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Executive Policy 1.207 Executive Policy 1.207



Title

Executive Policy on Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

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Executive Policy Chapter 1, General Provisions
Executive Policy 1.207, Executive Policy on Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals
Effective Date: August 2020
Prior Dates Amended: new policy
Responsible Office: Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action
Governing Board of Regents Policy RP 1.205, Policy on Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action
Review Date: August 2023

I. Purpose

  1. To support the goal of the University of Hawaiʻi to provide a safe and welcoming place to learn and work.

  2. To support the University’s commitment to equal access for persons with disabilities under federal and state laws and those individuals who may benefit from the presence of a Service or Emotional Support Animal, including students, employees and visitors.

  3. To establish guidelines for the University to support the use of Service and Emotional Support Animals on campus.

II. Definitions

  1. Service Animal: Service Animals are working animals, not pets. A Service Animal is a dog1 that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Service Animals can be trained to perform important tasks to assist individuals with disabilities, including but not limited to providing stability for a person who has difficulty walking, picking up items for a person who uses a wheelchair, performing medical alerts of various types such as high or low blood sugar, or the onset of seizures, guiding people who are blind, or alerting a person who has hearing loss when someone is approaching from behind. Service Animals can also support persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by helping to prevent or interrupt impulsive or self-destructive behaviors. A Service Animal does not include animals that are not trained to perform specific tasks related to the individual’s disability. Service Animals in training are not considered Service Animals under this policy.

  2. Emotional Support Animal: An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is any animal that provides necessary emotional support to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of an individual with a disability. ESAs are sometimes referenced as therapy animals or comfort animals. An ESA is not a Service Animal.

  3. Reliable Third Party: A Reliable Third Party is someone who is familiar with the individual’s disability and the necessity for the requested accommodation. A Reliable Third Party includes a qualified professional who provides medical care, therapy or counseling to persons with disabilities, including, but not limited to, doctors, physician assistants, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers.

  4. Research, Teaching and Training Animal: An animal that is officially part of the University’s teaching, research, training and/or clinical programs. All vertebrate animals used for these purposes must have a valid animal protocol approved by the University of Hawaiʻi Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), unless exempted by the IACUC. This policy does not specifically address these animals.

III. Executive Policy

  1. Service Animals

  2. The University of Hawaiʻi is committed to equal access for persons with disabilities, including students, employees, and visitors, in compliance with federal and state laws. Under federal and state law, Service Animals are allowed in areas where animals, including pets, are generally not permitted. Individuals with disabilities may be accompanied by Service Animals on all University of Hawaiʻi campuses and its premises where members of the public are allowed to go. A Service Animal’s work or task must be directly related to its owner’s disability.

    Members of the Public
    Under federal and state laws, individuals with disabilities are not required to provide documentation of their disability, nor are they required to provide documentation that an animal has been trained as a Service Animal. The law does not require that the animal wear any type of identifying vest or badge indicating that it is a Service Animal and it does not prohibit any particular breed of dog from being a Service Animal.

    When it is not readily apparent that an animal is a Service Animal, the University is only permitted to ask the following two questions:

    1. Is the animal required because of a disability?

    2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

    Students
    Students may be accompanied by Service Animals in all locations where students are allowed, except where the presence of a Service Animal would fundamentally alter the nature of a program or an activity and/or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Access to restricted areas as specified in Section D. Exclusions may be granted on a case-by-case basis by contacting the individual campus’s Disability Services Office for students2.

    Housing and Employment
    When an individual’s disability or the need for a Service Animal is not readily apparent, an individual with a disability, who is pursuing disability-related housing accommodations or an employment accommodation, may be required to provide information to verify the disability. Documentation may be required in order to evaluate whether the requested accommodation may be necessary to provide an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing or to perform an employee’s essential job functions.

    Students seeking disability-related housing accommodations must contact their campus Disability Services Office. Employees seeking disability-related housing accommodations regarding university housing must contact University Housing. University employees seeking to be accompanied by a Service Animal in their work environment must contact their Supervisor, Human Resources, and/or ADA Coordinator3 to submit a disability accommodation request. The University will process the employee’s request in the same manner as other requests for reasonable accommodations. Students should contact their campus Disability Services Office with any questions regarding reasonable accommodations.

    Misrepresentation of a Service Animal
    Hawaiʻi law and the University prohibit knowingly misrepresenting an animal as a Service Animal4. The law establishes a civil penalty for misrepresentation and discourages persons, including persons with a disability, from fraudulently misrepresenting their animals as Service Animals to request access when animals or pets are otherwise prohibited. Persons committing this violation may be subject to a civil fine of not less than $100 and not more than $250 for the first violation, and not less than $500 for a second violation and each violation thereafter. Employees and students of the University are subject to discipline for misrepresentation of a Service Animal.

  3. Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

  4. ESAs may not enter University premises without an official accommodation granted in advance. Students and employees with disabilities who are seeking permission to have an ESA in their on-campus residence or in their work environment must request an accommodation that will enable them to do so. Students should register with their respective University of Hawaiʻi campus Disability Services Office and follow the accommodation process for that campus. The campus shall properly document the individual’s disability and the directly related need for the ESA.

