Abby Franks, M.S., CRC
Accessibility Services Coordinator
237 Hardway Hall
Phone: (304) 367-4543
Fax: (304) 367-4584
|Monday||8 a.m. – 4 p.m.|
|Tuesday||8 a.m. – 4 p.m.|
|Wednesday||8 a.m. – 4 p.m.|
|Thursday||8 a.m. – 4 p.m.|
|Friday||8 a.m. – 4 p.m.|
Office of Accessibility Services
Fairmont State University
237 Hardway Hall
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
Fairmont State University recognizes the importance of “Service Animals” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and the broader category of “Assistance Animals” under the Fair Housing Act that provide physical and/or emotional support to individuals with disabilities. Fairmont State University is committed to allowing individuals with disabilities the use of a Service Animal on campus to facilitate their full-participation and equal access to the University’s programs and activities. Fairmont State University is also committed to allowing Assistance Animals necessary to provide individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing. This Policy explains the specific requirements applicable to an individual’s use of an Assistance Animal in University housing. Fairmont State University reserves the right to amend this Policy as circumstances require. This policy applies solely to “Assistance Animals” which may be necessary in University housing. It does not apply to “Service Animals” as defined by the ADAAA.
Although it is the policy of Fairmont State University that individuals are generally prohibited from having animals of any type except fish in University housing, Fairmont State University will consider a request by an individual with a disability for reasonable accommodation from this prohibition to allow an Assistance Animal that is necessary because of a disability and reasonable. However, no Assistance Animal may be kept in University housing at any time prior to the individual receiving approval as a reasonable accommodation pursuant to this Policy.
A resident wishing to request an Assistance Animal should contact the Office of Accessibility Services. The Office of Accessibility Services may require a statement from a reliable third party indicating that the resident has a disability and that the animal would provide emotional support or other assistance that would ameliorate one or more symptoms or effects of the disability. A “reliable third party” is someone who is familiar with the individual’s disability and the necessity for the requested accommodation. A reliable thirdparty includes, but is not limited to someone who provides medical care, therapy or counseling to persons with disabilities, including, but not limited to, doctors, physician assistants, psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers.
“Assistance Animals” are a category of animals that may work, provide assistance, or perform physical tasks, for an individual with a disability and/or provide necessary emotional support to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability that alleviates one or more identified symptoms of an individual’s disability, but which are not considered Service Animals under the ADAAA. Some Assistance Animals are professionally trained, but in other cases Assistance Animals provide the necessary support to individuals with disabilities without any formal training or certification.
A dog, cat, small bird, rabbit, hamster, gerbil, other rodent, fish, turtle, or other small, domesticated animal that is traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes are animals that would typically qualify for a reasonable accommodation that would not substantially interfere with the operations of the residence hall. Reptiles (other than turtles), barnyard animals, monkeys, kangaroos, and other non-domesticated animals are not considered common household animals. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development FHEO-2020- 01 notice indicates that a requestor has a substantial burden to meet in demonstrating that a nonhousehold animal is necessary to accommodate a disability.
The question in determining if an Assistance Animal will be allowed in University housing is whether or not the Assistance Animal is necessary because of the individual’s disability to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing, and its presence in University housing is reasonable. However, even if the individual with a disability establishes necessity for an Assistance Animal and it is allowed in University housing, an Assistance Animal is not permitted in other areas of the University (e.g. dining facilities, libraries, academic buildings, athletic building and facilities, classrooms, labs, individual centers, etc.).
The “Owner” is the individual who has requested the accommodation and has received approval to bring an Assistance Animal into University Housing.
The Office of Accessibility Services collaborates with individuals, faculty, and staff to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to all of Fairmont State University’s programs and activities.
The procedure for requesting Assistance Animals follows the general procedures set forth in the Reasonable Accommodation Policy for Fairmont State University (“Reasonable Accommodation Policy”) and the requirements set forth below. However, to the extent the requirements and procedures in this Policy conflict with the Reasonable Accommodation Policy, this Policy shall control.
University housing is unique in several aspects including the mandatory assignment of roommates for many individuals and the mandate that individuals must share a room or suite in certain residence halls. To ensure that the presence of assistance animals is not an undue administrative burden or fundamental alteration of University housing, Fairmont State University reserves the right to assign an individual with an assistance animal to a single room without a roommate or to a room near an exit.
However, for all requests for assistance animals, the Office of Accessibility Services shall nonetheless consult with the Office of Housing and Residence Life in making a determination on a case-by-case basis of whether the presence of an assistance animal is reasonable. A request for an assistance animal may be denied as unreasonable if the presence of the animal:
Fairmont State University may consider the following factors, among others, as evidence in determining whether the presence of the animal is reasonable or in the making of housing assignments for individuals with Assistance Animals:
Fairmont State University will not limit room assignments for individuals with Assistance Animals to any particular building or buildings because the individual needs an Assistance Animal because of a disability.
An Assistance Animal must be contained within the privately assigned individual living accommodations (e.g., room, suite, apartment) except to the extent the individual is taking the animal out for natural relief. When an Assistance Animal is outside the private individual living accommodations, it must be in an animal carrier or controlled by a leash or harness. Assistance Animals are not allowed in any University facilities other than the residence hall to which the individual is assigned.
Notwithstanding the restrictions set forth herein, the Assistance Animal must be properly housed and restrained or otherwise under the dominion and control of the Owner at all times. No Owner shall permit the animal to go loose or run at large. If an animal is found running at large, the animal is subject to capture and confinement and immediate removal from University housing.
If the University grants an individual’s request to live with an Assistance Animal, the individual is solely responsible for the custody and care of the Assistance Animal and must meet the following requirements:
Fairmont State University may require the individual to remove the animal from University housing if:
Fairmont State University will base such determinations upon the consideration of the behavior of the particular animal at issue, and not on speculation or fear about the harm or damages an animal may cause. Any removal of the animal will be done in consultation with the Office of Accessibility Services and may be appealed to the Vice President of Student Affairs allowing the procedure set forth in the Housing and Residence Life Guide to Success. The Owner will be afforded all rights of due process and appeal as outlined in that process. Should the Assistance Animal be removed from the premises for any reason, the Owner is expected to fulfill his/her housing obligations for the remainder of the housing contract.
Fairmont State University will not retaliate against any person because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation in University housing, including a request for an Assistance Animal.