Presence and Use of Service Animals at Northwest Facilities and Events
Bona fide service animals may accompany students, employees, and visitors with disabilities to all Northwest events, activities, and locations with rare exceptions (see complete guidelines on file in the ADA Compliance Officer's Office). Local, state, and federal laws regulate the use of service animals at Northwest. Animals associated with a university-related program of study (e.g. livestock) or research laboratory activity (e.g. mice), and pets are not covered by these guidelines.
- Service Animal: According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is "any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items. A service animal is not a pet."
- Partner/Handler: A person with a service animal.
- Team: A person with a disability and his/her service animal.
Requirements For All Service Animals and Their Partners
- Vaccination: The animal must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal.
- Health: The animal must be in good health.
- Under control of partner/handler: The partner/handler must be in full control of the animal at all times.
- Cleanup Rule: The partner should encourage the animal to use marked service animal toileting areas when such areas are provided.
- Documentation: Before a service animal becomes a part of the campus community, partners are required to submit a written request to the Learning Assistance Programs/Services (LAP/S) Committee and documentation from a certified professional that includes the diagnosis of a specific disability which verifies the need for a service animal. If approved, the LAP/S Committee will issue the partner a letter of verification that may be presented to faculty and staff. Additional documentation that verifies current vaccinations and immunizations of the service animal must accompany the initial request and be re-submitted annually.
When an Animal Can Be Removed
Service animals may be removed or restricted on the campus for reasons of disruption, health, uncleanness, and safety. For example, a partner/handler will be asked to remove the animal from the facility or event if the animal is ill and/or when the animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of other persons and/or animals.
Areas Off-limits to Service Animals
For safety and other reasons, all animals are restricted from certain areas, including laboratories, maintenance rooms/custodial closets, and areas where protective clothing is required.
NOTE: Requests for exceptions to this restriction must be submitted to the ADA Compliance Officer.
The partner/handler of an animal on the Northwest campus or event is personally responsible for any damage to property and/or harm to others caused by the animal while on the campus or sponsored event.
Complete Northwest Service Animal Policy and restricted areas on file in ADA Compliance Officer's office
Approved by Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents, Policy #8508, September 18, 2009