what-to-do-when-noah’s-ark-comes-to-your-campus-service-animals-emotional-support-animals-and-the-rapidly-evolving-law

What to Do When Noah’s Ark Comes to Your Campus: Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals and the Rapidly Evolving Law

Live Webinar

  • 90 minutes

From peacocks on planes to snakes in our residence halls, a mushrooming number of Americans are demanding the right to have their pets classified as emotional-support animals, aka “reasonable accommodations” under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Emotional-support, or comfort, animals often are confused with genuine service animals --- dogs and sometimes miniature horses --- that are highly trained to perform specific tasks. Knowing the difference between the two types of animals and how the law deals with each is crucial to complying with the ADA, as well as the federal Fair Housing Act. Lawsuits, fines, and PR disasters are the likely consequences of failing to grapple with and master this rapidly evolving legal challenge. 

Join this session by expert speaker James Ottavio Castagnera, where he will explain how to identify the legal limits to the use of service and comfort animals and the responsibilities your institution may place on those who require such animals.

 Session Highlights: 

  • How the ADA, Section 504 and the Fair Housing Act impact the ability of students and employees to bring animals on campus.

  • How to develop effective Service and Assistance Animal policies and how to communicate these policies to employees and students alike. 

  • How to understand the legal and practical distinctions between service animals and comfort (aka support) animals. 

  • How to design and deliver training for critical populations on campus such as public safety/security officers, residence life teams, and faculty members. 

Why You Should Attend: 

If your residence-life, disability-services, facilities, and public safety professionals are not yet trained in dealing with student and employee demands for emotional-support (comfort) animals, then this webinar at the start of the summer break is the perfect time bring them up to speed. The webinar will cover the latest on the rapidly developing law of service and support animals, present appropriate policies and best practices, and provide resources for getting out in front of this challenge in a proactive posture. 

Who Should Attend: 

  • Disability/accessibility professionals 

  • Residence life professionals and students (e.g., RAs) 

  • Student life professionals 

  • Public Safety officers 

  • Facilities managers 

  • University counsel 


*You may ask your Question directly to our expert during the Q&A session. 

** You can buy On-Demand and view it as per your convenience.

Jim Ottavio Castagnera

Jim Ottavio Castagnera

Dr. Jim Castagnera, Esq. holds a JD and a PhD from Case Western Reserve University. He spent 10 years as a labor, employment and IP lawyer with the major Philadelphia law firm Saul Ewing, before entering higher education. For the past 22 years he has been legal counsel and associate provost at a central New Jersey university. He also is the principal consultant and co-owner of K&C HR Enterprises/Holland Media Services, which provides writing, educational and consulting services to its clients, primarily in business and employment law, higher education/non-profit law and policy, and enterprise risk management.

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