Service Animal Use on Campus

13650.1 Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with the requirements of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), Wright State University will not discriminate against qualified individuals with Disabilties on the basis of disability; including emloyment, admission, treatment, or access to its programs or activities.

13650.2 Policy Statement

Wright State University supports the use of service animals as a reasonable accommodations for a disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and the Ohio Revised Code §955.43.

The presence of trained service animals to assist people with disabilites is welcome on campus in areas consistent with the provisions of this policy and applicable law. To this end, service animals are permitted in all campus areas including classrooms, offices, dining facilties, residence halls, meeting areas, and at all campus events. Service animals are the only animals permitted in all campus areas. Emotional support animals are permittted in campus housing in accordance with Housing and Residence Life policy.

WSU, however, may prohibit the use of service animals in certain locations ("restricted areas") due to health or safety restrictions (such as food preparation areas), where service animals may be in danger, or where their use may compromise the integrity of research (such as clean labs). Such exceptions are to be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Chief of Police, the Director of Environmental Health and Safety, or the department/program chair responsible for the restricted area as most appropriate.

All animals except service and emotional support animals that are brought to campus must be leashed and are restricted to outdoor public areas.

This policy applies to all students and employees, and all campus visitors.

13650.3 Definitions

Handler: The individual with a disability using a service animal on the WSU campus.

Service Animal: A service animal is defined exclusively as a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability under the applicable laws noted above. (By statute, a miniature horse that has been similarly trained may also qualify as a service animal.)

The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. Tasks may include, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to sounds, pulling a wheelchair, retreiving dropped items, turning off/on switches, assisting during a seizure, or providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability.

The term service animal does not include any untrained dog or any other species of animal, whether trained or untrained (with limited exception for trained minature horses). Animals (including but not limited to dogs), that provide assistance or emotional support, but that are not trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities, do not meet the definition of a service animal.

13650.4 Approval

Visitors: Visitors to campus using service animals may use all faculties with the exception of any restricted areas. The Chief of Police, (937) 775-2111, shall resolve any questions or issues related to use of a service animal by a campus visitor.

Students: A student with a disability who wishes to use a service animal must contact the Office of Disability Services to discuss the needed resources, information, and/or requested disability accommodations. The Office of Disability Services will approve the use of the animal.

Students and admitted students requesting to have a service animal live with them in campus housing should make a special housing request as soon as possible but not later than thirty (30) days prior to the desired move-in date, by contacting the Office of Disability Services. WSU reserves the right to require additional clarification or documentation upon receipt of a request for a service animal to live in campus housing in accordance with applicable law and University procedures for special housing requests.

Students wishing to resolve any disputed matters under this process should address those to the Director of Disability Services. An appeal of a decision of the Director of Disability Services should be directed to the ADA/504 Coordinator in the Office of Equity and Inclusion. A further appeal should be directed to the Office of the Provost.

Employees: Employees with a disability who wish to use a service animal as a reasonable accommodation in a University office or other areas of WSU's campus not open to the general public should contact the ADA/504 Coordinator in the Office of Equity and Inclusion (937) 775-3207 and request such an accommodation through the Employee Disability Accommodation Policy.

13650.5 Service Animal Status

When it is readily apparent to a University employee that a dog is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability under this policy (for example, if the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, or pulling a person's wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability), no further inquiry should be made to determine that the dog is a service animal and is thus allowed in campus areas noted above.

However, when not readily apparent, University employees may require information necessary to make a determination that the dog is approved for use as a service animal. WSU will not inquire about the nature or extent of the individual's disability before allowing use of the dog as a service animal in public areas on campus, nor require documentation of the dog's certification or training.

13650.6 Service Dogs in Training

Service dogs in training are permitted in areas of campus on the same basis as service animals provided that there is a written agreement between the sponsoring agency and the following conditions must be met (Ohio Revised Code §955.43):

  1. All dogs must be leashed;
  2. Any dog in training to be come a service dog must be covered by a liability insurance policy provided by the nonprofit special agency engaged in such work protecting members o f the public against personal injury or property damage caused by the dog.

13650.7 Requirements, Rights, and Responsibilities

A service animal will be the full responsibility of its handler and shall be under the control of its handler at all times, whether by harness, leash, voice control, signals, or other effective means. The handler of a service animal is solely responsible for appropriate care of the animal and for complying with state and local requirements regarding rabies and any other vaccinations (the service animal must wear a valid vaccination tag), as well as state and local requirements regarding licensure and leash control.

The service animal's handler is responsible for prompt and thorough clean up and disposal of animal waste in a closed container and appropriate trash bin. A service animal handler needs to be sure that the animal is kept clean and that the service animal is regularly bathed, groomed and treated for fleas and ticks. The handler of a service animal will be solely responsible for any damage caused by the service animal. WSU is not responsible for the care or supervision of any service animal.

Individuals are discouraged from approaching service animals as they are working hard to keep their owners safe. The animals should not be approached, distracted, or other wise engaged while working.

WSU may require a service animal to be removed from campus for the following reasons: (1) the animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it; (2) the animal's handler is mistreating or neglecting the animal; or (3) the animal is not housebroken.

Further, consistent with federal and state law, a service animal may be excluded from a campus facility or program if its presence poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, fundamentally alters the nature of a program or activity, or would result in substantial damage to property.

Decisions to remove a service animal from a student on campus will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards in collaboration with the Director of Disability Services. In the event of removal or restriction of use of a service animal, WSU will afford a reasonable accommodation. Decisions to remove a service animal from an employeeon campus will be made on a case-by-case basis by the supervisor in consultation with Human Resources or the Associate Provost of Faculty & Staff Affairs.

All appeals of university decisions regarding exclusion or removal of service animals should be made to the ADA/504 Coordinator in the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

13650.8 Persons with Conflicting Conditions

Individuals with medical conditions or other circumstances that are adversely impacted by the presence of a service animal should communicate with the Director of Disbility Services if a student or with the ADA/504 Coordinator if a faculty or staff member.