Forms, Policies, and Procedures Concerning Accessibility Services
Disability Services Policy
St. John Fisher University is committed to assisting students with documented disabilities who are otherwise qualified for admission to the University, in compliance with Section 504 of the 1973 Federal Rehabilitation Act and Title III of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students with documented disabilities (physical, learning, and/or psychological) who may need academic accommodations are advised to refer to the accessibility services information on the Academic Accommodations page.
For additional information, students may call or make an appointment with the coordinator of student accessibility services in Kearney 300, (585) 385-5252.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Requests for accommodations must be made in a timely manner, be supported by appropriate documentation/diagnosis, and be determined reasonable by St. John Fisher University. Students with disabilities must meet the standard academic requirements to be considered for admission and must also attain the same competencies in all courses as all other students. The objective is to accommodate the functional limitations of the student's disability while maintaining the integrity of the University's courses and programs. Disability information provided to the University is shared only with University personnel who work together in a cooperative effort to provide reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Final determination for providing reasonable accommodations rests with St. John Fisher University, based on the relevant documentation/diagnosis information submitted by the student. Academic accommodations at the graduate level vary by academic program.
Appeals Process for Disability Accommodations
In the event that a student wishes to appeal a University decision in response to a request for a reasonable accommodation, the student must:
- Submit a written appeal to Student Accessibility Services indicating the basis for the appeal, within 20 calendar days of notification of the initial decision.
- The appeal will be forwarded to the appropriate University officer (the appropriate undergraduate or graduate dean for academic-related requests; the vice president for student affairs and diversity initiatives for non-academic-related requests).
- Student Accessibility Services will forward to the University officer receiving the appeal all documentation and related information submitted to the University in support of the request.
- The officer hearing the appeal may request additional information from the student, as well as seek expert opinion from sources outside the University. The student must cooperate if the opinion of the additional expert is sought.
- The officer hearing the appeal will meet with the student to discuss the request and may interview other individuals who have information relevant to the request.
- After reviewing the documentation and meeting with the student, the officer hearing the appeal may modify or sustain the original decision regarding the request for accommodation.
- The decision regarding the appeal will be made within 30 calendar days of receipt of the appeal.
Additional information about the University’s policy and procedures for compliance with Section 504 of the 1973 Federal Rehabilitation Act and Title III of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can be obtained from Student Accessibility Services in Kearney 300.
Documentation of Disability Policy
St. John Fisher University is committed to assisting students with documented disabilities who are otherwise qualified for admission to the University, in compliance with Section 504 of the 1973 Federal Rehabilitation Act and Title III of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADAAA).
Students requesting accommodations must submit appropriate written documentation to Student Accessibility Services. Disability information provided to the University is shared only with University personnel who work together in a cooperative effort to provide reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Final determination for providing reasonable accommodations rests with St. John Fisher University based on the relevant documentation/diagnosis information submitted by the student. Appeals of decisions made with respect to requests for reasonable accommodations must be submitted in writing to Student Accessibility Services.
Any documentation provided is not part of the student’s academic record. Educational documentation will remain with Student Accessibility Services and medical documentation will remain in the Health and Wellness Center for a minimum of seven years, after which it will be destroyed.
Our General Disability Documentation Guidelines section provides students, schools and professional diagnosticians with a common understanding of the components of documentation that are necessary to validate the existence of a disability, the impact on the individual's educational performance, and the need for accommodations.
St. John Fisher University is committed to allowing individuals with disabilities the use of service or emotional support animals on campus to facilitate their full participation and equal access to the University's programs and activities. This policy ensures that individuals with disabilities, who require the use of a service or emotional support animal as a reasonable accommodation, receive the benefit of the work or tasks performed by such animals or the therapeutic support they provide.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) defines "service animal" as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Examples of such work or tasks include: guiding an individual who is blind, alerting an individual who is deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting an individual who is having a seizure, reminding an individual with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming an individual with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. The work or task a service animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability. In some cases, a miniature horse may be permitted as a service animal. Other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as service animals. Service animals in training and those whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals. Service animals are working animals, not pets.
Service animals are generally allowed on campus anywhere it is safe for them to be. After consultation with the individual, the University will determine if there are any parameters necessary regarding where a service animal is allowed on campus. Consideration will be given to other persons with disabilities, safety, and other factors.
Registering a Service Animal
An individual with a disability who requires a service animal is responsible for completing the Service Animal Registration Process and Form [pdf] to register the service animal with the University prior to bringing the animal to campus.
Emotional Support Animal
An emotional support animal (ESA) is generally prescribed to an individual with a disability by a healthcare or mental health professional an integral part of a person's treatment process to assist in alleviating the symptoms of an individual's disability. As such, an ESA is necessary for an individual to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy University housing. There must be a relationship, or nexus, between the individual's disability and the assistance the animal provides.
Emotional support animals are not service animals and do not accompany an individual at all times. ESA's are only permitted in a student’s assigned residence hall and, if appropriate, outdoor spaces. These animals are not permitted in other campus areas or buildings without the written permission of the Student Disability Review Committee. When the animal is transported outside the residence hall it must be in an animal carrier, on a leash or harness, and controlled at all times.
Requesting an Emotional Support Animal in Residence as a Disability Accommodation
A student with a disability who is requesting a housing accommodation of an emotional support animal must complete the Therapy Animal In Residence Request Process [pdf], including the ESA statement.
Requirements for Faculty, Staff, Students, and Other Members of the St. John Fisher University Community
Members of the St. John Fisher University community are required to abide by the following practices:
- They are to allow a service animal to accompany its owner at all times and in all places on campus, except where animals are specifically prohibited.
- They are not to touch or pet a service or emotional support animal unless invited to do so.
- They are not to feed a service or emotional support animal.
- They are not to deliberately startle a service or emotional support animal.
- They are not to separate or to attempt to separate an owner from his or her service or emotional support animal.
- They are not to inquire for details about the individual’s disability. The nature of an individual’s disability is confidential.
Conflicting Health Conditions
Students should contact the coordinator of student accessibility services if they have a health or safety related concern about exposure to a service or emotional support animal. Employees with such concerns should contact Human Resources. The University is prepared to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities that are affected by being in proximity to animals.
Student Accessibility Services will make a reasonable effort to notify the faculty and students enrolled in classes impacted by the accommodation.
The Office of Human Resources will make a reasonable effort to notify co-workers impacted by the accommodation.
Office of Residential Life will make a reasonable effort to notify students in the building where the service or emotional support animal will be located.
Removal of Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal
The University may exclude/remove a service animal or emotional support animal when:
- the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or
- the animal's presence results in a fundamental alteration of the University's program, or
- the animal or its presence creates an unmanageable disturbance or interference with the University community, or
- the owner does not comply with the Service Animal Agreement, or
- the owner does not comply with the Expectations for Service Animals in Residence Halls.
Deadlines for Students
- Requests for housing accommodations and supporting documentation for new students must be received by the housing application deadline.
- Requests for housing accommodations and supporting documentation for returning students must be received by January 30 for the following fall semester.
The University reserves the right to amend this policy as circumstances require.
For questions regarding this policy, University employees should contact Human Resources and students should contact the coordinator of student accessibility services.