Guidelines for Assistance Dogs at City Lit

Introduction
City Lit is a diverse community and takes its responsibilities for the welfare of all staff and students seriously. To provide support to our learners and staff we welcome Assistance Dogs and, by permission, Emotional Support Dogs onto City Lit premises to accompany their owners. The dogs’ owners are required to comply with the requirements set out in this document. Assistance dogs include guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service or seizure alert dogs.


Apart from Assistance Dogs, City Lit generally prohibits individuals from bringing animals inside any City Lit buildings. This is to minimise potential hazards associated with having animals on the premises.

Emotional Support Dogs will be allowed on the premises if the conditions outlined in Section 2 are met.


Types of hazards linked with having animals on site are:

  • Delayed evacuation of a building in an emergency situation
  • Aggressive behaviour of animals
  • Allergic reactions and transmission of disease
  • Zoophobia (i.e., phobia of animals that causes distress or dysfunction in an individual's everyday life)
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Animal waste
  • Damage to college property


1. Assistance Dogs
1.1 In order to request to have an assistance dog in the College the following needs to be in
place:

  • The requirement is legitimate
  • The dog is a registered Assistance Dog (see below).
  • Suitable accommodation is, or can be, made available where this is necessary.
  • The dog owner agrees to abide by the Responsibilities (see below) under which the dog is permitted to be on City Lit Premises.
  • When a student requests to bring an Assistance Dog onto City Lit premises, this must be agreed in advance by the relevant City Lit team.
  • Please be aware that Assistance Dogs are allowed onto City Lit premises under the control of their owner.
  • The team responsible for considering requests is the Access, Inclusion and Support team (AIS). Students who use an Assistance Dog should notify AIS of their need to be accompanied by their Assistance Dog at least 5 working days before their course begins. They should do this by emailing: support@citylit.ac.uk.


1.2 Requirements for Assistance Dogs

Assistance Dogs must:

  • Be fully trained by a member of Assistance Dogs UK (AD (UK)), a coalition of Assistance Dog organisations listed below or an equivalent organisation in another country.
  • Have a formal identification in the form of a branded jacket or lead slip.
  • Have the yellow ID booklet from the AD(UK) member organisation. This ID book contains information about the owner and their dog, details of the training organisation who trained the dog and its owner. City Lit may request to see the ID book when the request to attend with an Assistance Dog is made. There are seven registered charities that form AD (UK), these are:
      • Canine Partners
      • Dog A.I.D.
      • Dogs for the Disabled
      • Guide Dogs
      • Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
      • Medical Detection Dogs
      • Support Dogs


1.3 Responsibilities

Alongside the requirement to be an accredited dog by Assistance Dogs UK, students bringing Assistance Dogs onto City Lit premises must:

Request permission from City Lit to bring their dog onto college premises at least 5 working days before their course begins

  • Ensure that their dog does not cause injury, harm, ill health, offense, nuisance or distress to other members of the City Lit community.
  • Ensure that their dog does not cause damage or introduce parasites to City Lit premises.
  • Ensure that their dog is covered by full public liability insurance.
  • Ensure that their dog does not roam freely throughout any City Lit premises.
  • Ensure that their dog is not left in a car or left tied up outside City Lit premises.
  • Ensure that their dog does not foul areas of City Lit premises. 
  • Ensure that their dog is identifiable as an Assistance Dog when carrying out its working role.
  • Ensure that their dog is under their control at all times.


Section 2: Emotional Support Dogs

2.1 Within the scope of the Equality Act, it is important to recognise the role of Emotional Support Animals (ESAs). Emotional Support Animals are companion animals who help their owners cope with challenges associated with emotional and mental health conditions (such as depression and anxiety), by providing comfort with their presence.

However, there is no register of such animals and there is no standard training. Although there is no obligation to do so, City Lit may in specific cases, where individuals have an ongoing emotional or psychological disability, agree that a student can bring their Emotional Support Dog to the college. We will not consider requests for other types of ESA.

2.2 The person submitting a request to bring an Emotional Support Dog onsite should provide evidence of their medical diagnosis and a letter supporting the use of an Emotional Support Dog. This letter can come from GP or a community psychiatric nurse, psychiatrist or registered therapist.

2.3 The procedure and responsibilities for considering these types of requests are the same as described in Section 1 of this document.

2.4 Once permission to bring an Emotional Support Dog onsite has been approved, we will not retain a copy of this evidence.

2.5 Any agreement for a student to attend City Lit with an Emotional Support Dog will be made on an individual course basis and will be regularly reviewed. Students must agree to this guidance and be willing to co-operate with any risk assessment that is considered necessary before their Emotional Support Dog is allowed on college premises. The agreement may be withdrawn at any point.


3. Information for City Lit staff and students

3.1 Please be aware that Assistance Dogs are at work, performing tasks to assist disabled people and are not pets. Talk to the handler, not the animal, please be mindful that sometimes handlers will not have time to stop and talk.

3.2 Members of the City Lit community shall not

  • Feed, pet or talk to Assistance Dogs.
  • Deliberately distract or startle an Assistance Dog.
  • Separate or attempt to separate an Assistance Dog from the person using the animal’s service.

Note that seizure alert dogs are trained to behave differently when they detect a potential seizure, and they can appear to be misbehaving.

3.3 If staff have a request to bring an Assistance Dog or Emotional Support Dog onto City Lit premises, they should raise this with the HR team by contacting hr@citylit.ac.uk, who will review the request.

 

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