UPDATE to Air Access Carrier Act (AACA) 2008

Subpart H. Services on Aircraft. § 382.117.

Must carriers permit passengers with a disability to travel with service animals?

Country of Origin:
United States

Agency of Origin: Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation

National Citation: 14 C.F.R. § 382.117
Agency Citation: Agency Citation

Printible Version

Summary:   This federal regulation states that carriers must permit service animals to accompany passengers with disabilities. The Department of Transportation allows identification of a service animal by the “presence of harnesses, tags, or the credible verbal assurances of a qualified individual with a disability using the animal." While carriers are never required to accommodate certain unusual service animals such as reptiles, ferrets, or spiders, other unusual animals presented as service animals (e.g., miniature horses and monkeys) may accompany passengers if a determination is made by the carrier that their presence would not pose a direct health or safety threat or cause significant disruption. Foreign carriers, however, are not required to carry service animals other than dogs. This federal regulation states that carriers must permit service animals to accompany passengers with disabilities. The Department of Transportation allows identification of a service animal by the “presence of harnesses, tags, or the credible verbal assurances of a qualified individual with a disability using the animal." Foreign carriers, however, are not required to carry service animals other than dogs.

Code of Federal Regulations Currentness. Title 14. Aeronautics and Space. Chapter II. Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation (Aviation Proceedings). Subchapter D. Special Regulations. Part 382. Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel. Subpart H. Services on Aircraft. § 382.117 Must carriers permit passengers with a disability to travel with service animals?

Code of Federal Regulations Currentness. Title 14. Aeronautics and Space. Chapter II. Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation (Aviation Proceedings). Subchapter D. Special Regulations. Part 382. Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel. Subpart H. Services on Aircraft. § 382.117 Must carriers permit passengers with a disability to travel with service animals?
 

(a) As a carrier, you must permit a service animal to accompany a passenger with a disability.

(1) You must not deny transportation to a service animal on the basis that its carriage may offend or annoy carrier personnel or persons traveling on the aircraft.


(2) On a flight segment scheduled to take 8 hours or more, you may, as a condition of permitting a service animal to travel in the cabin, require the passenger using the service animal to provide documentation that the animal will not need to relieve itself on the flight or that the animal can relieve itself in a way that does not create a health or sanitation issue on the flight.


(b) You must permit the service animal to accompany the passenger with a disability at any seat in which the passenger sits, unless the animal obstructs an aisle or other area that must remain unobstructed to facilitate an emergency evacuation.

(c) If a service animal cannot be accommodated at the seat location of the passenger with a disability who is using the animal, you must offer the passenger the opportunity to move with the animal to another seat location, if present on the aircraft, where the animal can be accommodated.

(d) As evidence that an animal is a service animal, you must accept identification cards, other written documentation, presence of harnesses, tags, or the credible verbal assurances of a qualified individual with a disability using the animal.

(e) If a passenger seeks to travel with an animal that is used as an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, you are not required to accept the animal for transportation in the cabin unless the passenger provides you current documentation (i.e., no older than one year from the date of the passenger's scheduled initial flight) on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker) stating the following:

(1) The passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--Fourth Edition (DSM IV);


(2) The passenger needs the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger's destination;


(3) The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional, and the passenger is under his or her professional care; and


(4) The date and type of the mental health professional's license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.


(f) You are never required to accommodate certain unusual service animals (e.g., snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders) as service animals in the cabin. With respect to other unusual or exotic animals that are presented as service animals (e.g., miniature horses, pigs, monkeys), as a U.S. carrier you must determine whether any factors preclude their traveling in the cabin as service animals (e.g., whether the animal is too large or heavy to be accommodated in the cabin, whether the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, whether it would cause a significant disruption of cabin service, whether it would be prohibited from entering a foreign country that is the flight's destination). If no such factors preclude the animal from traveling in the cabin, you must permit it to do so. As a foreign carrier, you are not required to carry service animals other than dogs.

(g) Whenever you decide not to accept an animal as a service animal, you must explain the reason for your decision to the passenger and document it in writing. A copy of the explanation must be provided to the passenger either at the airport, or within 10 calendar days of the incident.

(h) You must promptly take all steps necessary to comply with foreign regulations (e.g., animal health regulations) needed to permit the legal transportation of a passenger's service animal from the U.S. into a foreign airport.

(i) Guidance concerning the carriage of service animals generally is found in the preamble of this rule. Guidance on the steps necessary to legally transport service animals on flights from the U.S. into the United Kingdom is found in 72 FR 8268-8277, (February 26, 2007).

<Text of part effective May 13, 2009.>

SOURCE: 73 FR 27665, May 13, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

AUTHORITY: 49 U.S.C. 41705.

TSA Information for When Traveling with a Service dog.

TSA Information for when Travel with a Service Dog:
 
The following is the latest information from the TSA's website (tsa.gov/servicedogs):
  • If you have a service animal, you are encouraged to inform the Security Officer that the animal accompanying you is a service animal and not a pet. This will provide you with an opportunity to move to the front of the screening line since the Security Officer may need to spend more time with you.
  • It is recommended that persons using an animal for assistance carry appropriate identification. Identification may include: cards or documentation, presence of a harness or markings on the harness, or other credible assurance of the passenger using the animal for their disability.
  • At no time during the screening process will you be required to be separated from your service animal.
  • Security Officers have been trained not to communicate, distract, interact, play, feed, or pet service animals.
  • The Security Officer should ask permission before touching your service animal or its belongings.
  • You must assist with the inspection process by controlling the service animal while the Security Officer conducts the inspection. You are required to maintain control of the animal in a manner that ensures the animal cannot harm the Security Officer.
  • If you need to leave the secure boarding area to relieve your animal, you must undergo the full screening process again. Inform the Security Officer upon your return to the security checkpoint and she/him will move you to the front of the screening line to expedite the screening process.

Service Dogs

  • Advise the Security Officer how you and your dog can best achieve screening when going through the metal detector as a team (i.e., whether walking together or with the service dog walking in front of or behind you).
  • If the walk through metal detector alarms in the situation where you and your service dog have walked together, both you and the dog must undergo additional screening.
  • If the walk through metal detector alarms on either you or your service dog individually (because you walked through separately), additional screening must be conducted on whoever alarmed the walk through metal detector.
  • If your service dog alarms the walk through metal detector, the Security Officer will ask your permission and assistance before they touch you service dog and its belongings. The Security Officer will then perform a physical inspection of your dog and its belongings (collar, harness, leash, backpack, vest, etc.) The belongings will not be removed from your dog at any time.
Note: All prices in US Dollars
FAQ about Service, Assistance and Therapy Dogs




Americans with Disabilities Act 2010

http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleII_2010/reg2_2010.html

"Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition."

Changes implemented as of March 15, 2011

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issued regulations in 1991 to permit the use of a service animals in public. This required modifications in policies in such places as restaurants, hotels, retail establishments, theaters and concert halls. In short, this meant that service animals accompanying persons with disabilities had to be admitted in places that otherwise had policies excluding pets or other animals.

At that time, 20 years ago, most service animals were "seeing eye" dogs that assisted visually impaired individuals. For the most part, guide dogs for the blind were highly-trained, unlikely to create a nuisance or a sanitary  problem and to sighted individuals, were obviously providing service to their visually impaired handler. Over time, not only did the function of service animals expand to include assistance for a variety of both visible and invisible disabilities, so too did the number of species being used by people in the name of service. These included pigs, cats, horses,monkeys, snakes, lizards, birds and rodents.

As more and more people were using more and more animals in the context of service work, it became apparent that some changes were necessary. The proliferation of service animals in public settings, some whose poor  manners posed obvious problems in public in terms of safety, sanitation and disturbance of others, was becoming a hot button issue for proprietors of retail businesses.

