Service Animal and Assistance Animal Policy - Evangel University be_ixf;ym_202210 d_04; ct_50

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Service Animal and Assistance Animal Policy

Service Animal and Assistance Animal Policy


The University recognizes that Assistance Animals and Service Animals may be an effective accommodation for certain qualified students with disabilities at Evangel University. Service Animals are those that are trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability and Assistance Animals as those that provide emotional or other type of support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability while in University Housing. Assistance Animals are permitted only in student housing whereas Service Animals are permitted to accompany students in other areas of the campus. For detailed information on Assistance Animals and Service Animals, and to see if you qualify, refer to the Assistance Animal Policy or contact the Student Disability Coordinator.

The terms below are defined as follows for purposes of this Policy:

“Assistance Animal (ESA)” An animal that provides therapeutic emotional support for an individual with a disability. However, the animal has not been specifically trained to perform work or tasks and does not perform work or tasks that would qualify it as a service animal.  Assistance Animal

“Handler” A person with a disability that a service animal assists or an attendant who handles the service animal on behalf of a person with a disability.

“Pet”: Any animal that is not an Assistance Animal or Service Animal under this Policy. This includes any dangerous, poisonous, unregistered, unlicensed, and/or illegal animals. The University prohibits pets on campus with the exception that fish in small aquariums are allowed in University Housing if approved by the University Housing Director. See Student Handbook.

“Relief areas” Areas on campus suitable for the sanitary relief of an Assistance Animal’s or service animal’s urine or feces, including the nearest grassy area outdoors or such other areas as directed by University personnel.

“Resident” An individual eligible for and assigned dwelling space in University housing.

“Service Animal” Any dog trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. A miniature horse may qualify as a service animal if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability and University facilities can accommodate the miniature horse given the type, size, and weight of the miniature horse.

“University housing” A residence hall, apartment, or other housing maintained by the University.

Use of service animals is permitted on University property and/or at University events in accord with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and amendments thereto. Students should consider coordinating with the Center for Student Success prior to bringing a service animal on University property and/or to a University event. Resident handlers are strongly encouraged to inform the University’s Housing Director prior to occupying University housing with a service animal.

University faculty and staff should discuss the use of service animals in the workplace with the University’s HR Director. Faculty and staff use of service animals is subject to this policy including, but not limited to, the obligations of the handler outlined in this Policy.

University visitors are permitted to bring service animals into buildings, classrooms, residence halls, meeting rooms, dining areas, recreational facilities and University events without prior approval, subject to the restrictions outlined in this Policy and the obligations of the handler outlined in this Policy.

University personnel should not ask about the necessity of a service animal when it is apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. If it is not obvious that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, the following two questions may be asked:

  • Is the animal required because of a disability, and
  • What work or task the animal has been trained to perform?

Obligations of service animal handler

The supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of the handler. Handlers are subject to the following obligations, in addition to other University rules and regulations. The handler of a service animal must:

  1. Keep the service animal under the handler’s control at all times

The service animal must be properly restrained or otherwise under the control of the handler at all times. No service animal may be left loose or let to run at large on University property. A service animal found loose or running at large is subject to capture, confinement and removal from University propery.

  1. Comply with applicable laws and policies

The handler must comply with applicable city, county, and state law concerning animal licensing, vaccination, and ownership. The handler must comply with all University policies, including this Policy related to service animals. The University may request documentation of compliance with laws and University policies.

  1. Provide care for the service animal

The handler must ensure the service animal is cared for at all times by the handler. The handler is solely responsible for care and supervision of the service animal and may not leave the service animal under another person’s care. Evidence of service animal mistreatment, abuse, neglect, or abandonment may result in removal of the service animal from University property and/or discipline under other University policies. University personnel are not required to provide and will not provide care or food for any service animal, including, but not limited to, removal of a service animal during emergency evacuation. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove a service animal from University housing during an emergency evacuation and may not be held responsible for care of, damage to, or loss of the service animal.

  1. Be responsible for property damages and damages or injuries to or caused by the service animal

The service animal is expected to be housebroken and to utilize available relief areas. The handler is required to clean up after the service animal, including proper disposal of all waste created by the service animal in a safe and sanitary manner. The University will hold the handler responsible for any and all damages or injuries caused by the service animal. The handler must take reasonable precautions to prevent property damage and injury to or caused by the service animal. Residents with service animals in University housing will be charged for any and all damages caused by a service animal and/or for additional cleaning required due to the service animal (beyond reasonable wear and tear) to the same extent that other residents are charged for same.

Exclusion of Service Animals

The University may restrict an individual’s use of a service animal when the service animal poses a substantial and direct threat to the health or safety of the University community, when the presence of the service animal constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program or service provided by the University, or for the handler’s failure to comply with this Policy. The University may limit the use of service animals in certain locations due to health or safety concerns, where the service animal may be in danger, or where their presence may compromise the integrity of research due to the presence of chemicals and/or organisms. If the University limits the use of a service animal, the University will reasonably work with the handler to determine other reasonable accommodations without having the service animal present.

University housing residents who seek an accommodation due to a disability from the University’s pet prohibition policy should contact the University’s Housing Director to request such an accommodation. Should the University approve the ESA in University Housing as a reasonable accommodation, the resident agrees such approval is subject to compliance with the Policy and other University policies.

ESAs are generally not considered to be reasonable accommodations in the workplace under Title I of the ADA. University faculty and staff with questions about ESAs in the workplace should contact the University’s HR Director.

