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The Americans with Disabilities Act authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. This document provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA and the Department’s regulations.
This guidance document is not intended to be a final agency action, has no legally binding effect, and may be rescinded or modified in the Department’s complete discretion, in accordance with applicable laws. The Department’s guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities beyond what is required by the terms of the applicable statutes, regulations, or binding judicial precedent.
Originally issued: July 12, 2011
Va Is Not Purchasing Or Otherwise Obtaining Service Dogs For Veterans Under The Rule
Several commenters objected to a basic premise in this rule, which is that VA will assist veterans in determining whether a service dog is an appropriate treatment option and will maintain service dogs through the provision of veterinary and other benefits, but VA will not actually purchase or obtain service dogs for veterans. We make no changes based on these comments. As explained in the proposed rulemaking, we reiterate that we interpret the may * * * provide language in 38 U.S.C. 1714 to mean that VA need not actually purchase or acquire dogs for eligible veterans. . This is consistent with VA policy, extant prior to the promulgation of this rule, concerning guide dogs for the visually impaired VA does not purchase or obtain such dogs on behalf of veterans under the similar authority in 38 U.S.C. 1714. As stated previously, we simply lack the facilities and expertise to purchase or obtain, or to train service dogs for placement with veterans, and we will continue to rely on independent organizations that have been recognized as having such expertise. VA has opted instead to offer other benefits to facilitate the provision of service dogs to veterans.
Does California Protect The Use Of Emotional Support Animals
The protections discussed above do not apply to emotional support animals. California law, like federal law, doesn’t require that emotional support animals be allowed in public places.
California does have laws, however, protecting the use of emotional support animals in other settings. To learn more, see Nolo’s articles on when California landlords have to allow psychiatric service dogs and emotional support animals and how California protects psychiatric service dogs and emotional support animals in the workplace. In addition, federal law allows people with disabilities to bring their emotional support animal onto an airplane.
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Service Animals In Michigan
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act , public entities and places of public accommodation such as state and local governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations cannot discriminate against persons with disabilities in their programs, services, or activities. Generally, this means that they must allow service animals to accompany persons with disabilities into areas and locations where the public is allowed to go.
Please review our Frequently Asked Questions on Service Animals in Michigan below before representing or registering an animal as a service animal in Michigan.
In compliance with MCL § 37.303, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights has created and provides voluntary service animal identification to qualifying applicants with disabilities and their trained service animals.
Voluntary registration through this program is free of charge and may not be required as a barrier to entry for a trained service animal or their handler. Registering an animal with MDCR does not entitle accepted applicants to any benefits other than free service animal identification in the form of a patch and ID card.
Individuals who have been required to obtain service animal identification or register a service animal by a landlord, healthcare provider, etc. should file a complaint online with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights or contact the intake unit at 1-800-482-3604.
Va Will Not Newly Initiate Proposed Or Formal Rulemaking Procedures
Multiple commenters stated that VA should abandon this rulemaking, and that it should begin again with a new proposed rule. One commenter further stated that VA should initiate a public hearing, or should initiate formal rulemaking procedures related to the administration of service dog benefits. We decline to pursue either of these actions, as all affected parties were put on proper notice of the intended provisions in the proposed rule, and there were no significant reasons that commenters put forward to require a new regulatory action that were not addressed in this final rule. We believe we have addressed all significant comments and made changes where appropriate, or have reasonably supported why changes were not made.
For all the reasons noted above, VA is adopting the proposed rule as final with changes as noted to §17.148, , , and and §17.154.
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Where Is My Service Dog Allowed
Under the federal law ADA both state and local governments, businesses and non-profit organizations that serve the public must allow service dogs and service animals and their handlers full access to their premises where the general public is allowed to go. This guideline certainly has some limits, for example a service animal will be allowed into a hospitals waiting room but not in the O.R. Or the service animal will be allowed into a restaurant but not the kitchen area where food is being prepared. The Air Carrier Access Act allows that a service dog may travel with its owner on an airplane. Prior to flying check with your airline regarding service dog details.
