Disability Resources has policies to address the use of Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and Service Animals. An ESA may reside in college housing when it may be necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy residential housing. 

Before an ESA can move into college housing with a person with a disability, a request must be submitted to Disability Resources and approval must be granted—preferably at least 30 days prior to move in. Refer to details of this policy and application forms in the ESA Policy and Application .

If the disability is not obvious, Disability Resources may require documentation from a licensed physician or mental health provider, such as a qualified psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional, to provide sufficient information for Disability Resources to determine:

  1. That the individual qualifies as a person with a disability (i.e., has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities); and
  2. That the animal may be necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy college housing (i.e., that the animal would provide emotional support or other assistance that would ameliorate one or more symptoms or effects of the disability). 

Send completed forms and documentation to Disability Resources via email to disability.resources@oberlin.edu or by fax to (440) 775-5589.

While ESAs are generally not allowed indoors on Oberlin’s campus other than in college housing, persons with a disability may request approval from Disability Resources to have the support animal accompany them to other areas on campus. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis consistent with applicable laws. 

Specific definitions, policies and procedures concerning ESAs and Support Animals may be found in the following documents: