[fcb-l] FW: [acb-l] FW: [Juno-l] for your information
kvharmon54 at gmail.com
Fri Mar 11 14:36:19 GMT 2011
Thanks for the information Paul! Kirk
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From: "Edwards, Paul" <pedwards at mdc.edu>
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Sent: Friday, March 11, 2011 8:22 AM
Subject: [fcb-l] FW: [acb-l] FW: [Juno-l] for your information
From: acb-l-bounces at acb.org [mailto:acb-l-bounces at acb.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 9:48 PM
To: blind-talk at yahoogroups.com; nabs at act.org; acb-l at acb.org
Subject: [acb-l] FW: [Juno-l] for your information
Thought you might be interested in this. My apoligies if you are getting
this more than once.
It'll be below my signature.
I hope you all have a great day!
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 8:00 PM
To: juno-l at screenreview.org
Subject: [Juno-l] for your information
Gone to the Dogs: Rules on Service Animals to Become Stricter
by James J. McDonald, Jr., managing partner, Fisher & Phillips,
Regulations issued in 1991 following the enactment of the
Disabilities Act required that public accommodations (which
restaurants, hotels, retail establishments, theaters, and concert
modify their policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use
service animal by an individual with a disability.
Essentially this means that service animals accompanying persons
disabilities have to be admitted to establishments with policies
otherwise exclude pets or other animals.
When the ADA was enacted, most service animals were "seeing-eye"
assisted blind or sight-impaired persons. In most cases, these
highly trained and, because of their extensive training, were not
create a nuisance or a sanitary problem.
Over time, however, a variety of species came to be characterized
owners as service animals, including pigs, horses, monkeys,
birds, and rodents. Also, dogs and other animals that merely
emotional comfort to their owners also have been characterized as
This proliferation of creatures claimed to be service animals has
obvious problems for many restaurants and hotels in terms of
sanitation, and disturbance of other guests. Until now, however,
were largely powerless to bar these types of animals from their
The U.S. Department of Justice has issued new regulations
15, 2011, however, which will substantially limit the types of
will qualify as service animals under the ADA.
First, only dogs (and miniature horses in some cases) will
service animals under the new regulations. "Other species of
whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained," will not
qualify. The new
regulations, however, do not place limits on breed or size of
Second, the dog must be "individually trained to do work or
for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a
sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability."
regulations go on to state that the work or tasks performed by
animal must be directly related to the handler's disability.
work or tasks set forth in the regulations include:
a.. Assisting sight-impaired persons with navigation or other
b.. Alerting hearing-impaired persons to the presence of people
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
to individuals with mobility impairments
i.. Helping persons with psychiatric and neurological
preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors
Under the new regulations, the mere "provision of emotional
well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or
purposes of the definition of service animal. Thus, animals that
only comfort or emotional support for their owners will no longer
For a dog to qualify as a service animal to an owner with a
disability under the new regulations, the dog must be trained to
specific work or tasks. Examples given in the guidance
accompanying the new
regulations of tasks performed by psychiatric service animals
reminding the handler to take medicine, providing safety checks
searches for persons with posttraumatic stress disorder,
self-mutilation, and removing disoriented individuals from
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
trained: (1) to recognize that a person is about to have a
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"
provide aggressive protection of their owners will not qualify as
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
The new regulations also formalize prior Justice Department
assistance addressing the use and handling of service animals.
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
does not take effective action to control it. (Ordinarily, the
state, a service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other
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
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
establishment's goods, services, or accommodations without the
The regulations also confirm that a public accommodation is not
for the care or supervision of a service animal.
The regulations provide that a public accommodation may not ask
nature or extent of a person's disability, but that it generally
two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a
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
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
animal. Nor may a public accommodation require a person with a
pay a surcharge for a service animal, even if it applies such a
These regulations will not apply to landlords or airlines, which
governed by the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act,
respectively. It is also not yet clear that these regulations,
particularly the definition of a service animal, will be applied
to cases brought under Title I of the ADA which covers
A good argument may be made, based on existing case law, that a
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
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
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
support to an employee, but that is not needed in order for the
be able to work, will not likely qualify as a reasonable
Title I of the ADA.
These new regulations give long-needed clarity to hotels,
retailers, and other public accommodations regarding which
animals must be
allowed as service animals, and under what circumstances. No
these establishments need to allow patrons to bring exotic,
disruptive, or unsanitary animals with them as purported "service
James J. McDonald, Jr. is managing partner of the Irvine, Calif.
the national labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips LLP
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