Special Accommodations

Disability Support Services(DSS) facilitates effective, reasonable classroom accommodations for all students on campus who disclose a disability, meet the eligibility criteria, and request accommodations.

Students are encouraged to meet with each professor to review accommodation requests and how they will pertain to each class. Students should talk to professors about how their disability affects learning and how the accommodations will be implemented at the beginning of each semester.

If you are currently registered with our office, please see the exam schedule and resources. If you would like to register with our office, please see the exam schedule and resources. If you would like to register with our office for the first time, please contact DSS.

Disability Accommodation

The Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) is committed to providing accommodations and services to qualified students with disabilities in order to provide equal access to the benefits, rights, and privileges of Fairfield University's services, programs, and activities. In determining reasonable accommodations, the University is guided by the federal definition of 'disability' that describes an individual with a disability as someone:

  • who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual
  • a record of such impairment; or
  • is regarded as having such and impairment.

Any student with a disability may request accommodations. In order to establish disability status and eligibility for specific accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids/services, disability documentation is reviewed by the director and determinations of accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis based on the functional limitations of the disability.

Barrier Reporting Form

For reporting any physical barriers or accessibility issues that you notice on campus.

Special Accommodations for Parking & Housing

The Special Accommodations Committee is composed of representatives from several departments on campus and is responsible for reviewing all Special Housing and Parking accommodation requests. The committee meets regularly and on an as-needed basis. Completed request forms can be faxed to the Special Accommodations Committee at (203) 254-5545 or delivered to Dolan Hall Room 120.

Special Accommodations Committee

Documentation will be reviewed by the Special Accommodations Evaluation Committee, which considers student requests for all special housing accommodations and determines appropriate assignments.  The committee is composed of professionals from the Office of Disability Support Services, the Health Center, Counseling & Psychological Services, Residence Life, and Public Safety.  Information submitted for the committee’s determination will be protected as a confidential file in the Office of Counseling & Psychological Services.

Accommodations are granted for the time specified in the decision letter.  You must re-apply each academic year for the accommodation.


As stated in the Student Handbook, only junior and senior students are allowed to have cars on campus.  Fairfield University’s Special Accommodations Committee evaluates parking requests for students who have a qualifying physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and has a record of such impairment or is regarded as having such impairment, or students who are experiencing an extraordinary life circumstance which reaches the level of hardship.

The Committee authorizes temporary parking permits to students with appropriate documentation from a licensed healthcare/mental healthcare provider. (Family members are not acceptable medical providers.)

A special accommodation to have a car on campus is granted for:

  • Students with documented disabilities in which a reasonable accommodation is the need for a car.
  • Students with significant hardship (i.e., experiencing extraordinary life circumstances)

 A special accommodation for a car on campus will typically not be granted for:

  • transportation to and from off-campus employment,
  • physical or psychological healthcare appointments,
  • routine/non-emergency visits to family and friends,
  • volunteering in the community, or
  • transportation to purchase food for special diets

Please note, the University and local area offer many alternative methods of transportation.

  • The University shuttle makes routine trips to the local community.
  • Metro-North Railroad’s Fairfield station is one (1) mile from campus and on the University shuttle route
  • There are qualified physical and mental health treatment providers on campus and on the University shuttle route
  • Fellow students are often willing to provide rides locally
  • Students may use UBER
  • There are a finite number of parking spaces available on campus
  • The Department of Public Safety (DPS) has bicycles that students may use for transportation purposes
  • The Department of Public Safety (DPS) can provide rides on campus for students who are not ambulatory

Approved permits are issued by the Parking Office in Public Safety located in Loyola Hall. Please note parking permits are $10 per day with a maximum of $60 per semester and you must bring your student ID and automobile registration for a permit. The parking office is able to accept cash, check or StagBucks, no credit cards. Please note that failure to adhere to the parking policy or if a pattern of abuse is detected, the Committee reserves the right to revoke the parking privilege.

Off-Campus Parking:

As stated in the Student Handbook, only junior and senior students are allowed to have cars on campus.  Unfortunately, we are not able to make accommodations for all students.

In some cases, the Special Accommodation Committee may grant an accommodation in our off-campus lot at a nearby Stop & Shop, accessible by the Stag shuttle. This is one way the University is trying to work with our students and adhere to our University policies and parking capacity.

Stop and Shop Parking Lot Map

Driving/Walking Directions


Special Housing Accommodations Policy

Students who wish to request special housing accommodations due to a disability should notify the Office of Disability Support Services with the specific request. Requests on the basis of medical need or situation should be directed to the Special Accommodations Evaluation Committee. Additional information regarding the special accommodations generally can be found in the “Policies and Procedures” section of the Student Handbook.

Documentation of a disability or medical condition will be required in order to establish the need for an accommodation. Documentation consists of an evaluation by an appropriate professional that relates the current impact of the condition to the request. Students seeking a housing accommodation based on a disability, or requesting some service based on a medical or psychological condition, should obtain and complete the appropriate request forms below.

Students are encouraged to call the Office of Disability Support Services with any questions or to obtain additional information. Reasonable accommodations depend upon the nature and degree of severity of the documented disability. While federal law requires that priority consideration be given to the specific methods requested by the student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable and other suitable techniques are available. Furthermore, single rooms in particular are reserved for individuals who document substantial needs and for whom living with a roommate is not viable.

Special housing is extremely limited.  Only those students with the greatest medical and psychological need(s) will be recommended for special housing arrangements.  For this reason, a single room assignment is only granted to students for whom no other accommodation is deemed reasonable, and only when available. A medical condition alone does not qualify a student for a single room assignment. Examples of conditions that ordinarily do not warrant a single room assignment include:

  • asthma
  • allergies
  • learning disorders/ADHD
  • insomnia and sleep problems
  • depression
  • anxiety

Some of these conditions may be accommodated in other ways, for example: A student with asthma or environmental allergies may be given permission to install an air conditioner. 

