Service Animal Policy

Southwestern Oregon Community College recognizes and supports the assistance a trained service animal can provide a student with a disability. In order for a service animal to be allowed on campus the following conditions must be met.

What is a “service animal”?

A Service Animal means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.

Documentation for a Service Animal

  • Documentation. Like any other reasonable accommodation, documentation specifying the necessity of the animal must be stated. It must be stated that the service animal provides an essential service reducing the substantial limitation(s) created by the disability. The documentation can not be more than one year old and must be updated on an annual basis.

Responsibility of the student with a service animal

The student will assume full responsibility for the care and management of their service animal. This will include, but is not limited to, food, water and shelter, managing the animal behavior on campus and in the community, animals’ health and wellness, disposal of animal waste in an appropriate manner. The service animal will be viewed by the campus as an extension of the student and therefore subject to the code of conduct of the college. Violations of the code of conduct will follow established procedures of the college. See student handbook.

Companion animals

Animals that are used for the expressed purpose of companionship (pets) do not qualify as service animals. Even though they may provide a benefit to the student they do not provide a service and will not be allowed on campus. Requests for service animals at Southwestern will be reviewed on case by case bases. Remember it is the student’s responsibility to supply the required information to the DSS office to establish this accommodation.

Note: For students, the applicable Section 504 regulations are 34 CFR 104.44 (which requires modifications of policies and references guide dogs, but should not be limited to dogs), as well as the nondiscrimination regulations at 34 CFR 104.4 and 28 CFR 35.130 of Title II of the ADA. When a qualified disabled student seeks modification of a campus policy prohibiting animals in order to regularly access programs or facilities, Section 504, 34 CFR 104.44 may be applied in the same manner as any other request for modification or auxiliary aids and services. Therefore, before modifying such a policy for a student, a postsecondary institutions may require a disabled student to provide documentation and engage in an interactive process to provide information and documentation to demonstrate: (1) the student’s qualification as a disabled person, e.g. that they have a "physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity," (2) the service animal’s individual training and the animals work, duties, or function, and (3) the nexus between the student’s disability and animal’s function that affords the disabled student access to the postsecondary programs, facilities, and activities.

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