Posted Friday, December 13, 2019 @ 9:05 AM
To provide residents with the best learning environment possible, the Department of Housing and Residence Life (DHRL) fosters an inclusive culture where students don’t have to be limited by medical, dietary, or emotional conditions. These concerns are taken into consideration from the moment a student applies to live on campus, as the application process asks for any medical accommodations.
DHRL assists with 300+ accommodation requests each year, ranging from dietary restrictions to anxiety and depression. Of those requests, approximately 3–5 are for students in wheelchairs. Earlier this month, a resident in the Neptune community was in need of a particular wrench to repair one of his wheelchair tires. When the DHRL staff was made aware of his situation, Program Assistants Robert Girsham and Trevor Jones responded within 15 minutes. Not only did they provide the resident with the appropriate wrench needed, but they replaced the tire themselves in a timely, efficient manner. The resident was very appreciative and DHRL staff were more than happy to help. The DHRL warehouse team’s typical services include changing out mattresses and fixing appliances or furniture, but they are always willing to do whatever it takes to meet residents’ needs.
The support and care that students receive from DHRL staff is one of the primary differentiators between on-campus housing and off-campus housing. Just recently, two housekeeping employees stayed with a resident who was having a medical issue and assisted the resident’s parents with directions to their location. Amy Childs, Senior Manager of Housing, stated “Students and families don’t always realize the counseling services that our housekeeping team provides. They get to know residents as they are working in the student’s home away from home. Sometimes they’ll even offer cooking lessons or advice on how to properly clean or maintain something.”
Other medical accommodations supported throughout the department include resources to help students experiencing asthma, autism, migraines, seizures, and other emotional conditions. Last year, DHRL experienced an increase in students with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the Parkland shooting. Both UCF Housing staff and student staff gave their full support to ensure the safest experience for these students.
Regardless of the accommodation requested, DHRL staff go the extra mile to help students in their home away from home.