What is a Disability?
In order to qualify for a reasonable accommodation under the FHA, 504, or the ADA, the student must meet the statutory definition of having a "disability,"
"Disability" is defined as a physical or mental condition or impairment that is medically recognizable, and diagnosable, and that substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities. These limitations may include: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and learning. A person is substantially limited in major life activities if the individual is unable to perform the activity, or is significantly restricted as to the manner in which he or she can perform that activity when compared to the average person. Acceptable documentation of disability can be from either a medical or mental health provider. It should verify the disability as well as the need for an assistance animal.
What is a Service Animal?
A "Service animal" performs functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Service animals are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. These tasks include, but are not limited to: guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sound, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.
What is a Therapy Animal?
A Therapy animal may soothe anxiety in some individuals, but does not assist an individual with a disability in activities of daily living. Therapy animals are not service animals and will not necessarily qualify as a reasonable accommodation under ADA. If they meet the qualifications as a reasonable accommodation, then such animals can only be permitted in housing and not in public indoor areas on campus.
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An "emotional support animal" often referred to as a "companion animal" is an animal whose sole responsibility is to provide calming influence, affection, stability or security. An emotional support animal should demonstrate a good temperament and reliable, predictable behavior. Unlike a service animal, an emotional support animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living, nor does it accompany a person with a disability at all times. An emotional support animal, however, may be incorporated in a treatment process to assist in alleviating the symptoms of that individual's disability. This treatment occurs within the person's residence. Emotional support animals are not service animals and will not necessarily qualify as a reasonable accommodation under ADA. If they meet the qualifications as a reasonable accommodation, then such animals can only be permitted in housing and not in public indoor areas on campus.
For ease in interpreting this document, all prospective animals will be labeled as 'assistance animals' .
An "approved animal" is an assistance animal that has been granted as a reasonable accommodation under this policy.
The "owner" is the student or other covered person who has requested the accommodation and has received approval to bring the "approved animal" on campus.