Service animals at IU
Service animals are welcome anywhere their handlers are permitted on campus. Exceptions may exist for health and safety reasons.
Service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), are "dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities". The university also recognizes miniature horses as a service animal consistent with relevant ADA guidelines and regulations.
Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
Examples of tasks that a service animal might perform include:
- Guiding a person who is blind
- Alerting a person who is 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 during an anxiety attack
Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or the individual's disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Emotional support animals are not considered service animals under the ADA, and they are not granted access to areas of public accommodation. They may be permitted in campus student housing with prior approval.
Guidance for faculty and staff
When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed.
Staff may ask two questions:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Staff cannot ask about the person's disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless:
- The dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it.
- The dog is not housebroken.
Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals.