Emotional Support Animal Information

Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

The UCA Disability Resource Center (DRC) provides reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) may be approved while living in on-campus housing on a case-by-case basis when there is a documented need.

Students residing in on-campus living requesting the ESA accommodation must complete a New Student Registration application with the DRC and schedule an appointment.  Students who have not completed the ESA Approval process and are residing in on-campus living with an animal are in violation of UCA Board Policy 414.

Submitting Documentation:

Reasonably supporting documentation consists of diagnosis information from a licensed health care professional (physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or nurse) specific as to the individual with a disability, and information that a relationship or connection between the disability and the need for the assistance animal can alleviate impact of disability.  This is particularly the case where the disability is non-observable, and/or the animal provides therapeutic emotional support.  Students can either upload documentation to the DRC New Student Registration form or fax documentation to our office at 501-450-5664.

Students also have the option of signing a DRC Release to Receive Information allowing DRC staff to fax an Emotional Support Animal Request Form to their qualified professional.  This form must:

  • Be completed by a qualified professional.
  • Be completed as clearly and thoroughly as possible. Incomplete responses and illegible handwriting will require additional follow up that may delay the review process.
  • Be supplemented with any evaluative reports that may provide a more complete understanding of the student. Evaluative reports may include diagnostic reports such as psycho-educational or neuropsychological reports. Please do not provide case notes or rating scales without a narrative that explains the results.
  • Be submitted to the Disability Resource Center. All documentation will be held strictly confidential as a student record. This form may be released at the student’s request.

 ESA Committee Next Step Decision Processes:

Once documentation has been received completed to the DRC, the ESA Committee will meet and review each student request to determine accommodation approval.  The ESA Committee will make a decision within 30 calendar days of receipt of an ESA request on whether an accommodation will be granted.  Please see the information below on the types of decisions below:

Pending Decision Process: The ESA Committee may need additional information from the qualified professional who completed the form for clarification purposes.  An ESA Committee member will contact the qualified professional.  After receiving the updated information, the ESA Committee will move forward to either approve or deny the request.

Approval Decision Process:

Once the ESA Committee has approved the ESA request, the DRC representative to the ESA Committee will notify the student by phone and email.  The student is required to attend an Animal Housing Guidelines Review Meeting.  After review meeting, the student will complete forms needing signature during the appointment and receive copies of all signed forms. The following remaining required document information is to be completed at least 7 days before the animal moves into on-campus housing:

The UCA Housing and Residence Life Animal Ownership Agreement Form must be reviewed, completed, and signed. You must also provide the documentation listed above before the animal is allowed to move into on-campus housing. The Agreement Form includes important information on Standards for approved animals, animal care & guidelines, cleaning and damage, animal liability, areas off limits to animals, removal of animal, conflicting disabilities/roommate, and the complaint process.

  • City of Conway Animal Registration – https://conwayanimalclinic.com/
  • Vaccination certificate/Shot Record showing Rabies Vaccination & Rabies Tag (depending on type of animal)
  • Current color picture of Animal

The Service and Emotional Support Animal Roommate Agreement Form

must completed by each roommate and turned into Housing and Residence Life prior to the animal occupying the assigned space.  Responses on the roommate agreement form may result in a new room assignment for the student and their animal. If a new room assignment is required after housing has been filled for the academic year, students may experience a slight delay in receiving newly assigned living space.  Please be patient with Housing and Residence Life staff during this time as they seek to provide a suitable housing experience for you and your animal.

Denial Decision Process:

The ESA Committee may decide that a requested ESA is not necessary and/or reasonable under the FHA.  Once the ESA committee denies the request, this information will be communicated to the student by phone and email.  The student can choose to appeal the decision and provide additional information to the ESA Committee.  Upon receipt of the appeal, the ESA Committee will reconvene and review all of the relevant information and choose to either grant the appeal, modifying the initial decision, or deny the appeal and maintain the initial decision.  The ESA Committee’s decision shall be final.  If the ESA request is approved after the initial denial decision, the DRC representative will initiate the approval decision process.

Assistance Animals Complaint Form

The Assistance Animals Complaint Form is available to assist with reporting disruptive behavior in regards to a Service Animal or an Emotional Support Animal.  Once the form is completed and submitted, the ESA Committee will meet and make a decision based on the complaint and notify the complainant and offending party.