Pets can help students cope with stress, depression and other mental disorders. But until recently, this well-documented remedy did not guarantee a space for therapy animals on campus.
Common oversights can occur even on campuses where leaders believe they have complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. To avoid running afoul of the law, constant vigilance and ongoing review are essential because there are so many factors to consider.
- ADA awareness training should be mandatory and ongoing across all departments. If students come to a staff member requesting an accommodation, they should be referred to the disabilities services office, which will help ensure consistency and fairness.