Policies and Procedures
Some individuals with disabilities utilize the services of trained animals to provide themselves with direct assistance in daily life. Service animals, often referred to as assistance animals, are permitted to accompany a person with a disability anywhere on campus.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as "any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals to an impending seizure or protecting individuals during one, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders, or pulling a wheelchair and fetching dropped items."
Texas law parallels the Americans with Disabilities Act with rights and protections for assistance animals. Texas law provides that assistance animals must be trained by organizations that generally are recognized as reputable and competent by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities.
Requirements for service animals and their owners at The University of Texas at Dallas include:
- Dogs must be licensed in accordance with city regulations and wear a valid vaccination tag.
- Any other animals that are trained for service to a person with a disability must have vaccinations appropriate for that type of animal.
- Animals must be in good health.
- Any service animals occupying University housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.
- Animals must be on a leash at all times.
- The owner of the service animal must be in full control of the animal at all times.
- The owner is responsible for appropriate waste clean-up and overall cleanliness of the animal.
The service animal owner is responsible for the appropriate management of his or her animal in all University facilities. Disruptive and/or aggressive behavior on the part of the animal may result in the owner being asked to remove the animal from University facilities.
Service with Service/Assistance Animals
Students with disabilities desiring to use a service animal on campus must contact the Office of Student AccessAbility (OSA) to register as a student with a documented disability. OSA will assist the student in determining any additional accommodations appropriate to the functional limitations of his or her disability.
A student with a disability who uses a service animal and who resides in campus-owned housing is required to alert Residential Life of the animal's status.
Etiquette with Service/Assistance Animals
- Allow a service animal to accompany the owner at all times and everywhere on campus except where service animals specifically are prohibited.
- Do not pet a service animal: petting a service animal when the animal is working distracts the animal from the task at hand. Service dogs typically wear a leather harness, scarf or sign to indicate they are working animals.
- Do not feed a service animal. The service animal may have specific dietary requirements. Unusual food or food at an unexpected time may cause the animal to become ill.
- Do not deliberately startle a service animal.
- Do not separate or attempt to separate an owner/handler from her or his service animal.
A pet can be considered a companion or therapy animal. A therapy animal does not assist an individual with a disability in the activities of daily living. The therapy animal does not accompany a person with a disability all the time, unlike a trained service animal that is always with its owner. Thus, a therapy animal is not covered by laws protecting service animals and giving rights to service animals.
Contact OSA for more information about service and assistance animals.
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