Applicants with disabilities, including those who need a service or support animal, should indicate this on their Housing Application. Housing Services attempts to make accommodations for qualified applicants. Please refer to the information below.
UCSF Campus Life Services Housing, Student Disability Services, and HR Disability Management Disability Housing Accommodation Procedures
UCSF recognizes that individuals with disabilities may require a specific type of housing to fully benefit from the campus housing experience. For these individuals, including students, housing-eligible faculty, staff, and trainees, UCSF provides housing accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADA AA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other relevant laws. The following procedures were developed collaboratively by Housing, Student Disability Services (SDS), and Human Resources Disability Management (HR), to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to housing at UCSF.
Please note the following about the procedures:
- Individuals with approved disability housing accommodations are subject to the standard wait list for housing. Exceptions to the wait list may be considered as an accommodation in cases where an individual’s disability significantly limits their housing options on or off campus (e.g. someone with a chronic health condition that limits their ability to commute). If an individual would like to request consideration for this type of exception, it should be indicated in their request for accommodations.
- Disability documentation provided to Student Disability Services or HR Disability Management will be kept in a confidential file at SDS or HR, and will not be released to Housing.
- Disability housing accommodations are available to a housing-eligible UCSF affiliate’s spouse/partner, children, and other occupants who are named on the approved Housing Agreement, and these procedures also apply to those occupants.
- Individuals with service animals, or those requesting permission to have an assistance animal in campus housing, should review the information and guidelines for assistance/service animals in UCSF Housing below.
- The accommodation review and assignment process may take up to 3 weeks to allow sufficient time for reviewing individual’s request and obtaining, submitting, and reviewing additional documentation, (if needed). Additional time, as outlined below, may also be needed for a housing unit meeting approved disability accommodations to become available. Individuals are encouraged to request disability accommodations for housing as early as possible to accelerate housing assignment.
- These procedures relate to requests for housing accommodations ONLY. For information and procedures for requests for academic accommodations for students, visit the SDS website (http://sds.ucsf.edu/). For information and procedures for employment accommodations, contact HR Disability Management (http://ucsfhr.ucsf.edu/index.php/dismgmt/).
Choose the situation that best describes your circumstances:
- I am a UCSF student, or student-affiliated spouse, child, or other occupant, click here
- I am a housing-eligible UCSF faculty member, staff member, or trainee, or affiliated spouse, child, or other occupant, click here
- I am looking for information about service and assistance animals in housing, click here
- If you have not done so already, submit an application for housing online with Housing: http://campuslifeservices.ucsf.edu/housing/services/online_services/apply_now. In the appropriate place on the housing application, indicate a plan to request disability accommodations for housing.
- Make a formal request for housing accommodations with Student Disability Services. Complete the SDS Request for Accommodations form (https://sds.ucsf.edu/howtoregister). Once the application is received, SDS will assist you in completing the registration process. Please contact Student Disability Services if you have any questions at 415-476-6595.
- Submit disability documentation to SDS: Individuals will need to provide documentation confirming the necessity of the requested accommodation. Please visit the SDS website for more information and guidance regarding documentation. ( https://sds.ucsf.edu/howtoregister) Please contact SDS at 415-476-6595 if you have questions or need further information.
Send materials to:
Student Disability Services
530 Parnassus Avenue
Kalmanovitz Library, Room 111
San Francisco, CA 94143
- Students should not hesitate to contact SDS to schedule a meeting to discuss or to clarify what information/ documentation is needed to process an accommodation request.
- The Director of Student Disability Services reviews requests to evaluate the student’s disability status, the necessity of the requested accommodations, potential alternative accommodations, and what, if any, housing accommodations would be appropriate for the student.
- Students are informed of the decision regarding their request for disability housing accommodations via the most recent email address on file with the Direct of Student Disability Services, with an email copy to Housing.
- Housing staff will work with students on an individual basis to make assignments that satisfy approved accommodations.
