Ida Dilwood, director, Office of Disability Services, said UCCS Policy 400-012 applies to all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to campus. The policy, which was approved Nov. 16, recognizes that individuals with certain types of disabilities may require animal assistance while on campus and defines the difference between pets, service animals and emotional support animals.
“We have always supported service dogs and comfort or emotional support animals on campus, but as we grow as a university and they become more prevalent we wanted to make sure our policy reflected that,” Dilwood said. “We also wanted to clarify in more depth the differences between pets, service dogs and emotional support animals.”
Under the policy, a service animal is defined as an animal that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental health disability, while an emotional support animal is an animal that provides emotional support to ease one or more identified symptoms of a person’s disability(s). This group includes therapy, emotional support or comfort animals. Unlike service animals, emotional support animals are not trained to perform work or tasks, and they may include species other than dogs.
Service animals are permitted to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of UCCS’s facilities where students, members of the public, and other participants in services, programs or activities are allowed to go. People accompanied by a service animal on campus who do not need any other disability related accommodations are not required to register with the Office of Disability Services.
Pets, on the other hand, are limited or prohibited in campus buildings with the exceptions of animals used for academic purposes. Leashed pets are permitted in outdoor spaces, provided that the animal’s behavior is within the owner’s control, the animal does not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, its presence does not fundamentally alter the nature of a UCCS program, service or activity, and its owner properly disposes of its waste.
To read the policy in its entirety, visit UCCS Policy 400-012. All UCCS campus policies are available at: http://www.uccs.edu/vcaf/policies/uccs-policies.html.
For more information, visit UCCS Disability Services.