MICA supports the use of service animals on campus as a reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504”). Any questions about the use of service animals should be directed to the Learning Resource Center (LRC) at (410) 225-2416 or LRC@mica.edu.
A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, such as guiding people with impaired vision, alerting people with impaired hearing, protecting a person having a seizure, pulling wheelchairs, retrieving items, and performing other special tasks. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability.
The term service animal does not include any untrained dog or any other species of animal, whether trained or untrained. Service animals are working animals, not pets. Animals whose sole function is to provide companionship, comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals. See MICA’s Emotional Support Animal Policy [link].
Student Use of Service Animals on Campus
Students who wish to use a service animal on MICA’s campus are strongly encouraged to contact the LRC to facilitate access and to explore other campus resources, information or disability support.
Students who wish to use a service animal in MICA housing will need to submit a special request for housing accommodations to the LRC so that arrangements can be coordinated with Residence Life.
Determination of Service Animal Status
When it is not readily apparent that a dog is a service animal, MICA employees may ask only two questions to verify the animal’s status: (1) Is the dog required due to a disability; and (2) What are the tasks or work the dog has been trained to perform. Service animals are not required to wear a vest, ID tag, or specific type of harness. MICA may not request documentation regarding the individual’s disability or the training or certification of the service animal.
Requirements and Responsibilities for Service Animal Care and Supervision
A student with a disability who wishes to use a service animal on MICA’s campus will be fully responsible for the care and supervision of the service animal, including prompt and thorough clean up and disposal of animal waste, feeding, bathing, grooming, treatment for fleas and ticks, and veterinary care. The student is solely responsible for complying with all state and local requirements regarding vaccinations, licenses, and leash control. Services animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless these devices interfere with the animal’s work or the student’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the student must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. The student is responsible for any injury or property damage caused by the service animal. MICA is not responsible for the care or supervision of any service animal.
Service animals generally may accompany students with disabilities in all areas of campus where students are permitted to go. However, MICA may prohibit the use of service animals in certain locations due to health or safety restrictions. These locations may include classrooms or studio space containing harmful chemicals, glass or metal cuttings, or moving machinery.
Exclusion of Service Animal
MICA may exclude a service animal from all or part of the campus if any of the following occurs: (1) the service animal is out of control and the student does not take effective action to control it; (2) the service animal is not housebroken; (3) the service animal is in poor health or poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others; or (4) admission of the service animal would fundamentally alter the nature of the services or programs provided by MICA. In the event of exclusion of a service animal, MICA will offer alternative accommodations to enable the student to participate in college programs and activities.
Under certain circumstances, MICA will make reasonable accommodations to permit miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for students with disabilities.
In the event a member of the MICA community has medical or health conditions or other circumstances that are adversely impacted by the presence of a service animal, that person should contact the LRC immediately.