University of Lynchburg allows service animals on the campus in recognition of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act 0f 2008 (ADAAA). The ADAAA defines service animals as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. If a dog meets this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program. Species of animals other than dogs, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals. Service animals are working animals, not pets. This policy pertains to service animals only, and not to emotional support animals and pets. The University has developed a separate policy regarding the presence of emotional support animals in University housing.
The ADAAA allows service animals accompanying persons with disabilities to be on the University of Lynchburg campus. A service animal must be permitted to accompany a person with a disability everywhere on campus except in situations where safety may be compromised or where the service animal may interfere with the fundamental nature of the activities being conducted.
The person a service animal assists is referred to as a Partner. The Partner’s disability may not be visible. If you are not sure whether an animal is a pet or a service animal, you may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Others, including faculty and staff, cannot ask about the Partner’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the service animal, or ask that the service animal demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
A service animal can be any breed or size. It might wear specialized equipment such as a backpack, harness, or special collar or leash, but this is not a legal requirement. Additional information and guidance is available Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA and Service Animals on Campus.
Non-residential students with disabilities who require a service animal on-campus are not required to register or identify to the University. However the University suggests non-residential students who require a service animal on campus self-identify to the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources (CADR) as soon as possible after deciding to enroll at the University. This will allow CADR will communicate to other University community members to ease the transition of the student and service animal.
Residential students or staff with service animals must agree to the Service Animal Residential Policy prior to moving into campus housing with their service animal. If the student plans to live on the campus residentially, CADR will provide information on expectations for the service animal and partner through the Service Animal Residential Agreement and gather information on the animal through the Service Animal Residential Registration Form.
Contact Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources staff for more information.