Until now, however, retailers were largely  powerless to bar these types of animals from their establishments.

The U.S. Justice Department has issued new regulations effective March 15,2011. Not only will these new regulations substantially limit the types of animals that will qualify as service animals under the ADA to dogs (and miniature horses in some cases), but they help clarify the different definitions and legal entitlements between service dogs and emotional support dogs.

Service dogs' tasks include the following examples:

*   assisting sight-impaired persons with navigation or other tasks;

*   alerting hearing-impaired persons to the presence of people or sounds;

*   providing non-violent protection or rescue work;

*   pulling a wheelchair;

*   assisting an individual during a seizure;

*   alerting an individual to the presence of allergens;

*   retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone;

*   providing physical support /assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility impairments; and

*   helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

Emotional Support Dogs (ESD) are dogs who provide emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship. Wonderful qualities, for sure, but they do not constitute task specific functions and so, under these new definitions, are NOT service dogs. In short, animals that provide only comfort or emotional support for their owners will no longer qualify as service animals.

For  a dog to qualify as a psychiatric service dog (PSD) for an owner with a psychiatric disability under the new regulations, the dog must be trained to perform specific work or tasks. Examples include reminding the handler to take medicine, providing safety checks or room  searches for persons with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), interrupting  self-mutilation, and removing disoriented individuals from dangerous  situations. If a dog is used to "ground" a person with a psychiatric disorder, this qualifies as a service animal if the dog has been trained 1) to recognize that a person is  about to have a   psychiatric episode, and 2) to respond by nudging, barking or removing the person to a safe location until the episode subside. Note that dogs trained to provide aggressive protection (i.e., attack dogs) will NOT qualify as a service dog.

Other important highlights of the new law:

Dog must be under control of handler and show appropriate manners (housebroken, in control and unless prohibitive to function,  on a harness, leash or other tether).

If an individual with a disability is asked to remove a service animal from the premises if the animal is neither housebroken or in control, the person with a disability must still be permitted to access the establishment's goods, services or accommodations without the  animal being present.

Public accommodation is not responsible  for the care or supervision of a service  animal.

As to the nature or extent of a person's disability, the public may make 2 inquiries to determine whether the animal qualifies as a service animal (but expected not to if by observation it is obvious the dog is providing function):

1) it may ask if the animal is required  because of a disability, and

2) what work or task the animal has been trained to  perform.

The public may NOT require documentation, such as proof that the  animal has been certified, trained or licensed as a service animal. Nor may a public accommodation require a person with a disability to pay a surcharge for a service animal, even if it applies such a surcharge for  pets.


Note that these Federal Laws do NOT apply to landlords or airlines. These entities are governed by the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act, respectively.

In sum, these new regulations give long-needed clarity to hotels, restaurants,  retailers and other public accommodations regarding which animals must be allowed as service animals, and under what circumstances.

This important information should be on hand for anyone interested in keeping current on Federal regulations as they pertain to service dogs.

American with Disabilties Act


http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm

 Section that deals with Service animals

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/svcabrs3.pdf

Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA Business BRIEF: Service Animals
Service animals are animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. Service animals are working animals, not pets. 

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. This federal law applies to all businesses open to the public, including restaurants, hotels, taxis and shuttles, grocery and department stores, hospitals and medical offices, theaters, health clubs, parks, and zoos.

Caption: Businesses that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to enter with their service animal.

Businesses may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but cannot require special ID cards for the animal or ask about the person's disability.
  • People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be charged extra fees, isolated from other patrons, or treated less favorably than other patrons. However, if a business such as a hotel normally charges guests for damage that they cause, a customer with a disability may be charged for damage caused by his or her service animal.
  • A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the animal is out of control and the animal's owner does not take effective action to control it (for example, a dog that barks repeatedly during a movie) or (2) the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
  • In these cases, the business should give the person with the disability the option to obtain goods and services without having the animal on the premises.
  • Businesses that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.
  • A business is not required to provide care or food for a service animal or provide a special location for it to relieve itself.
  • Allergies and fear of animals are generally not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people with service animals.
  • Violators of the ADA can be required to pay money damages and penalties.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SERVICE ANIMALS
IN PLACES OF BUSINESS

Q: What are the laws that apply to my business?

A: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), privately owned businesses that serve the public, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, taxicabs, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The ADA requires these businesses to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed.

Q: What is a service animal?

A: The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.

Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. "Seeing eye dogs" are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include:

_____Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.

_____ Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.

_____Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.



Q: How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?

A: Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability. However, an individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying documentation of his or her medical condition or disability. Therefore, such documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal. Although a number of states have programs to certify service animals, you may not insist on proof of state certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability.

Q: What must I do when an individual with a service animal comes to my business?

A: The service animal must be permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. An individual with a service animal may not be segregated from other customers.

Q: I have always had a clearly posted "no pets" policy at my establishment. Do I still have to allow service animals in?

A: Yes. A service animal is not a pet. The ADA requires you to modify your "no pets" policy to allow the use of a service animal by a person with a disability. This does not mean you must abandon your "no pets" policy altogether but simply that you must make an exception to your general rule for service animals.

Q: My county health department has told me that only a seeing eye or guide dog has to be admitted. If I follow those regulations, am I violating the ADA?

A: Yes, if you refuse to admit any other type of service animal on the basis of local health department regulations or other state or local laws. The ADA provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and so it takes priority over the local or state laws or regulations.

Q: Can I charge a maintenance or cleaning fee for customers who bring service animals into my business?

A: No. Neither a deposit nor a surcharge may be imposed on an individual with a disability as a condition to allowing a service animal to accompany the individual with a disability, even if deposits are routinely required for pets. However, a public accommodation may charge its customers with disabilities if a service animal causes damage so long as it is the regular practice of the entity to charge non-disabled customers for the same types of damages. For example, a hotel can charge a guest with a disability for the cost of repairing or cleaning furniture damaged by a service animal if it is the hotel's policy to charge when non-disabled guests cause such damage.

Q: I operate a private taxicab and I don't want animals in my taxi; they smell, shed hair and sometimes have "accidents." Am I violating the ADA if I refuse to pick up someone with a service animal?

A: Yes. Taxicab companies may not refuse to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Private taxicab companies are also prohibited from charging higher fares or fees for transporting individuals with disabilities and their service animals than they charge to other persons for the same or equivalent service.


Q: Am I responsible for the animal while the person with a disability is in my business?

A: No. The care or supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her owner. You are not required to provide care or food or a special location for the animal.

Q: What if a service animal barks or growls at other people, or otherwise acts out of control?

A: You may exclude any animal, including a service animal, from your facility when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, any service animal that displays vicious behavior towards other guests or customers may be excluded. You may not make assumptions, however, about how a particular animal is likely to behave based on your past experience with other animals. Each situation must be considered individually.

Although a public accommodation may exclude any service animal that is out of control, it should give the individual with a disability who uses the service animal the option of continuing to enjoy its goods and services without having the service animal on the premises.

Q: Can I exclude an animal that doesn't really seem dangerous but is disruptive to my business?

A: There may be a few circumstances when a public accommodation is not required to accommodate a service animal--that is, when doing so would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the business. Generally, this is not likely to occur in restaurants, hotels, retail stores, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities. But when it does, for example, when a dog barks during a movie, the animal can be excluded.



If you have further questions about service animals or other requirements of the ADA, you may call the U.S. Department of Justice's toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or
800-514-0383 (TDD).



DUPLICATION OF THIS DOCUMENT IS ENCOURAGED.

