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What Accomodations Should I Ask For In Regards To College Housing?


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Hi Everyone,

As i have mentioned before i am giong on exchange for the Fall 2006 semester. Although its rare that exchange students get on campus housing the college is allowing me to stay on campus due to my health situation. They have asked me what accomidations i may need. I am lucky that lately most days i am pretty good and my blood pressure is under control at the moment (have not fainted in at least 3 months and am physically MUCH stronger) but i suppose i should prepare just in case something triggers it to return. So far I think i will ask for only one or two flights of stairs or an elevator. That makes sense to people. However i admit i am a little worried about the bathroom/showers and steam as when i have showers i have the door or curtin open so the steam does not cause my bp to drop. Obviously i wont shower in public bathrooms with the door open so how would i best explain through email a non steamy bathroom? It sounds like such a eccentric request!

My parents are saying not to ask for them as it sounds like i would be too much trouble or a risk. I am not sure that they fully understand how much steam can effect me, i guess you guys understand. Is this a stupid fussy request? I guess i can just rinse myself without using much hot water but the hot water really helps my sore muscles which makes getting around each day much easier. I feel like family/friends think i am a bit demanding here and being inflexable but it actually does impact on my ability to function 'normaly'. I realise i could get a chair but that does not stop the nasesea *VENTING* heh.

When i was at boarding school we had really high celings so the steam was no problem as it had room to move outside the actual cubicle (that was before i had POTS though but i know that that kind of public bathroom would be fine). I suppose i just need to know that it has ventilation or windows? If anyone could advise me on a good way to word that i would really appreciate it! Is there a special american lingo to explain it? Or should i just scratch the question altogether.

Can anyone think of other things i may need to request? thanks so much :angry:

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One thing I would ask for if they do not have it is many colleges still do not have a/c in the droom rooms. So if they do not, I would make sure you let them know you can not handle the heat. The only other thing I can think about it is you have problems sleeping, and my need to sleep in the day, or so on it to ask for your own room, I know they do this sometimes for medical. This way if you do get bad you are not causing problems with a roomate, plus you can live more at your own pace. Just an idea. Wish you the best of luck!


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What kind of housing do they have where you are going? Do they have rooms that have private bathrooms. At my university, we have rooms where we share a bathroom with only one other person. This allows me the opportunity to shower with my side of the door open (and helps with getting rid of the room being too steamy). I would also request a room on the first floor for sure. I know it is very difficult to do stairs when symptoms are bad, and much of campus housing does not have elevators. My first year of school I lived on the second floor and often times I was unable to get to my room, so I was sort of stuck.

I think that the accommodations really depend on your level of symptoms. I would certainly make the university or the RA aware of any symptoms you may experience in case of an emergency, etc.

I don't know if this is any help, but let me know if you have any questions. B)

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haha spooky i just rememberd about A/c and was about to post about it. I am going to Boston for fall semester so will it be very hot at the beginning of fall? I have read that all freshman dorms dont have a/c but it did not mentioned the rest of the dorms. I live in australia so air con saves me!

Thats a good idea about a single room. I guess i dont want to be anti social but it may put out a roommate if i did happen to get sick. I try really hard not to nap in the day but i do find i sleep in when i am weak (although dont most college students sleep in anyway? heh). I guess i could say its not a nessecity but may be better for my roommates sake.

Thanks so much for replying ... i need to write them a response soon so dont want to forget anything and appear all nitpicky later if i keep adding things.

No thank you it was of great help melissa!

I have not ever lived on campus before so i really am not too sure what to expect (although i am assuming its kind of similar to boarding but it also has boys hah). I am pretty ok most of the time these days... i can do stairs ok and everything, i am just preparing for worst case senario i suppose. As you all know, when your health does mess up the little things really add up.

As i have never been there and can only look online i am not certain about types of housing, although i understand its very mixed. Singles, 2s and 3 per room plus some apartments. I think there is a shortage for students so i guess i should be grateful that i can get on campus at all.

