Disability Housing Accommodations and Emotional Support Animals

Welcome to the page for Disability Housing Accommodations, including Emotional Support Animals (ESAs). Please review the following information to learn about these policies, procedures, and registration information.

General Housing Information, Policy, and Emotional Support Animal Policy

General Housing Information

The co-curricular learning environment provided by residential living is central to the Western State Colorado University experience, particularly for first and second year students who are required to live in our residence halls. It should be noted that living within the community and learning to share space and be considerate of others is part of that learning experience. Due to this belief, first-year students in particular are by policy ineligible for single rooms, except for cases of disability services accommodations and/or extreme extenuating circumstances.
Requesting a single room for undisturbed study time:

By virtue of the shared facilities, resources, and number of people living under one roof, it is not logical to assume that having a private room would provide for a quiet, distraction-free space to any appreciable degree beyond living in a standard double room. In addition to quiet study locations in the library and other on-campus study locations, Residence Life is also able to assist students in developing a schedule with their roommates to provide undisturbed time. For extenuating circumstances or needs beyond this, student requests (submitted yearly) should include:

1) Documentation, as appropriate, of the condition or need that is the basis of the request;
2) A clear description of the desired housing configuration;
3) An explanation of how the request relates to the impact of the condition;
4) An indication of the level of need for the recommended configuration (and the consequences of not receiving);
5) Possible alternatives if the recommended configuration is not possible.
Any student granted a single room accommodation for extenuating circumstances, but not disability accommodations, will be held responsible for paying the differential between single/double room fees. We evaluate requests for exceptions carefully.

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

Western State Colorado University (“Western” or “University”) recognizes the importance of “Service Animals” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and the broader category of “Assistance Animals” under the Fair Housing Act that provide physical and/or emotional support to individuals with disabilities. Western is committed to allowing individuals with disabilities the use of a Service Animal on campus to facilitate their full-participation and equal access to the University’s programs and activities. Western is also committed to allowing Assistance Animals (Emotional Support Animals, or ESAs) necessary to provide individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing. This Policy explains the specific requirements applicable to an individual’s use of an Emotional Support Animal in University housing. Western reserves the right to amend this Policy as circumstances require. This policy applies solely to Emotional Support Animals which may be necessary in University housing. It does not apply to Service Animals as defined by the ADAAA.

Although it is the policy of Western that individuals are generally prohibited from having animals of any type in University housing, Western will consider a request by an individual with a disability for reasonable accommodation from this prohibition to allow an Emotional Support Animal that is necessary because of a disability and reasonable. However, no Emotional Support Animal may be kept in University housing at any time prior to the individual receiving approval as a reasonable accommodation pursuant to this Policy.

Registering with Disability Services

Students requesting housing accommodations, including ESAs, will need to complete a three-step interactive process:

  1. Complete the electronic Housing Disability Request Form
  2. Provide documentation of your disability-related need for your request from a third-party provider.
    1. Housing: The documentation must have a clearly stated nexus between your disability and the housing request.
    2. ESA: The documentation must have a clearly stated nexus between your disability and the ESA. You may have your doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, or other reliable third-party provider complete the ESA information form.
  3. Attend a meeting with Disability Services and Residence Life.

If you need assistance with any electronic form and/or would like a form mailed to you, please contact our office at arc@western.edu or 970-943-7056.