It is the policy of Illinois State University to afford individuals with disabilities and/or medical/mental health conditions, who require the assistance of a service animal, with equal opportunity to access University property, courses, programs, and activities.
This policy complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Fair Housing Act of 1968, and applicable state and local law regarding service animals.
If you are an employee requesting a service dog as an accommodation, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at (309) 438-3383.
For purposes of this policy, Illinois State University uses the definition outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for service animal , which includes any dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA or this policy.
In addition, the ADA’s revised regulations have a new, separate provision regarding miniature horses that meet specific requirements and have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.
Generally, owners of service animals are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal in all areas of the University's facilities and programs where the owner is allowed to go. Such areas include public areas, public events, classrooms, and other areas where University programs or activities are held.
A service animal may be restricted from specific areas of the University when (1) it would fundamentally alter a program or (2) the University has legitimate safety concerns and/or consistent with other University policies, state, and/or federal laws/regulations. Examples of these areas include but are not limited to:
If a service animal is restricted from certain areas, Student Access and Accommodation Services (SAAS) assists in evaluating and providing reasonable accommodations for the student.
University personnel must permit service animal access to property, events and/or activities with its owner when it is readily apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for its owner. Examples include (1) a dog guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, (2) pulling an individual's wheelchair, or (3) providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability.
If the need for the service animal is not apparent, University personnel may only ask the following of service animal owners:
If the owner states that the animal is required because of a disability and that the animal has been trained to do work or a task for the owner, then the service animal must be admitted. If there is any doubt that an animal is a service animal, University personnel should admit the animal and then consult with the Student Access and Accommodation Services or the University ADA Coordinator regarding future access.
University personnel may not ask about the nature of the owner’s disability or request medical documentation of disability. Owners are not required to possess or provide any special registration, identification card, license, or other documentation that the animal is a service animal, or to demonstrate the animal's ability to perform work or tasks.
Service animal owners are not required to register their service animal with the University. However, Student Access and Accommodation Services does provide a voluntary registration process for interested service animal owners. Having a service animal on the voluntary registration could assist the University if any problems arise an owner needs assistance with or an emergency situation occurs and emergency personnel need to be notified of where the service animal might be located in the case of an emergency evacuation.
It is also recommended, but not required, that the service animal wear a specific identification tag, vest, or specific harness identifying them as a service animal.
Service animal owners are responsible for complying with the following:
University personnel may only ask service animal owners to remove their service animal from University premises or from the immediate area under the following circumstances:
If asked to remove the service animal, the owner must be offered the opportunity to return to the University premises or the immediate area without the service animal and be provided with reasonable assistance at that time to participate in the University service or program.
Illinois State University is committed to a prompt and effective resolution of any issues or concerns regarding service animals. If the Owner has a concern, the Owner should contact the Director of SAAS.
Concerned University personnel or students should contact SAAS in the following situations: