CIIS is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities have equal access to the programs and services available to all students at CIIS, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended (ADAAA). Further, equal access for students with disabilities is fundamental to the mission and educational philosophy of CIIS. 

We encourage you to contact us at any time with questions at

Disability-Related Services

Definition of a Person with a Disability
A student is qualified as “a person with a disability” if they have a diagnosed impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (includes learning). While there is not a finite list of disabilities, representative categories include, but are not limited to: mobility, sensory (hearing or vision), communication, cognitive, learning, chronic illness, injuries, and psychological disabilities.

It is your right to disclose (or not disclose) your disability status to the Office of Student Accessibility Services: Accommodations & Services for Students with Diagnosed Disabilities (OSAS). Any disability-related documentation that you submit to officially register with OSAS will be maintained with confidentiality in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Disability-related Letters of Accommodation to be utilized by faculty and staff will not include your diagnosis. 

NOTE: Only OSAS can certify you & your disability-related accommodations; you must register with OSAS to access accommodations at CIIS.

Documenting a Disability 
To ensure receipt of equal access, students must provide the Office of Student Accessibility Services: Accommodations & Services for Students with Diagnosed Disabilities (OSAS) staff with appropriate documentation of their disability at the time of (or before) accommodations and/or services are requested. 
Appropriate disability-related diagnostic documentation is typically generated by an educational diagnostician, school psychologist/educational psychologist, neurologist, etc. (for learning disabilities, attention disabilities, brain trauma, autism spectrum); a medical doctor, health-related specialist, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or similar (for chronic health disabilities, physical disabilities including sensory disabilities); or a psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, etc.(for psychological disabilities and attention disabilities). 

Registering for Disability-Related Accommodations and/or Services

In order to disclose a diagnosed disability and to initiate a request for disability-related accommodations and/or services, students must register with OSAS and follow the steps as outlined below. Disability-related accommodations and/or services are not retroactive, so OSAS encourages students to register as soon as possible upon admission or enrollment at CIIS. 

Step 1: Visit the Student Affairs SharePoint to access the OSAS registration form.

Step 2: Submit (to: your fully completed OSAS registration form and required disability-related documentation. 
NOTE: Click on the appropriate file below to access disability-related diagnostic requirements.

Step 3: Once your required disability-related documentation and registration form are received, the Director of OSAS will reach out to you to schedule a meeting. We will review your disability-related functional limitations, your equal access needs while at CIIS, and how to coordinate the implementation of your accommodations. 

Service Animal Guidelines

Service Animals are trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of independent living. The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) follows the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADAAA), in defining a Service Animal as: 
A dog that does work or performs tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability (including psychiatric, cognitive, mental). 

Other species of animals whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals except that miniature horses* may be used for the benefit of individuals with disabilities. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability.  
* Miniature Horses are the exception to a Service Animal being “a dog;” limits to the use of a miniature horse may be set based on the horse being: individually trained, handler controlled, housebroken, size/weight in context, and legitimate safety requirements of the specific facility.

Representative examples of work/tasks performed by Service Animals include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks 
  • Assisting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
  • Providing non-violent protection or rescue work
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Assisting before, during, and after a seizure
  • Alerting individuals to the presence of allergens
  • Retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone
  • Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities
  • Helping persons with psychiatric or neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors
  • Opening and closing doors 

Note: Animals that serve solely to provide a crime deterrent effect; or emotional support, comfort, or companionship are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADAAA, 2009). 
If there are any questions as to whether an animal qualifies as a service animal, a determination will be made by the Office of Student Accessibility Services: Accommodations & Services for Student with Diagnosed Disabilities (OSAS). 
As permitted by law, CIIS will make the following inquiries regarding service animal use: 

  • Is the service animal required because of a disability and what are the pertinent manifestations of the condition the service animal fulfills?
  • What work or tasks is the service animal trained to perform in relation to the identified disability?

Eligibility for Maintaining a Service Animal on Campus

The individual with the Service Animal must have a documented disability and must be registered with the Office of Student Accessibility Services: Accommodations & Services for Students with Diagnosed Disabilities. 

Requirements of Service Animals and Their Partners/Handlers

  • Identification & Other Tags: The animal must have tags or some other method of indicating ownership and rabies clearances (as required by local government.) Typically, service animals are fitted with identifying equipment such as a harness, cape, or backpack as is appropriate.
  • Health & Vaccinations: The animal must be clean and in good health; must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. Dogs must have had a general maintenance vaccination series against rabies, distemper, and parvo virus. All vaccinations must be current. Dogs must wear a rabies vaccination tag (as required by local government).
  • Under Control of Partner/Handler: The partner/handler must be in full control of the service animal at all times. Typically, the service animal should be on a leash or in a harness; however, animals that are “voice” controlled are also appropriate.
  • Care and Supervision: The care and supervision of a service animal is the sole responsibility of its partner/handler. The animal must be maintained and used at all times in ways that do not create safety hazards for other people.

Cleanup Rules

  • Partner/handler must always carry equipment and bags sufficient to clean up the animal’s feces.
  • Partner/handler must properly dispose of feces.
  • Persons who are not physically able to pick up and dispose of feces are responsible for making all necessary arrangements for assistance. CIIS is not responsible for these services.

Conditions that Can Lead to a Service Animal Being Required to Leave Campus

  • Disruption: The partner/handler of a Service Animal that is unruly or disruptive (e.g., barking, bringing attention to itself, running around, aggressiveness towards others,) may be asked to remove the animal from CIIS facilities. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the partner/handler may be told not to bring the animal into any CIIS facility until the partner/handler takes significant steps to mitigate the behavior. Mitigation may include muzzling a barking dog or refresher training for both the animal and the partner/handler.
  • Ill Health: Service Animals that are ill should not be taken into public areas. A person with an ill animal may be asked to leave CIIS facilities.
  • Not Following the Registration Requirement: All Service Animals should be registered with the Office of Student Accessibility Services: Disability-Related Accommodations & Services. Failure to register or maintain a Service Animal as required above may subject the partner/handler to fines or refusal by CIIS for the animal to remain on campus.


  • Appropriate disability-related documentation must be submitted to the Office of Student Accessibility Services: Disability-Related Accommodations & Services prior to the first day the Service Animal is brought to campus.
  • A letter with the student’s explanation of the tasks or work the animal has been trained to perform as a disability–related service aid must be submitted.

Assistance Animals

“Assistance Animals” are not defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended (ADAAA). 
Assistance Animals are defined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For some persons with disabilities, an assistance animal may be necessary to afford them equal housing opportunities. In this case it is HUD’s Fair Housing Act, that delineates obligations for housing providers.