- Housing will make the final decision on all housing applications and the resulting assignments.
- Accommodations are subject to availability. That is, even if SDS approves an accommodation, a unit may not be immediately available due to housing stock and student’s status on the waiting list.
- There is no guarantee that Housing will be able to meet a preference for unit location, apartment type, floor plans, amenities, or rental price. Housing’s priority is to provide an assignment meeting a student’s approved disability accommodation(s).
Appeal Procedures: Students who are not granted housing accommodations through this process will have the opportunity to appeal this decision. All requests for appeals are reviewed by Susan Rosen, Director, Student Health & Counseling. To initiate a request for appeal, students should go to the SDS website: Appeals & Grievances page
- If you have not done so already, submit an application for housing online: http://campuslifeservices.ucsf.edu/housing/services/online_services/apply_now. In the appropriate place on the housing application, indicate a plan to request disability accommodations for housing.
- Make a formal request for housing accommodations with HR Disability Management
- Submit disability documentation
- Individuals with obvious or readily apparent disabilities need only provide documentation confirming the necessity of the requested accommodation (if not readily apparent).
- Individuals with disabilities that are not readily apparent should provide documentation to confirm their disability status, with sufficient detail to establish a nexus between the underlying condition and the requested accommodation(s). In some cases, an individual’s medical records or detailed information about a person’s disability may not be necessary for this inquiry.
- Accommodations are subject to availability. That is, even if HR approves an accommodation, a unit may not be immediately available due to housing stock and requestor’s status on the waiting list.
- There is no guarantee that Housing will be able to meet a preference for unit location, apartment type, floor plans, amenities, or rental price. Housing’s priority is to provide an assignment meeting a requestor’s approved disability accommodation(s).
A Service Animal is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. In some cases, a miniature horse may be permitted as a Service Animal. Other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as Service Animals. Examples of such work or tasks include, but are not limited to, guiding individuals with no or low vision, alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, recognizing and assisting during a seizure, retrieving items, interrupting obsessive, compulsive, or destructive behavior, reminding a person with a psychological or psychiatric disability to take prescribed medications, assisting with balance, or calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack. Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a Service Animal 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.
An Assistance Animal is an animal that provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Some, but not all, animals that assist persons with disabilities are individually trained. Unlike a Service Animal, an Assistance Animal does not perform ADA-defined “work” or “tasks” and thus are not permitted to accompany a person with a disability at all times. Therefore, although Assistance Animals may be considered for access to University housing, they are not permitted in other areas of the university, per the UCSF No Pet Policy (550-19).
Requests to keep Service or Assistance Animals in housing follow the process for housing accommodations outlined above with some exceptions:
- Requests from individuals to keep Service Animals in housing do not require provision of disability documentation to SDS or HR, but the requestor should still provide a completed Request Form.
- Requests to keep Assistance Animals in housing DO require provision of disability documentation to SDS and HR.
- If a Service or Assistance Animal is approved as a housing accommodation, the requestor will be contacted by the SDS Director or HR Representative to have the requestor complete a Tenant Animal Information Form to provide basic information about the animal, including license/registration information (for dogs), and to sign indicating their agreement to comply with, and understanding of, these guidelines.
Service or Assistance Animal Partner’s Responsibilities in University Housing
- The tenant is responsible for ensuring that s/he is in full control of the Service or Assistance Animal at all times. Reasonable behavior is expected from Service and Assistance Animals. A tenant may be directed to remove an animal that is unruly or disruptive (e.g. barking excessively, running around, jumping up on people, exhibiting aggressive behavior, repeated soiling of facilities) if the tenant is unable or unwilling to take effective action to control the service animal. Repeated instances of such behavior may result in exclusion from university facilities until the tenant can demonstrate that s/he can effectively control the animal.
- The tenant must also ensure that their animal is kept clean and well groomed. Animals that are excessively unclean (e.g., repeated soiling of facilities, flea-infested, foul-smelling and/or shedding excessively) may be excluded from university facilities.
