Guidelines About Service Animals

Disability Resources, Education and Access Management would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some background information as well as tips for having a service animal in your class.

What is a service animal?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him/herself.

What are a few specific types of service animals?

  • Hearing dogs are trained to alert persons with hearing impairments to sounds.
  • Guide dogs serve as a travel tool for persons with visual impairments.
  • Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for individuals with mobility impairments (e.g. pulling wheelchairs, carrying and picking things up, or assisting persons with balance).

How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?

Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers.

When can a service animal be asked to leave the classroom?

A service animal whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, is ill, or unclean may be asked to leave. Please contact DREAM with concerns.

When in the presence of a service animal, please keep the following items in mind:

  • Allow a service animal to accompany the partner at all times and everywhere on campus, unless an area poses a direct threat to the well being of the service animal (e.g. laboratories, mechanical rooms, etc).
  • Do not pet a service animal; petting a service animal when the animal is working distracts the animal from the task at hand.
  • Do not feed a service animal. The service animal may have specific dietary requirements.
  • Do not deliberately startle a service animal.
  • Do not separate or attempt to separate a partner/handler from his/her service animal.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Disability Resources, Education, and Access Management at (509) 323-4134 or on campus at x4134.