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Behavior & Training for All Service dog animals

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING STANDARDS FOR ALL SERVICE ANIMALS

For over 75 years, assistance dogs have worked successfully in public and won the public's acceptance by achieving high behavioral and training standards, which set them apart from pets and other animals.

In order to assure the comfort and safety of people with disabilities AND the general public, high behavioral and training standards must apply equally to all service animals. We suggest that all service animals intended for use in public, regardless of species, be required to meet the same standards required of dogs specifically trained to assist people with disabilities. We are not proposing to disallow other species from service work. Any animal that can meet the existing standards for behavior, training, cleanliness and public appropriateness may be allowed to work in public when accompanied by the person for who's disability it was specifically trained.

These standards include:

PUBLIC APPROPRIATENESS:

  • Animal is clean and does not have a foul odor.
  • Animal does not urinate or defecate in inappropriate locations.

BEHAVIOR:

  • Animal shall not make unsolicited contact with members of the general public.
  • Animal's conduct does not disrupt the normal course of business.
  • Animal works without unnecessary vocalization.
  • Animal shows no aggression toward people or other animals.
  • Animal does not solicit or steal food or other items from the general public.

TRAINING:

  • Animal is specifically trained to perform more than one task to mitigate (lessen) the effects of its partner's disability; said disability being any condition as described by and covered under the ADA that substantially impairs one or more major life functions.
  • Animal obeys the commands of its handler.
  • Animal works calmly and quietly on a harness, leash or other tether.
  • Animal has been specifically trained to perform its duties in public and is accustomed to being out in public.
  • Animal must be able to lie quietly beside the handler without blocking aisles, doorways, etc.
  • Animal is trained to urinate or defecate on command
  • Animal stays within 24" of its handler at all times unless the nature of a trained task requires it to be working at a greater distance. 

Service Dogs

Service (or assistance) dogs are dogs used to help a person with a disability. Guide dogs for the blind are one kind of service dog as are hearing dogs and mobility dogs. Service dogs can be used for many disabilities both visible and hidden, physical or pychiatric. Service dogs enable their disabled partners to live a more fullfilling and normal life. Service dogs may be aquired from an agency that trains them for such a purpose or the disabled individual may select and train their own (or pay someone to train them). There is no special breed that must be used though Labradors,German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are many agencies favorites- but as long as they are of suitable temperment and physical/mental ability and can do the job, they may be a service dog. Lets look at what the law says concerning service dogs. To use a service dog the very first test is that the person must be disabled. This is what the law says-

"(2) Disability.--The term "disability" means, with respect to an individual-- (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment. "Here is some further guidence on this-

"Physical or mental impairment. Under the first test, an individual must have a physical or mental impairment. As explained in paragraph (1)(i) of the definition, "impairment" means any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs (which would include speech organs that are not respiratory such as vocal cords, soft palate, tongue, etc.); respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine. It also means any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. This list closely tracks the one used in the regulations for section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (see, e.g., 45 CFR 84.3(j)(2)(i)).

"Test 1- Substantial limitation of a major life activity. Under Test A, the impairment must be one that "substantially limits a major life activity." Major life activities include such things as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. A person is considered an individual with a disability for purposes of Test A, the first prong of the definition, when the individual's important life activities are restricted as to the conditions, manner, or duration under which they can be performed in comparison to most people. A person with a minor, trivial impairment, such as a simple infected finger, is not impaired in a major life activity. A person who can walk for 10 miles continuously is not substantially limited in walking merely because, on the eleventh mile, he or she begins to experience pain, because most people would not be able to walk eleven miles without experiencing some discomfort The question of whether a temporary impairment is a disability must be resolved on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration both the duration (or expected duration) of the impairment and the extent to which it actually limits a major life activity of the affected individual. The question of whether a person has a disability should be assessed without regard to the availability of mitigating measures, such as reasonable modifications or auxiliary aids and services. For example, a person with hearing loss is substantially limited in the major life activity of hearing, even though the loss may be improved through the use of a hearing aid. Likewise, persons with impairments, such as epilepsy or diabetes, that substantially limit a major life activity, are covered under the first prong of the definition of disability, even if the effects of the impairment are controlled by medication.

Test 2 -- A record of such an impairment This test is intended to cover those who have a record of an impairment. As explained in paragraph (3) of the rule's definition of disability, this includes a person who has a history of an impairment that substantially limited a major life activity, such as someone who has recovered from an impairment. It also includes persons who have been misclassified as having an impairment. This provision is included in the definition in part to protect individuals who have recovered from a physical or mental impairment that previously substantially limited them in a major life activity. Discrimination on the basis of such a past impairment is prohibited. Frequently occurring examples of the first group (those who have a history of an impairment) are persons with histories of mental or emotional illness, heart disease, or cancer; examples of the second group (those who have been misclassified as having an impairment) are persons who have been misclassified as having mental retardation or mental illness.

Test 3 -- Being regarded as having such an impairment This test, as contained in paragraph (4) of the definition, is intended to cover persons who are treated by a public entity as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. It applies when a person is treated as if he or she has an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, regardless of whether that person has an impairment.


So we see who is allowed to use a service dog in the first place- regardless of age or any other factors other then those stated, but this is not enough, now we must look to the dog. This is what the law says about the dog itself-
Sec.36.104 Definitions Service animal means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.

As we see, an animal must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Individually trained, all agree, must include obediance training so that the dog behaves appropriately in public settings. This is a test that many agencies use to test the readiness of a dog for public access situations- I recommend that a person training their own dog, train it to these standards. Also some use the CGC (Canine Good Citizen)to test their dogs and It is also recommend this test as a guide. As for specific tasks to help a person with their disability, that is up to the agency and/or the disabled individual but the animal MUST be "trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability" so there must be some kind of work or tasks beyond the obediance in my opinion, obediance is an important part but in my opinion not enough. Certification by any person, state, government or agency is NOT required for access, but may be for special privilages over and beyond what the ADA allows.

There are several federal laws which protect the right of a disabled individual to be accompanied by a service dog (see the list to the left)), as for service dogs in training, there is no federal protection. Whether or not a state allows for a service dog in training is up to the state itself. Other animals beyond dogs MAY be used as long as they are individually trained to assist their disabled owner. It is similarly a federal crime to fraudulantly represent yourself as a disabled individual (or working on a disabled individuals behalf)to gain access with an animal trained or not.

There are several states which have penal regulations which prescribe it illegal and a penalty for interferring with or harming a service animal which can include fines and/or jail time. It is also a felony under the existing rules to steal a service dog as a basically trained service dog that is fully ready for public access is worth far over the misdemeanor level as far as monetary worth goes- akin to stealing a car.

Any advice to those who wish to train their own dogs- It is advisable to first document that you are disabled by whatever means possible (dr, social security, therapists) the more, the better. Identify what your symptoms are and how your dog helps with those...or make a strategic plan on what tasks you plan to train your dog. Know the laws concerning service dogs and make sure you are following them. A letter from a dr (or other healthcare professional) stating your need for a service dog is most helpful...

What are Service Animals?

Types of Assistance/Service Dogs

Types of Assistance Dogs

Service Dog - Assistant Dog that can perform a variety of tasks such as retrieve items, open doors, help a person dress, or push buttons for its handler.  Service Dog is a general term that can be used for many types of assistance dogs.

Guide Dog – Assistant Dog that assists an individual that has a vision impairment.

Mobility Dog – Assistant Dog may retrieve items, open doors or even push buttons for its handler.  Also, this Service Animal may assist people with disabilities with walking, balance and transferring from place to place.

Hearing Dog – Assistant Dog that will alert its handler with a hearing loss to sounds.  This can be telephone, door bell, smoke alarm, crying baby and more.

