Service Animal Policy

VUU recognizes the importance of Service Animals to individuals with disabilities. This policy ensures that persons with disabilities who require the use of Service Animals receive the benefit of the work or tasks performed by such animals. VUU is committed to allowing persons with disabilities the use of a Service Animal on campus to facilitate their full participation and equal access to the University's  programs and activities.

VUU complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These federal laws require VUU to make reasonable modifications in its policies, practices, and procedures for students, faculty and staff members, and campus visitors with disabilities and to permit the use of Service Animals by those persons requiring such an accommodation.  Service Animals are not Emotional Support Animals.

Service Animal Definition

A “Service Animal” is any dog that is trained individually to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities (including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, and other mental disabilities). Other species of animals are not considered Service Animals under federal law. Examples of the work or tasks a Service Animal may perform include:

•                Guiding persons who are blind or have low vision

•                Alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing

•                Pulling a wheelchair

•                Assisting an individual during a seizure

•                Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability

•                Reminding a person with mental illness to take a prescribed medication

•                Alerting individuals to the presence of allergens

•                Retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone

•                Providing non-violent protection or rescue work

•                Interrupting or preventing impulsive or destructive behaviors due to psychiatric or neurological disabilities

Service Animal Registration and Verification

All persons on campus requiring the use of a Service Animal must register their dog with the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. The University will not inquire about the nature or extent of an individual’s disability. However, if it is not readily apparent that a Service Animal on campus is trained to do work or perform tasks for the dog’s handler, VUU may ask the handler if the dog’s presence is required because of a disability and what work or task the dog has been trained to perform for the handler.

Service Animal Supervision

The Service Animal’s handler is responsible for the care and supervision of the Service Animal while on campus. The handler is required to maintain control of the animal at all times. A Service Animal must have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use such items, or would interfere with the Service Animal’s safe and effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the Service Animal must be otherwise under its handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).

Removal of Service Animal from Campus

VUU administrators may ask an individual with a disability to remove a Service Animal from the campus if: 1) the Service Animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it; or 2) the Service Animal is not housebroken. VUU may also ask the individual with a disability to remove a Service Animal from any of its facilities if the use or presence of the Service Animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or if the animal’s behavior (e.g., barking, running around, biting, etc.) is unreasonably disruptive to other persons on the campus.

Areas Off Limits to Service Animals

The University may prohibit the use of Service Animals in certain campus locations because of health and safety restrictions. Restricted areas include, but are not limited to: custodial closets, boiler rooms, facility equipment rooms, research laboratories, classrooms with research/demonstration animals, areas where protective clothing is necessary, rooms with heavy machinery, data centers and data closets without permission and areas outlined in Virginia law as being inaccessible to animals. Exceptions to these restrictions may be granted on a case-by-case basis by contacting the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

Requirements for Faculty, Staff, and Members of the Virginia Union University Community:

•                Allow a Service Animal to accompany its handler at all times and in all places on campus except where Service Animals are prohibited due to health, environmental, or other safety hazards

•                Refrain from touching or petting a Service Animal unless invited to do so

•                Refrain from feeding or deliberately startling a Service Animal

•                Refrain from separating or attempting to separate a handler from his or her Service Animal

•                Refrain from inquiring for details about the handler’s disabilities; the nature of a person’s disability is a private matter

•                Refrain from asking the handler for documentation of his or her disability or the Service Animal’s training

•                Report any disruptive behavior of a Service Animal to Campus Police and the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.