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Disability News Last Updated: Feb 4, 2015 - 12:35:55 PM

New Board Policy on Service Animals
Mar 31, 2014 - 10:39:49 AM

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Well, now that CR has a service animal Board Policy (BP) and Administrative Procedure (AP), this is a good time to refresh everyone’s knowledge on service animals and what the new procedures are. I will try to make this simple and clear.

The new guidelines differentiate between the use of service animals in public areas and areas that are not normally accessed by the public. Nothing has changed in regards to the use of animals in the public areas. Service animals are allowed in all public areas regardless of whether or not they are designated by a jacket or tag. Public areas on campus include the cafeteria, gymnasium during an event, sports fields during an event, the library, bookstore or any of the walkways. All service animals in these areas must be under the complete control of the handler and kept on leash if the animal is a dog. The only other animal that is accepted by ADA as a service animal is a miniature horse. There don’t seem to be many of those around here…

The service animal in a public area is not required to be registered or in any way approved by the college. Again, the only questions you may ask someone with a service animal in a public area are:

● Is the animal a service animal required because of a disability?

● What work or tasks has the animal been trained to perform?

If you are unsure about the how the student has answered your questions, then you have the choice of calling security to deal with the issue further.

ADA no longer supports either companion animals or emotional support animals. A service animal cannot be disruptive, aggressive, not house broken, seemingly unhealthy or inadequately clean or groomed. These are reasons why a service animal may be asked to leave an area.

So, to sum up, nothing has changed with service animals in a public area. The bar is still very low for allowing a service animal on campus in a public area and there are only the two questions to ask. My personal opinion is that you not tell a student, who has an animal in a public area, to leave unless they don’t meet some of the aforementioned requirements of health and safety.

What the new AP does is put in place some things that must happen for a service animal to be in an area that is not generally accessed by the public. This would include classrooms and labs. Typically members of the public do not access these areas unless on special events like Science Night.

For a student to bring a service animal into your classroom or lab they must now be considered an accommodation. The student will be required to provide documentation from a medical provider to either DSPS or Human Resources. Based on that documentation the accommodation will be approved for the student. The student will then be given a dog tag for placement on the dog’s collar. That dog tag with say “Redwoods” and have a number that is recorded so we know who has what dog and security will be able to identify that the dog is an approved accommodation. Again, all the same regulations apply in that the dog must not be aggressive, disruptive etc.

If you encounter a student in your class with a dog that has not been approved (does not have a CR dog tag), that student should be asked to come to either DSPS or HR to complete the necessary paperwork. Again, I would not ask the student to leave your classroom because of that, but would suggest that before coming back to your classroom or lab, they will be required to have the dog approved as a reasonable accommodation.

So, there it is…clear as mud. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call DSPS or HR and we will be happy to try to field the questions.

Quotation of the Week
"The simplification of anything is always sensational."
(Gilbert Keith Chesterton)

Comments: Trish-blair@redwoods.edu

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