Administrative Services

File Code: PRO.SVCANIMAL.POL
Approval Date: 7/21/2014
Approved By: President

Service Animal Policy

Policy

It is the policy of Western Illinois University that service animals assisting individuals with disabilities are permitted in all facilities, programs, and activities where students, employees, or members of the public are normally allowed access, except where the presence or behavior of the animal may compromise the health or safety of the animal or others, or fundamentally alters the nature of the program or activity.

More information on accommodating individuals with service animals may be found in the Service Animal Guidelines.

Service Animal Guidelines

  1. The Law (Legal Basis)

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Illinois law (775 ILCS 30 and Public Act 097-0956) require that service animals be permitted to accompany persons with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are normally allowed access on the campuses of Western Illinois University. In addition, service animals trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a student with a disability must be permitted to accompany that student at all university functions, whether in or outside the classroom, unless the presence or behavior of the animal compromises the health or safety of the animal or others or fundamentally alters the nature of the program or activity.

    Note: An animal being trained to be a service animal has the same rights as a fully trained animal when accompanied by a trainer and is identified as such. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under Titles II and III of the ADA.

    Illinois Law requires that dogs, including service dogs, be vaccinated against rabies and registered in the county in which the dog resides. McDonough County registration tags are available to service dogs at no charge at the McDonough County Treasurer's Office. For more information call: (309) 833-2032.

  2. Application

    Campus Grounds and Facilities (Public Access)
    Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) define "service animals" as "dogs or miniature horses* that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities." If an animal 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 training program.

    *In order to determine whether reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures can be made to allow a miniature horse into a specific facility, a public entity shall consider specific assessment factors, including a) size, type, and weight of the animal, b) whether the animal is housebroken, and c) whether the animal's presence compromises safety.

    Workplace
    Title I of the ADA entitles employees with disabilities to reasonable accommodations in the workplace. This includes use of a service animal necessary to enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. Exceptions to the service animal definition in Titles II and III will be made in accordance with Title I of the ADA. Please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access for further assistance.

    Housing

    The Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 entitle tenants with disabilities to reasonable accommodations. This may include the use of a service animal. The restricted definition of service animal, as defined by Titles II and III does not affect or limit the broader definition of "assistance animal" under the Fair Housing Act. Service (and assistance) animals to be housed in University Housing must be pre-approved and have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Please contact the Disability Resource Center for further assistance.

  3. Rights and Responsibilities

    University Rights
    When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, university employees may ask if the animal is needed because of a disability and what service the animal provides.

    The University reserves the right to prohibit a service animal from campus or ask that a service animal be removed if the animal's presence or behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of the animal or others.

    University Responsibilities
    The University has a responsibility to maintain compliance with state and federal law regarding access for individuals with disabilities by allowing the service animal to accompany the individual with a disability for whom it performs tasks.

    Rights of Individuals who use Service Animals
    Individuals who use service animals have the right to be accompanied by the animal in any venue where
    they would normally be allowed access. They are also protected from being segregated or discriminated
    against because of the use of a service animal.

    Responsibilities of Individuals who use Service Animals
    Individuals who use service animals are responsible for:

    • Keeping the animal under control through voice, signal, or other effective controls
    • Cleaning up after the animal, and
    • The humane care and treatment of the animal, including but not limited to providing:
      1. Sufficient quantity of food and water;
      2. Adequate shelter and protection from the weather; and
      3. Veterinary care to ensure health and prevent suffering.
  4. Student Accommodations

    Service animals to be housed in University Housing must be pre-approved and have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Student requests for accommodations to have a service animal in the classroom or in residence halls should be directed to:

    Disability Resource Center
    143 Memorial Hall
    (309) 298-2512 Voice
    (309) 298- TTY
    disability@wiu.edu

    QC Disability Resources
    108-K Riverfront
    (309) 726-3999 x 62573

  5. Employee Accommodations

    Employee requests for accommodations to have a service animal in the workplace should be directed to:
    Office of Equal Opportunity and Access
    203 Sherman Hall
    (309) 298-1977
    eoa-office@wiu.edu

  6. Visitor Inquiries

    Service animals trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities are welcome to accompany that individual in all areas of campus where the public is allowed access. Visitor inquiries may be directed to:

    Office of Equal Opportunity and Access
    203 Sherman Hall
    (309) 298-1977
    eoa-office@wiu.edu