CBC News, Aug. 11, 2015
A woman who wants to study American Sign Language and deaf studies at George Brown College says she’s been denied on-campus housing because of her service dog.
Tracey Bazso needs a service dog because she suffers from a seizure disorder that results in seizures on a weekly basis. If she’s alone, her service dog Dixie steps in.
“She will bark in response to my seizure, and she will go hit a life alert system that I have set up,” says Bazso.
But when she approached housing company Campus Common for a place to live during her upcoming studies, a housing agent had concerns about her dog.
“She saw that I had a guide dog on my application and she said, ‘I don’t know if this is going to be the best situation for you because the room is small and it’s hard to find other people that like having a dog,'” says Bazso.
Baszo says the company first misplaced her forms, and only after she resent them did she hear objections to her service dog.
Last week, when Bazso called the company after not hearing about her room, she says she was told the room was no longer available.
“I was expecting to get the lease in the mail because she had said nothing to me … all my paperwork had been sent in, my finances had been approved,” says Bazso. “All she had to say to me was the dorm, the room wouldn’t be suitable for the dog and other people would be frustrated having her.”
Campus Common says the issue was never Bazso’s service dog.
Instead, a spokesperson says Bazso didn’t get in touch with them soon enough. And when she did, on July 13, was told she had 24 hours to claim a room. The company says she didn’t do so. Bazso says that’s not true.
“I’ve been on the phone with them and been emailing them, like I said, since March and April. So I’m not sure. They’ve never let me know that my forms were wrong,” she says.
George Brown does not offer housing directly. Instead it offers a list of those available like Campus Common.
Its director of student experience says he wasn’t aware of any problems Bazso was having securing housing. He says the college will now step in to help her.