The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a Service Animal (SA) as “a dog that is 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, 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. SAs are working animals, not pets. The work or tasks a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.”
A SA 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. If a dog meets this definition, it is considered a SA regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program.
The ADA further states that “dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as SAs under the ADA.”
The ADA allows an SA to accompany persons with disabilities anywhere that is open to the public on Randolph College premises. Premises shall mean any land and/or facility owned, leased, rented and/or occupied by the College. There may be individual exceptions in places where the presence of the SA may compromise safety or a sterile environment and/or interfere with the fundamental nature of the activities being conducted in which the SA would be not permitted.
Individuals who are enrolled at the College may register their service animal with the College, by contacting Access Services at (434) 947-8132; registration is not available for visitors to campus or service dogs in training.
The individual’s disability may not be visible. College personnel may only ask the Owner two questions in determining the validity of the presence of the animal: (1) is the dog a SA required because of a disability, and (2) what task is the animal trained to perform. College personnel may not ask for details about the disability or ask the SA to perform the task.
All questions regarding SAs should be directed to the Coordinator of Access Services (434)-947-8132.