Examples include, but are not limited to: assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.
In compliance with applicable law, OSU generally allows service animals in its buildings, classrooms, residence halls, meetings, dining areas, recreational facilities, activities and events when the animal is accompanied by an individual with a disability who indicates the service animal is trained to provide, and does provide, a specific service to them that is directly related to their disability. (For policies regarding assistance animals – including emotional support animals - that do not meet the definition of a "service animal,” please see the OSU Policy on Assistance Animals.)
OSU may not permit service animals when the animal poses a substantial and direct threat to health or safety or when the presence of the animal constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program or service. OSU will make those determinations on a case-by-case basis.
In general, OSU will not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability, but may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal. OSU may ask:
OSU cannot require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. Generally, OSU may not make any inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person's wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).
Specific questions related to the use of service animals on the OSU campus by visitors can be directed to the ADA Coordinator via e-mail, [email protected], or phone, (541) 737-3556.
Students who wish to bring a service animal to campus are strongly encouraged to partner with Disability Access Services, especially if other academic accommodations are required. Additionally, students who plan to live in on-campus housing are strongly encouraged to inform University Housing and Dining Services that they plan to have a service animal with them in student housing. Advance notice of a service animal for on-campus housing may allow more flexibility in meeting student’s specific requests for housing. Staff and faculty with service animals are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.
Handlers are responsible for any damage or injuries caused by their animals and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage or injury. The cost of care, arrangements and responsibilities for the well-being of a service animal are the sole responsibility of the handler at all times.
To the extent possible, the handler should ensure that the animal does not:
Cleaning up after the animal is the sole responsibility of the handler. In the event that the handler is not physically able to clean up after the animal, it is then the responsibility of the handler to hire someone capable of cleaning up after the animal. The person cleaning up after the animal should abide by the following guidelines:
Service Animals may be ordered removed by the Public Safety Officer for the following reasons:
Where a service animal is properly removed pursuant to this policy, OSU will work with the handler to determine reasonable alternative opportunities to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service animal on the premises.
Some people may have allergic reactions to animals that are substantial enough to qualify as disabilities. OSU will consider the needs of both persons in meeting its obligations to reasonably accommodate all disabilities and to resolve the problem as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. Students requesting allergy accommodations should contact Disability Access Services. Staff requesting allergy accommodations should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.
Emergency Situations - In the event of an emergency, the emergency response team (ERT) that responds should be trained to recognize service animals and be aware that the animal may be trying to communicate the need for help. The animal may become disoriented from the smell of smoke in a fire or laboratory emergency, from sirens or wind noise, or from shaking and moving ground. The handler or animal may be confused from the stressful situation. The ERT should be aware that the animal is trying to be protective and, in its confusion, is not to automatically be considered harmful. The ERT should make every effort to keep the animal with its handler. However, the ERT's first effort should be toward the handler; this may necessitate leaving the animal behind in certain emergency evacuation situations.
A dog being trained has the same rights as a fully trained dog when accompanied by a trainer and identified as such in any place of public accommodation (as defined in ORS 659A.400). Handlers of service dogs in training must also adhere to the requirements for service animals and are subject to the removal policies as outlined in this policy.
University Housing & Dining Services (UHDS) will allow an assistance animal if certain conditions are met. The animal must be necessary for the resident with a disability to have equal access to housing and the accommodation must also be reasonable. An accommodation is unreasonable if it presents an undue financial or administrative burden on the University, poses a substantial and direct threat to personal or public safety or constitutes a fundamental alteration of the nature of the service or program.
Requests for assistance animals in UHDS should be made by following the Disability Access Services Steps for Requesting Housing Accommodations.
There must be a link between the animal and a disability, emotional distress resulting from having to give up an animal because a “no pets” policy does not qualify a person for an accommodation under federal law. Any student approved assistance animal in UHDS facilities must also meet UHDS requirements/policies for animal health and behavior as well as their University Housing & Dining Contract.
Any person dissatisfied by a decision concerning a service animal or an assistance animal may appeal through the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access. Alternatively, information may also be obtained by phone, (541) 737-3556, by e-mail at: [email protected], or in-person or by mail at 330 Snell Hall, Corvallis, OR, 97331.
It is okay to ask someone if she/he would like assistance if there seems to be confusion, however, faculty, staff, students, visitors and members of the general public should avoid the following:
Updated: 10-08-2012, 6-30-2016