The ADA defines a service animal as “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.” If an animal meets the ADA definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or an animal training program. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. Service animals are permitted to accompany a person with a disability on the NIACC campus for College activities, services and programs. For an individual to use a service animal 1) the individual must have a disability as defined by the ADA that requires the use of a service animal, and 2) the accompanying animal must be trained to do specific tasks for the qualified individual. If there are any questions regarding service animals, please contact the Student Access Center at 641.422.4296 or email us. The person with a disability who utilizes a service animal does not need to register use of the animal with NIACC Disability Services. Students, NIACC personnel, guests or community patrons using a service animal while on campus must be able to answer two questions:
- Is this service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or tasks is the animal trained to perform?
Note: NIACC personnel shall not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability. NIACC will not make these inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g. the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person’s wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability). Each situation will be considered on an individual basis. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’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 to individuals with mobility disabilities.
- helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.
Note: 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. “Pets” are not allowed in any campus buildings under this policy. Pets are domestic animals kept for pleasure and companionship. Requirements of service animals and their handlers:
- The service animal shall be under the control of its handler. A service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use these devices or the use of the devices would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks. In this case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).
- The animal must wear a vaccination tag. The College reserves the right to ask for proof of current vaccination.
- Regular bathing or cleaning of the animal is expected to avoid odor and shedding.
- The service animal must be housebroken. The handler is responsible for ensuring the clean-up of all animal waste.
NIACC is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal. Individuals with disabilities shall be permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas of a place of public accommodation where members of the public, program participants, clients, customers, patrons, or invitees, as relevant, are allowed to go. Service animals are prohibited from the following areas (unless prior approval has been obtained):
- Areas that may be contaminated by animal hair or dander, such as science laboratories where laboratory materials may be altered. Prior approval from instructors is necessary before a service animal is allowed in a laboratory. Please contact Disability Services for more information.
- Kitchen and food-preparation areas. **For a student in the Hospitality/Food Service Management degree program this is considered part of a laboratory and thus, requires prior approval. The use of a service animal will be assessed on an individual basis.
- Service animals that are ill should not be taken into public areas.
Please note: If a service animal’s behavior fundamentally alters the College’s programs, activities and services; poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others; or displays threatening behavior toward others, the College may ask that the service animal be removed. Forbidden Actions by Persons on the NIACC campus:
- Touching of a service animal is forbidden, except upon the explicit prior consent of the partner.
- Do not feed a service animal, as the animal may have specific dietary requirements.
- Do not deliberately startle or distract a service animal.
- Do not separate or attempt to separate a partner from his or her service animal.
It is suggested that the handler of a service animal provide a short explanation regarding the service animal and what behaviors are expected of faculty, staff and classmates when in close proximity to the service animal. If you are a person with a disability who is unable to use a dog as a service animal and would like to discuss an alternative, or you have questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact the NIACC Counselor for Disability Services in the Student Access Office.