Seizure Alert Dog - Assistant Dog that alerts its handler to oncoming seizures and is trained to respond to that seizures. (Can be known as Medical Alert Dog)

Seizure Response Dog – Assistance Dog that responds to its handler after a seizure has occurred by helping and or getting help from others.

Medical Alert Dog – Assistant Dog that is trained to alert to oncoming medical conditions, or attend its handler in the event of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.

 Autism Service Dog – Assistance Dog that is trained to alert its handler of certain behaviors so that the handler may keep these behaviors to a minimum. This dog provides stability and the dog’s presence offers a calming influence and provides focus. Abstract and concrete thinking advance, focus improves, and the length of attention span increases.  The important role of an autism service dog is affording the individual more independence and autonomy, helping those individuals become a viable part of the community.

Psychiatric Service Dog:  Assistant dog that works with a handler that has a mental disability.  Some types of tasks could be to attend a handler who may need a dog to be able to go out in public (agoraphobic), or a handler who suffers from . panic attacks, anxiety attack, PTS (post traumatic stress) or other mental disorders.  These dogs are trained NEVER to leave their handler's side

Breakdown of ADA changes March 15, 2011

Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals: Where are they allowed and under what conditions?

I. Introduction

Individuals with disabilities may use service animals and emotional support animals for a variety of reasons. This guide provides an overview of how major Federal civil rights govern the rights of a person requiring a service animal. These laws, including how to file a complaint, are listed in the last section of this publication.

To find out more about service animals or how these laws may apply to you, contact your ADA Technical Assistance Center at 1-800-949-4232 (V/TTY).

II. Service Animal Defined by Title II and Title III of the ADA

Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Emotional support, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, train or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks perform by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. It does not matter if a person has a note from a doctor that states that the person has a disability and needs to have the animal for emotional support. A doctor’s letter does not turn an animal into a service animal.

Examples:

  • is a carefully trained dog that serves as a travel tool for persons with severe visual impairments or who are blind.Dog Guide, or Seeing Eye®1 Dog 
  • Hearing, or Signal Dog is a dog that has been trained to alert a person with significant hearing loss or who is deaf when a sound, e.g., knocks on the door, occurs.
  • Psychiatric Service Dog can be trained to perform a variety of tasks that assist individuals with disabilities to detect the onset of psychiatric episodes and ameliorate their effects. Tasks performed by psychiatric service animals may include reminding the handler to take medicine; providing safety checks, or room searches, or turning on lights for persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; interrupting self-mutilation by persons with dissociative identity disorders; and keeping disoriented individuals from danger.
  • SsigDog is a dog trained to assist a person with autism. The dog alerts the handler to distracting repetitive movements common among those with autism, allowing the person to stop the movement (e.g., hand flapping).
  • Seizure Response Dog is a dog trained to assist a person with a seizure disorder.  How the dog serves the person depends on the person's needs. The dog may stand guard over the person during a seizure, or the dog may go for help. A few dogs have learned to predict a seizure and warn the person in advance.

Services animals are limited to dogs; however, reasonable modifications in policies must also be made to allow individuals with disabilities to use miniature horses if they have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities.

III. Other Support Animals

  • are often used as part of a medical treatment plan as therapy animals. These animals provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with depression and certain phobias, but do not perform tasks that assist people with disabilities. Theyto assist the person’s disability like service animals.Emotional Support Animals or Comfort Animals  do not have special training 
  • Therapy Animals are not legally defined by federal law, but some states have laws defining therapy animals. These animals provide people with therapeutic contact, usually in a clinical setting, to improve their physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning as well as being a motivation tool. They are not limited to working with people with a disability. Federal laws have no provisions for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have "no pets" policies.

IV. Handler’s Responsibilities

The care and supervision of the service animal is the responsibility of the handler. Disregard of this care and supervision may result in the handler’s rights being denied.

  • An entity may deny access to a service animal whose behavior is unacceptable or in situations in which the person with a disability is not in control of the animal. Uncontrolled barking, jumping on other people, or running away from the handler are examples of unacceptable behavior for a service animal. A business has the right to deny access to a dog that disrupts their business. For example, a service dog that barks and disrupts another patron’s enjoyment of the movie could be asked to leave. Businesses, airlines, public programs and transportation providers may exclude a service animal when the animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. If a service animal is growling at other shoppers at a grocery store, the handler may be asked to remove the animal. Note: A decision cannot be based on the notion that an animalthreaten the safety of others, nor can the decision be based on a business person’s assumptions or bad experiences with other animals. Each service animal must be considered individually. might 
  • A service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler's control using voice control, signals, or other effective means.2
  • The animal must be housebroken.3
  • Service animal handlers must clean up after the animal, unless they are unable to do so because of a disability.
  • Service animals must be clean. Daily grooming and occasional baths may be required to keep animal odor to a minimum. Adequate flea prevention and control may be required.
  • Service animals must be in good health.
  • A handler may be required to show that the animal has a license required for all animals by a particular state or local law. Proof that the animal is current on all vaccinations required by law, such as rabies vaccinations, may also be required.
  • An entity may also assess the type, size, and weight of a miniature horse in determining whether or not the horse will be allowed access to the facility.

V.         Handler’s Rights

Public Facilities and Accommodations

Service animals are allowed in public facilities and accommodations. A service animal must be allowed to accompany the handler to any place in the building or facility where members of the public, program participants, customers, or clients are allowed to be. Even if the business or a public program has a “no pets” policy, it may not deny entry to a person with a service animal. Service animals are not pets. So, although a “no pets” policy is perfectly legal, it does not allow a business to exclude service animals.

When a person enters with a service animal, a public facility or place of public accommodation cannot ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability, but may ask two questions only - if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. A public accommodation may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. Generally, a public accommodation may not ask even those two questions when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. For example, the questions may not be asked if the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person’s wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability.4

A place of public accommodation shall not ask or require an individual with a disability to pay a surcharge, even if people accompanied by pets are required to pay fees, or to comply with other requirements generally not applicable to people without pets. If a public accommodation normally charges individuals for the damage they cause, an individual with a disability may be charged for damage caused by his or her service animal.5

Employment

These laws prohibit employment discrimination because of a disability. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation. Allowing an individual with a disability to have a service animal or an emotional support animal accompany them to work may be considered an accommodation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has never defined service animals.6 In the case of a service animal or an emotional support animal, if the disability is not obvious and/or the reason the animal is needed is not clear then documentation may be required to establish the existence of a disability and how the animal helps the individual perform their job.

Individuals who want to bring emotional support or therapy animals will face a greater hurdle in establishing that they need their animal at work. It will not be enough for them to present a prescription or a letter from their doctor stating that they require the animal in the workplace. They will have to describe in detail how the presence of the animal would help the employee in performing job tasks and be prepared to explain how the animal is trained to behave in the workplace. A person seeking such an accommodation may suggest that the employer permit the animal to accompany them to work on a trial basis.

Both service and emotional support animals may be excluded from the workplace if they pose an undue hardship in the workplace or misbehave (for example, a dog that disrupts the workplace with its constant barking).

Housing

Housing providers (landlords and homeowners’ associations) must make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when necessary so that a person with a disability has the equal opportunity to use and enjoy the housing.7 This is the key provision in the laws that cover housing. The laws do not provide a specific definition of the term ‘‘service animal.’’ So the use of service animals, support animals, or therapy animals, is governed by the reasonable accommodation provision of the law.

