Do OSU CAPS counselors write letters of support for assistance animals in residential dwellings on and off campus?

Sometimes.

OSU CAPS therapists understand and agree that animals can provide a student support and companionship.

Students diagnosed with a mental health concern may qualify for an assistance animal in their on-campus or off-campus housing.  To help you understand your next steps consider which of the criteria below that you meet:

Service Animal

Any dog* 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 and meets the definition of “service animal” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) regulations at 28 CFR 35.104. The work or tasks performed must be directly related to the individual’s disability. 

*The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

Assistance Animal

An assistance animal is one that is necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy housing. An assistance animal may provide physical assistance, emotional support, calming, stability and other kinds of assistance. Assistance Animals do not perform work or tasks that would qualify them as “service animals” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Go to OSU Service & Assistance Animal Policy for additional information: http://oregonstate.edu/accessibility/serviceanimalpolicy.

Or make requests regarding assistance animals for on-campus housing http://ds.oregonstate.edu/book/das-student-handbook/chapter-25-accommodations-campus-housing

There are many factors for a counselor to consider prior to writing a letter of support, thus the receipt of a letter is not guaranteed.  We will assess using our ethics codes and Oregon law.

Additional CAPS criteria you should be aware of before requesting a letter for an assistance animal from a CAPS counselor:

  1. We are only able to provide a letter of support if we have an ongoing theraputic relationship with a student.
  2. Check with your property manager/landlord regarding the requirements for having an approved assistance animal for a person with a disability living in the dwelling. Please do this before contacting CAPS.
  3. A letter of support from CAPS does not guarantee that the property manager/landlord will accommodate an assistance animal for you.