Service and Support Animal Accommodations
Providence College will reasonably accommodate persons with disabilities who require the assistance of Service or Support Animals, as appropriate, guided by the Providence College Division of Student Affairs Service and Support Animals Policy. The Office of the Dean of Students is responsible for implementing this Policy and for guiding students with disabilities in documenting their specific request for a necessary accommodation. Each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, considering the needs of the individual and the reasonable concerns of the College community.
A “Service Animal” is an animal, usually a dog, that has been individually trained and certified by a recognized organization to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Examples of work or tasks provided by a Service Animal include, among others, guiding a person with impaired vision, alerting a person with a hearing impairment, pulling a wheelchair, and alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure. Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a Service Animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the functional limitations of the person’s disability. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as Service Animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Trained Service Animals are welcomed in College Housing. A person seeking to keep a Service Animal in College housing is asked to notify the Dean of Students Office by completing the Accommodations Application linked in the “Request an Accommodation” section of the Accessibility Accommodations website so that the owner can be assigned to the most appropriate housing location with their service animal, considering the owner’s needs and preferences. Communication prior to bringing the animal on campus will help the student make a smooth transition to living on our campus in order to optimize the student’s living experience.
A “Support Animal” (sometimes called an emotional assistance or emotional support animal) is a dog or other domestic animal that is prescribed or otherwise documented by a healthcare or mental health professional as treatment for a disabled individual and that is beneficial in alleviating one or more identifiable symptoms or effects of that individual’s disability.
Support Animals may not be brought to housing without prior approval. Approved Support Animals are only permitted within the owner’s on-campus housing assignment; they are not permitted in other residence halls or in other buildings on campus. A person requesting permission to keep a Support Animal in college housing should make a formal request to the College by completing the Accommodations Application linked in the “Request an Accommodation” section of the Accessibility Accommodations website. This application includes a request for documentation of the need for a Support Animal, which requires verification of the individual’s disability from a physician, psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional, who is not a family member or a Providence College employee.