Special Needs Housing Accommodations

Special Housing Assignment Policies

Students interested in University housing are required to complete a Residence Life Housing Accommodation form and submit it to the Office of Residence Life.  Students who require special housing accommodations due to a documented disability covered by the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), must complete the required section on the Residence Life Housing Application.  Requests for housing or residence life accommodations will be granted if they are reasonable and are supported by the student’s documented medical, psychological, or disability related needs. Disabilities covered by ADA includes, but not limited to, visual impairments, permanent physical disabilities, chronic medical conditions, and psychiatric disabilities which may require special housing accommodations based on their condition.  Some disabilities have a prognosis that traditionally changes after treatment or over time and in some cases documentation may need to be updated to identify the current level of functioning.

Residence Life policies and procedures outlined in the Student Handbook are applicable to Special Needs Housing.  Lincoln University does not discriminate in the provision of housing to students with disabilities.  We are committed to providing comparable, convenient, and accessible housing to students with disabilities at the same cost as to others. Lincoln University will maintain an adequate supply of housing for students with disabilities, and that the University will make reasonable modifications to its housing policies, procedures, and practices when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination, unless the University can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the housing services provided by the University.

Follow these six easy steps to enroll!

  • Step One: On the student housing application, please indicate if you are requesting accommodations due to a disability.
  • Step Two: Students must have their diagnosing physician complete the Documented Disability Form in its entirety.  Students must complete the Self-Identification form.
  • Step Three: All completed forms must be submitted to Director of Student Support Services.  Clear faxed copies are acceptable. 
    • RETURNING STUDENTS ONLY:  Special Needs Housing program accepts documentation for housing accommodations in February if applying for the upcoming academic year.  
    • All incoming freshmen/transfer students can submit documentation once accepted into the university.
  • Step Four: All documentation is thoroughly and confidentially  reviewed by the Director of Student Support Services according to the ADA (1990) standards.
  • Step Five: 
    • RETURNING STUDENTS:  Notifications of approvals/denials are sent to your campus mailbox, if semester is in session; otherwise notifications are sent to your permanent home address.  Please ensure you select a room through room selection if you have not received a notification letter before your assigned lottery date.
    • INCOMING FRESHMEN/TRANSFER STUDENTS:  All notifications are mailed to address listed with the university.
  • Step Six: Office of Student Support Services notifies Residence Life of your approval status.

Additional Information

  • Documentation should be typed or printed on letterhead (or the provided form), dated, signed and legible with the name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator or medical provider. Most importantly, the documentation should clearly identify the housing accommodation request.
  • Office of Student Support Services reserves the right to request additional documentation if the information does not address the student's request if information is missing..
  • We are typically able to honor most requests that are submitted each year, and work with each student on an individual basis. We will notify you ahead of time in the event that we believe we are not going to be able to provide the requested accommodations.
  • The earlier you are able to submit your request, the more likely it is we will be able to reserve the appropriate space for you.

Asthma documentation should include suggestions for minimizing the allergic reactions to most common allergies.  Documentation should include:

  • Diagnosis and allergens
  • Frequency of attacks (i.e. constant, intermittent)
  • Severity of attacks (i.e. mild, moderate, severe)
  • Current medications and prescriptive treatments
  • Recommendation to assist in controlling allergens within university housing

Please note:  Documentation is considered incomplete/invalid if it does not include all information as stated above.


Please note we cannot guarantee another space will be available at a later time if a student is granted special housing accommodations and turns down the opportunity to live in a space that accommodates their need in hopes of getting another selected space and/or building.

Service Animals (SA) or Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Lincoln University recognizes the need for students with a disability to use trained service animals or emotional support animals. .  For service animals the University will not require documentation regarding the use of a service animal if the disability and service provided is apparent.  If the disability is not readily apparent the University may ask the person for documentation of a disability related need for an assistance animal. , Documentation should include only whether the animal is required because of a disability and what work or tasks has the animal been trained to  the type of work or tasks the animal has been trained to perform.  Service animals are requested to wear appropriate cape or harness identifying them as a service animal. 

For students to meet the need of having an accommodation for an emotional support animal:

  • the student has a documented disorder that rises to the level of a disability, i.e. has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one of more major life activities, and;
  • the animal is necessary to afford the student with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their dwelling; and
  • there is an identifiable and documented connection between the disability and the assistance the animal provides. The University will allow only those emotional support animals that are allowed by local and state laws and conform to standards within these laws.   

Student’s Responsibility

Students using a service animal or emotional support animals are responsible for the animal’s behavior. Service animals or emotional support animals must comply with leash laws and be controlled by the student at all times. The student is ultimately responsible for the cleanliness, grooming and health of the animal, as well as ensuring that proper vaccinations are current, and taking responsibility for the proper disposal of all waste. Student must present documentation that the animal has all current immunizations and rabies vaccination required prior to moving the animal into campus residential facilities.  Lincoln University reserves the right to require proof of updated vaccinations at any time during the animal’s residency.  Animals must leave campus if the student leaves overnight or during University breaks.  Student is responsible for paying any damage to university property or pest treatment caused by the animal.  If the animal's behavior is disruptive, aggressive or destructive, the student will be held responsible and may be asked to remove the animal from campus. Residential students who use service or emotional support animals should meet with the Director of Residence Life before the start of the semester to discuss procedures for appropriate management.  The university reserves the right to request and obtain proper documentation to ensure compliance with these requirements.

ESAs are generally not allowed to accompany persons with disabilities in all public areas of Lincoln University as a service animal is allowed to do. Instead, an ESA may reside in college housing, including accompanying the person in public or common areas of the person’s housing when it may be necessary to afford the person with a disability equal opportunity to use and participate in the college housing program.

Policy on Puppy Raisers, Handlers and Trainers in University Housing

In compliance with applicable law, Lincoln University allows service animals in training in its buildings, classrooms, residence halls, meetings, dining areas, recreational facilities, activities and events when the animal is accompanied by a handler or trainer. Handlers and trainers may be student residents and student resident employees. Lincoln University is not responsible for the care or supervision of a puppy in training. Housing and Residential Programs maintain oversight of the puppy in training that is living in its facilities and is entitled to disclose information about the impending presence of the animal to students who will be sharing a living environment with a student who is a handler or trainer. Handlers and trainers are responsible for the cost, feeding, care and supervision of their puppy in training. Lincoln students and student employees residing in the residence halls will be permitted to act as a handler or trainer and must comply with the legal requirements of training including documented evidence of vaccinations and licensing, provide proof of registration with a service dog organization, and all other sanitation, control and emergency and safety issues related to having a dog on campus.

For more information about Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals please visit ADA’s website and contact human resources or the office of residential housing.