VI.I. BSC Guidelines on Accommodating Service and Assistance Animals
V.I.I.A. BSC Guidelines on Accommodating Service and Assistance Animals
The BSC is committed to reaching out and providing services to students with disabilities in an effort to create an equal opportunity for all students to enjoy and participate in BSC’s community life. Reasonable and appropriate accommodations are extended to eligible members on an individualized, case-by-case basis.
Members with disabilities, and those with questions regarding eligibility criteria and/or available services, are encouraged to contact the Housing department at (510) 848-1936 or email@example.com.
Service and Assistance Animals Policy
This policy applies to service and assistance animals that may be used by individuals with disabilities at the Berkeley Student Cooperative. A service animal is an animal that either works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. An assistance animal provides emotional or other type of support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability.
A "service animal" refers to a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the person's disability. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purpose of this definition. Service dogs are permitted to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the BSC facilities. Although students with service dogs are not required to register with the BSC Housing department, the BSC encourages students to contact the Housing department to learn what other services may be available to them.
When the disability and/or disability-related need for the animal are not readily apparent, the member may be required to document the disability and/or disability-related need for the animal. The BSC is covered by both Title II of the ADA and the Federal Housing Act (FHAct). The U.S. Department of Housing and Development (HUD) memo (April 25, 2013) describes a two-step approach for responding to an accommodation request from a member with a disability seeking an exception to a no-pet policy in student housing environments. If the animal meets the ADA definition of a service animal (i.e. dog trained to perform service tasks), then the student may be asked two questions: (1) Is this a service animal that is required because of a disability? and (2) What work or tasks has the animal been trained to perform?
An "assistance animal" is an animal that provides emotional or other support that ameliorates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. Unlike service animals, assistance animals are not required to be trained to perform work or tasks, and include species other than dogs and miniature horses. Students who intend to bring an assistance animal to the BSC must receive an accommodation through the BSC Housing department to do so. Accommodation requests to bring an assistance animal to live in BSC housing must be submitted to the BSC Housing department at time of application or 30 days prior to move in, whichever is sooner.
When a member with a disability is seeking permission to keep an animal (other than a trained service dog) in BSC housing, the correct way for members with disabilities to request permission to keep a live-in animal as an accommodation in BSC units includes four components:
- 1. The Request placed with the BSC Housing Office
- 2. Agreement to the Guidelines for Maintaining a Service or Assistance Animal within the BSC Community
- 3. Roommate/Suitemate Agreement
- 4. Service and Assistance Animal Registration Form
Guide and Hearing Trainees
California law allows animals that are being trained to be dog guides for the blind, hearing assistance dogs, or assistance animals for persons with physical impairments to access the BSC facilities.
Responsibilities of People with Disabilities Using Service or Assistance Animals
The BSC is not responsible for the care or supervision of service or assistance animals. People with disabilities are responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of service or assistance animals, including:
- Compliance with any laws pertaining to animal licensing, vaccination, and owner identification;
- Keeping the animal under control and taking effective action if it becomes out of control;
- One of your responsibilities is to ensure that your animal is flea free. If your animal has fleas and and we have to treat your bedroom or any common space in your unit for fleas, we will charge you the cost of the flea treatment that the pest control company charges us. This cost varies by treatment but is generally $135 per room.
- Feeding, walking, and providing ordinary care of the animal and the surrounding area; and
- Appropriately disposing of the animal’s waste.
Animal waste disposal via BSC plumbing is prohibited. BSC Housing will provide guidance on where to appropriately dispose of animal waste. The BSC will not require any surcharges or fees for service or assistance animals. However, a person with a disability may be charged for damage caused by a service or assistance animal to the same extent that the BSC would normally charge a person for the damage they cause. Members with disabilities and their service or assistance animals must comply with the same BSC rules regarding noise, safety, disruption, cleanliness and habitability as members without disabilities.
Exceptions and Exclusions
The BSC may pose some restrictions on, and may even exclude a service or assistance animal in certain instances. Reasons an animal may be excluded from an area include but are not limited to:
- - An assistance animal may be excluded from commercial kitchen, dining, and other common areas due to health and safety standards and accessibility needs of members with allergies. This provision does not apply to service animals.
- - It is out of control and effective action is not taken to control it.
- - It is not housebroken (or in the case of an assistance animal that deposits waste in a designated cage or litter box, the owner fails to clean such cage or box such that the cleanliness of the room is not maintained);
- - It poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be mitigated by
reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures, or the provision of auxiliary aids or services.
In the event that restriction or removal of a service or assistance animal is determined to be necessary, the person with a disability will still be given the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service or assistance animal present.
Guidelines for Members of the BSC Community
To ensure equal access and nondiscrimination of people with disabilities, members of the BSC community must abide by the following practices:
- - Allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of BSC facilities available for members’ use.
- - Allow assistance animals to accompany members with disabilities in bedrooms and/or apartments where accommodations have been granted and any associated hallways/pathways needed for access.
- - Do not ask for details about a person's disabilities;
- - Do not pet a service or assistance animal, as it distracts the animal from its work;
- - Do not feed a service or assistance animal;
- - Do not deliberately startle, tease, or taunt a service or assistance animal; and
- - Do not separate or attempt to separate a person from their service or assistance animal.
If you have a disability that may be affected by the presence of animals, please contact the BSC Housing Department . The BSC is committed to ensuring that the needs of all people with disabilities are met and will determine how to resolve any conflicts or problems as expeditiously as possible.
