Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Official Training Vest and Badge Received
The training vest is lightly padded to be comfortable for Eli to wear, but it's not so cumbersome that he'll overheat.
The badge is a courtesy item, as it is against the Americans with Disabilities laws for anyone to require identification or proof for the animal, nor can the handler's disability be questioned. Presenting the badge is voluntary and is NOT required by Federal Law.
The U.S. Justice Department issued new regulations effective March 15, 2011 limiting the types of animals that qualify as service animals under the ADA and clarifies the definitions and legal entitlements between service dogs and emotional support dogs. Under these new regulations, service dogs' tasks include 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.
The public is only allowed by law to make two inquiries to determine whether the animal qualifies as a service animal. 1. Is the animal required because of a disability? and 2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform? However, 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.
The acceptable identification for a service dog is the wearing of specially marked harnesses. There are also high behavior and training standards for all service dogs, set by the ADA. For more information, go to http://www.things4yourdog.com/faq's-about-service-dogs
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