By purchasing this service (link at bottom of page), a licensed mental health care provider assigned to your file, along with our fair housing expert, will complete your college-provided reasonable accommodation form. Once done, the therapist will provide you with electronic and hard copy versions of the signed form.
This service can be ordered at anytime.
Adjusting to the college lifestyle can be difficult. Pressure with classes and tests can take a toll. Not to mention being away from home -- friends, family, and your furry companion who've you had for years.
Can I take my Emotional Support Animal to school?
Although many schools have relaxed policies on pet bans in recent years, many remain adamant about allowing students to bring animals on campus. Contrast to those in the mental health care business who have been advocating for the benefits provided by an emotional support animal.
Comfort Animals in College.
Emotional support animals provide therapeutic benefits that alleviate one or more identified effects or symptoms of an individual’s disability, or emotional support to a disabled individual who has a disability-related need.
An emotional support animal may be a dog, a cat, or many other kinds of animal.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended and related laws, rules and regulations, including the Fair Housing Act, colleges must reasonably accommodate requests for service animals and other assistance animals to reside with their owner/handler in college provided housing.
The Fair Housing Act requires colleges to make reasonable changes or adjustments in their rules, services, or buildings if the changes help a disabled person live there. Changes to the school's rules or services are called accommodations.
Comfort Animals in Residence Halls.
Under the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, individuals with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation for any assistance animal, including an emotional support animal.
The housing board must allow emotional support animals access to provide therapy for people through affection and companionship as a form of reasonable accommodation.
"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States … shall solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…" 29 U.S.C. § 794.
Also, the Fair Housing Act states: "it shall be unlawful to … discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap…"42 U.S.C. § 3604.
Okay, this is excellent news, but it's not as easy as just bringing Fluffy, your 135 lb. Great Dane, from home.
The rules are the rules. And what are those rules, and my rights?
What Are My Rights?
So, while Federal Law is on your side, many colleges may not be aware of your legal rights.
Federal law provides those suffering from a mental illness or an anxiety-related issue the right to an emotional support animal.
Housing providers can refuse to accommodate animals that pose a direct threat to the safety and health of others or have the tendency to be destructive of property. These refusals should be based on objective evidence about the actual conduct of the specific animal, not on the animal’s size, weight or breed. Exclusion of ESA’s cannot be made based on fear or mere speculation on the part of the housing providers.
Example college reasonable accommodation forms
When requesting a change the student does not tell the college the nature or severity of the disability. The college does not see the students medical records.
Once you have the form in hand, you'll upload that into our secured messaging area. At that point, our fair housing expert and your clinician will complete the form. A signed copy will be delivered electronically and via postal mail.
- This form require the purchase of an emotional support animal housing assessment. This service cannot be purchased separately, nor combined with another health care provider's ESA letter.
- This form should be used only by those with a physical or mental disability.
- This information is not intended as legal advice.
- ESAD is not an attorney nor law firm.