School Allows Epileptic Boy to Have His Service Dog in Class During 3-Week Trial
By Josh Loposer — From pawnation.com January 5, 2011 1,370 1
Twelve-year-old Andrew Stevens and his best friend are looking forward to the start of a new semester. After mediation with the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, Andrew's parents have worked out an arrangement that will allow Andrew and his seizure-alerting service dog, Alaya, to attend classes.
The school's refusal to allow Alaya in class garnered much media coverage including an article in Paw Nation. But after going through mediation with Andrew's father, Angelo Stevens, as well as Alaya's service dog trainer, the school's administration has agreed to a three-week trial period in which the Stevens family can prove that Alaya the service dog can get straight A's in conduct. Andrew's parents will take off work and alternate duties, accompanying Andrew at school over the next few weeks to supervise the adjustment.
"It's definitely a major victory. If even only in a trial setting," Angelo Stevens tells Paw Nation. "It shows that the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] laws apply, and it also shows that we're willing to put in the work."