Obligations of Assistance Animal owner

The supervision of an ESA is solely the responsibility of the resident ESA owner. ESA owners are subject to the following obligations, in addition to other University rules and regulations. The resident owner of an ESA must:

  1. Keep the emotional support in the resident’s assigned University housing room or apartment.

 

An ESA must be contained with the resident’s assigned individual living accommodations except to the extent the resident is taking the ESA out of University housing to a relief area or off University property. ESAs are not permitted in any University facility other than the University housing room or apartment the resident is assigned.

 

  1. Keep the Assistance Animal under control at all times

The ESA must be properly housed and restrained or otherwise under the control of the resident owner at all times. Resident owners must be mindful of the ESA’s interaction with other University housing occupants. No resident owner may permit the ESA to be left loose or to run at large on University property. An ESA found loose or running at large is subject to capture, confinement and removal from University property. The resident owner is responsible for ensuring the ESA is contained, as appropriate, when the resident is not present.

  1. Comply with applicable laws and policies

The resident must comply with applicable city, county, and state law concerning animal licensing, vaccination, and ownership. The resident must comply with all University policies, including this Policy related to service animals. The University may request documentation of compliance with laws and University policies.

  1. Provide care for the Assistance Animal

The resident must ensure the ESA is cared for at all times by the resident. The resident is solely responsible for care and supervision of the ESA and may not leave the ESA under another person’s care. If the resident will be absent from assigned University housing overnight or for an extended period, the ESA must accompany the resident. Evidence of ESA mistreatment, abuse, neglect, or abandonment may result in removal of the ESA from University property and/or discipline under other University policies. University personnel are not required to provide and will not provide care or food for any ESA, including, but not limited to, removal of an ESA during emergency evacuation. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove an ESA from University housing during an emergency evacuation and may not be held responsible for care of, damage to, or loss of the ESA.

  1. Be responsible for property damages and damages or injuries to or caused by the Assistance Animal

The ESA is expected to be housebroken and to utilize available relief areas. The resident owner is required to clean up after the ESA, including proper disposal of all waste created by the ESA in a safe and sanitary manner. The University will hold the resident owner responsible for any and all damages or injuries caused by the ESA. The resident owner must take reasonable precautions to prevent property damage and injury to or caused by the ESA. Residents with ESA in University housing will be charged for any and all damages caused by an ESA and/or for additional cleaning required due to the ESA (beyond reasonable wear and tear) to the same extent that other residents are charged for same.

  1. Communicate with the University concerning need for the Assistance Animal

The ESA is allowed in University housing only as long as the ESA is necessary to assist an individual with a disability. The resident must notify the Housing Director if the ESA is no longer needed or is no longer occupying University housing with the resident. To replace a previously approved ESA, the resident must follow the same process outlined in this Policy to obtain approval of the new ESA.

Removal of Assistance Animals

The University may remove an ESA from University housing if the ESA poses a substantial and direct threat to the health or safety of the University community, if the ESA causes substantial damage to University property or the property of others, or for the resident owner’s failure to comply with this Policy.

If a person has a disabling condition involving an allergic reaction to animals, they should notify the appropriate office based on their status with the University. Faculty, staff, and visitors should notify the HR Director, and students and residents should notify the Center for Student Success regarding a reasonable accommodation to the presence of a service animal or an Assistance Animal. The person making the request may be required to provide supporting medical documentation to support the accommodation request. Action will be taken to consider the needs of the person seeking accommodation and the service animal owner/handler or Assistance Animal owner to resolve the conflict as efficiently and expeditiously as reasonably possible.

Requests for Service Animals or Assistance Animals in University Housing  may be made verbally or in writing. The University recommends that any request be made at least 30 days prior to the start of a semester:

  1. Complete the Assistance Animal or Service Animal Application.
  2. Health Care Professional Verification. A health care professional must complete the Assistance Animal or Service Animal Health care Provider Statement or provide the information requested in the Statement in a document of the health care professional’s choice signed and dated by the health care professional with the health care professional’s contact information and any professional licensing information provided.
  3. Veterinarian Verification of Animal Good Health (to be provided annually).Veterinarian must complete the attached form or provide a document of the veterinarian’s choice signed and dated by the veterinarian with the veterinarian’s contact information and any professional licensing information provided.
  4. Handler Agreement.If applicable, a handler must complete the form and the resident must submit it.
  5. Roommate Acknowledgement.This form is to be completed if the roommate is known; otherwise, the form will be forwarded to the resident’s roommate(s) for completion prior to finalization of assignments

Any person dissatisfied by a decision concerning an Assistance Animal/Service Animal may appeal the decision to University’s Vice President for Student Development.

If an individual believes that the University has failed to follow this Policy or has otherwise discriminated against the individual concerning a service animal or Assistance Animal request or other issue, then the following may also be contacted:

Residents may contact the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights or the Department of Housing and Urban Development:

Office for Civil Rights

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-1100

www.ed.gov/ocr

Hotline: 800-421-3481

Fax: 202-453-6012

Email: OCR@ed.gov

 

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Kansas City Regional Office
400 State Avenue
Room 200
Kansas City, KS 66101-2406
(Office covers western portion of MO; for eastern portion of MO, see St. Louis, MO)

Jennifer Tidwell, Regional Administrator
Tel: (913) 551-5462
Fax: (913) 551-5469
Email: KS_Webmanager@hud.gov

 

Springfield Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations
1514 S. Glenstone
Springfield, MO 65804

Betty Parnell, Executive Director
Tel:(417) 882-3738
Fax: (417) 887-1892

 

Employees may contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Robert A. Young Building

1222 Spruce Street

Room 8100

St. Louis, MO 6103

www.eeoc.gov

Phone: 800-669-4000