VI.I. BSC Guidelines on Accommodating Service and Assistance Animals
The Berkeley Student Cooperative is committed to reaching out and serving 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
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 Berkeley Student Cooperative facilities with the exception of unit level commercial kitchens. 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 Berkeley Student Cooperative 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 university housing. 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 Berkeley Student Cooperative 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 Berkeley Student Cooperative facilities.
Responsibilities of People with Disabilities Using Service or Assistance Animals
The Berkeley Student Cooperative 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;
- 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 Berkeley Student Cooperative 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 Berkeley Student Cooperative would normally charge a person for the damage they cause. People with disabilities and their service or assistance animals must comply with the same BSC rules regarding noise, safety, disruption, cleanliness and habitability as people without disabilities.
Exceptions and Exclusions
The Berkeley Student Cooperative 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:
- it may not be present in a unit level commercial kitchen due to health and safety standards.
- 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 Berkeley Student Cooperative Community To ensure equal access and nondiscrimination of people with disabilities, members of the Berkeley Student Cooperative community must abide by the following practices:
- Allow service and assistance animals to accompany people with disabilities in bedrooms common areas, excluding kitchens, on BSC property ;
- 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 his/her 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 Berkeley Student Cooperative 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.