Housing Accommodation Process for Students with a Disability:

  • Service animal/ Emotional Support Animal, wheelchair accessibility, and all special needs that require an exception to policy
  • Make an appointment to meet with a Disability Coordinator Call (808) 675-3518 or email
  • Submit official documentation of disability and or special needs to Disability Services for initial assessment
  • If deemed eligible for housing accommodations, special need services will send an accommodation letter to Housing Office
  • Coordinate with Housing Office to plan Housing accommodations (Housing then determines feasibility of accommodation).
  • In exception to policy, submit letter of appeal to Disability Coordinator who will submit the letter to the University Disability Coordinator.


To have a service animal, a person must be so impaired as to have a disability. For example, needing glasses for poor vision is an impairment, but being unable to see with or without glasses is a disability. Having a mental illness is an impairment, but being unable to function on a minimal level because of a mental illness is a disability. Service animals are task trained to actually do something which mitigates the person's disability. Their defined function is not to provide emotional support (affection on demand or a security blanket) but to do something the handler cannot do for themselves which allows that handler to overcome or ameliorate an inability to perform major life activities. 

  • Real tasks for PSDs (psychiatric service dogs) include counterbalance/bracing for a handler dizzy from medication, waking the handler on the sound of an alarm when the handler is heavily medicated and sleeps through alarms, doing room searches or turning on lights for persons with PTSD, blocking persons in dissociative episodes from wandering into danger (i.e. traffic), leading a disoriented handler to a designated person or place, and so on.


An emotional support animal provides therapeutic support to a person with a mental health-related disability. They are often referred to as therapy animals, companion animals, or comfort animals by both the public and health professionals.

  • While all animals provide love and emotional support, the designation of emotional support animal is only applicable to animals which have been prescribed by a licensed mental health professional. The mental health professional must document the need for their client to have an emotional support animal, which is typically done in the form of a letter.

For more information about emotional support animals, click here.