It is the policy of Madison College that service animals assisting individuals with disabilities are generally permitted in all facilities and programs on district campuses.
The purpose of these procedures is to ensure that students with disabilities who have service animals can participate in and benefit from district services, programs and activities, and to ensure that the district does not discriminate on the basis of disability as identified in Titles I and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes places of public accommodation to impose restrictions if it is a safety requirement. Per the ADA, a Madison College student is not required to provide an instructor an Accommodation Plan from DRS to have a service animal in the classroom.
Service Animal Definition
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. An animal that is used to provide an emotionally supportive therapeutic service for a student does not meet the definition of a service animal.
When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Staff cannot ask about the person's disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate it's ability to perform the work or task.
A Madison College student with a disability who wants to use a non-service animal on campus may request an accommodation via an interactive process with Disability Resource Services to determine what is appropriate and necessary. Disability Resource Services will consider this type of request on a case-by-case basis.
Types of Service Animals
- Dog in Training: A dog being trained to perform as a service animal has the same rights as a fully-trained dog when accompanied by a trainer and identified as such.
- Guide Dog: Professionally trained to serve as a travel tool for persons who are blind or have severe visual impairments.
- Hearing Dog: Professionally trained to alert a person with significant hearing loss or who is deaf, when a particular sound occurs.
- Miniature Horse: Miniature horse service animals trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. The animals range in height from 24 to 34 inches measured to the shoulders, and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds. The miniature horse must be housebroken and under the owner's control. Other factors to consider:
- The facility must be able to accommodate the horse's type, size and weight
- The horse's presence must not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility
- Service Dog: Professionally trained to assist a person who has a mobility or health impairment.
- SIG Dog: Professionally trained to assist a person with autism. The dog alerts the partner to distracting repetitive movements and may provide support similar to that provided by a dog for a person who is vision- or hearing-impaired.
- Seizure Response Dog: Professionally trained to assist a person with a seizure disorder; how the dog serves the person depends on the person’s needs. The dog may stand guard over the person during a seizure, or the dog may go for help. Some dogs have learned to predict a seizure and warn the person in advance.
Responsibilities of Individuals Using Service Animal
- The owner must provide proof of current rabies vaccinations.
- The service animal is in a harness or on a leash at all times.
- The service animal is under control and behaves properly at all times.
- The supervision of the service animal is the responsibility of its owner.
- Regular bathing of the service animal is expected to avoid odor and shedding.
- The service animal must be toilet trained; the owner is responsible for the cleanup of animal waste.
- The owner must use appropriate toilet areas for the service animal.
Removal of Service Animal From Campus
If a service animal becomes aggressive and poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the student or campus visitor will be required immediately to remove the service animal from college property. This behavior includes excessive barking, running around without a leash, or growling/biting others. The student or campus visitor using the service animal is then expected to report such incidents to Disability Resource Services within 24 hours of the occurrence.
An excessively unclean or unkempt service animal may be asked to leave campus until the problem is resolved.
There are certain areas that may be considered unsafe for the service dog and its partner, or where the presence of an animal might interfere with the safety of others (iLabs, machine rooms, kitchens and areas where protective clothing is necessary). Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. If it is determined that an area is unsafe, reasonable accommodations will be provided to assure equal access to the student.
Some individuals may have adverse reactions to a service dog due to allergies. If these circumstances arise, resolution of the complaint will take into consideration the needs of both parties and be as prompt as possible.
Appeals and Grievances
Questions related to the use of service animals at Madison College should be directed to the director of Disability Resource Services at (608) 246-6791. If you are dissatisfied with a decision concerning a service animal and would like to appeal the decision, please go to the Appeals Process page.