North Idaho College Faces ADA Complaint


North Idaho College is being accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by a man who said he was denied the use of his service dog.

"All I wanted to do was go to school," said 58-year-old Anthony Cruz, who filed a complaint with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights.

This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Cruz, who is diagnosed with spinal stenosis, registered for NIC's fall semester and requested to use his service dog. But Cruz told the Press that he was told by college officials that his disability benefit documents were too old and asked for a new doctor's prescription for the service dog.

But the Press reports that federal law makes it illegal for staff to require medical documentation or training documentation for a service dog.

"They can't ask for documents," Virgil Edwards with the Disability Action Center told the Press. "And they not only asked for documentation, but they said it was old."

Edwards told the Press that staff was only allowed to ask two questions about the service animal: whether it is required for a disability and what service the animal provides.

Cruz withdrew from NIC and filed the federal claim.