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Service and Assistance Animal Policy

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Policy Number: OED-5
Effective Date: July 2015
Responsible Officer: Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer

  1. PURPOSE

  2. Drexel University is committed to providing equal educational and employment access to individuals with disabilities, including the appropriate use of a Service or Assistance Animal to participate fully in all programs and activities.

  3. DEFINITIONS

  4. Service Animal

    A "Service Animal" is a dog that has been trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability and meets the definition of "Service Animal" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations at 28 CFR 35.104. In some cases, a miniature horse may be permitted as a Service Animal under the ADA regulations at 28 CFR 35.136(i). Other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as Service Animals.

    Examples of such work or tasks which may be performed by a Service Animal include but are not limited to: guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual who is having a seizure, providing physical support and assistance with balance/stability for individuals with mobility impairments, providing non- violent protection or rescue work, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.

    Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a Service Animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability. A dog whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support does not qualify as a Service Animal.

    Assistance Animal

    An "Assistance Animal" is one that is necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing. An Assistance Animal may provide physical assistance, emotional support, calming, stability and other kinds of assistance. Assistance Animals do not perform work or tasks that would qualify them as "Service Animals" under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Assistance Animals that are not Service Animals under the ADA may still be permitted, in certain circumstances, in University Housing pursuant to the Fair Housing Act and as a reasonable accommodation determined by ODR. An Assistance Animal may be any type of animal as long as the animal does not pose a direct threat to health and safety. These animals may also be referred to as Emotional Support Animals (ESA) or Therapy Animals.

    Handler

    The "Handler" is the student, employee or other visitor with a disability that a Service Animal or Assistance Animal assists or their personal care attendant who handles the animal for the person with a disability.

    Pet

    A "Pet" is an animal kept for ordinary use and companionship. A pet is not considered a Service Animal or an Assistance Animal. It is not covered by this policy. Residents are not permitted to keep pets, other than those permitted by University Housing, on university property or in university housing in accordance to the Student Code of Conduct.

  5. SERVICE ANIMAL POLICY

  6. Individuals with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their Service Animals on all Drexel University campuses where members of the public, participants in services, programs or activities, or invitees, as relevant, are allowed to go. This includes but is not limited to: University buildings, classrooms, residence halls, meeting rooms, dining areas, recreational centers and facilities, activities and events when the Service Animal is accompanied by an individual with a disability who indicates the Service Animal is trained to provide, and does provide, a specific service for them that is directly related to their disability.

    Additional information regarding the use of Service Animals on campus is available from the Office of Disability Resources (ODR). ODR can be reached at 215.895.1401 or via email at disability@drexel.edu.

    Service Animals living in University Housing must comply with all applicable Pennsylvania dog laws. Information related to licensing, ID tags, vaccinations, rabies and other requirements can be found in Pennsylvania's Dog Law.

    Pennsylvania dog law citations:

    Citation: PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-101 - 1205; PA ST 3 P.S. § 501, 531-532, 550-551; PA ST 34 Pa.C.S.A. § 2381-2386

    Citation: 3 P.S. § 459-101 - 1205; 3 P.S. § 501, 531-532, 550-551; 34 Pa.C.S.A. § 2381-2386

  7. ASSISTANCE ANIMAL POLICY

  8. Individuals with disabilities are not permitted to be accompanied by Assistance Animals while on campus. The only exception is the allowance of an Assistance Animal in an On-Campus Housing Residence Hall if the presence of that animal has been determined to be a reasonable accommodation by ODR and is listed on an individual's Accommodation Verification Letter (AVL).

    Additional information regarding the use of Assistance Animals on campus is available from ODR. ODR can be reached at 215.895.1401 or via email at disability@drexel.edu.

    Assistance Animals that are dogs living in University Housing must comply with all applicable Pennsylvania dog laws. Information related to licensing, ID tags, vaccinations, rabies and other requirements can be found in Pennsylvania's Dog Law.

    Pennsylvania dog law citations:

    Citation: PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-101 - 1205; PA ST 3 P.S. § 501, 531-532, 550-551; PA ST 34 Pa.C.S.A. § 2381-2386

    Citation: 3 P.S. § 459-101 - 1205; 3 P.S. § 501, 531-532, 550-551; 34 Pa.C.S.A. § 2381-2386

    Drexel University reserves the right to amend these policies as circumstances require.

  9. PROCEDURE FOR REQUESTING AN ASSISTANCE ANIMAL

  10. An individual with a disability who is requesting to bring an Assistance Animal into University Housing should register with ODR by following the process outlined in the Reasonable Accommodations of Individuals with Disabilities Policy (OED-2) in order to make the formal request. ODR will review the submitted medical documentation and meet with the individual to continue the interactive process as described in OED-2. An individual is not permitted to bring an Assistance Animal to campus until the request has been formally approved by ODR. ODR will consult with University Housing and other University departments when relevant as it pertains to overall health and safety. Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the final decision being made by ODR.

  11. INSTANCES WHEN A SERVICE ANIMAL MAY NOT BE PERMITTED

  12. A Service Animal may not be permitted in a certain area if the University determines that permitting the Service Animal poses a health or safety concern, the Service Animal is not housebroken or cannot be effectively controlled by the handler. The accompaniment of an individual with a disability by a Service Animal in locations with health and safety restrictions or when the animal is suspected of being uncontrolled or not housebroken will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by ODR in consultation with Drexel Police as it relates to overall campus safety. The final determination will be made by ODR.

    If the University determines that a Service Animal must be excluded, the individual with a disability will be provided the opportunity to participate in the service, program or activity without having the Service Animal on the premises and to request alternative, reasonable accommodations through ODR.

