Accommodation Policy for Students with Disabilities - Service and Assistance Animals at UMaine
Service Animals in Settings that are Open to the Public: Service animals are permitted in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Maine Human Rights Act. In settings that are open to the public – which include, but are not limited to, classrooms and places where people attend events or performances, use library or athletic facilities, shop, or eat–a “service animal” is defined as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition, although trained miniature horses are allowed in some circumstances. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability.
Service Animals in University Housing: Service and assistance animals are permitted in compliance with federal Fair Housing Act requirements. In a residence hall setting, a service animal or assistance animal is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or that provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Some, but not all, animals that assist persons with disabilities are professionally trained. Other assistance animals are trained by the owners themselves and, in some cases, no special training is required.
These animals perform assistance or provide the benefit needed as a reasonable accommodation for the person with the disability and must be necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to participate in the housing service or program. There must be a relationship between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides. Federal housing law provides that service animals in University housing include but are not limited to dogs, small horses, and other animals.
The University of Maine requires students requesting a service or assistance animal in the residence hall to contact Disability Support Services 207.581.2319 and provide documentation of disability as per the guidelines established by the University. Once the accommodation is approved the student must also complete and abide by the Service or Assistance Animal Agreement form.