Log4j Doesn’t Just Blow A Hole In Your Servers It’s Reopening That Can Of Worms: Is Big Biz Exploiting Open Source
This security flaw is one of the worst, if not the worst, in a decade or more: there are going to be long-term repercussions as systems thought to be free of the bug turn out to be vulnerable and are exploited months or years later.
Organizations need to not only locate installations of services and applications that deep down use Log4j and patch them, but also investigate whether or not they were compromised, what information was at risk if that happened, and perhaps even just assume they were compromised and work from there.
CISA has a bunch of useful resources here on GitHub, including a big list of affected software and products and related advisories from Amazon cloud services to VMware tools.
CISA is working closely with our public and private sector partners to proactively address a critical vulnerability affecting products containing the log4j software library,” CISA Director Jen Easterly said over the weekend.
“This vulnerability, which is being widely exploited by a growing set of threat actors, presents an urgent challenge to network defenders given its broad use. End users will be reliant on their vendors, and the vendor community must immediately identify, mitigate, and patch the wide array of products using this software.
“Vendors should also be communicating with their customers to ensure end users know that their product contains this vulnerability and should prioritize software updates.”
How Service Animal Is Defined
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the persons disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of assistance animal under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of service animal under the Air Carrier Access Act.
Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the relevant State attorney generals office.
Procedures Related To The Reimbursement Of Veteran Travel Expenses
Commenters argued that §17.148 as proposed was vague regarding reimbursement and eligibility for travel expenses, and should more specifically indicate the type of travel expenses covered, to include lodging and expenses related to training and retraining/recertification of service dogs. We make no changes to the rule based on these comments. The rule is clear in §17.148 that any veteran who is prescribed a service dog under §17.148 will be eligible to receive payments for travel expenses. We reiterate from the proposed rule that §17.148 is intended to implement 38 U.S.C. 1714, which allows VA to pay travel expenses `under the terms and conditions set forth in ‘ for a veteran who is provided a service dog. See . We believe that the language of section 1714 can be read to interpret obtaining a dog as examination, treatment, or care under section 111, but we would not make payment of section 1714 benefits contingent upon the separate eligibility criteria in section 111. This interpretation facilitates administration of section 1714 benefits by allowing VA to avoid additional expenses associated with establishing a new means of administering travel benefits outside of section 111 mechanisms.
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Accept Service Dogs For Transportation
All carriers must accept, subject to the conditions in Section 4, a service dog for transport and allow the dog to accompany the passenger on board.
Note : While the Regulations do not include service dogs in training, it is a good practice to accept dogs that are being trained by an organization or a person specializing in training service dogs to perform a task to assist a person with a disability.
Service Dogs Obtained Before The Effective Date Of The Final Rule
Multiple commenters interpreted §17.148 as proposed to compel veterans who obtained non-ADI or non-IGDF certified service dogs before the effective date of the final rule to undergo the certification process with an ADI-accredited or IGDF-accredited organization prior to being eligible for benefits. This is not the intent or function of §17.148, in all cases. The rule clearly states that for veterans to receive benefits for service dogs obtained before the effective date of the rule, veterans may submit proof from a non-ADI or non-IGDF organization that the service dog completed a training program offered by that organization. See §17.148 . We make no changes based on these comments.
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What Does It Mean To Have A Disability
A service dog brought on board a plane must be trained to assist with a disability. The term disability has a specific legal meaning under the DOTs rules and the Air Carrier Access Act .
A disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include working, sleeping, learning, and other essential life activities.
The definition of disability covers physical impairments and mental impairments. Mental impairments include emotional or mental illnesses and specific learning disabilities.
The DOTs new rules also specifically mention psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disabilities. Psychiatric service dogs are commonly used by people with conditions like severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, phobias, and autism.
A licensed mental health professional can help assess whether you have a psychiatric disability. Many PSD owners obtain PSD letters from therapists and doctors who have assessed their mental health. Its important to note that even though emotional support animals are no longer recognized as assistance animals for flights, PSD owners are still protected.
