Service dogs, emotional support animals

Hi Lianna,

First, congratulations on your continued efforts for FSW Compass as I look forward to each new issue.  As you may know, Adaptive Services was mentioned in “Note taking from the heart,” page 8 as it featured one of our assigned note takers and a student who is eligible for note taking accommodations.  I feel Jaida did a great job as she gathered perspectives from at least three sources, note taker, the student benefitting, and Adaptive Services. 

I also noticed “FSW welcomes service dogs” in Compass Points on page 3 but the last sentence, “So dorm kittens, no matter how calming, are contraband kittens,” can be misleading. As you may know, there is confusion between service animals (protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act) and emotional support animals (protected by Fair Housing Act) throughout the public.  For example, service animals can only be dogs or a miniature horse trained to perform a specific task but emotional support animals can be a variety of species.  Service animals are allowed everywhere the individual travels with few exceptions (ex:  labs with various chemicals) while emotional support animals must remain in the home of the individual.  As a college student at FSW, home can be a dorm at LHC.

I was hopeful we could expound a bit in the next issue as FSW currently has emotional support animals which reside in the LightHouse Commons.  In the past few years, there have been dogs, cats, a bunny and a hamster at LHC as emotional support animals.  Emotional support animals can be just as vital to the individual with a disability as a service animal is to an individual who is blind or utilizes a wheelchair.  I’m confident Kayleigh didn’t mean any harm but I wanted to do my part to ensure the correct message was provided.

If students would like more information, please contact 239-432-7354 or drop by Adaptive Service in Bldg. Q 103. 

Honored to serve,

Angela Hartsell, MS, CRC

Director, Office of Adaptive Services

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