Accessible housing units are available for both undergraduate and graduate students in all university residences.
Undergraduates at Rice University are assigned to one of 11 unique colleges, where wheelchair accessible rooms and rooms equipped for the deaf are available. The colleges are much more than conventional dormitories; each is a special community. If an incoming student needs specific physical features, he/she will need to contact the DRC. Examples of such needs include specific room-type, stair access, needing to be near a particular location on campus, etc. If the parent of an incoming undergraduate student has a physical disability that will impact visiting the student while at Rice, please contact the DRC.
New undergraduate students coming in the fall semester should notify the DRC of any special housing needs no later than June 1st. New graduate students need to notify the DRC by May 15th if requesting accommodations in Rice graduate housing units. Medical documentation is often requested if modifications or special arrangements are required. The DRC, following processing, makes recommendations to the Director of Housing and Dining as well as the Dean of Undergraduates.
Newly admitted students may choose to notify the Disability Resource Center of their possible need for housing accommodations by using the online Preliminary Notification of Disability-Related Needs form. The DRC will then make contact to discuss particular needs. Completing the online preliminary notification form does not automatically qualify the student as eligible for housing accommodations; it is provided to begin communication between DRC and incoming students with disability-related concerns.
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan
Individuals at Rice with disabilities including mobility impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, speech impairments, and cognitive impairments should plan for evacuation in case of an emergency. Please fill out the Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan for the residential colleges, office buildings, labs or other facilities where you expect be on a regular basis. File updates as needed. Forward the plan to the Disability Resource Center. The plan will be submitted to RUPD and the Fire Safety Officer.
- Notification (What is the emergency?)
- Way finding (Where is the way out?)
- Use of the way (Can I get out myself, or do I need help?)
- Self with assistance
- Self with device
- Assistance (What kind of assistance might I need?)
Some Rice students with disabilities utilize the services of trained dogs to directly assist them in daily life. Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
Emotional Support Animal
The Fair Housing Act defines an emotional support animal as any animal that provides emotional support, well-being, or companionship that alleviates or mitigates symptoms of the disability; the animal is not individually trained. Emotional support animals are not limited to dogs and can be other species of animal. Emotional support animals are not considered service animals. In order to bring an emotional support animal to campus, the owner must contact the Disability Resource Center. Animals should not be brought to campus prior to approval being granted.
Rice students residing on campus who have food allergies may have food related disabilities that limit their ability to participate in Rice’s meal plan. Examples of such disabilities are an autoimmune disease like celiac disease or allergies to products like wheat, milk, peanuts, eggs, etc. Students who need modification to Rice’s meal plan need to contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC).
DSS will need documentation from a physician that includes:
- A confirmed and clear diagnosis,
- Relevant medical history,
- Test results that support the diagnosis (where appropriate),
- Course of treatment, and
- A description of the specific type of foods to be avoided or required.
Once the DRC has reviewed the documentation an appointment will be set to meet with the director of the DRC to discuss the student’s accommodation needs. For meal plan accommodation requests, please contact the DRC Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact the Residential Dining Director for information regarding meal preparation at email@example.com.
Rice Students with major medical or physical conditions are encouraged to complete a Medical Alert form. This form states whom the student wants contacted in the event of a medical emergency (e.g., Rice EMS unit, college personnel, professors and/or work supervisors). Students with epilepsy, diabetes, cardiac conditions or other similar health conditions may wish to complete a Medical Alert Form and a Medical Alert Memo. Contact the DRC to discuss completion of this form. It does not guarantee specific medical responses or treatment, yet merely assists university personnel in being familiar with an individual’s medical background in the event of a crisis.