Campus Access for Student with Disabilities

Physical facility accessibility

Lewis University is striving to become a physically accessible campus community. For any questions or concerns about physical campus accessibility, or to report an access barrier, contact the Learning Access Coordinator by calling 815-836-5593.

Students who have physical accessibility needs in the classroom are encouraged to meet with the Learning Access Coordinator before or soon after registration to confirm accessibility of classroom space/buildings.

Housing accommodations

To request a disability-related housing accommodation, students can indicate their need through the normal housing application request process. Examples of housing accommodations that Lewis University can provide include: wheelchair accessible rooms with roll-in shower and handrails; rooms on the first floor or accessible by elevator; private rooms; fire alarms/smoke detector with light (for hearing loss).

If a student makes a request that cannot be accommodated due to space limitations, (such as a private room) the student will be placed in a high priority spot on a waiting list until the accessible room becomes available.

Students who wish to bring an emotional support animal should see the service and emotional support animal policy. Students with allergies to animals should also indicate their needs on the housing request form so that their rooms are in a different building than a student with a service or emotional support animal.

The Director of Residence Life can notify campus police of a student living in the dorms who have epilepsy or other physical needs that need special attention during an emergency, at the student’s request.

Learn more about Lewis University Residence Life at this website:

Dietary access

A registered dietitian is available through Sodexo Food Services to provide counseling for students with dietary needs such as celiac disease, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes. If a student requires an academic learning accommodation due to chronic flare ups of a condition that impact the ability to learn, please contact the Learning Access Coordinator by calling 815-836-5593.

Registered Campus Dietitian Contact information:
Lauren Smith, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE

Service and Emotional Support Animals

Lewis University allows individuals with Service Animals access to all buildings on campus, including University Residence Halls and academic buildings. The University will allow students with disabilities to have Emotional Support Animals in University Residence Halls on a case-by-case basis according to the Lewis University Residence Hall Service and Emotional Support Animal Policy.

Service Animals

Per Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Lewis University allows a person with a disability to be accompanied by a service animal in all places where students and members of the public are permitted to go, except where animals are specifically prohibited due to a health or safety hazard. Service animals are defined as dogs (and in some cases miniature horses) 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, and alerting/protecting a person who is having a seizure. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of defining a service dog. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Per Illinois law, certain service-animals-in-training and service animal trainers maintain all of the same rights and responsibilities as service animals and their handlers.

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

Per the Fair Housing Act, a student with a documented disability will be allowed to have an emotional support animal in University Residence Halls to the extent it is a reasonable and a necessary accommodation to enable equal enjoyment of the residence program. Unlike service animals, emotional support animals are not necessarily trained to perform work or tasks, and they may include species other than dogs and miniature horses. An emotional support animal is an animal that is necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling when there is an identifiable relationship or nexus between the person’s disability and the assistance the animal provides (there must be a link between the animal and the disability). Typically, an emotional support animal is prescribed to an individual with a disability by a healthcare or mental health professional and is an integral part of a person’s treatment process. An emotional support animal is not necessarily a service animal, although in some instances an emotional support animal may also be a service animal. Except to the extent that an emotional support animal also meets the definition of a service animal, emotional support animals are only allowed within a person’s residence in the University Residence Halls. Emotional support animals are not allowed on University grounds and facilities that house classrooms, offices, auditoriums, libraries, sports arenas, or University events.

Request Process
  1. Students who seek to have a service or emotional support animal in University Residence Halls are encouraged to notify the Academic Services Office and the Office of Residence Life at least 45 days prior to move-in. If the animal is an emotional support animal, the student must also provide documentation of the disability-related need for an assistance animal from the student’s health care professional, or complete the Emotional Support Animal Request Form. See the Support Animal Checklist for guidance on steps to take prior to scheduling a meeting with the Learning Access Coordinator.
  2. Review of the request will be processed by the Academic Services Office and the Office of Residence Life within 14 days of submission.
  3. If the request is approved, the student must complete and sign the Service and Emotional Support Animal Agreement in full and comply with its rules.

Conflicting Health Conditions

Students with medical condition(s) that are affected by animals (respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) should contact the Office of Residence Life if they have a health or safety related concern about exposure to a service or emotional support animal.

Lewis University Support Animal Policy
Emotional Support Animal Request Form
Lewis University Service and Support Animal Agreement Form
Support Animal Checklist