The definition of housing discrimination includes the refusal to grant “reasonable accommodation in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.”8 Waiving a no-pet rule to allow a person with a disability to have the assistance of a service animal, or an emotional support animal, constitutes a reasonable accommodation. Courts have found that landlords must use “a flexible standard, based on the needs of the particular tenant” when responding to a request for a reasonable accommodation.9

Inquiries into the existence, nature and extent of disabilities are prohibited when application is made for housing. However, an individual with a disability who requests a reasonable accommodation may be asked to provide documentation so that the landlord or homeowners’ association can properly review the accommodation request.10 They can ask a person to certify, in writing, (1) that the tenant or a member of his or her family is a person with a disability; (2) the need of the animal to assist the person with that specific disability; and (3) the animal actually assists the person with a disability.11

Education

Service animals in public schools (K-12)

Students who utilize service animals are generally allowed to have the animal with them while at school under IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The decision about whether and how the service animal accompanies the student rests with the IEP (Individual Education Plan) Team or the IAP (Section 504) Committee.

An important factor in determining whether the service animal can stay with a student is the student’s ability to handle and control the animal. This is not generally an issue in middle school or high school, but it is often an issue in elementary school. The school may require the child/handler to be in control of the animal at all times, and to be responsible for the animal’s care and supervision. Students who utilize service animals must clean up after the animal, unless they are unable to do so because of a disability.

Emotional support animals, therapy animals, and companion animals are seldom allowed to accompany students in public schools. This determination, however, should be made on a case-by-case basis by the IEP Team or the Section 504 Committee.

Service animals in post secondary education settings

Colleges and universities must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility that are open to the public or to students.

Students who use a service animal may be required to contact the school’s Disability Services Coordinator to register as a student with a disability. The Coordinator will evaluate the student’s documentation of disability and discuss appropriate accommodations, including the assistance of a service animal. Higher education entities must not require any sort of documentation regarding the training or certification of any service animal, but they may require proof that the service animal is licensed, and has required vaccinations, in compliance with state or local laws that apply to all animals.

Transportation

A person traveling with a service animal cannot be denied access to transportation, even if there is a “no pets” policy. In addition, the person with a service animal cannot be forced to sit in a particular spot; no additional fees can be charged because the person uses a service animal; and the customer does not have to provide advance notice that s/he will be traveling with a service animal.

The laws apply to both public and private transportation providers and include subways, fixed route buses, Para transit, rail, and light rail, taxicabs, shuttles and limousine services.

Air Travel

Service and emotional support animals are both allowed on airplanes, however, individuals who travel with emotional support animals may have to provide much more documentation to establish that they have a disability and the reason the animal must travel with them.

For a service animal, air carriers should accept identifiers such as identification cards, written documentation, presence of harnesses, tags or the credible verbal assurances of a qualified individual with a disability using the animal as evidence that an animal is a service animal. If airline personnel are uncertain that an animal is a service animal, they may ask the person with the animal:

  • What tasks or functions does your animal perform for you? or
  • What has your animal been trained to do for you? or
  • Would you describe how the animal performs this task for you?12

For emotional support and psychiatric service animals, airlines may require “Current documentation (not more than one year old) on letterhead from a licensed mental health professional stating (1) that the passenger has a mental health-related disability listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV); (2) that having the animal accompany the passenger is necessary to the passenger's mental health or treatment; (3) that the individual providing the assessment of the passenger is a licensed mental health professional and the passenger is under his or her professional care; and (4) the date and type of the mental health professional's license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.”13 This documentation may be required as a condition of permitting the animal to accompany the passenger in the cabin.

Animals such as miniature horses, pigs, and monkeys may be considered service animals. A carrier must determine whether there are any factors which preclude the animal from traveling in the cabin. Factors to consider are the animal's size, weight, state and foreign country restrictions, and whether or not the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or cause a fundamental alteration in the cabin service.14

Airlines are not required to transport unusual service animals such as snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders. Foreign carriers are not required to transport animals other than dogs.15

VI.        Reaction/Response of Others

If employees, fellow travelers, or customers are afraid of service animals, a solution may be to allow that person to avoid getting close to the service animal.

Most allergies to animals are caused by direct contact with the animal. A separate space might be adequate to avoid allergic reactions.

If an employee is allergic to an animal to the extent that it may pose a direct threat to their health and safety, then the employer must investigate ways to accommodate both employees.

VII.       Service Animals in Training

Air Travel

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) requires airlines to allow service animals and emotional support animals to accompany their handlers in the cabin of the aircraft, but airlines are not required otherwise to carry animals of any kind either in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Airlines are free to adopt any policy they choose regarding the carriage of pets and other animals (for example, search and rescue dogs) provided that they comply with other applicable requirements (for example, the Animal Welfare Act). Although "service animals in training" are not pets, the ACAA does not include them, because "in training" status indicates that they do not yet meet the legal definition of service animal. However, like pet policies, airline policies regarding service animals in training vary. Some airlines permit qualified trainers to bring service animals in training aboard an aircraft for training purposes. Trainers of service animals should consult with airlines, and become familiar with their policies.

Employment

In the employment setting, employers may be obligated to permit employees to bring their service-animal-in-training into the workplace as a reasonable accommodation, especially if the animal is being trained to assist the employee with work-related tasks. The untrained animal may be excluded, however, if it becomes a workplace disruption or causes an undue hardship in the workplace.

Several states have laws addressing service animals in training and when they should be allowed access.

VII.       Enforcement

Public Facilities and Accommodations

Title II of the ADA covers state and local government facilities, activities, and programs. Title III of the ADA covers places of public accommodations. Complaints for both Title II and Title III can be direct to the U.S. Department of Justice, or through private lawsuits in federal court.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act covers federal government facilities, activities, and programs. It also covers the entities that receive federal funding. Section 504 complaints must be made to the specific federal agency that oversees the program or funding.

Employment

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibit discrimination in employment. The ADA covers private employers with 15 or more employees; Section 501 applies to federal agencies, and Section 504 applies to any program or entity receiving federal financial assistance.

Workers with disabilities must file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days of an alleged violation of the ADA.  This deadline may be extended to 300 days if there is a state or local fair employment practices agency that also has jurisdiction over this matter.16 Federal employees must contact their agency’s EEO officer within 45 days of an alleged Section 501 violation. Complainants under Section 504 may file a complaint with the federal agency that funded the employer.

Housing

The Fair Housing Act (FHA), as amended in 1988 applies to private housing. 
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all housing programs and activities that are either conducted by the federal government or receive federal financial assistance.  The concept of reasonable accommodation in this Act served as the model for the Fair Housing Act.  Title II of the ADA applies to housing provided by state or local governmental entities.

Housing complaints may be filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

Education

Students with disabilities in public schools (K-12) are covered by Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and/or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Students with disabilities in post-secondary education are covered by Title II and Section 504.

IDEA

Parents can request a due process hearing and a review from the state educational agency if applicable in that state. They also can appeal the state agency's decision to state or federal court. For more information, contact:

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-7100

Title II of the ADA and Section 504

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Education enforces the ADA and Section 504 as they apply to education. Those who have had access denied due to a service animal may file a complaint with OCR or file a private lawsuit in federal court.

An OCR complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the date of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended for good cause. Prior to filing an OCR complaint against an institution, a potential complainant may want to find out about the institution’s grievance process and use that process to have the complaint resolved. However, a complainant is not required by law to use the institutional grievance process before filing a complaint with OCR. If a complainant uses an institutional grievance process and then chooses to file the complaint with OCR, the complaint must be filed with OCR within 60 days after the last act of the institutional grievance process.

Transportation

Title II of the ADA applies to public transportation while Title III of the ADA applies to transportation provided by private entities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act applies to federal entities and recipients of federal funding that provide transportation.

Complaints about public transportation, including federally-funded transportation, may be filed with the Federal Transit Administration’s Office for Civil Rights. Complaints about private transportation providers may be filed with the Department of Justice. A person does not have to file a complaint with the respective federal agency before filing a lawsuit in federal court.

