Service animal information

Service animals are individually trained to do work or perform specific tasks for people with a disability. Service animals are not considered pets, classroom animals, or curriculum aids. Their access to ASD facilities is governed by federal and state law as well as ASD policy and procedure. Download a printable version of the Service Animal Information brochure.

 


General information

Service animals are individually trained to do work or perform specific tasks for people with a disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the person's disability. The tasks may include, but are not limited to, guiding a person who is visually impaired or blind; alerting a person who is deaf or hard of hearing; pulling a wheelchair; assisting with mobility or balance; alerting or assisting a person who has seizures; retrieving objects; preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behavior by persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities; or performing other special tasks.

 

Animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or to promote emotional well-being are considered pets or comfort animals and do not fall within the definition of service animal.

 

Service animals are not considered pets, classroom animals, or curriculum aids. Their access to ASD facilities is governed by federal and state law as well as ASD policy and procedure.

 

The ASD can exclude or remove the service animal from school property if:

  • The animal is out of control and the handler does not or cannot take effective action to control it; or
  • The animal is not housebroken; or
  • The animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others; or
  • The presence of the animal fundamentally alters the learning or work environment.

 

Service animal standards of behavior

The service animal must not disrupt or interfere with the learning or work environment. The behavioral expectations for the service animal
include the following:

  1. Animal is clean and does not have a foul odor.
  2. Animal is under control of its handler.
  3. Animal does not urinate or defecate in inappropriate locations.
  4. Animal shall not make unsolicited contact with persons while on school property or on the school bus.
  5. Animal’s conduct does not disrupt the normal course of school business.
  6. Animal works without unnecessary vocalization.
  7. Animal shows no aggression toward people or other animals.
  8. Animal does not solicit or steal food or other items from persons while on school property.
  9. Animal has been specifically trained to perform its duties in public and is accustomed to being in public.
  10. Animal must be able to lie quietly beside the handler without blocking aisles, doorways, etc.
  11. Animal stays within close proximity of the individual at all times unless the nature of a specific task requires it to be working at a greater distance.

 

Safety

When on ASD property:

 

  1. A service animal shall be under the control of its handler at all times.
  2. The service animal shall have a harness, leash or other tether, unless doing so interferes with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks.
  3. If a leash or tether is not utilized, the service animal must be under the voice or signal control of the handler.

 

Service animal access in ASD classrooms and facilities

Service animals are permitted to accompany visitors at activities or events held at ASD schools or facilities. If special arrangements are needed in advance of the visit, please contact the principal or the Compliance/Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

 

Long-term service animal access

Long-term access is defined as daily, extended or repeated access to one or more district classrooms or facilities during the school or work day.

 

Employees, students, contractors, or frequent volunteers who require the assistance of a service animal on a consistent basis should work with the principal to do the following:

  • Complete the Service Animal Long-Term Access form, available from the principal.
  • Develop a plan for the service animal which will include the following: Emergency evacuation plan, entry and egress points, areas where the animal will urinate/defecate, waste removal, leash requirements and building restrictions, if any. The service animal is permitted while the long-term access process is being completed.

 

Responsibility for service animal

The Anchorage School District does not provide service animals and does not assume responsibility for training, daily care, or health care of service animals.

 

It is the responsibility of the individual assisted by a service animal to ensure that the animal is properly leashed and marked as a service animal, to supervise and control the animal at all times while on district property, and to pay for any property damage caused by the animal.

 

More information

For more information or assistance regarding service animals, contact the principal, manager or supervisor of the ASD facility; or contact the Compliance/Equal Employment Opportunity Office at 907-742-4132.

 

The Anchorage School District is committed to an environment of non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, economic status, union affiliation, disability, and other human differences. No person shall be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, any academic or extracurricular program or educational opportunity or service offered by the district. The district will comply with the applicable statutes, regulations, and executive orders adopted by federal, state and municipal agencies.

 

Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the district's Compliance/Equal Employment Opportunity senior director, who also serves as the Title IX and ADA/ADAAA coordinator.

 

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