Service Animal and Emotional Support Animal Policy - Student

Policy #: 
STS 1007.002
Executive Owner: 
Dean of Students

This is for all students at AdventHealth University.


This policy explains what service anamils and emotional support animals are and when they can be on campus.


AdventHealth University supports the use of service animals and emotional support animals on campus by students with disabilities in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with this policy.  Those with questions about the use of service animals or emotional support animals should refer to this policy and/or contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator’s contact information is as follows: 


Phone: 407-303-9383

Office Location:  Office of Disability; Anderson House

Other Information Specifically Related to Service Animals

  • Permitted Inquiries​ - In general, members of the AHU community should not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability. However, as permitted by the ADA, if it is not obvious that the animal is required because of a disability, the handler may be asked:
    • If the animal is required because of a disability, and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.
    • The handler should not be asked for documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. Generally, AHU community members should not make inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., if the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person’s wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).
  • Areas Off Limits to Service Animals​ - While service animals are generally allowed to go anywhere on campus that the handler is allowed to go, there are certain areas where the presence of a service animal fundamentally alters the nature of a program or activity or is disruptive.  Examples of the areas that are off limits to service animals include:
    • Science/Research Laboratories: The natural organisms carried by service animals may negatively affect the outcome of experiments and research. At the same time, the chemicals and/or organisms used in the research may be harmful to service animals.
    • Mechanical Rooms/Custodial Closets: Mechanical rooms, such as boiler rooms, facility equipment rooms, electric closets, elevator control rooms and custodial closets, are off-limits to service animals. The machinery and/or chemicals in these rooms may be harmful to animals.
    • Food Preparation Areas:  Food preparation areas are off limits to service animals per health codes.
    • Areas Where Protective Clothing is Necessary: Any room where protective clothing is worn is off-limits to service animals. Examples impacting students include the kiln, chemistry laboratories, etc.
    • Areas Where There is a Danger to the Service Animal: Any room, including a classroom, where there are sharp metal cuttings or other sharp objects on the floor or protruding from a surface; where there is hot material on the floor; where there is a high level of dust; or where there is moving machinery is off-limits to service animals.

​Questions regarding areas that are off limits to service animals should be directed to the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, or in the laboratory setting, the laboratory instructor. Exceptions may be granted in some circumstances.

ESAs are permitted only in the building(s) or other areas of campus approved through the reasonable accommodation process.



Service Animals - Service Animals are defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or tasks performed must be directly related to the individual’s disability.  Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals.

Examples of work or tasks that service animals perform include, but are not limited to: assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as books or the telephone, alerting a person to a sudden change in blood sugar levels, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

Miniature horses may also be considered service animals in certain situations.

Emotional Support Animals - An emotional support animal is a companion animal which provides therapeutic benefit, such as alleviating or mitigating symptoms of a person’s disability.   Emotional support animals are not service animals. However, emotional support animals may be permitted on campus as a reasonable accommodation.  Prior approval must be obtained from the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator pursuant to the procedures and standards outlined.

Owner - A student who has an approved emotional support animal on campus.

Handler - A person with a disability that a service animal assists or a personal care attendant who handles the animal for a person with a disability.


CommitteeDate VotedMinutes Code
President's CouncilMonday, June 18, 201818:63
President's CouncilMonday, November 11, 201919:146
Strategic and Operational PlanningWednesday, July 21, 202121:13
Approved by: 
Approval Date: 
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Effective Date: 
Monday, June 18, 2018
Review Date: 
Monday, November 11, 2019
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Monday, October 9, 2023