Air Travel

The Air Carrier Access Act covers airlines. The regulations were updated, effective May 13 of 2009, and clarify what animals are considered service animals and delineate how each type of animal should be treated.

ACAA complaints may be submitted to the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division. Complaints may be submitted on-line or using the paper complaint form and sending it to:

Aviation Consumer Protection Division
Attn: C-75-D
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, D.C. 20590


1. http://www.seeingeye.org/

2. 28 C.F.R. 36.302(c)(4).

3. 28 C.F.R. 36.302(c)(2).

4. 28 C.F.R. 36.302(c)(6).

5. 28 C.F.R. 36.302(c)(8).

6 29 CFR 1630.16. The EEOC, in the Interpretive Guidance accompanying the regulations, stated that guide dogs may be an accommodation…”For example, it would be a reasonable accommodation for an employer to permit an individual who is blind to use a guide dog at work, even though the employer would not be required to provide a guide dog for the employee.”

7.  42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(B).

8. 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(B).

9. See Bronk v. Inichen, 54 F.3d 425, 428-429 (7th Cir. 1995).

10. Hawn v. Shoreline Towers Phase 1 Condominium Association, Inc., 347 Fed.Appx. 464 (11th Cir. 2009).

11. See Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 208, Pg. 63834 and United States. (2004). Reasonable Accommodations Under The Fair Housing Act: Joint Statement of The Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Justice. Washington, D.C: U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Dept. of Justice [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 08/27/2010 fromhttp://www.justice.gov/crt/housing/jointstatement_ra.php.

12. Federal Register, Vol. 68, No. 90, Pg. 24875.

13. 14 C.F.R. § 382.117(e)

14. 14 C.F.R. § 382.117(f).

15. Id.

16 42 U.S.C. § 12117(a); 42 U.S.C. §2000e–5(e)(1).

Public Places Fed & WI State Laws

PUBLIC PLACES Federal and Wisconsin State Laws

Federal Law - The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)

Section 36.302(c) of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires public accommodations generally to modify policies, practices, and procedures to accommodate the use of service

animals in places of public accommodation.

Service animal means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to

guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

NOTE: Nothing in this Section requires a public accommodation to supervise or care for a service animal.

Place of public accommodation means a facility, operated by a private entity, whose operations affect commerce and fall within at least one of the following categories:

Places of lodging

• Establishments serving food or drink

• Places of exhibition or entertainment

• Places of public gathering

• Sales or rental establishments

• Service establishments

• Stations used for specified public transportation

• Places of public display or collection

• Places of recreation

• Places of education

• Social service center establishments

• Places of exercise or recreation

Places that are NOT covered under the ADA and to whom you would need to discuss bringing your Service Dog:

_ Religious entity: Section 36.102(e) of the rule states that the rule does not apply to any religious entity. The ADA's exemption of religious organizations and religious entities controlled by religious organizations is very broad, encompassing a wide variety of situations. Religious organizations and entities controlled by religious organizations have no obligations under the ADA. Even when a religious organization carries out activities that would otherwise make it a public accommodation, the religious organization is exempt from ADA coverage. Thus, if a church itself operates a day care center, a nursing home, a private school, or a diocesan school system, the operations of the center, home, school, or schools would not be subject to the requirements of the ADA or this part. The religious entity would not lose its exemption merely because the services provided were open to the general public. The test is whether the church or other religious organization operates the public accommodation, not which individuals receive the public accommodation's services.

Religious entities that are controlled by religious organizations are also exempt from the ADA's requirements. Many religious organizations in the United States use lay boards and other secular or corporate mechanisms to operate schools and an array of social services. The use of a lay board or other mechanism does not itself remove the ADA's religious exemption. Thus, a parochial school, having religious doctrine in its curriculum

and sponsored by a religious order, could be exempt either as a religious organization or as an entity controlled by a religious organization, even if it has a lay board. The test remains a factual one -- whether the church or other religious organization controls the operations of the school or of the service or whether the school or service is itself a religious organization.

When a church rents meeting space, which is not a place of worship, to a local community group or to a private, independent day care center, the ADA applies to the activities of the local community group and day care center if a lease exists and consideration is paid.

Private Club: Private clubs are exempt from the ADA. However, consistent with title II of the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. 2000a(e), a private club is considered a public accommodation to the extent that "the facilities of such establishment are made available to the customers or patrons'' of a place of public accommodation. Thus, if a private club runs a day care center that is open exclusively to its own members, the club, like the church in the example above, would have no responsibility for compliance with the ADA. Nor would the day care center have any responsibilities because it is part of the private club exempt from the ADA.

On the other hand, if the private club rents to a day care center that is open to the public, then the private club would have the same obligations as any other public accommodation that functions as a landlord with respect to compliance with title III within the day care center. In such a situation, both the private club that "leases to'' a public accommodation and the public accommodation lessee (the day care center) would be subject to the ADA. This same principle would apply if the private club were to rent to, for example, a bar association, which is not generally a public accommodation but which, as explained above,  becomes a public accommodation when it leases space for a conference.

Wisconsin State Laws:

Wisconsin State Statute 174.055 Exemptions of dogs for blind, deaf, and mobility impaired:

Every dog specially trained to lead blind or deaf persons or to provide support for mobilityimpaired persons is exempt from the dog license tax and every person owning such a dog shall receive annually a free dog license from the local collecting officer upon application.

Wisconsin Act 353 Any person who recklessly or intentionally

• interferes with the use a service dog by obstructing or intimidating it,

• allows his or her dog to interfere with a service dog,

• injures a service dog or causes the death of a service dog, is guilty of a Class A or B misdemeanor OR of a Class I felony – depending on which item he or she has violated.

Wisconsin Act 354

• Allows a person to be asked whether the animal is a service dog that is required because of a disability,

prohibits a person with a disability from being required to produce documentation of his or her disability or a certification or other credential that the dog is trained to be a service dog,

• may not charge a person with a disability accompanied by a service dog a higher price than the regular rate, including a deposit or surcharge.

Housing - Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act

The Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act is the law that most often helps to provide the guidance necessary to answer the questions that arise about service animals in housing. Advice about individual circumstances and about the legal interpretation of the Fair Housing Act can be obtained from the local Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office.

Access Rights of People with Disabilites and Service Animals

ACCESS RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND THEIR SERVICE ANIMALS-New York State.

Although these are guidelines in NY state-Your state may be different.  Your State may not have as clearly defined laws.  You must check with your individual state laws. Generally States Attorney's General offices are a great place to find out this information.

This is intended to be a great source of info for people with all service dogs. 

FYI: This is a guideline only for the purposes of education and a resouces guide and Juggernaut enterprises LLC and/or www.things4yourdog.com is not liable for any information that is not up to date or incorrect.

 

INTRODUCTION

People with disabilities use -- and have a right to use -- the same facilities and services used by those without current disabilities; use of a service animal almost never limits that right.

This is intended to provide a communal, accurate source of information for (1) people who use or train service animals, (2) those managing or employed by places of public accommodation (including both private and governmental entities), and (3) police officers and others responsible for enforcing the rights of people with disabilities who are using service animals and of those people who train such animals.

To find the legal obligations that apply to a particular establishment, refer to the list of types of public accommodations at the end of the listing. That list uses categories from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to direct the reader to pages setting forth rights and responsibilities applicable to each type of location or service not only under the ADA, but also other Federal, State and City laws recognizing and protecting rights of people with disabilities in a wide variety of contexts. While each law has its own parameters, we have stated the "bottom line" law with respect to establishments within New York City. In most instances, the statements are applicable throughout New York State. Of course, the material does not limit the actual statutes, regulations, or governmental technical assistance materials. 

