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Disability Resources

Disability Resources

Service Dog
Service and Guide Dog Policy as of January 2016

San Diego State University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Among other things, the ADAAA and Section 504 require SDSU to make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices or procedures to permit the use of a service or guide animal (further known as “dog”) by a student, faculty, staff or visitor (further known as handler) with a disability.

 

Definition of a Service or Guide Dog 

The ADAAA defines a service or guide animal 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 or other mental disability”. 

 

Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to:

 

  • assisting individuals who are blind or who have low vision with navigation or 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
  • assisting persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting  impulsive or destructive behaviors 

It is important to note that other species of animal, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of the ADAAA. It should further be noted that the ADAAA provides an exception for miniature horses that are trained as guide animals for the blind or visually impaired. Note that the crime deterrent effects of a dog’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of determining whether a dog is a service or guide animal under the ADAAA or this policy.

 

Verification of a Service or Guide Dog 

Handlers will not be asked about the nature or extent of his or her disability. However, when it is not readily apparent that the dog identified by the handler is trained to do work or perform tasks for him or her, University designees may only ask the handler the following two questions:

  • Is the dog required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Documentation, such as proof that the dog has been certified, trained or licensed as a service or guide dog is not required.

 

Care and Supervision of the Service/Guide Dog 

The handler using a service or guide dog is responsible for the care and supervision of the service or guide dog. The service or guide dog must be under the direct supervision of the handler at all times and must have a harness, leash or other tether unless use of these would interfere with the performance of the work or tasks the dog is trained to complete (in this situation, the handler must be able to control the dog by other effective means such as voice commands or hand signals).

A service or guide dog is generally permitted to accompany the handler to SDSU facilities where members of the public, students, staff and faculty are allowed to go. However, a SDSU designee may ask the handler to remove the dog from any of its facilities if: 1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take appropriate action to control it; 2) the dog is not housebroken; 3) the use or presence of the dog poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or if the dog’s behavior (such as barking) is unreasonably disruptive to other participants within the facility. Additionally, there are some facilities at SDSU that may not be safe for the use or presence of service or guide dogs and from which the university may exclude them on a case-by-case basis based on actual risk (example: anatomy lab or chemistry lab). Per SDSU building regulations service or guide dogs are the only animals allowed in campus buildings (See Section 26.3, http://bfa.sdsu.edu/policies/pdf/BuildGroundsRegulations.pdf)

It is the responsibility of the handler to be aware of and abide by city, county and state ordinances, laws and regulations pertaining to licensing, vaccination and other requirements for animals. SDSU designees, including faculty and staff, can and may ask for proof of licensing and vaccination for the dog as provided for in the ADAAA. It is the responsibility of the handler to keep the service/guide dog clean and free of pests (for example, ticks and fleas). It is also the responsibility of the handler to clean up after and properly dispose of the dog’s waste in a safe and sanitary manner.

 

Notifying SDSU of the Presence of a Service or Guide Dog 

Handlers with service or guide dogs are not required to register with Student Disability Services about the presence of their dog, unless the handler requires academic accommodations unrelated to the use of the dog. Handlers, who intend to live on campus in the residence halls or SDSU owned apartments with their dogs, are encouraged to notify the Office of Housing Administration at the earliest possible convenience so that they can determine to best possible placement for the handler and their dog.

San Diego State University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Among other things, the ADAAA and Section 504 require SDSU to make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices or procedures to permit the use of a service or guide animal (further known as “dog”) by a student, faculty, staff or visitor (further known as handler) with a disability.

 


Contact Information 

Student Disability Services
(619)594-6473
Calpulli 3101
sdsinfo@mail.sdsu.edu

Office of Housing Administration
(619) 594-5742
Office of Housing Administration
oha@mail.sdsu.edu


County of San Diego Animal Services
http://www.sddac.com/

Contact Information:
Student Disability Services 
Calpulli Center, Suite 3101 (third floor)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4:30 pm
 
Test Accommodation Center
Calpulli Center, Suite 1300 (first floor)
Hours:  Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4:30 pm (extended hours for test administration)