Medical Accommodations

Grinnell College provides residential accommodations for students with medical or psychological conditions and/or disabilities.  Examples include, but are not limited to:  severe allergies or asthma, mobility limitations, and medical or psychological conditions that are only tenable in certain living environments.

How to Request Accommodations

Students requesting accommodations for medical or psychological reasons must provide medical documentation to John Hirschman, Coordinator of Student Disability Services, stating the nature of the condition or disability, the requested accommodation(s), and why the accommodation is necessary.  Please note that requests DO NOT carry over and must be renewed each academic year.  You may fax the documentation to the attention of John Hirschman at 641-269-3710 or mail to:

Grinnell College
Disability Resources
Attention: John Hirschman
1115 8th Avenue Grinnell, IA 50112

Admitted Students

Incoming first-years must provide appropriate medical documentation from their current, treating physician that includes a diagnosis and the recommended accommodation(s). Accommodation documentation must be received by the Residence Life Department by June 1.

Returning Students

Second-, third-, and fourth-year students must also provide appropriate medical documentation each year from their current, treating physician that includes a diagnosis and the recommended accommodation(s). You may bring the documentation to the Residence Life Department, room 310-F, JRC 3rd floor, or fax or mail it to the above fax number or address.

Deadline: April 1.

Dietary Accommodation

Students will not be released from their meal plan and/or residency requirement based on dietary restrictions or need.  Students with dietary needs resulting from medical diagnoses can still participate in Grinnell Dining's program.  A licensed physician must provide documentation that describes the student's specific dietary needs and/or restrictions. Dinning Services will then make arrangements to meet all dietary requirements as prescribed by the licensed physician. The staff at Student Health and Wellness and at Dining Services stand ready to meet with students to discuss questions and concerns.  Please visit the Dining Services web page for more information, and to complete and submit the required forms.

Air Conditioning

New or returning students requesting air conditioning due to allergies and/or asthma must provide appropriate medical documentation from their current, treating physician that includes a diagnosis and the recommended accommodation before the deadlines listed above. All efforts will be made to ensure incoming students will be placed in air-conditioned rooms, and that returning students will be assigned an air conditioned room, either through the regular Room Draw process or before. If, due to limited availability, we are not able to meet every need for air conditioning, the student will be allowed to use a stand-alone air conditioner, provided at their own expense.  The stand-alone unit must be installed by College staff.  Window air conditioning units are not allowed as they damage the window frames.


A pet is a domestic animal that is kept for pleasure or companionship. Amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates, rodents (except ferrets), or reptiles that are non-poisonous and non-dangerous are permitted in student rooms, provided there is roommate permission, proper care, and registration with the Residence Life Coordinator (RLC). For more information, please review the Grinnell College Pet Policy.

For more information regarding therapy animals, emotional support animals, and service animals, please see our Assistance and Service Animal Policy.

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