When the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990, one of the “reasonable accommodations” contemplated was allowing seeing-eye dogs to accompany blind persons in places where animals were not otherwise allowed. That mandate did not prove problematic, as these dogs are highly-trained to perform their function of guiding a blind person, and to avoid being a nuisance. As the definition of disability under the ADA has broadened, however, more and more people are seeking to have their animals accompany them to work, and to stores, restaurants and other businesses. It’s not just dogs anymore, either. Cats, birds, horses, rodents and even potbellied pigs have been characterized as “service animals” or “comfort animals” needed as an accommodation. The rules differ with respect to whether employees or customers are involved.
Posts tagged assistive animals.