Daemen College complies with the American with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADA Amendments Act) in allowing the use of Service Animals for students, staff and visitors. The College is committed to allowing Service Animals as necessary to provide individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to access the programs, services, and physical facilities of the College. This policy explains the specific requirements applicable to an individual’s use of a Service Animal on campus. Daemen College reserves the right to amend this policy as circumstances require.
Service Animal: Under the ADA Amendments Act, a Service Animal is any “dog [or miniature horse, see below] that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” The ADA Amendments Act excludes from this definition any animal that is not a dog or miniature horse. The work or task performed by the animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Animals whose primary function is to provide crime deterrence and/or emotional support, comfort, or companionship are not considered to be Service Animals under the ADA Amendments Act.
Daemen 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. The College may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a Service Animal, which includes:
- Whether the animal is required because of a disability, and;
- What work or task the animal has been trained to perform. The College cannot require documentation regarding the animal’s certification or training. The College will not make any inquiries about a Service Animal when it is readily apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
Assistance Animal: Under the FHA, Assistance Animals are permitted within a student’s residence/dwelling if they work, provide assistance, or perform physical tasks for an individual with a disability and/or provide necessary emotional support to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability that alleviates one or more identified symptoms of an individual’s disability. This animal would be subject to the requirements described in the “Assistance Animal Policy and Agreement,” available through the Disability Services office or the Office of Housing and Residence Life.
Pet: A pet is an animal that is kept for ordinary use and companionship. It is not a Service or Assistance Animal. Students are not permitted to have pets on Campus, with the exception of fish in tanks that are five gallons or smaller.
Handler: The “Handler” is the individual with a disability who uses a service animal.
Disability Services Office: The Disability Services Office collaborates with individuals, faculty and staff to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to all Daemen College programs and activities.
Guidelines for Having a Service Animal on Campus
Students: Students who require the use of a Service Animal are encouraged to contact Disability Services Office to register as a student with a disability. Additionally, students who plan to live in on-campus housing are strongly encouraged to inform College housing that they plan to have a Service Animal with them in student housing. Advance notice of a Service Animal for College housing may allow more flexibility in meeting the student’s requests for housing.
Staff and Faculty: Staff and faculty with Service Animals are strongly encouraged to contact the Associate Dean of the College
Visitors: Visitors may contact the Disability Services Coordinator regarding any questions about bringing a Service Animal on campus. Visitors with service animals must comply with the “Responsibilities of Handlers” set forth below.
Responsibilities of Handlers
A Service Animal’s Handler is solely responsible for the custody and care of the Service Animal and must meet the following requirements:
- The Handler must abide by current city, county, and state ordinances, laws, and/or regulations pertaining to licensing, vaccination, and other requirements for animals. It is the individual’s responsibility to know and understand these ordinances, laws, and regulations. The College has the right to require documentation of compliance with such ordinances, laws, and/or regulations, which may include a vaccination certificate. The College reserves the right to request documentation showing that the animal has been licensed.
- The Handler is required to clean up after and properly dispose of the animal’s waste in a safe and sanitary manner and, when provided, must use animal relief areas designated by Daemen College. The Handler must always carry sufficient equipment to clean up the animal’s waste.
- Daemen will not ask for or require an individual with a disability to pay a fee or surcharge for a Service Animal.
- An individual with a disability may be charged for any damage caused by his or her Service Animal beyond reasonable wear and tear to the same extent that it charges other individuals for damages beyond reasonable wear and tear.
- The Handler agrees to abide by all equally applicable College policies that are unrelated to the individual’s disability such as assuring that the animal does not unduly interfere with the routine activities of the College’s campus or residence halls, or cause difficulties for individuals who reside there.
- Daemen College personnel shall not be required to provide care or food for any Service Animal including, but not limited to, removing the animal during emergency evacuation for events such as a fire alarm. Emergency personnel will determine whether to remove the animal and may not be held responsible for the care, damage to, or loss of the animal.
Removal of Service Animal
The College may require the individual to remove the Service Animal from the College if:
- The animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or causes substantial property damage to the property of others;
- The animal’s presence results in a fundamental alteration of a College program;
- The Handler does not comply with the Handler’s responsibilities set forth above; or
- The animal or its presence creates an unmanageable disturbance or interference with the college community.
The College will base such determinations upon the consideration of the behavior of the particular animal at issue, and not on speculation or fear about the harm or damages an animal may cause. Any removal of the animal will be done in consultation with the Coordinator of Disability Services and may appeal to Daemen College’s Section 504/ADA Compliance Officer following the College’s Grievance Procedure set forth in the student handbook.
Daemen College will not retaliate against any person because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation, including a request for a Service Animal.