This is not offered as legal advice and should not be relied upon for particular matters without the independent advice of counsel qualified in these issues. For counsel refer to your local bar association.


MESSAGE TO MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES OF PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS

It is unlawful to discriminate against a person who is enjoying or seeking to enjoy a place of public accommodation (including a public entity) solely because that person has a disability and is accompanied by a guide dog, hearing dog, or other service animal. Americans with Disabilities Act 42 U.S.C. �12101 et seq.; 28 C.F.R. Part 35 and Part 36, �36.302(c)(1); 49 U.S.C. �41705; NY Civil Rights Law �47; NY Executive (Human Rights) Law �296(14); NY Transportation Law �147; and NYC Admin. Code (Human Rights) �8-102(4) and (18), and �8-107.4 and �8-107.15; 56 Regulations of the City of New York ("RCNY") (Department of Parks and Recreation) �1-04.

Not all disabilities that require the use of service animals are visible. Many are hidden, such as epilepsy, heart disease, lung disease and those that are of a psychological/emotional origin. A person with a disability is not required to give you any verbal or written confirmation to establish his/her disability. The animal used need not be formally trained to perform as a service animal. You may exclude any animal, including a service animal, from your facility when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, any service animal that displays vicious behavior towards other guests or customers may be excluded. You may not make assumptions, however, about how a particular animal is likely to behave based on your past experience with other animals. Each situation must be considered individually.

If you have any doubt that your entity qualifies as a place of public accommodation to which a service animal has access, consult the index at the back of the pamphlet. City and State Human Rights laws do not have an "exclusive" list of entities or services, so these are merely examples.

A SERVICE ANIMAL IS NOT A PET

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal may keep the service animal in his/her immediate custody. NY Civil Rights Law �47-b(1). The service animal is admitted without charge. NY Civil Rights Law �47-b(2).

A disabled individual needs his/her service to benefit from a particular service and, therefore, should not be separated from the animal. Such separation adversely impacts on the overall ability of an individual with a disability to use places of public accommodation. Furthermore, separation not only impairs, but may destroy, the relationship between the individual and the service animal since a service animal regards such separation as punishment.

Under New York Law, a service dog must be in a harness or on a leash but need not be muzzled. NY Civil Rights Law �47-b(4). 1 Moreover, a service animal need not be secured in a kennel or other container when being transported in a taxi. 35 RCNY (Taxi and Limousine Commission) �2-50(e)(7).

A person with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal is not required to show proof that the animal is a service animal. Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars or harnesses. For example, guide dogs used by persons with vision impairments typically wear harnesses that enhance their ability to guide the person. Some, but not all, service animals are licensed and certified and have identification papers.

ROLE OF POLICE OFFICERS

It will most likely be the police officer to whom a person with a service animal will turn in the first instance when s/he is refused access to a public accommodation, as when a taxi driver refuses to provide transportation to a person with a disability accompanied by a service animal, or a restaurateur refuses to seat and serve a person with a service animal.

Prompt police action upholding the rights of people with disabilities can make the difference as to whether these individuals can enjoy these rights.

People with disabilities throughout the United States are able to function safely, independently, and efficiently with the assistance of trained service animals. They can travel to and from employment, social engagements, and recreational activities; they can perform daily errands and other activities using mass transit and other modes of transportation. The fact that they perform these tasks accompanied by service animals does not complicate the functioning of public accommodations involved. However because of misinformation or unfamiliarity with the law, individuals accompanied by service animals are often denied entry to or service from public accommodations.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was designed to end such discrimination and is nearly a decade old. New York State and New York City laws also recognize the rights of people with disabilities.

While the person who is refused service or access may later file a complaint with the appropriate authority, a police officer's immediate intervention and education will often remedy the situation and provide the best solution to all involved.

TYPES OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS

The following segments describe the particular types of public accommodations (including both public and private sector entities and services). Where appropriate, examples are provided to demonstrate how the general principles apply to the specific type of public accommodation.

FOOD OR DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS

A food or drinking establishment includes, but is not limited to, a restaurant, bar or brewery.

For example, a brewery was directed to modify its rules to permit a service dog to accompany a visually impaired visitor in its hospitality room, a food or drinking establishment. Johnson v. Gambrinus Co./Spoetzel Brewery, 116 F.3d 1052 (5th Cir. 1997); and a restaurant was required to permit access to an individual with muscular dystrophy utilizing a wheelchair and a service dog. Flores v. Villerose, Inc., 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11171, 5 Am. Disabilities Cas. (BNA) 1672.

PLACES OF DISPLAY OR COLLECTION

A place of display or collection is a facility where objects are displayed for viewing. For example, a brewery was directed to modify its rules to permit service dog to accompany visually impaired visitor on the public tour of an exhibit in its manufacturing facility. Johnson v. Gambrinus Co./Spoetzel Brewery, 116 F.3d 1052 (5th Cir. 1997). Places of display or collection include a museum, library or gallery.

PLACES OF EXERCISE

A place of exercise includes, but is not limited to, a gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course, skating rink, shooting gallery, bath house and swimming pool, billiard hall and pool parlor, tennis court or beach.

PLACES OF EXHIBITION OR ENTERTAINMENT

A place of exhibition or entertainment includes, but is not limited to, a theater, concert hall, sports facility, motion picture house, stadium, music hall or airdrome.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights secured a settlement of $7000 from the operator of a movie theater for a would-be customer who had been denied admission when she appeared with her guide dog. Silver v. Loew's Theater Management Corp., complaint No. FH05022388DN (1989).

PLACES OF LODGING

A place of lodging includes, but is not limited to, a hotel, inn, motel or trailer camp.

PLACES OF PUBLIC GATHERING

A place of public gathering includes, but is not limited to, an auditorium, convention center or lecture hall.

PLACES OF RECREATION

A place of recreation includes, but is not limited to, a park, park building, amusement park, playground, zoo, bathing facility, picnic area, swimming pool, tennis court, beach, casino, race course, flea market or fair ground.

SOCIAL SERVICE CENTER ESTABLISHMENTS

A place of social service includes, but is not limited to, a day care center, senior citizen center, homeless shelter, battered women's shelter, food bank or
adoption agency.

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION

A public or private transportation facility includes, but is not limited to, taxi, bus, subway, train, boat, airplane and all other public conveyances operated on land, on water or in the air offered for public use. Terminals, depots and stations are also included.

Air carriers must permit a service animal to accompany a passenger with a disability on the flight in any seat to which the individual is assigned, unless the animal obstructs an aisle or other area that must remain unobstructed in order to facilitate an emergency evacuation. If a service animal cannot be accommodated at the seat of a passenger with a disability, the carrier shall offer the passenger the opportunity to move with the animal to any seat location where the animal can be accommodated, if present on the aircraft, as an alternative to requiring that the animal travel with checked baggage. 14 C.F.R. �382.55(a); Air Carriers Access Act 49 U.S.C. �41705.

A driver of a transportation service cannot refuse to transport a passenger with a disability and his/her service animal where the trip was prearranged and the destination is within the City of New York. 35 RCNY (Taxi and Limousine Commission) �4-08.

A taxi driver cannot refuse to transport a passenger with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal to any destination within the City of New York, the counties of Westchester and Nassau, or Newark Airport. 35 RCNY (Taxi and Limousine Commission) �2-50(b).

SALES OR RENTAL ESTABLISHMENTS

A sales or rental establishment includes, but is not limited to, a grocery store or bodega, clothing store, hardware store, bakery, shopping center, ice cream parlor, bookstore, car rental establishment, pet store, video rental store or jewelry store.

SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS

A service establishment includes, but is not limited to, a laundromat, dry cleaner and other cleaning establishment, bank, barber shop, beauty shop, shoe repair service, travel service, funeral parlor, gas station, office of an accountant or lawyer, pharmacy, insurance office, professional office of health care provider, hospital, dispensary or clinic.

