Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals
Jill Brondolo talks about using a guide dog
Service Animals: Florida Atlantic University permits the use of service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Florida Statute. The animal must be 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 individual’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 and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.
FAU cannot require documentation, such as proof of certification, training or licensed as a service animal. We cannot make inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
When a person with a service animal enters a public facility or place of public accommodation, the person cannot be asked about the nature or extent of his/her disability. Only two questions may be asked:
- Is the animal required because of a disability?
- What work/task has the animal been trained to perform?
FAU reserves the right to exclude or remove any animal from the premises, including a service animal, if the animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Allergies and fear of animals are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to an individual with a service animal. If an animal is properly excluded we must give the individual with a disability the opportunity or participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service animal on the premises.
Emotional Support Animals: Animals that are pets or that are providing only emotional support, comfort or well-being are not considered service animals, but may be considered Emotional Support Animals. Emotional Support animals are not given the same access rights as Service Animals.
- Under the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act a student with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation for assistance animals including emotional support animals when it is necessary to afford the individual equal opportunity to use and enjoy the dwelling or to participate in the housing service or program, unless the animal poses a direct threat. Further, there must be a relationship, or nexus, between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides. If these requirements are met, FAU will permit the assistance animal as an accommodation, unless it can demonstrate that allowing the assistance animal would impose an undue financial or administrative burden or would fundamentally alter the nature of the housing program or services.
If you have a service animal, it is not necessary to register with the SAS in order to have the animal in FAU housing. If you have an Emotional Support Animal, it is necessary to register with the SAS in order to have the animal live in FAU housing. Accommodations for an Emotional Support Animal in housing are not guaranteed and will depend on documentation from an appropriate physician, psychologist or psychiatrist.