- The tenant is legally and financially responsible for the actions of the Service or Assistance Animal including bodily injury or property damage. The tenant’s responsibility includes, but is not limited to, replacement or restoration of furniture, carpet, window, wall covering, and the like. The tenant is expected to cover these costs at the time of repair and/or move-out.
- The tenant is responsible for any expenses incurred for cleaning above and beyond a standard cleaning or for repairs to University premises that are assessed after the tenant and animal vacate the residence. Housing shall have the right to receive compensation from the tenant for damages.
- The owner should inform Housing and SDS or HR in writing if the Service or Assistance Animal is no longer needed or is no longer in residence. To substitute a Service or Assistance Animal the tenant should file a new Tenant Animal Information Form
- Service Animals may travel freely with the tenant throughout University Housing. Assistance Animals must be contained within the rental unit at all times, except when transported outside the private residential area in an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness for toileting. When outside the residence, a tenant with an Assistance Animal shall carry proof that the animal is an Assistance Animal. The office providing approval (SDS or HR) will provide a letter confirming the Assistance Animal’s status.
- The Service or Assistance Animal may not be left on its own in the rental unit for more than 3 days. If an animal is causing a disturbance and the tenant cannot be reached, UCSF police may enter the apartment to check on its welfare and may call the local Animal Care and Control to remove the animal if deemed appropriate.
- The owner agrees to comply with animal health and wellbeing requirements as follows:
- Care, supervision, and control of the animal are the responsibility of the individual who benefits from the Approved Animal’s use. The person is required to maintain control of the animal at all times.
- Animals must be housebroken. The tenant is also responsible for ensuring the cleanup of the animal’s waste and, when appropriate, must toilet the animal in areas designated by the University consistent with the reasonable capacity of the tenant. Indoor animal waste, such as cat litter, must be placed in a sturdy plastic bag and sealed before being disposed of in accordance with the Housing Agreement policy on Composting, Recycling, and Trash. Litter boxes should be placed on mats so that waste is not tracked onto carpeted surfaces.
- Vaccination: In accordance with local ordinances and regulations the animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. Dogs must have current vaccination against rabies and wear a rabies vaccination tag. Although not mandated, cats should have the normal shots required for a healthy animal. City of San Francisco licensing requirements are followed.
- Licensing: Housing, HR, and SDS reserve the right to request documentation showing that a dog has been licensed (Note: San Francisco law requires that every dog be licensed). The animal should wear identification at all times. For cats and other small animals that may not tolerate collars and tags, microchip identification is suggested.
- Leash: The animal must be leashed using a leash that is 6’ in length or less, harness or tether or securely confined in a crate or carrier, unless (1) the partner is unable to use a leash, harness, or tether due to disability or (2) use of such a restraint would impede the animal’s safe and effective performance of its work or task.
- Other Conditions: Housing may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the animal depending on the nature and characteristics of the animal.
- Any violation of the above rules may result in the exclusion of the animal from University Housing. If an animal is properly excluded from the premises, the partner will be permitted to reside in housing without the Service or Assistance Animal.
- Should the approved animal be excluded from the premises for any reason, the tenant is expected to fulfill his/her housing obligations for the remainder of the Housing Agreement.
- Housing may exclude an approved animal when any of the following apply:
- The animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others
- The owner does not comply with the “Service or Assistance Animal Owner’s Responsibilities in University Housing”, outlined above and below.
- The animal is unruly or disruptive (e.g. barking excessively, running around, jumping up on people, exhibiting aggressive behavior, repeated soiling of facilities) and the tenant is unable or unwilling to take effective action to control the animal.
Conflicts between service and assistance animals and others’ severe allergies, phobias, etc. will be addressed on a case-by-case basis (e.g. relocation to another university housing facility).
For more information please contact:
Student Disability Services
Disability Management Services, UCSF Human Resources