A person with disabilities, although not permitted in the delivery room of a hospital, may permitted in the hall of a hospital, hospital cafeteria and other public places of a hospital. See Perino v. St. Vincent's Medical Center of Staten Island, 132 Misc.2d 20 (Sup. Ct. NY Co. 1986)

GENERALLY APPLICABLE PENALTIES

Penalties for violations of these rights can be substantial. There are a variety of administrative and judicial remedies that can result in civil and criminal sanctions.

A complaint may be filed on behalf of the aggrieved individual with the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). The CCHR may seek up to $50,000 in civil penalties (up to $100,000 for willful, wanton or malicious acts) NYC Admin. Code (Human Rights) �8-126. Where the CCHR finds a pattern or practice of discrimination, the City may institute a further action for civil penalties not to exceed $250,000 (independent of damages or penalties recovered in other proceedings on the same facts). NYC Admin. Code �8-402). Any person failing to comply with a CCHR order (including conciliation agreements) is liable for an additional civil penalty of up to $50,000, in addition to being assessed $100 per day while the violation continues. NYC Admin. Code (Human Rights) �8-124. In addition, a willful violation of CCHR orders or other obstruction is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than one year. NYC Admin. Code �8-129.

A private right of action is available under the CCHR, including the harassment provisions. Compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive and other relief, are available. A prevailing party may recover costs and attorneys' fees. NYC Admin. Code (Human Rights) �8-120 thorough 8-124; NY Civil Rights Law �40-c and �47-d.; Americans with Disabilities Act 42 U.S.C. �12101 et seq.; 28 C.F.R. �36.501 to 36.505.

A violation of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission regulations can be redressed by a complaint filed with that agency. Violations may be penalized by a fine not to exceed $350 for the first offense or not to exceed $500 for subsequent offenses, as well as suspension or revocation of the operator's license in appropriate circumstances. 35 RCNY (Taxi and Limousine Commission) �2-87.

In addition, a willful violation of the State Civil Rights Law where there is a pattern or practice of discrimination can be prosecuted as a class A misdemeanor punishable by a criminal fine of not more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than one year; NY Civil Rights Law �40d and �47-c; or as a violation punishable by a criminal fine of not more than $250 and/or imprisonment for not more than 15 days. NY Civil Rights Law �40d and �47-c.

U.S. Department of Justice Rules on Assistance Dogs to Becom

U.S. Department of Justice Rules on Assistance Dogs to Become Stricter March 15, 2011 MARCH 11, 2011 · POSTED IN AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT,

ASSISTANCE DOGS James J. McDonald, Jr., managing partner, Fisher & Phillips, LLP wrote a good summary about the March 15 changes impacting U.S. assistance dogs. His summary is listed below. It’s long but I found it to be very informative.

Regulations issued in 1991 following the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act required that public accommodations (which include restaurants, hotels, retail establishments, theaters, and concert halls) modify their policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability. Essentially this means that service animals accompanying persons with disabilities have to be admitted to establishments with policies that otherwise exclude pets or other animals. When the ADA was enacted, most service animals were “seeing-eye” dogs that assisted blind or sight-impaired persons. In most cases, these dogs were highly trained and, because of their extensive training, were not likely to create a nuisance or a sanitary problem. Over time, however, a variety of species came to be characterized by their owners as service animals, including pigs, horses, monkeys, snakes, lizards, birds, and rodents. Also, dogs and other animals that merely provide emotional comfort to their owners also have been characterized as service animals.

This proliferation of creatures claimed to be service animals has posed obvious problems for many restaurants and hotels in terms of safety, sanitation, and disturbance of other guests. Until now, however, proprietors were largely powerless to bar these types of animals from their establishments. The U.S. Department of Justice has issued new regulations effective March 15, 2011, however, which will substantially limit the types of animals that will qualify as service animals under the ADA. First, only dogs (and miniature horses in some cases) will qualify as service animals under the new regulations. “Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained,” will not qualify. The new regulations, however, do not place limits on breed or size of dog. Second, the dog must be “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” The regulations go on to state that the work or tasks performed by the service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability. Examples of work or tasks set forth in the regulations include: a. Assisting sight-impaired persons with navigation or other tasks b. Alerting hearing-impaired persons to the presence of people or sounds c. Providing nonviolent protection or rescue work d. Pulling a wheelchair e. Assisting an individual during a seizure f. Alerting an individual to the presence of allergens g. Retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone h. Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility impairments i. Helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors Under the new regulations, the mere “provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks” for purposes of the definition of service animal. Thus, animals that provide only comfort or emotional support for their owners will no longer qualify as service animals. For a dog to qualify as a service animal to an owner with a psychiatric disability under the new regulations, the dog must be trained to perform specific work or tasks. Examples given in the guidance accompanying the new regulations of tasks performed by psychiatric service animals include reminding the handler to take medicine, providing safety checks or room searches for persons with posttraumatic stress disorder, interrupting self-mutilation, and removing disoriented individuals from dangerous situations. The guidance also states that a dog that is used to “ground” a person with a psychiatric disorder will qualify as a service animal if the dog has been trained: (1) to recognize that a person is about to have a psychiatric episode and (2) to respond by nudging, barking or removing the person to a safe location until the episode subsides.

The new regulations additionally clarify that “attack dogs” trained to provide aggressive protection of their owners will not qualify as service animals. The crime-deterrent effect of a dog’s presence, by itself, does not qualify as “work” or “tasks” for purposes of the service animal definition. The new regulations also formalize prior Justice Department technical assistance addressing the use and handling of service animals. The regulations provide that a public accommodation may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if the animal is not housebroken, or if the animal is out of control, and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it. (Ordinarily, the regulations state, a service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless the person with a disability is unable to use a harness, leash, or tether or the use of such a device would interfere with the animal’s ability to perform its work or tasks.) If a service animal is removed for any of these reasons, the person with a disability must still be permitted to access the establishment’s goods, services, or accommodations without the animal being present. The regulations also confirm that a public accommodation is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal.

The regulations provide that a public accommodation may not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability, but that it generally may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal; it may ask: (1) if the animal is required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. These inquiries may not be made, however, when it is readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, such as where a guide dog is guiding a blind person or a dog is pulling a wheelchair. Furthermore, a public accommodation may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. Nor may a public accommodation require a person with a disability to pay a surcharge for a service animal, even if it applies such a surcharge for pets.

These regulations will not apply to landlords or airlines, which are governed by the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act, respectively. It is also not yet clear that these regulations, and particularly the definition of a service animal, will be applied by courts to cases brought under Title I of the ADA which covers employment. A good argument may be made, based on existing case law, that a stricter standard would apply under Title I. Unlike under Title III, where a dog must be allowed onto the premises if it qualifies as a service animal and does not leave a mess or cause a serious disturbance, an employee under Title I of the ADA is entitled only to such accommodations as are necessary to enable him or her to perform the essential functions of the job. An employee, therefore, will likely need to show that the presence of a service animal is needed for the employee to be able to perform his or her essential job duties. An animal that provides only comfort or emotional support to an employee, but that is not needed in order for the employee to be able to work, will not likely qualify as a reasonable accommodation under Title I of the ADA. These new regulations give long-needed clarity to hotels, restaurants, retailers, and other public accommodations regarding which animals must be allowed as service animals, and under what circumstances. No longer will these establishments need to allow patrons to bring exotic, dangerous, disruptive, or unsanitary animals with them as purported “service animals.”

James J. McDonald, Jr. is managing partner of the Irvine, Calif. office of the national labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips LLP (www.laborlawyers.com).

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