A Home Away from Home: Understanding Housing Accommodations
Safety in Campus Housing
Residence Halls are generally safe spaces. Campus staff and city officials do frequent checks and inform students of policies and procedures around safety.
It's up to students to learn how to stay safe while living on or off campus.
If you don't know what to do in an emergency, or if a crime occurs, go find your Residence Life handbook or ask a staff person, today.
If you need assistance evacuating from your dorm during an emergency, you should work with your disability services office to craft an emergency evacuation plan. This plan should be tailored to your needs, and will contain strategies that can help you stay safe during an emergency. Ideally, this plan should be updated every semester.
In addition to the evacuation plan, your disability services office may put your name and room assignment on a list for the public safety office. The list will be completely confidential, and it is intended to help emergency personnel identify who may need assistance in an evacuation.
It is also a good idea to keep the campus Public Safety’s phone number on your mobile phone in case of an emergency. Granted, we may sound overprotective, but it’s always better to be prepared than underprepared!
All college students need to be aware of keeping safe in the event of a fire in campus housing before a fire occurs. Know your campus' strategies for reporting fires, evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures. Make sure that visual fire alarms work properly and evacuation routes are available and clear by contacting Residence Life staff in advance of need.
The Michael H. Minger Foundation has put together in-depth information and training about fire safety especially designed for disabled students. Take time to prepare by visiting the Disability Fire Safety Project for videos and other materials
Resources Related to Housing
National Council on Independent Living (http://www.ncil.org). This advocacy organization provides information, resources and support for people with disabilities to live independently in their communities. You can find your state’s local chapter(s) here (http://www.ilru.org/projects/cil-net/cil-center-and-association-directory).
AccessCollege via University of Washington. http://www.washington.edu/doit/programs/accesscollege/student-services-conference-room/accommodations/housing-and-residential-life