DMACC welcomes service animals onto all campuses.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) under Titles II and III defines service animals as dogs and, in some exceptions, miniature ponies. To meet the definition of a service animal, the dog must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. A dog meeting this definition is considered a service animal under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government. Service animals are working animals, not pets. Dogs providing emotional support only are not service animals by definition under the ADA. Entities responsible under Titles II and III (DMACC) must permit persons with disabilities to bring service animals into all areas where members of the public are allowed. Persons with service animals are allowed to participate in all college activities, classroom activities, and visit all college locations available to any person without a service animal.
FAQ for Persons Using a Service Animal
May I bring a service animal onto a DMACC campus at any location?
Yes. DMACC welcomes service animals at any location available to the general public. Concerns about safety in a particular program of study will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
My dog is not a service animal because it has not been trained to perform a task, but does provide emotional support. May I bring my emotional support dog onto any DMACC campus?
No. Under the ADA, your dog would not meet the definition of a service animal because it has not been trained to perform a task; and therefore, would not be allowed on campus. Go to the Student Handbook under Policies and Procedures for more information.
Am I required to register my service animal with the Disability Services office and provide a letter to my instructors?
No. You and your service animal are not required to register with Disability Services unless you would like to receive other accommodations.
Are there any other requirements under the ADA regarding service animals that are necessary to know?
Yes. The service animal must be under the owner's control at all times. The ADA does allow for entities to ask a person with a disability to remove the service animal "if the service animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it; or if the animal is not housebroken." Title II ADA § 35.136 (b, d) Service animals.
Do I need to provide paperwork to show that my dog is trained?
No. DMACC staff and faculty may not ask about the person's specific disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
FAQ for Protocol Regarding Service Animals
What if the dog is not wearing a vest or it's unclear what role the dog plays for the person?
When it's not obvious what service a dog provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff/faculty may ask two questions:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
“Generally, a public entity may not make these 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., 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).”
Title II ADA § 35.136 (f) Service animals
What is the best practice when meeting a person with a service dog?
It's best to use people first practices, in that you address the person and see the dog as simply a useful part of the person and not draw attention to the dog unless it is initiated by the person.
DMACC staff and faculty may not ask about the person's specific disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
Faculty will not receive an accommodation letter solely for a service animal, unless requested by the service animal owner.
If I see a service dog, may I pet the animal?
Services dogs provide a range of services and are focused on their tasks, which vary depending on the needs of the person with a disability. A service animal may/may not wear a vest with a sign on his/her harness indicating that the dog is a working dog and should not be petted. Always review the information on the sign, if provided, and follow the directions given. If no direction regarding contact with the dog is given, then you may ask the person if you may pet the dog. If given permission by the service animal's owner, you may pet the dog, but if the person denies permission, then you should not pet the dog, as the dog is working and providing a service for the person and is not a pet.
What if the service dog is disruptive in class?
Service dogs are well trained and should not be any cause for concern; however, the ADA does allow for entities to ask a person with a disability to remove the service animal "if the service animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it; or if the animal is not housebroken." Title II ADA § 35.136 (b, d)
What if I have an allergy that is animal related or I am afraid of dogs but have a service dog in my class?
Contact the Disability Services Coordinator at (515) 964-6857
What other information is available regarding service animals?
Other information about the ADA and services animals is available at
In addition, some service animals may be part of the Paws & Effect Program for returning Veterans. More information on this program is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wd4eidsorT4
If you have further questions or questions about a service animal on campus contact:
Jennifer Argo, Disability Services Coordinator
Sharon Bittner, Section 504/ADA Coordinator
Points to Remember
- DMACC is required by law under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide reasonable accommodation to all qualifying persons with disabilities. Under no circumstances should a person with a disability be denied services without first consulting with Disability Services staff, Human Resources staff, or the office of the Executive Dean of Student Services.
- Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities. The ADA states that “No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity.” Title II ADA § 35.136
- Public entities (DMACC) must provide reasonable accommodation to anyone who meets the definition of disability, unless doing so would cause a fundamental alteration. Fundamental alteration may only be determined by a systematic process, and, if so determined, then alternative accommodations must be considered.
- Per DMACC policy, deciding to not provide reasonable accommodation because of fundamental alteration must be reviewed by DMACC's Disability Services Coordinator, the relevant Dean, and the Executive Director of Human Resources.