Director of Disability Services for Students
Location: Ritter Library, 2nd Floor
Phone: (440) 826-2147
Confidential Fax: (440) 826-3832
The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless if they are licensed or certified by a state or local government. Species other than dogs, or in some cases miniature horses, are not considered service animals for the purpose of this definition of a service animal.
Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Guide dogs are one type of service animal used by some individuals who are blind. There are, however, service animals that assist persons with other disabilities in their day-to-day activities including:
- Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds
- Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up items for persons with mobility impairments
- Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance
A service animal is not a pet.
Service Animals in Training
In accordance with Ohio Revised Code 955.43, Baldwin Wallace University will treat an employee or student training a service dog the same way it would be legally required to treat someone who is qualified as disabled.
Areas of Accessibility
Under the American with Disabilities Act, individuals may use service animals in any public area unless doing so would pose a danger to the health and safety of others or cause undue burden. Service animals are permitted to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of BW's facilities including University Housing and where students, members of the public and other participants in services, programs or activities are allowed to go.
The service animal must be housebroken (i.e., trained so that it controls its waste elimination, absent illness or accident) and must be kept under control by a harness, leash, or other tether, unless the person is unable to hold those, or such use would interfere with the service animal's performance of work or tasks. In such instances, the service animal must be kept under control by voice, signals or other effective means.
BW does not require documentation, such as proof the animal has been certified, trained or licensed as a service animal. Individuals accompanied by a service animal on campus but who do not need any disability-related accommodations are not required to register with Disability Services for Students (DSS), nor is such individual required to submit a request for a reasonable accommodation to receive access of his or her service animal.
Additionally, BW cannot ask about the nature or extent of a person's disability to determine whether a person's animal qualifies as a service animal. However, when it is not readily apparent that an animal is functioning as a service animal, BW staff may make two inquiries to determine whether the animal qualifies as such which are:
- Is this animal trained to provide a disability-related service for you?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Individuals who plan to have a service animal in University Housing are asked to make a formal notification at least 30 days prior to move in. This can be done by submitting an Accommodated Housing Request form.