UWF recognizes the importance of providing reasonable accommodations in its housing policies, and accommodation procedures where necessary, for individuals with disabilities to use and enjoy University spaces, including housing. Student Accessibility Resources works in partnership with Housing and Residence Life to ensure equal access to all students within University housing.
Individuals with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation, including the allowance of an assistance or service animal in University housing. However, no assistance animal may be kept in University housing at any time prior to the individual receiving approval as a reasonable accommodation pursuant to UNIVERSITY POLICY P-19.02-06/21. UWF and the student requesting a reasonable accommodation will engage in an interactive process to find the best accommodation to meet the student's needs on a case-by-case basis. The procedure for making accommodation requests is outlined below.
Deadlines to submit the Housing Accommodation Requests to Student Accessibility Resources:
- Fall – May 1
- Spring – November 1
*Late requests will be considered but cannot be guaranteed. Students should expect an average of a 30 days review period for animal requests to allow adequate coordination between SAR and HRL and proper notification of roommates.
*Animals should not be brought to campus until a final approval is received. Students could be subject to fines for unapproved animals per UWF Housing and Residence Life policies and procedures.
Procedure for Non-Animal Accommodations within Housing
- Complete the Housing and Residence Life contract. Visit www.uwf.edu/housing for contract information.
- Submit completed Housing Accommodation request form to Student Accessibility Resources to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 850-474-2250, or in-person in Building 21, Room 110.
- Request for Reasonable Accommodations in UWF Housing form_2021 (Other Accommodation Requests - not for Assistance or Service Animal)
- Contact Student Accessibility Resources with any questions at 850-474-2387 during this process.
- Students will be informed of the final determination within 30 days after the initial submission of paperwork (with all required documentation being provided)
Procedure for Animal Accommodations within Housing
Students requesting a Service or Assistance Animal for campus Housing, will need to:
- Complete the Housing and Residence Life contract. Visit www.uwf.edu/housing for contract information.
- Submit the appropriate Housing Accommodation Request form:
- Besides the form, students will need to include Animal Records (that include owner information, species, breed, weight of animal, color, name of animal, age, gender/evidence of spay/neuter, vaccinations/good health, etc.).
- Once Accommodation Request and Animal Records are reviewed, SAR will send the student the owner Rights and Responsibilities which will need to be signed by student and includes the listing of two emergency contacts who reside off-campus.
- SAR will then notify HRL staff of the accommodation approval.
- HRL staff will contact roommates (if applicable) and determine if there are any conflicting medical conditions that would be impacted by the presence of an animal.
- HRL staff will notify the student via email once they are approved to bring the animal to campus.
Assistance with Emergency Evacuation
Please contact Student Accessibility Resources if you require assistance with emergency evacuation in University Housing to discuss an emergency evacuation plan.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Housing accommodations vary by the needs of each student but could include the following, among others:
- Visual doorbell
- ADA accessible room
- Medical refrigerator (for medications)
- Additional space due to medical equipment
- Ground floor or lower floor room
- Allergen free room/suite
- Assistance or emotional support animal
As defined in University Policy P-19.02-06-21
- Assistance Animals. As defined by the FHA, Assistance Animals are animals that work, provide assistance, or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or animals that provide emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. Assistance Animals perform many disability-related functions, including but not limited to guiding individuals who are blind or have low vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue assistance, pulling a wheelchair, fetching items, alerting persons to impending seizures, or providing emotional support to persons with disabilities who have a disability-related need for such support. Some animals, but not all, 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. The question is whether or not the animal performs the assistance or provides the benefit needed as a reasonable accommodation by the person with the disability. AssistanceAnimals are not considered Service Animals and are not permitted in public spaces, classroom or workplaces.
- Emotional Support Animal. An animal whose sole function is to provide emotional support. Emotional support animals do not qualify as service animals and are not permitted on campus except to the extent the animals are considered Assistance Animals under the FHA
- Service Animal. As defined by the ADAAA, Service Animals are dogs or miniature horses that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service Animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task an animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability and must always be with and under the control of the Eligible Person. The Service Animal may not be left unattended. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADAAA.
