Guide Dogs and Service Animals – Student Use – APH020

Reviewed/Revised: January 2020

PURPOSE

It is the policy of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) in accordance with its obligations pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code to provide individualized accommodation to students with disabilities to enable them to have meaningful access to education services in a manner that respects their dignity, maximizes integration and facilitates the development of independence.

  • The School Board utilizes differentiated programming and evidence-based interventions and strategies to provide meaningful access to education for students who have disability-related needs that impact their learning.
  • The School Board does not provide Guide Dogs, Service Dogs or Service Animals to students.
  • The School Board encourages any family considering the purchase of a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Service Animal to meet with the school principal or superintendent before making a commitment.

This Administrative Procedure identifies the individualized process to be followed when a parent or adult student applies to the School Board to have a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Service Animal accompany the student while the student is attending school or a school-related event.

Pursuant to the Education Act and regulations, a school building is not a place to which the public is customarily admitted. Pursuant to the Education Act and Ontario Regulation 474/00 Access to School Premises, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board requires each school to have a process for visitors.

Any determination of whether a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Service Animal is an appropriate accommodation for a student while receiving education services is a decision of the School Board. A regulated health professional cannot unilaterally prescribe that a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Service Animal be a specific accommodation while the student is receiving education services at school.

When an adult student or parent seeks to have their child attend school or school related events with a Guide Dog / Service Dog, both the Guide Dog / Service Dog and the Student Handler must be certified as having been successfully trained by an accredited training facility.

  • Only in exceptional circumstances subject to the standards of undue hardship pursuant the Human Rights Code, will the School Board consider an application for a student who will not be acting as the primary trained Handler of the Guide Dog / Service Dog.

Only in exceptional circumstances subject to the standards of undue hardship pursuant the Human Rights Code, will the School Board consider Service Animals, other than dogs, as an accommodation for a student and only if other reasonable methods of accommodation in the school setting have been unsuccessful in meeting the demonstrated disability-related learning needs of the student.

Click here to view APH020.