Becky Canale: Hi! I am Becky Canale, National Client Services Coordinator with Paws With A Cause. Today I'm discussing how to understand the Americans with Disability Act.
According to the ADA, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
People with disabilities and assistance dogs are granted public access rights under the ADA. The ADA guaranties a person, who is blind, deaf or physically disabled, the legal rights to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas that are open to the general public. For example, a person with a service animal can enter into any public area, including Airports, Restaurant, Shopping Centers, Movie Theaters, Doctor's Offices or Public Parks, just a name of few.
An individual may not be charged any additional fees in any location due to the fact that they are accompanied by a service animal. There are limited instances where service animals wouldn't be allowed, however, in these instances accommodations must be made for the service animal and the needs of the handler. Well, the ADA does not require identification for a service animal. It is in the handler's best interest to have their partner identified as a service animal, by use of a backpack or harness.
The service dog handler is responsible for the dog's behavior and appearance while in public. If at any time a service animal acts aggressively, is disruptive or in an uncapped state, the business owner has the legal right to ask them to leave. Allergies to dogs is not an acceptable reason for exclusion of the service animal and their handler from any business establishment. If the service dog handler, or business owner have a disagreement about the access of the service animal, it is advised to call the local authorities to help clarify the law, as it retains to assistance dogs.
I hope this video has helped you to better understand the Americans with Disabilities Act, and how it applies to assistance dogs.