  13. RESPONSIBILITY OF HANDLERS

  14. All handlers are expected to abide by the following:

    1. An approved Assistance Animal is only permitted in the student's Residence Hall as an approved accommodation from ODR and is not permitted in any other areas except as required for transportation off-campus or to eliminate waste. Assistance Animals are not permitted to accompany their handler to any other location(s) on campus where animals are not permitted.
    2. Service Animals shall be under the control of their handler at all times. Assistance Animals shall be under the control of their handler at all times while the handler is present in the residence hall. Service and Assistance Animals must have a harness, leash or other tether, unless either the individual is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash or other tether would interfere with the Service Animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks or the Assistance Animal's safe, effective provision of assistance in which case the animal must be otherwise under the handler's control (e.g., voice control, signals or other effective means).
    3. Service or Assistance Animals may not be left overnight in University Housing (without its handler) to be cared for by another student. Animals must be taken with the student if they leave for a prolonged period of time.
    4. When the Assistance Animal's handler must leave the residence hall, it is the responsibility of the handler to ensure that that Assistance Animal is appropriately contained within the room and not able to leave the dorm room. In order to restrain the animal it is appropriate to use a cage, carrier, crate or other method for this purpose.
    5. Other students and/or University Personnel are not responsible for the care or supervision of a Service or Assistance Animal.
    6. Cleaning up after the Service or Assistance Animal is the sole responsibility of the handler. The person cleaning up after the Service Animal should: carry sufficient materials to clean up the animal's feces whenever the animal is on campus; properly dispose of any waste/litter; contact University Facilities at 215.895.1700 or facilities@drexel.edu if arrangements must be made to assist with clean-up. Any cost incurred by University Facilities for cleaning up after the Service Animal is the sole responsibility of the handler. The cleanliness and care of the Service Animal is the sole responsibility of its handler.
    7. The University shall not charge a surcharge for the Service or Assistance Animal, even if people accompanied by pets are required to pay fees. If the University normally charges individuals for damages caused by a pet, an individual with a disability may also be charged for damage caused by the Service or Assistance Animal. The University will give priority consideration to the specific methods requested by a student, but cannot guarantee that a particular accommodation will be granted if the University determines it is not reasonable or that other suitable methods are available.

    Failure to meet any of the above regulations will result in the removal of the Service or Assistance Animal.

  15. ACCEPTABLE INQUIRIES OF A PERSON USING A SERVICE ANIMAL

  16. Federal law does not require the individual to provide documentation that the animal has been certified, trained or licensed as a Service Animal. In making a decision whether to permit accompaniment of a Service Animal, the University shall not ask about the nature or extent of a person's disability. The University may, however, ask the following two questions when the status of the dog or miniature horse as a Service Animal is not readily apparent:

    1. Is the dog a Service Animal required because of a disability?
      1. This is a "yes" or "no" question.
      2. If the answer to Question A is "yes", proceed by asking Question B.
      3. If the answer to Question A is "no" the animal would not be considered a Service Animal and would not be allowed on campus where animals are generally not permitted.
    2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

    Specific questions related to the use of Service Animals at Drexel University can be directed to the Director of the Office of Disability Resources via email to disability@drexel.edu or by phone at 215.895.1401.

  17. APPEALS PROCESS

  18. Any person at Drexel University dissatisfied with a decision regarding a Service or Assistance Animal may appeal through ODR within 30 calendar days of the decision. A formal Letter of Appeal should be submitted to the Director of the Office of Disability Resources containing the following:

    1. Name and University ID number of appellant
    2. Basis for the appeal
    3. The remedy or relief sought
    4. Any supporting information

    Upon receipt of the Letter of Appeal, the Director of Office of Disability Resources will review the appeal, make a determination, and notify the student of the determination in writing within 10 business days of the receipt of the appeal. In the event that the Director of the Office of Disability Resources made the decision which is being appealed, the Associate Vice President of Equality and Diversity will review the appeal and make a determination.

  19. PUBLIC ETIQUETTE TOWARD SERVICE AND ASSISTANCE ANIMALS

  20. Members of the University community are required to abide by the following practices:

    1. Allow a Service Animal to accompany its handler at all times and in all places on campus, with exception only of burn units, operating rooms, and other places which have been determined to pose a significant health or safety risk.
    2. Allow an Assistance Animal to accompany its handler in their Residence Hall.
    3. Do not touch or pet a Service or Assistance Animal unless invited to do so.
    4. Do not feed a Service or Assistance Animal.
    5. Do not separate or attempt to separate a Handler from their Service or Assistance Animal.
    6. Do not inquire for details about the Handler's disabilities. The nature of a person's disability is a private matter. See Section VIII above regarding Acceptable Inquiries of a Person Using a Service Animal.
  21. CONFLICTING HEALTH CONDITIONS

  22. Individuals at Drexel University with medical condition(s) that are affected by animals (e.g., respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) and that would rise to the level of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are asked to contact ODR if they have a health or safety related concern about exposure to a Service or Assistance Animal.

    ODR will consider the conflicting needs and/or accommodations of all persons involved so as to provide reasonable accommodations to all individuals with disabilities at Drexel University. In the event that the decision made by ODR is not agreeable to all parties, individuals would have the ability to utilize the University's appeal process. All appeals are reviewed by the Director of the Office of Disability Resources. More information about the appeals process can be found in the Reasonable Accommodation of Individuals with Disabilities Policy (OED-2).

RELATED POLICIES
OED-2 Reasonable Accommodation of Individuals with Disabilities Policy