Accommodating Service and Emotional Support Animals on College Campuses (AHA172V)

  • Product Format
  • Pre Recorded Webinar
  • Presenter(s)
  • Erin E. Dolly , Hank Vanderbeek
  • Conference Date
  • Tuesday, January 10, 2017
  • Aired Time
  • 1:00 pm ET - 12:00 pm CT - 11:00 am MT - 10:00 am PT
  • Length
  • 90 minutes

Service and Support Animals on Campus: Legal Requirements and Practical Considerations for Handling Requests

The laws and regulations that permit animals to assist persons with disabilities on college campuses have been rapidly changing. Colleges and universities have faced an increasing number of requests by both students and employees to bring animals on campus, requiring institutions to sort through a complex labyrinth of rules that vary depending on the role of the requestor (student vs. employee) and the context (workplace vs. housing). While some of the requests involve service animals, many of the requests involve emotional support animals - also known as assistance, companion, or therapy animals.

Although it is permissible to have a “no pets” policy in place, institutions should be aware of when they are legally required to permit individuals to bring animals on their campus. 

This session with expert speaker Erin E. Dolly will discuss the federal law on accommodations with service and assistance animals, for both students and employees. For students, Erin will look at Titles II and III of the ADA as well as the Fair Housing Act.  For employees, she will look at Title I of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 

The session will also consider recent cases and settlement agreements related to student housing accommodations, including:

  • The January 4, 2016 settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and Kent State University over claims of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, stemming from the University’s denial of a request to allow a student suffering from a psychological disability and her husband to keep an emotional support dog in their university-operated student apartment; and
  • The September 3, 2015 agreement between the Department of Justice and the University of Nebraska at Kearney (and the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska) to settle a civil rights lawsuit over claims of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, stemming from the University’s denial to allow two different students with psychological disabilities to keep an emotional support dog with them in on-campus housing.

This session will prepare you to address both employee and student requests to bring an animal on campus. Erin will discuss the legal framework and practical considerations for handling workplace requests for employees as well as the legal framework and practical considerations for handling housing requests for students. In each case, Erin will discuss what questions you are permitted to ask and what documentation you are permitted to request. She will discuss how best to field such requests to make sure that your institution is legally compliant and keeping up with best practices.

Session Highlights

  • What is the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal?
  • What is the legal framework for evaluating an animal-as-accommodation request for an employee in the workplace versus a student in campus housing?
  • What rights do students have to bring an animal on campus?
  • What rights do employees have to bring an animal on campus?
  • What documentation can I require before allowing animals in the workplace or in campus housing?
  • How does the Department of Justice’s July 2015 FAQs on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to service animals impact how campuses should address this issue?
  • What does the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) say about when animals must be permitted in campus housing under the Fair Housing Act?
  • How do I deal with other community members who are afraid of animals or have animal allergies?
  • What are the risks your campus may face if it fails to consider an animal-as-accommodation request?

Who should attend?

  • Administrators of educational institutions
  • EEO/ADA coordinators
  • Human Resources personnel
  • Student affairs professionals
  • Residence life directors
  • Admissions directors
  • Postsecondary regulatory and compliance managers
  • General Counsel/Assistant General Counsel
  • Attorneys representing post-secondary educational institutions

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About the Presenter(s)

Erin E. Dolly is an attorney at Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP in San Francisco, where she counsels institutions of higher education and other public and private employers on a broad range of legal matters, including labor, employment, student affairs and compliance issues. Erin advises private and public employers on issues relating to discrimination, harassment, disability laws, performance management, employee discipline and termination.

Erin is the former Dean of Students at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she served for over seven years, with primary responsibility for students and recent graduates.

Prior to working in higher education, Erin worked as an attorney in the global employment group in the San Francisco office of a premier international law firm. She was co-chair of the firm's pro bono committee, co-authored an amicus brief in support of an application for Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States in Winkelman v. Parma City School District.

Erin is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Law where she teaches Legal Drafting, a skills-based advanced legal writing course to third year students.

In 2006, Erin received the Outstanding Barrister of the Year Award from the Bar Association of San Francisco

Hank Vanderbeek owns and manages a commercial and residential property inspection company since 2001, and has conducted inspections on thousands of residential and commercial properties for: HUD as a former Certified REAC Inspector, insurance companies, banks and home buyers.

He authored several books and numerous articles on REAC issues including REAC Inspections, Achieving Success Without Breaking the Bank (2016) and The REAC Inspection Handbook 2014.

His experience is combined with thoroughness and honesty, which translates into success for those that have put their trust in his services, including: REAC inspections, REAC appeals, REAC repair work and home and commercial inspections.

Hank's earlier career included the US Army as an officer, the US Government as a Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Fraud Investigator in the Office of Inspector General at the Veterans Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hank is a graduate of Clarkson University with a B.S. in industrial management and a B.S. in social science, and has a master's in public administration from Northeastern University. Hank is a licensed Home Inspector in NH and MA, and a Certified Commercial Property Inspector.


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