Assistance Animals on Campus

What is an Assistance Animal?

An assistance animal is a dog or other animal which has been trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability and to meet the standards of hygiene and behaviour acceptable for a public place. Sometimes such animals will have accreditations (and some form of identification) under a state or territory scheme. Although assistance animals include guide dogs, the category is much broader.

Background

Amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), make it unlawful for a person to discriminate against another person because they are accompanied by an assistance animal. Further amendments, which came into effect in August 2009, clarify many of the rights and responsibilities.

Effectively this means that the University is required to allow a person with an assistance animal entry to University premises. However, the University is also, under the DDA, able to determine whether an animal is an assistance animal and whether it would pose a threat to the health and safety of University staff, students and affiliates.

Identifying an assistance animal

Visual identification
Staff may find it satisfactory that an animal is an assistance animal if one or more of the following is visible on the animal:

  1. An assistance badge or permit (visible on its collar, lead, harness, vest);
  2. An assistance dog harness;
  3. A coat or vest identifying them as an assistance animal.

When evidence may be required

If the above items are not visible on the assistance animal, the University may lawfully require a person to provide evidence that the animal is an assistance animal.

The following items would qualify as evidence of an assistance animal:

  1. An assistance animal accreditation(eg permit, identity card, pass) issued by a state or territory assistance animal training provider;
  2. A state/territory government issued transport pass or permit; or
  3. Other evidence that shows the animal has been trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability and to meet the standards of hygiene and behaviour acceptable for a public place.