Document Type


Publication Date



The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990 by President Bush. Although the ADA includes laws about public access rights for people with disabilities and their service animals, many schools are reluctant to have service animals (that are partnered with children with disabilities) included in early childhood classrooms. Teachers that have had experience with working animals in their elementary classrooms have reported many benefits, not only for the student with a disability, but for the other students in the classroom as well. Research on dogs in classrooms has shown potential social, behavioral, and academic improvements in students. However, many parents of children with service animals have reported facing significant challenges when attempting to integrate their child's service animal into their classroom environment. The purpose ofthis study is to examine the experiences of early childhood educators who have had or who may have service animals in their classrooms.