    When considering accommodation requests for ESAs, University staff will only require information necessary to verify whether the individual has a disability and to evaluate whether the requested accommodation may be necessary to provide an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing or to perform an employee’s essential job functions. When an individual’s disability or the need for an ESA is not readily apparent, documentation may be required from a Reliable Third Party to verify that the request is necessary to provide the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing or to enable an employee to perform essential job functions.

    Housing
    ESAs approved for on-campus housing accommodations may accompany the student with a disability within the student’s University housing facility in areas where the student is allowed to go. Approved ESAs are not permitted in other facilities on campus such as academic spaces or dining facilities.

    Employment
    ESAs approved for employment accommodations may accompany an employee in their normal work environment but are generally not allowed in other areas such as dining facilities, or in safety sensitive areas.

  5. Responsibilities of Individuals with Service and Emotional Support Animals

  6. The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of any animal including Service Animals or ESAs. Owners or handlers are responsible at all times for the proper control and care of their animals and/or for any damage or injury they may cause. Owners or handlers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including vaccination, licensure, animal health and leash laws. All animals shall be restrained with a harness, leash, or other tether, unless an individual’s disability precludes the use of a restraint or if the restraint would interfere with a Service Animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks. All animals must be under the individual’s control, whether by voice control, signals, or other effective means.

    Individuals are responsible for ensuring the immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste, e.g., in an outdoor trash can. Although the University does not charge an individual with a disability a Service Animal or ESA surcharge, all costs or other liabilities associated with any damage or harm caused by any animal is the owner or handler’s responsibility.

  7. Exclusions

  8. The University may exclude a Service Animal or ESA in certain locations due to health or safety restrictions, where Service Animals or ESAs may be in danger, and/or where their use may fundamentally alter the nature of a program or activity. Such restricted areas may include, but are not limited to, sterile areas, food service preparation areas, moving machinery, areas with chemicals or corrosive materials, and areas with extremely hot/cold surfaces or sharp objects.

    The University may exclude a Service Animal or ESA from campus if a particular animal behaves in a way that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or has a history of such behavior. Furthermore, the University may ask an individual with a disability to remove a Service Animal or ESA from a campus or other University facilities if the animal is out of control and the individual does not take effective action to control it; or if the animal is not housebroken. In cases where the animal appears to be mistreated, the University may ask the handler to remove the Service Animal or ESA from campus, and may also contact law enforcement or other appropriate service providers. The University may require an unclean or unkempt Service Animal or ESA to be removed until the issue is resolved. In instances where the University excludes or removes a Service Animal or ESA from campus, the individual with a disability is allowed to participate in the service, program, or activity without the Service Animal or ESA.

    Access to restricted areas may be granted on a case-by-case basis by contacting the campus Disability Services Office for students or Human Resources and/or ADA Coordinators for employees who are participating in the accommodation process.

  9. Animals in Buildings, Facilities and/or Premises

  10. Animals, other than Service Animals and ESAs approved by the University campus, are not allowed in any University buildings, facilities and/or premises. Individual campuses in the University of Hawaiʻi System may have varied policies or guidelines allowing animals (that are not service animals and emotional support animals) to travel on their respective campus premises. Individuals with animals must follow the respective campus policy pertaining to animals on campus. In the event that a campus does not have a policy relating to animals on campus, then this section controls.

  11. Conflicting Disabilities

  12. Students or employees with a health condition or disability that conflicts with or is adversely affected by exposure to a Service Animal or ESA should contact the campus Disability Services Office for students or for employees, their supervisor and/or Human Resources. The student or employee may be asked to provide documentation that identifies the impacts of their health condition to allow the campus to determine if there is a need for a reasonable accommodation.

  13. University-Sponsored Events

  14. On a case-by-case basis, for time-limited University sponsored events, the campus may allow animals on its premises for the therapeutic benefit of its attendees. These type of events must be approved by the Chief Executive Officer of each campus.

  15. Disputes/Complaints

  16. The University has internal complaint procedures for addressing complaints about the reasonable accommodation process on its campuses. For issues related to Service Animal or ESA accommodations, students may contact their campus Disability Services Office and employees may contact Human Resources and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity office.



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1 Miniature horses may also be included as Service Animals, where reasonable. See 28 CFR § 35.136(i).

2 See Section V. for contact information for ADA coordinators.

3 See Section V. for contact information for ADA coordinators.

4 Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes §347-2.6.

IV. Delegation of Authority

The Chief Executive Officer of each campus is hereby delegated the authority to implement this policy on Service Animals and ESAs.

V. Contact Information

Mānoa and System Offices
Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office
eeo@hawaii.edu
808-956-7077

Community Colleges
Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office for Community Colleges
eeocc@hawaii.edu
808-956-4650

Campus ADA Coordinators and Disability Service Offices
http://www.hawaii.edu/offices/eeo/ada-504-coordinators/

VI. References

  • AP 9.920 Discrimination Complaint Procedure
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
  • ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA or Amendments Act)
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Fair Housing Act of 1968
  • Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes § 347-2.6

VII. Exhibits and Appendices

No Exhibits and Appendices found

Approved

    Signed    
    David Lassner    
    August 04, 2020    
    Date    
    President

Topics

Service animals; emotional support animals; accommodations; disability; ADA

Attachments

None