS Portal (preferred; login via DUO required)
  • Via email: sas [at] emerson.edu (sas[at]emerson[dot]edu)
  • Via fax: 617-824-8941