Assistance Dogs in University — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

Assistance Dogs in University

harrisjcd
harrisjcd Member Posts: 4 Listener
I was hoping someone would be able to help. My friend and I are both Assistance Dog handlers who have independently trained our own dogs (in fact I've even started my own program for those with rare disabilities) and are hoping to start a university course starting in September. The degree is mostly distanced based but at the start of the year they do a mandatory block session on campus.

This year they have cancelled the session due to covid but still plan for it to go ahead next year.

The problem at hand is that the university is denying us the use of our assistance dogs on the basis that we cannot provide enough evidence that our dogs are trained. I'm not fussed myself as my dog is still in training but as the trainer that assessed his dog, I can tell you my friend's dog is highly trained and not an issue at all. At this point they are asking for more evidence than even British Airways have asked.

He has provided a public access test done to ADI standards, a list of tasks his dog performs and will also be providing a dr's letter noting why he needs his dog.

How do we prove to them that they cannot turn his dog away?

Comments

  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 9,682 Scope online community team
    Hello @harrisjcd, and welcome to the community :) 

    Just so you know, I've moved your post into the Disabled People category, as it's a lot more active than this one. 

    I'm sorry that you and your friend have had this problem, that sounds incredibly frustrating!

    I don't know what the protocol or policy was but, if it gives you any hope, I know that students were allowed to use their assistance dogs on campus at my university. I hope you can find an answer :)
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to tell us how we're doing? Complete our feedback form now.
  • harrisjcd
    harrisjcd Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hello @harrisjcd, and welcome to the community :) 

    Just so you know, I've moved your post into the Disabled People category, as it's a lot more active than this one. 

    I'm sorry that you and your friend have had this problem, that sounds incredibly frustrating!

    I don't know what the protocol or policy was but, if it gives you any hope, I know that students were allowed to use their assistance dogs on campus at my university. I hope you can find an answer :)
    Thank you!!
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 9,682 Scope online community team
    No problem @harrisjcd :) And feel free to take a browse through the other sections of the community. @Cher_Scope recently wrote a post about assistance dogs that you might be interested in, for example
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to tell us how we're doing? Complete our feedback form now.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,768 Disability Gamechanger
    It's a shame that they won't accept the dog, but it's their uni their rules i'm afraid.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • harrisjcd
    harrisjcd Member Posts: 4 Listener
    woodbine said:
    It's a shame that they won't accept the dog, but it's their uni their rules i'm afraid.
    See that’s what they’ve told us but legally, they can’t pick and choose which assistances they will let in.
    Especially when we’ve proved this dog is trained to their standards but because he was trained by his owner, they’ve decided he’s not allowed.
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,400 Scope online community team
    edited August 2020
    HI @harrisjcd

    Have you spoken to your university's disability service about this? I'm really surprised and disappointed in the university's reaction.  I'm sorry you have been put in this situation.

    Just to add: I've done some research and unfortunately it sounds like it's standard policy to refuse assistance dogs not trained by recognised agencies.  For instance, the online Canterbury University assistance dog policy says:

    "On the grounds of Health and Safety responsibilities to its staff, students and visitors, the University reserves the right to refuse access for a dog that:
     
    i. Is not qualified by one of the five membership organisations of Assistance Dogs (UK)"

    If this is the case at your university, I'd recommend asking what alternative reasonable adjustments they can provide to ensure you can attend the physical campus for the mandatory sessions.  They have a duty to provide you with an inclusive education and could organise a personal attendant to help keep you safe.  

    Let us know how you get on :)


    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
  • harrisjcd
    harrisjcd Member Posts: 4 Listener
    HI @harrisjcd

    Have you spoken to your university's disability service about this? I'm really surprised and disappointed in the university's reaction.  I'm sorry you have been put in this situation.

    Just to add: I've done some research and unfortunately it sounds like it's standard policy to refuse assistance dogs not trained by recognised agencies.  For instance, the online Canterbury University assistance dog policy says:

    "On the grounds of Health and Safety responsibilities to its staff, students and visitors, the University reserves the right to refuse access for a dog that:
     
    i. Is not qualified by one of the five membership organisations of Assistance Dogs (UK)"

    If this is the case at your university, I'd recommend asking what alternative reasonable adjustments they can provide to ensure you can attend the physical campus for the mandatory sessions.  They have a duty to provide you with an inclusive education and could organise a personal attendant to help keep you safe.  

    Let us know how you get on :)


    So we thought we were speaking to disability but turns out we weren’t so that’s the next step.

    Unless they have any staff members that are suddenly able to tell when I’m about to collapse, they’re not going to be able to make any other adjustments 

    We will be having more discussion
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,400 Scope online community team
    Let's hope you have more success speaking with the disability service.  

    Keep us updated with how your discussions go.
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,545 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @harrisjcd and welcome to the community! I really hope disability services are able to be more accommodating for you. Please do let us know how you get on. :) 
    Scope

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.