The following resources are available to all students, and might be helpful for you as well:

  • The Student Health Center is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when classes are in session.
  • Counseling & Psychological Services offers a wide range of confidential service for full-time undergraduate students. (ext. 2146)
  • The Office of Disability Support Services located in the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Center (ext. 2615) dss@fairfield.edu

Students with a medical need must apply to the Special Accommodations Committee and receive approval for an air conditioner or a mini fridge. Once approved, see air conditioner specifications.

Specifications for the AC unit are:

  • Minimum of 5000 BTU, but 9,000 BTUs is ideal
  • Free standing (no window units)
  • Self-evaporating
  • Energy Star Rated

product from Home Depot meets all the criteria. You do not need to get this unit, it is only a guide. 

Mini Fridge

If approved, a mini-fridge will be provided to you by the Department of Residence Life.

Decisions and Appeals

Students will be advised in writing of the committee’s decision.  A complete description of the appeals process is set forth in the Student Handbook and students are advised to consult that section before filing an appeal.


Students may appeal a disciplinary adjudication within seven business days from the date the student is informed of the original decision. Students may appeal the decision to the Dean of Students by submitting a copy of this document and a separate written letter of appeal.  Students should note that appeals may only be based on 1) a showing that there was a substantial error in the process followed by the Special Accommodations Committee, or 2) new and relevant information not reasonable available to the student at the time of the Special Accommodations Committee’s decision has now become available.  The student shall be advised in writing of the decision on the appeal within 14 business days. If the Dean of Students is unable to respond within 14 business days of the receipt of the appeal, the vice president shall notify the student in writing and provide an estimated timeframe in which the appeal will be decided.

Appeals may be made by the complainant on the basis of newly discovered information that was not available at the time the original decision was rendered.

Dissatisfaction is not grounds for an appeal. An appeal does not postpone the decision of the special accommodations committee. If the appeal is granted, the decision either will be set aside or the vice president may send the matter back to the appropriate hearing body for further adjudication. The decision of the vice president upon appeal is final.

Exam Scheduling Policy

Please send the following information to DSS@fairfield.edu to schedule an exam at DSS:

1. Student's name

2. Professor's name and e-mail

3. Date the student will be taking the exam

4. Amount of time the class receives to take the exam

5. Any accommodations the student receives (ex. 50% extended time)

6. Start and end time of exam (Exams at DSS can be proctored Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30am and 4:00pm. Please plan accordingly  so extended time will not interfere with another class).

7. Materials allowed to be used (ex. graphing calculator, 3x5 index card, etc.)

Request for Testing Accommodations:
Students are encouraged to fill out and return the completed Exam Accommodation Form to the DSS one week in advance of the test. Requests should be made in advance to reserve a seat in the exam room and to allow enough time for DSS to e-mail the student's professor and for the exam to be delivered to DSS. Late submission of an exam request may result in the re-scheduling of an exam or the loss of accommodations for that exam.

Exam Materials:
Students are responsible for their personal exam materials. If a student forgets personal exam materials (i.e. calculator) and they leave before the exam starts to retrieve them, when they return they will only be given the remainder of their allotted time. DSS and the offices located nearby are not responsible for providing students with these personal exam materials.

Time Allotted on Examinations:
Students are given the time indicated in their exam request e-mail for completing an exam unless instructed to otherwise by the professor. The proctor will stop the test at the designated end time. No additional warnings are provided. Students can use the clock in the exam room to self-monitor their time.

Arrive on Time:
The test begins at the time originally requested, regardless of the time a student actually arrives, similar to what would be expected in the classroom. It is recommended for students to arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of an exam.

Students should call DSS at ext. 2615 if unable to make an exam due to an illness, an emergency, or if taking the exam in class. There is no guarantee that the instructor will permit a make up exam. This policy also applies to lateness due to illness - students unable to take an exam due to illness or emergency should contact their instructor immediately. Students are responsible for coordinating the makeup of any missed exam or quiz with their instructor.

Hours of Operation:
During the regular school year the DSS office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Exams must be scheduled to be completed by 4 p.m.

Academic Misconduct:
Any student observed utilizing any unauthorized resources during an exam will be reported to his/her instructor. Any unauthorized notes and any scrap paper used during the exam will be copied and returned with the exam to the instructor. The student is not permitted to touch/move the camera that is located in the exam room. If the student is caught moving the camera, s/he will be reported to the instructor and may be charged with academic misconduct. A staff member may come into the exam room at any time to perform a random integrity check. Any suspected evidence of cheating will be documented by the exam scheduling coordinator or other full time staff and reported to the appropriate faculty members. Students must also uphold all codes of academic honesty stated in the Fairfield University Student Handbook.

If a student is unclear about the exam instructions, the student should stop the exam and seek assistance from an DSS staff member. The DSS staff member will attempt to contact the student's professor or have the student write a note to the professor explaining the problem or question which will then be returned with the exam.

Additional Resources through Disability Support Services

  • One-on-one Meetings Weekly
  • Time Management
  • Study Skills
  • Organization and Planning
  • Effective Note Taking

Academic and Student Resources

  • Academic Skills Development
  • Peer Group Tutorial Program
  • Faculty Advisors and Faculty Office Hours
  • Math Center (fairfield.edu/mathcenter)
  • Counseling & Psychological Services (203) 254-4000, ext. 2146
  • Public Safety (203) 254-4090
  • Health Center (203) 254-4000, ext. 2241
  • Campus Ministry (203) 254-4000, ext. 3045