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Disability/Medical Accommodation Request

If you have special housing needs due to a disability or documented medical condition or if your spouse, partner or child has a disability, you can apply for early assignment before each assignment round.

You should register with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) and file a Housing Accommodation Request Form (HARF) if your disability or medical condition requires:

  • A particular housing assignment the regular assignment process cannot ensure
  • A special room type or location (i.e. a room accessible by ramps or elevator or a room on the first floor)
  • Special accommodations such as horns and strobes, door openers, hard surface flooring or close proximity to a laundry room

Submitting a Housing Accommodation Request Form does not automatically guarantee you a space in university housing. You must submit a request and documentation annually, as housing policies and medical conditions may change from year to year. In addition to this, you must submit a HARF every time you apply for housing - for example, when returning mid-year from a leave of absence or returning from an overseas studies program.

To request medical accommodation(s), register with the OAE and file the Housing Accommodation Request Form at The deadline to register with the OAE is two weeks before the applicable deadline to submit a Housing Accommodation Request Form.

The deadline to request accommodation for Graduate Housing for the 2024-25 Lottery or Summer 2024 is April 22, 2024. If you miss the deadline, please apply as soon as possible.

The deadline to request accommodation for Undergraduate Housing for the 2024-25 academic year is April 15, 2024. If you miss this deadline, please apply as soon as possible.

To be considered for a disability/medical exemption, be sure to:

  1. Register with the OAE and submit medical documentation as early as possible but definitely a minimum of two weeks before the deadline to submit a Housing Accommodation Request Form.
  2. After registering and meeting with your disability advisor, file an online Medical Accommodation Request Form with the Office of Accessible Education by the application deadline. Please note that Disability Accommodation Request Forms are due to the OAE before the annual Autumn Housing Allocation and Lottery deadlines. See the calendar for due dates.
  3. If applying for graduate housing, specify in your housing application that you are willing to live in any residence or room that meets your medical needs.
  4. Apply by the first housing application deadline for the quarter you wish to move in.
Office of Accessible Education
563 Salvatierra Walk
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 723-1066
(650) 723-1067
(650) 725-5301

In some cases with students applying for graduate housing, you may need to participate in the regular housing assignment process. However, you will be given a priority that will ensure your assignment to a housing space that meets your documented medical needs.

If you don't turn in your request form by the deadline, please file your Medical Accommodation Request Form and your housing application as soon as possible. Your position on the list is determined by the date your disability request is approved. We will make medical accommodation assignments on a space available basis in the subsequent rounds as spaces become available.

Documenting a disability

Before being given access to the online Housing Accommodation Request Form, you will need to register with the Office of Accessible Education and provide documentation of your disability or medical condition as requested by the Office of Accessible Education if you have not done so already.

Who provides the documentation?

A professional who specializes in the area of your disability/medical condition must provide documentation. For example, an allergist must document an allergy; a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker must verify a psychological disability; an audiologist must verify hearing impairment. Documentation from a family member or family friend is not acceptable.

If you have a question about the choice of professional who will provide the documentation, contact a staff member at the OAE.

Documentation Contents

The documentation must be written on the professional’s official letterhead and include the professional’s license number. The report must include the following:

  1. Specific diagnosis and description of the disability, including an indication of the duration of the disability
  2. Names of any tests that were given to determine the disability
  3. Description of any treatment the student is undergoing or has undergone related to the disability
  4. Description of the probable impact of the disability in a university setting. It is not necessary to make recommendations about a specific accommodation

How disability/medical requests are evaluated

R&DE Student Housing Assignments staff bases Medical Accommodation assignments on the recommendation of the Office of Accessible Education, the applicant’s residence choices and his/ her application number. Final accommodation decisions rest with the university.


To protect your privacy and ensure confidentiality, professional documentation is kept at all times at the OAE. Your OAE disability adviser will work with you to determine what information needs to be shared with university staff and faculty in order to assess and/or facilitate academic accommodations or other services.

University employees have an obligation to maintain confidentiality regarding a student’s disability, including a student’s housing assignment based on documented medical needs. To that end, the Office of Accessible Education will provide information to university staff only when necessary in evaluating and/or facilitating accommodations, auxiliary aids and/or services. Except where provided by applicable law, disability information will not be shared with non-employees without the student’s express written permission.

If you are granted an exempt assignment, Housing Assignments notifies your new residence office only of your assignment and the physical amenities needed in your new room/apartment.

Undergraduates Applying for Preassignment

If you are an undergraduate student and wish to apply for preassignment, you can go through both processes simultaneously.  If your preassignment application is accepted and your medical needs can be accommodated in that residence, we will give you a medical accommodation in the location where you are preassigned.  If you cannot be accommodated in that particular residence, we will contact you about obtaining an assignment through the OAE assignment process. Careful attention is needed in order to meet the deadlines for both processes. 

Applying to be Staff in a Student Residence

If you are hired as residential leadership staff and need a particular room type or room with certain features to meet your documented medical needs, file a Medical Accommodation Request Form with the Office of Accessible Education by the Housing Accommodation Request Form submission deadline.

Undergraduates Applying During House and Room Selection

Students who have specific housing needs due to a disability or documented medical condition (as well as any members of their groups) will not participate in the self-select process and will not be assigned gate times. Instead, they will be assigned in advance of the House and Room Selection process. This is to ensure that the student with the medical need is placed in housing that meets their needs.