- Service Animal-in-Training (SAIT). A dog undergoing training by a trainer. To qualify as a service animal, a dog must already be trained. Until training has finished, a dog is considered a SAIT. SAITs are not service animals under the ADA or ADAAA. To qualify as a service animal, a dog must already be trained. Until a dog is trained, the SAIT cannot be taken into public places as a service animal unless it is in the process of training by a trainer in compliance with Florida Statute § 413.08. Otherwise, individuals should seek an accommodation through the process outlined above to have a SAIT on campus.
- Service Animal Access to Public Places. UWF generally allows Service Animals in all public places to which the general public is invited when a Service Animal is accompanied by an individual with a disability or a trainer of the Service Animal. Students with a disability may bring Service Animals to classrooms, labs or other academic areas necessary to facilitate their academic program as an academic accommodation without seeking formal approval through Student Accessibility Resources or other registration processes. However, students who utilize Service Animals on campus and anticipate bringing the Service Animal to the classroom or labs are encouraged, but not required to register with the Student Accessibility Resources to work through any potential access or safety issues in the classroom and especially the lab spaces. UWF wants to make sure that the Eligible Person, other students and the members of the department are able to provide that opportunity without endangering the safety of the Eligible Person, other students, or the animal.
- Service Animal Voluntary Registration. Individuals with a service animal on campus are encouraged, although not required, to register with the University. Students should register a service animal in order to provide the best environment for the service animals and in case of emergency for the health and safety of everyone including the animals. Students should register with Student Accessibility Resources.
- Additional Accommodations for Service Animals. In the event that an individual seeks an additional accommodation for a Service Animal, such as the Service Animal is needed in residence halls or office areas not open to the general public, the Service Animal must be registered as an accommodation with the appropriate office and through the same process as provided below for assistance animals. If seeking an additional accommodation, UWF does require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal.
Per University Policy P-19.02-06-21 and University Housing Accommodations Procedure
Eligible Person. A person with a disability who, because of a functional limitation of his/her disabling condition, requires a Service Animal to perform a task or function. Includes persons with a disability who, because of a functional limitation of the individual’s disabling condition, requires a Service Animal in order to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy student housing at UWF.
Responsible Party. Any person who owns the animal, brings the animal to campus, is training a service animal or is an Eligible Person as defined in section III.C of University Policy P-19.01-01/20 (there may be more than one Responsible Party and each or all may be held fully responsible for the animal). For Service Animal in Training ("SAIT"), the Responsible Party is the animal's trainer and owner and for Service Animals the Responsible Party is the Eligible Person as defined by this Policy and the owner.
Responsibilities and General Guidelines
- Eligible persons are only permitted one animal per documented disability need.
- Animals must be registered, vaccinated and/or must comply with legal requirements set by the local, state or federal government.
- Assistance Animals must be contained within the private residential area (room, suite, and/or apartment) at all times except when transported outside the private residential area in an animal carrier or controlled by leash or harness. Assistance Animals are not permitted in University public spaces, classrooms, or workplaces unless they also meet the definition of Service Animal as provided by law and as permitted as part of an academic accommodation.
- The Responsible Party must clean up all animal waste and dispose of that waste in outdoor trash receptacles. Animal waste is not to be disposed of in indoor trash receptacles.
- Animals may not be left overnight in University Housing to be cared for by any individual other than the Responsible Party. For example, if the Responsible Party is to be absent from his/her residence hall overnight or longer, the animal must accompany the Responsible Party. The Responsible Party is required to ensure that the animal is contained, as appropriate, when the Responsible Party is not present during the day while attending classes or other activities.
- In parts of the campuses where animals may be permitted, such animals must be kept securely controlled by a harness or leash not to exceed ten (10) feet in length (unless there is an exception granted based on disability). Animals are not permitted to run at large on any streets, unimproved lots or premises within the boundaries of UWF properties. Animals should not be tethered and left unattended.
