This procedure relates to service animal accommodations for individuals with disabilities as they utilize college services or participate in activities at the main campus and any of Lane Community College's centers. It includes procedures and guidelines for specific situations, responsibilities of individuals using service animals, and guidelines for employees.
The Department of Justice's Regulation Implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition is:
Service animal means any dog 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. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.
The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks 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.
Animals that do not meet this definition are those intended to provide emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship.
Procedures and Guidelines for Specific Situations
1. Animals on campus/Centers: Animals must remain outside college buildings, with the exception of Service Animals assisting those with disabilities. For more details, see Lane's College Online Procedures System under "Animals".
2. Animals in campus/Center Buildings and Facilities: A Service Animal may be in a building if it is performing a task for the benefit of an individual with a disability. When a staff member is determining if it is appropriate for an animal to be in a building, there are only two permissible inquiries:
- Is this service animal required because of disability?
- What work or tasks is the animal trained to perform?
A staff member can encourage a student to contact Disability Resources, or encourage an employee to contact Human Resources, in order to determine the appropriateness of a service animal accommodation.
3. Service Animal Accommodations:
- For a student: Lane students seeking an animal accommodation should contact Disability Resources in order to complete the eligibility process.
- For an employee: Lane employees seeking consideration for service animals should contact Human Resources. Employees may be required to provide documentation that confirms the following:
- The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability.
- The service animal (dog) has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.
Responsibilities of Individuals Using Service Animals
All students and employees using a service animal accommodation are responsible for the following:
- The animal must not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
- The animal must be under full control and behave appropriately at all times. This means, the animal MUST NOT:
- Block an aisle or passageway
- Display any disruptive or aggressive behavior or noises
- Sniff other people, their belongings, or food in the area
- Initiate contact with other people or animals
- Provoke attention from other animals (e.g., heat/estrus)
- Cause damage to campus property, facilities, others' belongings, etc.
- The animal must be on a leash and in close proximity (12-18 inches) to the individual at all times.
- The care and supervision of the animal is solely the responsibility of the individual and cannot be delegated to others.
- The animal must be in good health and meet licensing requirements for the State of Oregon and Lane County. It must be immunized against disease. Service Animals approved for accommodations must wear an owner identification tag, a current rabies tag, and a dog license tag at all times.
- All county ordinances and laws must be obeyed, including pick up and disposal of all solid waste. Exceptions are made for individuals who are unable to pick up the waste.
Lane may exclude an animal from all or part of its property if a student or employee fails to comply with these responsibilities or the animal poses a threat to the health or safety of others. If an animal is excluded, the student may be cited for a violation of Lane's Student Code of Conduct.
Guidelines for Employees and Students in the Presence of Service Animals
College faculty, staff, and students are responsible for the following:
- Allow Service Animals to accompany the individual anywhere on campus during times that other individuals are allowed in that area, except where animals are specifically prohibited because of safety or hygiene concerns (See Service Animal Restrictions).
- Always offer assistance if the individual seems confused and wait for verbal acceptance of your offer.
- Never distract the Service Animal in any way. Do not talk to, touch/pet, feed, or deliberately startle the animal.
- Never separate an individual from the Service Animal.
- Contact Disability Resources or Human Resources (See Contacts) if you have any concerns about a Service Animal's behavior or health and safety issues.
Service Animal Restrictions
Restrictions related to safety may include nursing and health sciences program practicum sites, food preparation areas, rooms with heavy machinery, custodial closets, areas where protective clothing is required, or areas that can pose a safety risk to the animal. Cases will be considered individually to determine if the animal poses a possible danger or could be in danger at a certain location, and whether other reasonable accommodations can be provided to assure equal access to the activity.
Process for Temporary Exclusion of a Service Animal
In certain instances, the College may exclude a Service Animal from campus for a temporary period of time when the animal behaves inappropriately (e.g., presenting a health or safety risk), or has an obvious illness. In that case, the individual may still attend the college activity, with or without alternate accommodations, which may be arranged through consultation with Disability Resources (DR) or Human Resources (HR).
If it becomes necessary for a faculty or staff member to exclude a Service Animal from campus, the following steps must be taken:
- Discuss concerns with the individual (e.g., behavior problems, disruption in the learning or work environment, health and safety risks).Consult with DR (541) 463-5150 about a situation regarding a student.
- Consult with HR (541) 463-5589 about a situation regarding an employee or a community member.
- Submit a written description of the incident, including the follow up steps you have taken, to DR (for students) or HR (for employees or community members).
- DR or HR will inform the individual of the reason the animal is being excluded from campus, and steps needed for the animal to return to campus.
- DR or HR will notify Public Safety of plans to exclude the animal.
Students with a medical condition that may become a dangerous health crisis in reaction to animals (such as an acute respiratory condition), who are concerned about exposure should contact the Disability Resources office. Employees or community members with these concerns should contact Human Resources. Action will be taken to consider the needs of all persons and to resolve the problem as sensitively and efficiently as possible.
Procedure for Clarifying an Animal's Service Status
In many cases it is easy to discern that an animal fits the legal definition of a service animal by noting the animal's harness, cape, or backpack (which are not legally required), or by observing the individual's disability. In other cases, an animal may only have a leash and the individual's disability may not be obvious. When an individual brings a service animal into campus buildings to complete brief business, faculty or staff should simply clarify whether the dog is a Service Animal. However, if the individual is attending a class with an animal, and the student does not have a Letter of Accommodation with Service Animal listed as an accommodation, please refer the student to Disability Resources.
If questions or concerns persist regarding the status of a particular animal, the matter will be referred to Disability Resources or Human resources.
In event of an emergency, the college's Public Safety Officers and/or Emergency Responders should be trained to recognize a Service Animal and to 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, sirens, wind, noise, or shaking and moving ground. The individual and/or animal may be confused by any stressful situation. The Public Safety Officers and/or Emergency Responders should be aware that the animal is trying to be protective and, in its confusion, is not to be considered harmful. The Public Safety Officer/Emergency Responder should make every effort to keep the animal with its owner; however, the Officer's primary effort should be toward the individual. This may necessitate leaving the animal behind in certain rare emergency evacuation situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Justice: Commonly Asked Questions about service animals in the Workplace (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/qasrvc.htm)