Service Animal and Assistance Animal Policy and Procedure
The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for Title ll (State and local government services) and Title lll (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on July 20, 2015, in the Federal Register. These requirements, or rules, clarify and refine issues that have arisen over the past 25 years and contain new, and updated, requirements, including the 2010 standards for accessible design (2010 standards).
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, public institutions are required to allow the use of service animals on college campuses in order to achieve access to programs, activities and services. Under this law, The University of Massachusetts, Amherst is committed to providing appropriate access to all members of the University community. The University wants to ensure for those people with disabilities who use services dogs that they are allowed access to all buildings, classrooms, residence halls, dining areas, recreation facilities, activities and events.
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section ADA Requirements for Service Animals states:
- Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.
- Generally, Title ll entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allow to go.
A service animal is 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.
The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the partner’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, helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition (ADA, March 15, 2011). Current law also includes miniature horses.
A dog or puppy being trained has the same rights as a fully trained service dog.