- The Responsible Party shall bear the full costs associated with any injury to persons, or damage to property, caused by a service or assistance animal and bear full liability for any action of the animal.
- All animals must not be unruly, disruptive, be in ill health or unclean. An animal may be removed from UWF property if the animal is a direct threat to the health and safety of others, or if the animal is disruptive or out of control. UWF may temporarily or permanently exclude any animal at the discretion of the facilities manager, UWF Environmental Health and Safety ("EH&S") or emergency personnel.
- An animal left unattended in a vehicle or any other area is to be reported to the UWF Police Department for an appropriate response. A person who leaves an animal unattended may face additional consequences
- If an animal disrupts the University educational process, administrative processes, or other campus functions, the Responsible Party must remove the animal immediately. In addition, the owner or responsible party will be held liable for any damage to person or property caused by the animal's presence on the property.
- Removal of dead or injured animals is the responsibility of the Responsible Party; however, in the event immediate action is necessary, the facilities manager may take appropriate action to remove the animal. Any and all costs associated with such removal will when possible, be at the Responsible Party's expense.
- Animals must wear a collar (if appropriate) with a tag that includes the Responsible Party's name and contact number.
- If the animal is a dog, the dog must be housebroken (no training pads permitted) and kennel trained.
- In the case of an emergency, the University is not responsible for evacuating the animal.
- The living accommodation must be kept clean with no odors from the Animal. The living accommodation may be inspected for fleas, ticks, or other pests if necessary. If fleas, ticks, or other pests are detected through inspection, the living accommodation will be treated using approved fumigation methods by a University-approved pest control service. The Responsible Party will be billed for the expense of any pest treatment above and beyond standard pest management in University housing. The University shall have the right to bill the Responsible Party's account for unmet obligations under this provision.
- The Animal is permitted in University housing only as long as it is necessary due to a disability. The Eligible Person must notify the University, in writing, if the animal is no longer needed or is no longer in residence by emailing email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. To replace an animal, the Eligible person must submit a new request to demonstrate that the new animal is necessary due to the Eligible Person's disability.
- If it is necessary for the animal to be removed from University housing premises, the Responsible Party may be obligated to fulfill the Housing and Residence Life Contract obligations for the remainder of the HRL Contract term.
- Roommates will sign a roommate agreement to ensure that there are no conflicting medical conditions (i.e. respiratory diseases, asthma, severe allergies) that would be impacted by the animal living within the residence. The University expressly reserves the right to consider the needs of both parties in order to reasonably accommodate anyone whose disability will be impacted by living in proximity to an Animal.
- The Responsible Party must provide contact information for a minimum of two alternative caregiver/emergency contacts who will take responsibility of the Animal and remove it from campus should the Responsible Party be unable to care for it (i.e. accident, hospitalization). The caregiver/emergency contact must reside OFF campus and must be available to remove the Animal in a timely manner appropriate for the animal species and needed care. Dogs must be removed within 6 hours. All other animals must be removed in no more than 12 hours. In instances where it is determined the Animal is not being cared for, the University reserves the right to have the animal removed from University housing to ensure the immediate health and well-being of the animal. The University may have an Animal removed from University housing if it is not removed in a timely manner as specified by this procedure.
Assistance Animal Accommodation Factors
UWF may consider the following factors, among others, as evidence in determining whether the presence of the animal is reasonable or in making housing assignments for individuals with Assistance Animals:
- the size of the animal is too large for available assigned housing space;
- the animal's presence would force another individual from housing (e.g. conflicting disabilities);
- the animal's presence otherwise violates an individual's right to peace and quiet enjoyment;
- the animal is not housebroken or is unable to live with others in a reasonable manner;
- the animals' vaccinations are not up-to-date;
- the animal poses or has posed in the past a direct threat to the individual or others such as aggressive behavior towards or injuring the individual or others; or
- the animal causes or has caused excessive damage to housing beyond reasonable wear and tear.
The accommodation approval is specific to the animal which has been listed in the documentation and appropriate veterinary records. A new request must be submitted if the student wishes to change animals from the original request.
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