Posted January 19th, 2018, 10:33 PM
I agree, but the ada.gov website does not clearly state this in all places, adding to the confusion for establishments that must comply (which was my point).
https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm simply says
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 (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.
https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html provides some more detail:
Q27. What does under control mean? Do service animals have to be on a leash? Do they have to be quiet and not bark?
... Or, a returning veteran who has PTSD and has great difficulty entering unfamiliar spaces may have a dog that is trained to enter a space, check to see that no threats are there, and come back and signal that it is safe to enter. The dog must be off leash to do its job, but may be leashed at other times.
But it boils down to the point made in this article:
Pierce is frustrated that the law is so vague, often misunderstood, and simply used as an excuse to bring pets somewhere they don't belong. Because you can only ask if a person with a service dog has a disability and what tasks the dog is trained to perform, most businesses and other services simply don’t question service dogs at all. And most people with emotional support animals don’t realize that their pets aren’t actually guaranteed equal access by the ADA, or any other law, outside of air travel.
Really the only mechanism available to legitimate service dog owners is to sue a business that denies them access, which just worsens the problem. “The owners of most places are intimidated,” says Pierce. “They don’t want a lawsuit on their hands for being wrong, and they don’t know what their rights are, so they don’t ask questions.”
I disagree that a law suit is the only effective option for a user of a legitimate service dog when denied access. Each Independent Living Center I worked with had proactive educational outreach to businesses and government agencies that had complaints about ADA compliance. These efforts were generally well received and usually resulted in future compliance. They also provided consultation upon request.
There will always be people that try to cheat and game the system. Look at parking spaces designated for people with disabilities. Earlier this week I was at my Physician's office . . . a car without a h/c tag was parked in a designated stall. I mentioned it when I was checking in. The receptionist asked for the operator of the vehicle who went to the desk, left the building and returned shortly. It was all discrete, no drama.
Just two asides. Even a legitimate service animal can be asked to leave if it is not under control, urinates, or evacuates. Only two kind of animals are recognized under ADA - dogs and (tada) miniature horses.