Residence Life and Housing Accommodations

The Residential Program and Reasonable Accommodations

As part of our mission to foster diverse and inclusive learning and living environments, Bates College is committed to supporting students with documented disabilities. As a residential community, Bates prioritizes the residential experience as an essential part of our institutional commitment to educating the whole person.

All students admitted to Bates enjoy full access to its programs and services, including residence life. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, Bates has established procedures to ensure students with documented disabilities receive housing assignments that reasonably meet their needs as required by law.

A standard housing assignment is a two or three person sleeping room with bathroom facilities located on the same floor, but not in the room. Requests for particular housing assignments based on a student’s preference, rather than need, for a particular type of living environment, such as a certain type of room or location or desire for a quiet place to study will not be honored. Single rooms represent a small portion of available housing options and are granted as accommodations only in rare circumstances. Such requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

How are Housing Accommodation Requests Reviewed?

Housing accommodation requests are reviewed on an individual basis. It is important to note that students are not making a request for a specific housing assignment, but rather a request for an accommodation. The Housing Accommodation Committee, comprised of representatives from the Office of Accessible Education and Student Support, Residence Life and Health Education, Health Services, and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), reviews each request and determines an appropriate and reasonable housing accommodation.

Based on the type of request, other parties may need to be consulted and/or notified, including but not limited to Facilities, Security and Campus Safety, and Dining Services. Students will be notified, in all instances, prior to communication with other departments or individuals.

Please note that Bates College does not grant accommodations solely based on the recommendations of care providers.  The determination is made based on all information relevant to the documented functional limitations caused by the disability in relation to the residential program.

Deadlines for Requesting a Housing Accommodation

Current Students

The deadline for new housing accommodation requests and submission of supporting documentation for the 2017-2018 academic year for current Bates students is February 1, 2017. This deadline allows the Housing Accommodation Committee adequate time to review requests prior to the complex lottery process, which begins in March.

Incoming Students

Incoming students should request housing accommodations and submit documentation for the 2017-2018 academic year no later than June 9, 2017.

Post-Deadline Requests

If a need for a housing accommodation request arises outside of the above timelines, students should still follow the same application process. The Housing Accommodation Committee will review post-deadline requests and the college will make every attempt to implement approved accommodations based on current availability. Please note that availability for certain types of accommodations may be limited at later points in the year.

Application Process

Housing accommodation requests generally take three to four weeks to process but may vary depending on the request.

  1. Schedule an appointment. Email accessibility@bates.edu or call 207-786-6222 to schedule an appointment with Abigail Nelson, Assistant Dean of Accessible Education and Student Support. Phone options are available during the summer months or if a student is off campus.
  2. Submit the Housing Accommodations Request Form. Please note that in some instances, information or documentation in addition to this form may be required. Learn more about documentation guidelines here.
  3. Upon completion of the initial appointment, and after the request and documentation have been reviewed by the Housing Accommodation Committee, students will be contacted with one of three notifications. A subsequent meeting may also be required in some instances:
  • Accommodations Approved: If the Housing Accommodation Committee approves an accommodation, students will then register their accommodations and relevant parties will receive notification of the approved accommodations. For some types of housing accommodations, a subsequent meeting may be required with the student to discuss implementation and review student rights and responsibilities.
  • Request for More Information: In some instances, more information may be required for the committee to make a determination regarding an accommodation request. In this instance, the student will be notified as to what additional information is required and an additional meeting with Abigail may be necessary.
  • Application for Accommodation Not Approved: When the Housing Accommodation Committee concludes that it cannot approve an accommodation based on the information submitted, the student have the opportunity to engage in a further dialogue with Abigail before a final determination is made. Students whose housing accommodation requests are not approved may request to be placed on a waitlist to transfer to a location that better meets their preferences through the established procedures. Students who wish to do so may contact housing@bates.edu.

Current Students with Previously Approved Housing Accommodations

Returning students with previously approved housing accommodations will need to be prepared to provide current information concerning their disabilities and the appropriateness of their housing accommodations for the next academic year.  In January, Abigail Nelson will contact each student regarding accommodations for the following academic year.  Please contact Abigail with questions at any time.