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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 wheelchair accessible bathroom

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 2023-24 Lottery or Summer 2023 is April 26, 2023. If you miss the deadline, please apply as soon as possible.

The deadline to request accommodation for Undergraduate Housing for the 2023-24 academic year is May 12, 2023. 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.

Applying for Pre-assignment

If you are an undergraduate student and wish to apply for pre-assignment, 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.

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 for the term during which you will return.

If your disability accommodation request was approved prior to the first round of autumn assignments and you are guaranteed housing, Housing Assignments will almost always be able to meet your documented needs when you return to Stanford if you request that the OAE activate your accommodation request for the quarter that you are returning. Contact the OAE at least six weeks before the beginning of the term for which you plan to return. There is no guarantee you will be assigned to the same residence, room or room type you vacated earlier in the academic year. 

See Going Away Midyear for more information.  Be sure to submit a new Medical Accommodation Request Form by the appropriate deadline before you return.

Requests for Reassignment

If you live in university housing and have a newly-diagnosed condition or changes to a previously-documented condition, you may request reassignment to another type of room or residence. Reassignments are made on a space-available basis and only for the student whose disability needs change—not for a group. Contact the OAE to make a reassignment request.

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 the forms within the document to their Housing Service Center 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.