As per the UM Office of Disability Services Policy on Service Animals, service dogs are defined as those “specially trained to assist persons with visual disabilities, hearing impairments, or mobility impairments by performing specific tasks.” These are tasks an individual with a disability cannot perform for himself or herself. Service dogs often wear some sort of special collar, vest, or harness, but they are not required to do so. UM Libraries welcomes service animals in all of our libraries.
Assistance animals (e.g. emotional support animals) are allowed in the owner’s campus residence but are not allowed in the Libraries or other campus buildings. “Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under ADA.” [ADA Requirements. Service Animals]
Library Staff may ask:
• Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
• What specific tasks is the animal trained to perform?
Examples of service animal tasks: guiding those who are blind; alerting those who are deaf to specific sounds; pulling wheelchairs and/or fetching/carrying objects for someone with mobility impairments; alerting/protecting someone having a seizure.
Library Staff May Not Ask:
• What is your disability?
• Require documentation [ID card, certification, etc.] or visible designation [vest, collar, etc.]
The owner/partner/handler of a service animal must maintain the animal on a leash at all times and must be in full control of the animal at all times. Any service animal can be excluded/removed from the library if its behavior poses a threat to the health or safety of others, or when its behavior creates a disruption to activities going on around it [e.g. barking or growling at others].
You can see the University’s policy on Service and Assistance Animals at:
Disputes regarding the use of service animals on campus will be resolved through the Dean of Students office at 305-284-5353.