» About Our
Home » Student
Affairs » Center
for Personal Development » Accessibility
Definition of a Service Animal
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that places
of public accommodation, including colleges and universities, accommodate
individuals with disabilities who use service animals. The U.S. Department
of Justice's Civil Rights Division has defined "service animal"
"A service animal is any dog that is individually
trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with
a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual
or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or
domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes
of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal
must be directly related to the handler's disability. Examples
of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals
who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting
individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people
or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling
a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals
to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the
telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and
stability to individuals with mobility disabilities and helping persons
with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting
impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an
animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being,
comfort or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes
of this definition."
Requirements for Service Animals and Their Handlers
- Service animals must be immunized for common diseases such as distemper,
parvovirus, and rabies. Proof of current vaccinations must be on file
with the Accessibility Resources/Disabilities Service Office.
- The handler must be able to demonstrate that the animal has been
trained to provide a service.
- The handler must demonstrate that he or she can control the animal.
- The handler is responsible for the disposal of any waste. (To be
disposed of in a container located outside of a university building.)
- The Director of Residence Life will make on campus housing assignments
in consultation with the student and the Director of Accessibility Resources/Disability
- The service animal must be in good health as verified annually by
a licensed veterinarian.
- A roommate must be found who will consent to living with the animal.
**Unruly or disruptive behavior that interferes with the educational
environment or housing community may result in limited use of the animal.
Repeated disruptions may result in the animal not being admitted to any
university facility until the handler takes significant steps to mitigate