How it works

  • Students who have disability-related housing needs can request housing accommodations through the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Any student needing an accommodation who has not registered with the OAE previously should do so immediately. Registration and submission of the Housing Accommodation Request Form (HARF) will be online through OAE Connect. The student with the medical need must file a Housing Accommodation Request Form with the Office of Accessible Education by Monday, April 15.
  • The student with the medical need and their group members must submit their housing applications by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 22. On their applications, they should sign the residence agreement, form a group, select their genders, and indicate that they are participating in the medical accommodation process. If you are in a group with a student requesting a medical accommodation, the group makeup cannot be changed after April 22.
  • Students who indicate that they are participating in the medical accommodation process will be prompted to rank their housing options. Housing Assignments staff will use these choices when assigning students to houses and rooms. Students are strongly encouraged to keep ranking choices until they have no preference regarding the choices left unranked. If you have a limited number of choices and cannot be placed in any of them, you will be assigned to a residence and/or room type not listed on your application.
  • If group members have ranked their housing options differently, Housing Assignments will use the choices as ranked by the student with the medical need.
  • If you join a group with a student who is seeking a medical accommodation, you will be assigned through this process even if you do not indicate that you are participating in the medical accommodation process on your application. Please check with potential group members to see if anyone is requesting a medical accommodation for housing.
  • Students' assignments will be commensurate with their class year and medical need, and while groups will be assigned to the same house, they may be assigned to different room types. For example, a student with a medical need may be assigned to a single while other members of their group are assigned to doubles.
  • Students assigned through this process do not have the option to reject their housing assignment and participate in the self-select process.
  • Disability-related requests submitted after the deadline will be considered on a rolling basis, if and when space becomes available, and although the person needing the medical accommodation may be reassigned, other group members would not be reassigned. 
  • Please note that by requesting a medical accommodation from R&DE and/or the Office of Accessible Education, that you are affirming your need for such an accommodation. Seeking an accommodation to which you are not entitled, or falsifying documents, is a violation of the Fundamental Standard.


Overseas Study & Leave of Absence

If you study abroad or take a leave of absence, you must:

  1. File a Termination of Occupancy form on Axess by the deadline listed in your Residence Agreement.
  2. Inform the Office of Accessible Education and request they reactivate your accommodation request for the academic term during which you will return.
  3. Submit a housing application and medical accommodation request form for the term during which you will return.

Contact the OAE at least six weeks before the beginning of the term for which you plan to return. The deadline to submit a housing accommodation request form for winter or spring is one week before the housing application deadline. There is no guarantee you will be assigned to the same residence, room or room type you vacated earlier in the academic year. You are not guaranteed to have your medical needs met during winter or spring, as we can only assign to spaces being vacated by other students taking a leave of absence, going overseas, or graduating. If we are unable to meet the needs outlined in your medical accommodation when making the winter or spring assignments, you will be placed on a medical accommodation reassignment waiting list.

Be sure to submit a new Medical Accommodation Request Form by the appropriate deadline before you return.

Late Requests and Updates to Housing Accommodation Requests

If you live in university housing and have a newly-diagnosed condition or changes to a previously-documented condition, you may submit a new housing accommodation request form or request a change to your current HARF. Any HARFs or changes to HARFs submitted after the main HARF deadline in the spring are considered in the order that they are received, and are added to a medical accommodation waiting list. Because any late requests are considered after the majority of students have been assigned to housing, there is no guarantee that late medical accommodations can be met.  Medical accommodation reassignments are made on a space-available basis and only for the student whose disability needs change—not for a group. 

By filing a request for reassignment, you are indicating that:

  • It is medically necessary for you to be reassigned.
  • You are willing to live in any residence that meets your medical needs.

If your request is approved and you are reassigned, you may not refuse the reassignment and remain in your previous residence.

Supplemental Residence Notice to the Owners of Approved Assistance Animals

Students who are approved to have assistance animals in student housing agree to comply with the policies listed in the Supplemental Residence Notice: Service Animals and Support Animals in Stanford R&DE Student Housing. Students must complete and return an online form to agree to the terms and give information about the animal and any vaccinations required before bringing an animal into housing. In undergraduate housing, students with emotional support animals are currently being assigned to only certain room and apartment types - typically where a student can live alone or with one other known person who has consented to living with an animal. In Graduate Housing, students with emotional support animals are able to apply for Couples without Children Housing, Student with Children Housing or studios and two-bedroom apartments in Single Graduate Housing. 

Medical Accommodation Housing Cost Adjustment

To support students with medical accommodations that require certain housing assignments verified by the Office of Accessible Education, the university may provide a housing cost adjustment to students who are assigned to the lowest cost option that meets their need. Individual graduate students with verified housing accommodations through OAE receive a housing cost adjustment if their housing charges exceed the housing cost of attendance as defined by the Financial Aid Office AND they are assigned to the lowest cost option that meets their needs. Individual undergraduate students with verified housing accommodations through OAE receive a cost adjustment if their housing charges exceed the undergraduate residence hall rate AND they are assigned to the lowest cost option that meets their needs. Students in couples or family housing who require additional bedrooms due to housing accommodations verified by OAE may qualify for a housing adjustment to cover the cost of the additional bedroom(s).

Students with questions about the cost adjustment program should contact R&DE Student Housing Assignments.