Nearly 1 in 5 individuals in the U.S. have a disability, Census Bureau Reports
Do you know how to handle a service dog team in your business?
Starfleet Service Dogs, Inc. (SSDI) trains service dogs that are placed with people with disabilities. SSDI also helps individuals with disabilities train their own dogs to be their service dogs. Using our service dogs teams, we can show an example of a service dog team, explain what questions you can ask of a service dog team:
1. Is this animal a service dog required because of a disability?
What does this mean?
Is this dog specifically trained to mitigate a life-altering disability?
2. What work or tasks is this animal trained to perform?
What does this mean?
How does the dog mitigate the individual’s disability and therefore allow them to use your services or purchase your products with an experience as close to that of any other patron in your business?
Although you may not ask a disabled individual to have their dog perform the tasks the dog is trained to do, SSDI can explain what various appropriate tasks are, what they look like when performed, how they mitigate a disability, and what unacceptable tasks are.
With the knowledge of the proper behavior and legal rights of a service dog teams as well as the business’s rights, you will be able to protect your business when requirements are not met by a service dog team.
If a service dog team is denied access, legal action can be taken against your business.
Service dog teams that are not demonstrating proper etiquette can be lawfully asked to leave and can be charged damages if any destruction is done.
Do you know how the ADA applies to your business?
SSDI trains service dogs teams; our handler training program explains the current legislation regarding service dogs in order to foster a positive view of service dogs as well as promote understanding and respect. We educate our clients on the rules of these federal agencies:
1. DOJ (Department of Justice)
- enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA document outlines the definition of a service dog, the accommodation laws for public establishments, questioning allowed, identification, and more (https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm).
2. DOI (Department of the Interior)
- regulates service dogs in all national parks, forests, monuments, and wilderness areas. Closes areas to the use of service animal if it is determined that the service animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of people or wildlife (https://www.nps.gov/policy/serviceanimals.pdf).
3. FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
- limits service dog access to buildings and facilities used in manufacturing, packing, or holding human food, physical plant and grounds used in manufacturing, packaging, labeling, or holding operations for dietary supplements, fully-enclosed buildings used in growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce (fruits and vegetables) for human consumption, water sources, water distribution system, and pooling of water used in growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce (fruits and vegetables) for human consumption, and Areas, including growing areas where” there is a reasonable probability that grazing animals, working animals, or animal intrusion will contaminate” produce (fruit and vegetables) (https://doglawreporter.blogspot.com/2015/12/fda-food-production-rules-grant-access.html).
4. HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development)
- enforces ADA Title II housing complaints, develops and enforces two housing laws: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act (https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/SERVANIMALS_NTCFHEO2013-01.PDF).
5. DOT (Department of Transportation)
- issues and enforces the ADA transportation regulations and is responsible for civil rights compliance and monitoring to ensure nondiscriminatory provision of public transit services (https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/20030509_1.pdf).
6. DVA (Department of Veterans Affairs)
- allows service animals in buildings and on their property (https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/ServiceAndGuideDogs.asp).
7. EEOC (Equal Opportunity Employment Commission)
- issues, enforces and provides technical assistance on the ADA Title I employment regulations as well as additional materials on subjects like reasonable accommodation (https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm).
8. DOL (Department of Labor)
- enforces employment-related provisions of the ADA (https://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/ep/serviceanimals.htm).
- helps first responders prepare accessible emergency planning (https://www.fema.gov/disability).
These federal organizations together make a network of enforcement and regulation that at times can be difficult to decipher.
Does your business provide equal opportunity to all potential patrons?
Do you know how to politely engage with a potential patron that is. . .
Hard of hearing?
With a Service Dog?
With a Guide Dog?
Using a Walker?
Using a Cane?