Disability - General Statement
The University of Oklahoma is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunity and full participation for students with disabilities. Consistent with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, The University of Oklahoma ensures that no “qualified individual with a disability” will be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination solely on the basis of disability under any program or activity offered by The University of Oklahoma. Accommodations on the basis of disability are available by contacting the Disability Resource Center in Room 166, Goddard Center (405) 325-4173/TDD or (405) 325-3852 Voice.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
The University of Oklahoma will reasonably accommodate otherwise qualified individuals with a disability unless such accommodation would pose an undue hardship, would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the service, program or activity or in undue financial or administrative burdens. The term "reasonable accommodation" is used in its general sense in this policy to apply to employees, students, and visitors.
Reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to:
- Making existing facilities readily accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.
- Job restructuring.
- Part-time or modified work schedules.
- Reassignment to a vacant position if qualified.
- Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices.
- Adjustment or modification of examinations, training materials or policies.
- Providing qualified readers or interpreters.
- Modifying policies, practices and procedures.
The Disability Resource Center, unless otherwise provided, is the central point-of-contact to receive all requests for reasonable accommodation and to receive all documentation required to determine disability status under law. This center will then make a recommendation on accommodation to the appropriate administrative unit. Reasonable accommodation with respect to employment matters should be coordinated with the Office of Human Resources. Reasonable accommodation with respect to academic matters, including but not limited to faculty employment, should be coordinated with the Office of the Provost while all other issues of reasonable accommodation should be coordinated with the Office of the Vice President for Administrative Affairs.
Individuals who have complaints alleging discrimination based upon a disability may file them with the University Equal Opportunity Office in accordance with prevailing University discrimination grievance procedures.
Service and Assistance Animal Policy
The University of Oklahoma is committed to compliance with state and federal laws regarding individuals with disabilities. All requests for service or assistance animals should be directed to the Disability Resource Center (“DRC”) at 620 Elm Avenue, Suite 166, Goddard Health Center; firstname.lastname@example.org; 405-325-3852; 405-325-4173 (TDD). The University will determine, on a case by case basis, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, whether the animal is a reasonable accommodation on campus. In doing so, the University must balance the needs of the individual with the impact of animals on other campus patrons.
Where it is not readily apparent that an animal is a service or assistance animal, the University may require that documentation be provided on the letterhead of a treating physician or mental health provider, which permits the University to determine: (1) that that the individual has a disability for which the animal is needed; (2) how the animal assists the individual, including whether the animal has undergone any training; and (3) the relationship between the disability and the assistance that the animal provides.
Service Animals Permitted on Campus
Individuals with disabilities may be accompanied by their service animals on all University of Oklahoma campuses where members of the public or participants in services, programs or activities are allowed to go. By law, a service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals. In some cases, the University may permit miniature horses on campus on a case-by-case basis, consistent with applicable law.
The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. Examples of such tasks include, but are not limited to: assisting an individual with low vision with navigation; alerting individuals who are hard of hearing to the presence of people or objects; pulling a person's wheelchair; or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with a mobility disability.
Federal law does not require the individual to provide documentation that an animal has been trained as a service animal. The University may, however, ask if the animal is required because of a disability, as well as what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.
The University may exclude a service animal from campus if its behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or when its presence fundamentally alters the nature of a program or activity. Furthermore, the University may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from campus if the animal is out of control and the individual does not take effective action to control it; or if the animal is not housebroken.
Responsibilities of Individuals with Service Animals
The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal. Individuals with disabilities are responsible for the control of their service animals at all times and must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including vaccination, licensure, animal health and leash laws. A service animal shall be restrained with a harness, leash, or other tether, unless an individual’s disability precludes the use of a restraint or if the restraint would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks. If a service animal is not tethered, it must be otherwise under the individual’s control, whether by voice control, signals, or other effective means.
Individuals are responsible for ensuring the immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste. Although the University may not charge an individual with a disability a service animal surcharge, it may impose charges for damages caused by a service animal in the same manner the University imposes charges for damages caused by pets.
Assistance Animals in University Housing
Federal law allows individuals with disabilities the presence of a broader range of animals (“assistance animals”) in University housing as compared with the campus as a whole. By law, an assistance animal means any service animal, as defined above, as well as an animal needed for emotional support. An individual may keep an assistance animal as accommodation in University housing if: (1) the individual has a disability; (2) the animal is necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; and (3) there is an identifiable relationship between the disability and the assistance the animal provides.
The University may exclude an assistance animal from University housing if the animal is not housebroken; would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others; would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others; would fundamentally alter the nature of a program or activity; or is not being cared for by the individual.
Responsibilities of Individuals with Assistance Animals
The University is not responsible for the care or supervision of an assistance animal. Individuals with disabilities are responsible for the control of their assistance animals at all times and for ensuring the immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste. Individuals must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including vaccination, licensure, animal health and leash laws, as well as the University’s rules in lease provisions regarding vaccination, licensure, leash control, cleanup rules, animal health, and community relationships.