Housing Accommodations

Scripps College is committed to the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of college life, including residential life. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the American with Disabilities Act, Scripps College has established procedures to ensure that students with documented disabilities have equal access to housing resources and receive housing assignments that reasonably meet their needs as required by law. According to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), a disability is defined as any mental or physical impairment that substantially limits the individual in a major life activity.

The department of Academic Resources and Services (ARS) oversees all disability support services. ARS works closely with Residential Life staff to identify appropriate housing accommodations for all students with documented disabilities. Given that, it is important for students to inform us right away of any conditions and/or limitations that may impact their residential life experience. Please see information below regarding housing accommodation requests.

New incoming students requesting housing accommodations (including emotional support animals)

All housing and support animal accommodation requests for incoming students for the 2024-2025 academic year, must be received by the Department of Academic Resources and Services by June 14th, 2024. Accommodations are provided as needed and as space permits. Please review process for requesting housing accommodations below.

Process for Requesting Housing Accommodations

  • Complete the Housing Accommodations Request Form
  • Provide supporting documentation. It is preferred for documentation to be uploaded with the Housing Accommodation Request Form. If needed, documentation can also be emailed to ARS at [email protected]. Documentation guidelines are below.
  • Housing accommodation requests are reviewed at the end of each month during the academic year.

Documentation Guidelines for Housing Accommodations

All documentation must be submitted on letterhead and include a signature dated within the last year from the treating professional health care provider. Students are encouraged to share the documentation guidelines with their treating health care professional. Documentation must address the following:

  • Licensure and experience of health care professional
  • Identification of diagnosis/condition
  • Description of the functional limitation(s) as a result of the condition
  • Discussion of the major life activities impaired by the condition
  • How the condition/limitations impact full participation and/or accessibility of any aspect of the college experience, specifically residential and/or academic environment
  • List of all recommended accommodations that will ameliorate the experience of the limitation(s) such that the student will be able to fully access and/or participate in all aspects of the academic or residential life programs

Evaluation Process

Requests for housing accommodations will be reviewed by a committee. Decisions will be sent electronically to the Scripps email account of the requesting student. Additionally, the student will be notified if more information is needed to make a decision on a request. Residential Life staff will work to facilitate access to appropriate housing accommodations as quickly as possible, but is based on availability. All approved housing accommodations will be reflected in the student’s assigned housing for the semester.

Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Animals (also known as Comfort Animals or ESA’s) are often used as part of a medical treatment plan. These support animals provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities. Support animals are not considered service animals under the ADA. Support animals are approved as housing accommodation only, in adherence with the federal Fair Housing Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. As such, ESAs are to be utilized and limited to a student’s housing area and cannot be in classrooms, dining halls, library, and other public or communal spaces. Guidelines for ESAs can be found within our ESA Agreement that students must agree and adhere to prior to bringing their ESA.

Since ESAs serve as one coping strategy and only a single part of a more extensive medical treatment plan, ESAs must be renewed each academic year with updated documentation citing the ongoing need for animal. In order to apply or renew an ESA, students must submit a housing request form , provide information related to their need for an ESA, and submit medical documentation that follows the documentation guidelines for housing accommodations listed in the request form. Once approved, students will be asked to sign the ESA Agreement form, submit a photo of their ESA, and wait for our Residential Life safety checks to ensure the animal does not pose a health or safety risk to others. Once this occurs, then a student can proceed with bringing their ESA to campus.

Service Animals

In contrast to ESAs, Service Dogs are protected under the ADA. An individual with a disability who uses a service animal may bring the animal to the same areas on campus where the individual may go, including classrooms.  Titles II and III of the ADA define a service animal as any dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  No licensing or certifying entity exists to legitimize the use of a service animal.  Rather, the need of the individual with a disability and the specific function the service animal (in most cases a dog) is trained to perform legitimize the use under federal and state laws. By having access to a service dog, this means an animal: 1. Is required because of a disability 2. It has been trained to perform tasks or work related to the disabling condition.

Students with access to a service dog, should register their animal with the Office of Academic Resources and Services. This will ensure that appropriate measures are taken for housing and classroom spaces in order to remove potential barriers that would impact the ability for the animal to perform their tasks or work. Additionally, this will allow our office to ensure that safety checks are conducted to avoid any potential health impacts (allergies, phobias, etc.) to community members.

Service animals entering laboratories must be protected against hazardous chemicals and broken glass similar to students.  Protective gear such as booties, a lab coat, or googles may be required.  It is the owner’s responsibility to provide and train their service animal to wear the required protective gear and to navigate their ability to perform or tasks within the lab. The owner assumes all responsibility for safety of animal when entering the lab. If other accommodations, including priority seating or others need to be provided to support the service animal, ARS should be contacted.

Responsibilities of Owners for Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

If an animal is disruptive to the learning environment or college events, directly aggressive or threatening, or not under the control of the handler at all times, then access by the animal may be prohibited. Owners are to abide by the guidelines and policies noted in the ESA Agreement form and the Service Animal Registration form. Owners will assume financial responsibility and liability for any physical harm done to a person or any property damages that occur as result of their animal.

Meal Plan Accommodations

Scripps College requires that all students living in Scripps-supported housing purchase a meal plan. However, students with specific dietary needs that cannot be met by the college, may request an adjustment to their meal plan.

To request meal plan accommodations:

  • Submit the Meal Plan Accommodation Request Form
  • Provide supporting documentation. Documentation may be emailed, mailed, faxed, or dropped off in the Dean of Students Office. Documentation Guidelines are above. 

Completed applications and documentation will be reviewed by the Academic Resources and Services staff. In some instances, students may be required to meet with ARS staff and Dining Services staff as a part of the meal accommodation request process.

Other Related Information

Additional information about the process for establishing academic accommodations at Scripps can be found on the Disability Support Services webpage.

Questions about the housing accommodations process can be directed to Academic Resources and Services at [email protected]