V.I.I.B Guidelines for Requesting Accommodations for Members with Disabilities
The BSC is committed to reaching out to and providing services to members with disabilities in an effort to create an equal opportunity for all students to enjoy and participate in BSC’s community life. Reasonable and appropriate accommodations are extended to eligible members on an individualized, case-by-case basis.
Members with disabilities, and those with questions regarding eligibility criteria and/or available services, are encouraged to contact the Housing Department at (510) 848-1936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. SUBMITTING AN ACCOMMODATION REQUEST
Members with disabilities should provide information about their needs on their BSC membership profile, available at https://bsc.rms-inc.com. This information should be provided upon application to the BSC. If a member’s accessibility needs change during the course of membership, they should update the information in their member profile and notify the Housing Department so that appropriate accommodations can be made. These application requirements may be waived if, after reasonable assessment, the Housing Department Supervisor determines that certain accommodations are necessary.
In order to request an accommodation, members must complete and submit an Accommodations Request Form. The form has two components, including a short questionnaire to be completed by the member as part of the BSC’s on-line housing application. The second portion of the Form must be completed by the Disabled Students Program or other approved disability specialist. All information will be kept confidential and will only be used to determine reasonable housing and/or workshift accommodations.
2. PROVIDING DOCUMENTATION
In addition to completing the membership application, members must provide appropriate documentation from the Disabled Students Program or other approved disability specialist in a timely manner for their request to be considered complete.
Part Two of the Accommodation Request Form should be completed by a specialist in the Disabled Students’ Program office at the member’s college or university or an alternate, qualified disability specialist approved by the Housing Department. The specialist should indicate all recommended accommodations that apply, and must complete the written section which asks them to briefly describe the ways the member’s disability impacts their housing needs and/or ability to perform workshift.
The BSC Housing Supervisor, or their designee, will review all disability accommodation requests. Students may be contacted if clarification or additional documentation is needed.
3. RECEIVING A HOUSING AND/OR WORKSHIFT ASSIGNMENT
Once the form and documentation have been reviewed, the Housing Supervisor will determine a reasonable housing and/or workshift accommodation, and may offer an alternative accommodation that meets the student’s disability-related needs as described by the Disabled Students Program or other approved specialist. The Housing Supervisor is responsible for communicating housing and workshift accommodations to the member and to the member’s House/Apartment Manager (for Housing Accommodations). Members with workshift accommodations must share the email from Housing Department approving their workshift accommodation with their Workshift Manager so that appropriate workshift accommodations can be implemented at the unit-level.
Housing and/or workshift accommodations may ONLY be offered through the BSC Housing Department. Unit-level Managers must honor all verified accommodations as directed by the Housing Supervisor. Unit-level Managers may not independently offer housing and/or workshift accommodations.
a. HOUSING ACCOMMODATIONS
- Housing priority is given as outlined in BSC policy V: Assignment of Spaces and VII: Points and Assignment of Rooms.
- Members who receive a housing offer will be notified via email, to the email they provided to the BSC on their membership application form. There will be a limited time provided for the member to log on to the BSC Member Portal to view their housing offer and either accept or decline it. By declining the offer, the member is indicating that they do not wish to live in the BSC for the current term and they will not be guaranteed an offer for a difference space.
- If the member believes that the space they are offered does not address the functional limitations of their disability, they may reach out to the Housing Supervisor with additional information. However, this does not guarantee that a different space will be available to offer.
- If, during room bids, the member chooses a room different than the one provided to them by the BSC per their accommodation request, they forfeit their accommodation and must request it again should they decide they need it for future semesters. By forfeiting the offer, the member is indicating that they do not need the accommodation for the current term and they will not be guaranteed an offer for a difference space.
b. WORKSHIFT ACCOMMODATIONS
- Workshift accommodations are given per policy II.A.8 Workshifters and Disabilities. Accommodations related to a member’s workshift requirement may be either priority assignment for specific types of shifts/tasks to fulfill their workshift requirement and/or a reduction in workshift hours owed if no other accommodation can reasonably be provided.
- Members who receive a workshift accommodation offer will be notified via email, to the email they provided to the BSC on their membership application form. Members must share this information with their Workshift Manager prior to workshift assignments each term. If the member believes that the accommodation they are offered does not address the functional limitations of their disability, they may reach out to the Housing Supervisor with additional information.
4. EXAMPLES OF ACCOMMODATIONS MEMBERS MAY BE OFFERED THROUGH THE BSC:
- 1. Automatic Door Opener
- 2. Accessible bathroom (including roll in shower)
- 3. Visual doorbell (typically for members with hearing impairments)
- 4. Strobe light fire alarm/smoke detector (typically for members with hearing impairments)
- 5. Rental of an additional space for a live-in attendant
- 6. Room with elevator access
- 7. Wheelchair accessible room
- 8. Service or Assistance Animals (see BSC Guidelines)
- 9. Priority selection of workshift tasks
- 10. Reduced number of workshift hours owed per week
Members who have concerns about the housing and/or workshift accommodations they have been offered may make an appeal to the Operations Manager, who shall review the accommodation request and make a final determination regarding the accommodations the BSC is able to offer the member.
This is not an exhaustive list and we encourage members to get in touch with the Housing Department regarding specific questions about the type of accommodations available.
[Last updated September 2021]