Colorado State University recognizes that some types of disabilities may require animal assistance as an accommodation. There are two categories of animals that may be allowed on campus to provide assistance to students with disabilities – service animals and emotional support animals. Below is an overview of what animals qualify and things to consider if you are requesting to have an animal on the CSU campus as a disability accommodation. To explore this issue further or for more specific information, feel free to contact Kathleen Ivy, RDS accommodations/advocacy specialist, at 491-6385 or Kathleen.Ivy@colostate.edu.
Service animals are defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) as:
Any dog or miniature horse 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 work or task that the service animal performs must be directly related to the individual’s disability, such as:
A dog or miniature horse are the two types of animals that are designated as service animals. Animals providing emotional, support or companionship do not qualify as service animals.
Subject to some limitations, a service animal (usually a dog) may generally accompany students throughout campus, such as classrooms, recreational facilities and campus residences. It is expected that a service animal be identifiable to others through a visible signifier (e.g., vest or harness).
Beyond this, other considerations as may be required or allowed under federal or state disability laws may apply. Requests for use of a miniature horse for accommodation of a disability will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Students with non-apparent disabilities who use a service dog are strongly encouraged to use RDS as a means of verifying the need as an accommodation while on campus.
In some instances, disabled students may be allowed to have an emotional support animal within campus housing facilities. These animals may alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a disability and are referred to as “emotional support” based on the function they perform for the student. All requests for emotional support animals as an accommodation in campus housing facilities must be approved by Resources for Disabled Students. Note: there is no entity certifying the status of an animal as a emotional support animal that is recognized by Colorado State University.
A student may be able to have an emotional support animal in a campus housing unit as a reasonable accommodation if:
If a student is allowed to have an emotional support animal, it may be restricted to only housing areas. It may not be allowed to enter classrooms, recreational facilities or other campus buildings. Requests for accommodations beyond the residential scope will be assessed on a case by case basis by RDS.
For additional information on disability documentation guidelines and/or the accommodation process, go to Accommodation Process or call Resources for Disabled Students at (970) 491-6385.
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