Definition of a service animal

An animal, usually a guide dog, specifically trained to perform tasks for a person with disabilities. There are different types of service animals:

  • Service dog - A dog trained to assist a person with a mobility or health injury. The dog usually performs tasks like: carrying, opening doors, ringing doorbells, pushing elevator buttons, supporting the person while walking, helping the person after a fall, etc.
  • Guide dog - A dog trained to assist a blind or visually impaired person.
  • Hearing dog - A dog trained to alert a deaf or hearing-impaired person of sounds, e.g., a knock at the door.
  • Alert dog - A dog trained to assist a person suffering from seizures. The dog may stay with its owner during a seizure or call for help. Some dogs have been trained to anticipate seizures and alert their owners in advance of an impending seizure.
  • Dog-in-training – A dog undergoing service animal training. A dog-in-training is treated the same as an official service animal.


General guidelines

  • An employee or visitor is entitled to enter the Institute and any facilities with a service animal, excluding laboratories, rooms with machinery and other areas that may endanger the service animal.
  • Institute representatives may request to see the service animal’s certification or other documentation.
  • Do not pet the dog without permission from its owner.

Owner’s responsibility

  • The dog must be vaccinated and licensed as required by law.
  • The service dog must be accompanied by its owner.
  • The owner must remain near the service dog.
  • All service dogs must be leashed at all times.
  • The service dog must be able to respond to voice commands at all times, and be under full control of its owner.
  • To the extent possible, the service dog must not interfere with other students and the learning environment. ­