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Requesting Non-Academic On-Campus Accommodations

Requesting On-Campus Accommodations

Campus accessibility at Lasell University is a unique challenge given the historic footprint of the campus.  The beautiful Victorian houses that dot our campus, and the rising hills where many of them are sited, are a part of our beloved campus's charm.  Despite these challenges, the University has taken a proactive approach to enhancing student access across the campus community

Our campus is small and compact, and for the walking able quite easy to navigate.  However, because the campus is situated on a hillside, there are many stairs to climb up and down, and steep paved paths throughout the campus one must navigate.  In looking at a campus of over 50 buildings, nearly 40% of the buildings are not wheelchair accessible on any level.

Beyond the current limitations of the physical plant of the University, getting around the campus for the mobility impaired requires the use of Woodland Road and the intersecting streets between Grove Street and Forest Street.  Within the campus, there are also several paved pathways and ramps that enhance accessibility for the mobility impaired.

The campus is easy to negotiate when utilizing a motorized scooter, and all but one pathway can be safely navigated.  Manual wheelchair users will find some newer sections of campus quite navigable. However, traversing the entire campus in a manual wheelchair is not recommended.  

Submitting Documentation for Non-Academic On-Campus Accommodations

Comprehensive documentation needs to be submitted to Stephen Hawthorne,  Director of Disability Services and Academic Support at, 617-243-2212.

Documents may also be mailed to the attention of Stephen Hawthorne, Disability Services, Lasell University, 1844 Commonwealth Ave., Newton, MA 02466.

In most cases, submitted documentation must be current, and must reflect the student's specific needs while attending the University.  Documentation for on-campus accommodations needs to be provided in the form of a letter from a physician/psychologist. The letter needs to contain detailed information as to the medical and/or emotional condition of the student, and how the specific condition(s) necessitates the type of accommodations being requested. Whenever possible, documentation is best provided by a medical specialist or licensed clinician.  Documentation from primary care providers typically does not meet the criteria of comprehensive documentation.

Comprehensive documentation may include a detailed accounting of the following:

  • Diagnostic statement identifying the disability;
  • Description of the current functional limitations;
  • Description of the expected progression or stability of the disability;
  • Description of current or past accommodations, services and/or medications;
  • Statement about how the requested accommodation need relates to the student's full access and/or participation in the University community.

Due to the limited nature of our housing inventory, not all requests can be accommodated. For example, in most cases, a diagnosis of ADD/ ADHD or Anxiety and Depression does not result in a single room accommodation. Students not granted singles may equally benefit from other accommodation options such as quiet study housing.

View the Section 504 Disability Grievance Procedure

Residential Accommodations

Lasell University places great value on the experience of students living and learning on campus and in close proximity to their peers.  The Office of Residential Life works collaboratively with the Office of Disability Services to provide students with living arrangements that meet their accommodation needs. Reasonable accommodations may include the following:

  • Reduced Room Occupancy - Single and Double Rooms 
  • Bathroom Access - Double w/bath, Adjoining Doubles w/bath
  • Handicap Accessible Bathrooms
  • Residences with Elevator and/or Access Ramps
  • HVAC - Climate Control, Portable Air Conditioners, Air Purifiers
  • Fire Life Safety Modifications 

Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

Lasell University is committed to reasonably accommodating students and visitors who have disabilities that require the accommodation of a service animal and/or support animal.  Being mindful of health and safety concerns of the campus community, Lasell University generally limits the presence of privately-owned animals on campus.  Each request regarding service and/or support animals will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, considering the needs of the individual and the concerns of the University community.  

Reasonable requests for Service Animals or support animals will not be denied so as to limit a person's access to, or participation in, University facilities, programs, or activities.  This policy is aligned with the University's broader mission to remove barriers that prevent qualified individuals with disabilities from enjoying the same employment, education, and other opportunities that are available to persons without disabilities.

Read more about the Service Animal and Support Animal Policy

Parking Accommodations

Resident students wishing to have a vehicle on campus must purchase a parking permit through the Campus Police Department's established processes.  Parking spaces are limited but available to most returning students who participate in the parking lottery.  First-year students are not generally permitted to have vehicles on campus.  Students with a documented need may be eligible for a parking exception including, preferential parking in proximity to residence, for a short or long-term medical need.  

Food Modification Plans

Dining Services at Lasell University is committed to providing community members with quality food that is not only healthy and nutritious but is also sourced and prepared with sustainability and wellness in mind.  As part of that commitment, every effort is made to support our students who may have special dietary needs or specific food allergies. 

In order to establish eligibility and best serve the needs of students with food allergies, celiac disease, or other disabilities requiring a special diet, students requesting reasonable accommodations modifications must contact the Director of Disability Services, who will review the supporting medical documentation required to determine necessary accommodations. 

Upon verifying the accommodation need, the student then can schedule a consultation meeting with the Director of Dining Services, the Executive Chef, and/or the Staff Nutritionist to establish a dining plan that addresses their specific dietary needs. At a follow-up meeting, the Director of Disability Services will provide an accounting in writing of the food modification plan agreed upon between the student and the Dining Services staff.  The modification plans may include education about the extent of food options available and how to access them, menu planning, requesting made-to-order food service, and pre-ordering food options.  As a general policy of the University, all students living in campus residences are required to participate in the campus dining meal plan.  In the event that it is determined that a particular dietary need related to a documented medical diagnosis, cannot be met by dining services, a student may petition to be exempted from the mandatory meal plan.

Managing dining needs is an ongoing process and requires regular communication between the student and Dining Services.  The Director of Disability Services will continue to seek regular feedback each semester to ensure the best dining experience possible.

Valentine Dining Hall at Lasell University Features:

  • FAZE 8 Station offering a G8 menu preparing a tasty menu line without Gluten or the top eight food allergens. The culinary staff is specially trained to limit cross-contact.
  • S.P.A.C.E. (Special Product Allergen Controlled Eating) This area provides a wide variety of packaged gluten-free foods, cereals, snacks, bread, and pasta prepared without gluten. A toaster and microwave oven are available in this area to be used solely for gluten-free foods to minimize cross-contamination. Additionally, non-dairy milk beverages are available.

View the Section 504 Disability Grievance Procedure