January 10, 2017 - 05:00 am

Webinar: Service and Support Animals on Campus: Legal Requirements and Practical Considerations for Handling Requests

HK’s Erin Dolly presents a webinar on the laws and regulations that permit animals to assist persons with disabilities on college campuses have been rapidly changing. Colleges and universities have faced an increasing number of requests by both students and employees to bring animals on campus, requiring institutions to sort through a complex labyrinth of rules that vary depending on the role of the requestor (student vs. employee) and the context (workplace vs. housing). While some of the requests involve service animals, many of the requests involve emotional support animals – also known as assistance, companion, or therapy animals.

Although it is permissible to have a “no pets” policy in place, institutions should be aware of when they are legally required to permit individuals to bring animals on their campus.

This session will discuss the federal law on accommodations with service and assistance animals, for both students and employees. The session will also consider recent cases and settlement agreements related to student housing accommodations, including:

  • The January 4, 2016 settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and Kent State University over claims of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, stemming from the University’s denial of a request to allow a student suffering from a psychological disability and her husband to keep an emotional support dog in their university-operated student apartment; and
  • The September 3, 2015 agreement between the Department of Justice and the University of Nebraska at Kearney (and the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska) to settle a civil rights lawsuit over claims of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, stemming from the University’s denial to allow two different students with psychological disabilities to keep an emotional support dog with them in on-campus housing.

Session Highlights

  • What is the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal?
  • What is the legal framework for evaluating an animal-as-accommodation request for an employee in the workplace versus a student in campus housing?
  • What rights do students have to bring an animal on campus?
  • What rights do employees have to bring an animal on campus?
  • What documentation can I require before allowing animals in the workplace or in campus housing?
  • How does the Department of Justice’s July 2015 FAQs on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to service animals impact how campuses should address this issue?
  • What does the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) say about when animals must be permitted in campus housing under the Fair Housing Act?
  • How do I deal with other community members who are afraid of animals or have animal allergies?
  • What are the risks your campus may face if it fails to consider an animal-as-accommodation request?

For more information on this webinar, click here.

Venue: