MHCC Disability Services Office Service Animal Policy
Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) is committed to insuring that individuals with disabilities requiring the use of a service animal can participate in classes, services, and activities at all MHCC sites. MHCC adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Titles I and II as amended by the Department of Justice in the 2010 Revised Stan-dards, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS). Service animals are also referred to as assistance animals.
The Department of Justice / ADA rule defines “service animal” as the following:
- a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability
- other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as service animals
- dogs that are not trained to perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability, including dogs that are used purely for emotional support e.g. comfort, therapeutic benefit, companionship, etc. are not service animals
- individuals with mental disabilities may use service animals that are individually trained to perform a specific task
The Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) define “service animal” as the following:
- a dog that is wearing a dog guide harness and is trained to lead or guide a person who is blind (ORS 346.610)
- “hearing ear dog” means a dog that is on an orange leash and that is trained to assist a person who is deaf (ORS 346.640)
- “assistance animal” means any animal trained to assist a person with a physical impair-ment in one or more daily life activities, including but not limited to dog guides trained to pull a wheelchair, fetch dropped items, or perform balance work (ORS 346.680)
- “assistance animal trainee” means any animal undergoing training to assist a person with a physical impairment and has the same rights as a fully trained dog when accompanied by a trainer
Reqirements for Individuals with Service Animals:
- the service animal must meet the licensing requirements required by the state of Oregon or state of residence for nonresidents
- it is recommended that the service animal have annual checkups and current vaccinations
- the service animal must be on a harness, leash, or tether at all times unless the individual is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether due to interference with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks; in this case the ser-vice animal must be otherwise under the individual’s control e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means
- the individual with a disability must be in full control of the animal at all times and the ani-mal may not pose a direct threat
- the service animal may be excluded from the campus when that animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or when the animal is not house broken—the individual with a disability has the option of continuing to participate in college courses, events, and activities without having the service animal on the premises
- the individual with a disability or the trainer for a service animal is liable for any damages to college premises by the service animal
- college personnel are not responsible for the care or supervision of the service animal
If an individual with a disability and a service animal is registered in a course or present in a col-lege area and another person arrives with serious allergies to animals, you cannot remove the first person to accommodate the second person. Individuals with serious allergies or respira-tory medical issues are encouraged to meet with the Coordinator of Disability Services to dis-cuss possible solutions to the situation.
Threat to Safety
If a service animal is determined to be out of control or threatening others as reported by stu-dents, staff, or administration, the infraction will be referred to Public Safety and the Dean of Student Success. Consequences may include but not be limited to muzzling a barking dog, re-fresher training for both the animal and individual with a disability, or exclusion of the service animal from college facilities.
Access to College Premises
An individual with a disability shall be permitted to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas of the college where members of the public, participants in services, programs, or activi-ties, are allowed to go. The Coordinator of Disability Services can be contacted and will review any situations on a case by case basis where there is anticipation of potential risk for the indi-vidual with the disability, service animal, other students, etc.
Inquiries Regarding Use of Service Animals
- College personnel may not ask about the nature or extent of the person’s disability but may ask the following questions when making a determination of whether an animal is a service animal:
College personnel may not require documentation such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal
College personnel may not make these inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability e.g. guiding an individual who is blind, pulling person’s wheelchair, etc.
- Is the animal a service animal and required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?