Remember, however, that there is a crucial distinction between ESAs and PSDs: a psychiatric service dog must be trained to perform tasks. ESAs, on the other hand, provide support just through their presence.
Service Animals For People With Disabilities
As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, a 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.
The ADA limits the definition of Service Animals to dogs and miniature horses. Therapy dogs, emotional support dogs and companion dogs are not Service Animals and are not afforded the same privileges in public places. For more information, see the ADAs list of Frequently Asked Questions here. See below for additional information and forms related to service animals in North Carolina.
Service Animal Registration Information
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Can I Bring More Than One Service Dog Aboard
Some handlers have multiple service dogs, each fulfilling a different but important job relating to their disability. Under the DOTs new guidelines, airlines can limit the number of service dogs a handler can bring onboard to two.
The handler will also need to be able to comfortably accommodate both of the service dogs in their foot space or lap. For handlers with two large service dogs, they may want to consider taking additional steps to ensure their service dogs can be accommodated.
For example, on a flight likely to be full without an empty seat, the handler may want to consider purchasing an additional seat or taking a less popular flight. Otherwise, they risk the chance they may have to relegate their service dog to cargo which is a non-starter for many service dog owners.
To Qualify For Benefits A Service Dog Must Be Optimal For The Veteran
Under §17.148, we require that the service dog must be the optimal device for the veteran to manage his or her impairment and live independently, and service dog benefits will not be provided if other assistive means or devices would provide the same level of independence as a service dog. Several commenters asserted that the use of one assistive device does not necessarily obviate the need for other assistive devices, and therefore that §17.148 as proposed should not be used to exclude the prescription of a service dog if other devices may assist the veteran. We agree in part with the comments, but make no change to the regulation because the regulation does not prevent veterans from using multiple assistive devices.
VA does not intend to allow cost or any other factors to discourage the use of new technologies and equipment to maximize the independence of veterans. We believe that providing VA with discretion to choose between a service dog or assistive technology based on medical judgment rather than cost-effectiveness would ensure that VA’s patients receive the highest quality of care that the VA-system can provide.
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Guide Dog And Service Dog Certification
Guide and service dogs help people with disabilities avoid hazards or perform tasks. Guide dogs help people with visual impairments while service dogs help people with other kinds of disabilities such as hearing impairments and epilepsy. They can help a person navigate through public areas, alert them to sounds, open doors and do other tasks. British Columbias Guide Dog and Service Dog Act and regulation govern how guide and service dogs and their handlers are certified. Certification increases public safety, raises training standards and improves public access for dog and handler teams.
There are two ways to be certified:
Training and testing ensures only dogs who behave well in a variety of environments are certified.
What Is A Service Animal
The ADA defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for someone living with a disability. These tasks may include alerting people who are deaf, guiding people who are visually impaired, calming a person during an anxiety attack, reminding someone with depression to take prescription medications, or protecting a person who is experiencing a seizure.
Service dogs that assist with mental and emotional health issues or learning disabilities are called psychiatric service dogs . Psychiatric service dogs are a type of service dog and have the same rights as service dogs that assist people with physical disabilities. When this article refers to service dogs, which also includes psychiatric service dogs.
Service dogs are remarkable canines capable of a wide range of tasks that help make independent living possible for their handlers. These unique working animals undergo specialized training to learn tasks that mitigate the difficulties caused by specific disabilities. Service dogs are working animals not pets. They must be trained to perform a task that is directly related to the handlers disability.
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Does A Service Dog Or Psd Need To Be Professionally Trained Or Certified By An Organization
A service dog does not need to be trained by a third-party trainer, school, or organization. These services may be helpful, especially for novice dog owners, but the DOT notes that service animal users are free to train their own dogs to perform a task or function for them.
That is good news for people who have the ability to train their service dogs but not the financial means to afford a professional trainer or help from an organization.
In addition, a service dog does not need to be certified by an organization that it has completed its training. Registrations and certifications for service dogs are always optional and are not mandatory.