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2016 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference strengthens the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders within the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for an inclusive world. This year’s conference theme, “Gateway to Equity,” explores inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs, in living a fair, just, and balanced life. Return to TASH website.
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Friday, December 2 • 1:30pm - 2:20pm
Service Dogs in Schools: Legal, Educational, and Access Issues LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

The use of service dogs by students with disabilities in the school setting is a complex and controversial issue. Multiple factors, such as legal, educational, and access issues, must be considered. Controversy often stems from the nature of support the service dog provides, the training and certification of the dog, the skills and abilities of the handler, and the type of access requested. A student with a disability can bring a service dog to school if the dog helps expand his or her independence. The dog must be identified as a service 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. The student must be able to control the service dog at all times. If the student is unable to control the dog, an assistant or trainer must accompany the dog to school. Several pieces of federal legislation regulate service dog access in schools including the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The law that applies and the rights it provides depends on the nature of the services provided by the dog (e.g., education or access), and the environment in which the service dog provides assistance (e.g., general access or classroom environment). Schools must permit service dogs to have appropriate access to facilities along with the student under ADA. However, the amount of access is determined by the nature of services provided. Students who require service dogs for independence and do not have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) under IDEA may be granted access to public areas of the school only as permitted under ADA. Public areas of schools include the cafeteria during a public fundraising event, auditorium during a public exhibition, administrative offices, and gymnasium during a public sporting event. ADA does not consider classrooms as public areas of the school, therefore classroom access is not guaranteed under ADA. Service dogs may be granted classroom access under IDEA because the service dog supports educational services. The free appropriate public education (FAPE) of IDEA may require school districts to allow a service dog classroom access. Provisions for a service dog may be included in the studentŸ??s IEP but are not legally required. Overall, provisions for allowing students with disabilities to bring service dogs to school are complex and complicated. The purpose of this proposed presentation is to describe the current status of access service dogs are provided in schools, outline factors involved in determining this access, distinguish conditions under which service dogs may or may not be allowed in classrooms, identify federal legislation that provides public and educational access to service dogs in school settings, and identify situations in which students with disabilities will require assistance when bringing a service dog to school. The proposed presentation directly aligns with the conference theme, Ÿ??Gateway to Equity.Ÿ? Understanding the issues promoting and impeding service dog access to schools and classrooms impacts the ability of schools to provide inclusive education and for students with disabilities to receive the complex supports they need to live a fair, just, and balanced life. Upon completion of the proposed presentation, participants will be able to Ÿ?? Describe the current status of access service dogs are provided in schools Ÿ?? Outline factors involved in determining this access Ÿ?? Distinguish conditions under which service dogs may or may not be allowed in classrooms Ÿ?? Identify federal legislation that provides public and educational access to service dogs in school settings Ÿ?? Identify situations in which students with disabilities will require assistance when bringing a service dog to school.

Speakers
avatar for Anne Papalia

Anne Papalia

Shippensburg University


Friday December 2, 2016 1:30pm - 2:20pm CST
Grand B 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103