Service dogs in training now allowed on Texas Tech campus

three people wearing Canine Companions logos

The Canine Companions for Independence service dogs in training are now allowed on the Texas Tech University campus.

KCBD has been following Bleu since January. Bleu, almost a year old, is training to become a service dog through CCI. Her handler, Leah Thye, attends Texas Tech University. Until the fall 2019 semester, Bleu couldn’t come with her. Thye had to file paperwork with the university to get service dogs in training allowed on campus.

Larry Phillippe is Texas Tech University’s Managing Director of Student Disability Services. He explained some of the services they offer students on campus, including accommodations for service dogs.

“The student disability services office is open to any student with any type of disability. What we do is just verify that the student does actually have the disability, then we set them up for all types of accommodations. That can include everything from building access to classroom access to accommodations in the academic classroom: note-taking assistance, things that help them succeed in the classroom,” Phillippe said.

The office is helping a little more than 4,000 students this current semester. Phillippe said that of those, 85 percent of the students they help have a hidden disability.

“The students that we typically think of with disabilities, visually impaired students, hearing impaired students, those with physical mobility impairments, those who use wheelchairs or assistive devices – they actually only make up about 15% of the students that we actually serve,” Phillippe said.

Now there is a CCI group at Tech called ‘The Yellow Caped Raiders.’ They went through the process to apply and get approval to get service dogs in training, like Bleu, to be allowed on campus.

“It’s important for our office to have this kind of interaction with groups like the Canine Companions because we recognize that there’s a severe shortage of well-trained service animals,” Phillippe said. “So it’s very important for us to be able to partner with them and show how we value what they do.”

SOURCE*: KCBD Channel 11, by Julie Castaneda

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