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My daughter Chrissy is in a dorm this year for the first time. I would definitely go to the disabilities office and register with them. Go for an in-room air conditioner, even if they have central A/C--there are so many days where everyone else is cold but you may be sweating to death! Chrissy requested a room near the bathrooms, definitely first floor, and as far as the bathrooms go, maybe there would be a window close by you could open? Her showers also have two separate sections, one with a bench that's in-between two shower curtains and the other with just the shower. You may also want to request a bench be put in the shower. (The school should HAVE to supply both the bench and the separate A/C unit. She also requested a medical single. not only because of the issues of taking naps, etc., but you can also regulate the room temp. to accomodate you. Chrissy was afraid if she had a roommate that she'd freeze them out.

Don't be afraid to ask the disabilities office for any accomodations you need, that's what they're there for, to make it easier for you to get through your classes. You can also ask for extra time taking tests, etc.

There is another web-site that might be really helpful to you also.... it is http://pediatricnetwork.org/ , click on the 'forum' and it has a lot of helpful information for college age students with disabilities.


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Hi! Definitely go to the disability office and talk to them. I'm a freshman at Georgetown living in the dorms, and I was lucky to have a private bathroom that I share with my roommate, so I could just close the bathroom door and take a bath or a shower. That was the best part - when I was not feeling well I could take a bath so I didn't have to stand up. You should definitely ask if there are private rooms available. Most community bathrooms will have a handicapped shower stall with a built-in seat and a much larger area so that the steam can dissipate a little bit.

Even if the dorm room DOES have AC, you should be prepared for it not to work! Mine hasn't worked since the day I moved in, so I've had to have a REALLY effective fan. You can't really count on being able to open the window for ventilation - you may be over a street so it's too noisy, there might be exhaust, you might be over a dumpster (I am), and you might be right inside where everyone goes to smoke (I am). Therefore, you might want to request a room that overlooks an open area so you CAN have your window open.

Be sure you don't have a bunk bed - that's **** when you're having a bad POTS day.

As it's so important for those of us with POTS to get a lot of rest, you might want to ask about being placed on a quiet floor so there's not a lot of noise keeping you up. If they can't do that, you might want to request a room right near the RA's so that, if there are noise violations, the RA will hear and hopefully do something about it. Sadly, quiet hours aren't often taken seriously... Ours are 9 pm to 9 am on weekdays and 12 am to 9 am on weekends, and I don't REMEMBER the last time it was quiet!

Good luck, and most importantly, have fun!!


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Oh yeh i did not think of bunk beds! I dont think they use them but i will definately check. I was going to apply to georgetown but they only accepted third years and i am in the second half of my second year. What a shame we could have hung out heh.

I will get my disabilities office to contact thiers... thats all sorted. I dont think i am bad enough to be seeking them to supply me with benches or in room aircon and as i am not paying fees to attend i think i may be asking a bit much.

I will definately ask about air conditioning, no bunk beds, less stairs if possible and single if possible.

Thanks so much for your advice! It really did help alot. If anyone else has any more suggestions let me know B)

Gah my dad keeps making jokes about how me asking for a non enclosed bathroom is like my eccentric aunt wanting a house with a big laundery. Obviously he has never shared a shower with me so i guess he wouldnt understand how it can effect me when weak. I just wish he didnt have to joke about it and make me feel like i am asking for utterly petty things.

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I definitely concur about the single room thing. At this point in both my college career and my POTS, I can't take the chance at having a noisy roommate who likes to stay up until 2 or have parties all the time. For the ease of getting around, I'm trying to get a room on campus next fall... I might have waited too late, but I guess we'll see. For me the bathrooms aren't a problem- they've always had places to sit in the shower areas, and you can bring a stool to sit on in the shower... for you, I don't know... shower really late at night or early in the AM and leave the curtain open a bit?? B)

Looking for a room on or near the ground floor is good, and I needed to find a dorm that was close as possible to my classes and parking spots- though am hoping to have a handicapped permit by then and we'll see how that goes. Otherwise, unless you're in a wheelchair enough of the time that you need a full-on handicapped equipped room, I'm not sure what else would help. For me the main issues are location and noise level.

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