[nagdu] greetings. access issue

Howard J. Levine WB2HWW at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 30 07:21:34 UTC 2013

welcome to the list my name is Howard and I have a guide dog Rhett and I am
fellow ham operator wb2hww out of Queens NY. Do not leave your best friend
home get older person to help you stand your ground, contact your local
state commision for blind in your state.

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Ann Edie
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 11:28 PM
To: 'NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
Subject: Re: [nagdu] greetings. access issue

Hi, Jeff,

Basically, the gym is a place of public accommodation, and therefore, you
cannot be barred from accessing the building or the programs or services
offered there accompanied by your guide dog.  The operator of the public
accommodation is required to make changes to its "no pets" policy to permit
persons with disabilities to access the facility accompanied by their
service animals.  And the business manager/owner cannot make you leave the
dog tied outside or in a car or anywhere you don't want to leave it.

The second important fact is that allergies do not usually rise to the level
of a true disability which interferes with an important life function, such
as breathing or walking, etc.  Most people with allergies can take medicine
to control their symptoms or can stay far enough away from the offending
object/animal to prevent severe reactions.  After all, other people who use
the facility probably have pets at home and they probably carry dander and
hair from those pets on their clothes and shoes.  Furthermore, there are
dogs in the general environment whether one lives in the city or in the
suburbs or country.  So the person with allergies has to find coping methods
that work best for them without putting undue restrictions on everyone else
in the environment.

Even if the other person's allergy does meet the definition of a true
disability, you still cannot be refused entry or enjoyment of the goods and
services of a place of public accommodation because you choose to be
accompanied by your guide dog.  However, if there are 2 people, both of whom
have documented disabilities, and whose freedom to enjoy the facility might
be infringed upon by the needs of the other person, then some concessions
might need to be made so that both people can enjoy the goods and services.
First of all, how high are the chances that both you and the supposedly
allergic person will be in the facility at the same time?  Secondly, even if
you and that other person are in the building at the same time, is there
only one room or area where you both will be at the same time?  And is the
space so small that the dog cannot be kept far enough away from the other
person so as not to trigger the allergic reaction?  If both of you happen to
sign up for the same exercise class or are working out in the weight room at
the same time, and if there is no out-of-the-way place where you can leave
the dog within the room, then perhaps arrangements can be made for you to
put a dog crate in a nearby office or room where the dog will be comfortable
and safe during the time when both you and the allergic person are in close

In general, I am very skeptical of claims of dog allergies as a
justification for excluding disabled persons accompanied by service animals
from places of public accommodation.  Usually such claims are unproven and
undocumented, and they are just convenient excuses to cover the proprietor's
or customer's fear or dislike of dogs.  Fear or dislike of dogs, or cultural
biases against dogs in public areas are not valid reasons for limiting the
access of a person with a disability to places of public accommodation under
the ADA.

Your responsibilities under the ADA as a service dog handler are to keep
your animal under control at all times so that it does not pose a health or
safety hazard to other people or fundamentally change the nature of the
goods and services being offered at the business, and to make sure your dog
is clean, well-groomed, and well-behaved.

For more information, you might want to consult the Justice Department's ADA
website, where there is a very nice "business brief" which gives clear
guidance to business owners as to what their obligations are under the ADA.
You might also want to bring along a copy of the federal and your own
State's access laws regarding persons with disabilities' access to places of
public accommodation.  The guide dog training program may give you copies of
these laws when you are in training.  But one thing I would definitely not
do is cave in to the pressure of the business owner to leave your dog at
home.  That would just make it harder for the next guide dog handler to gain
access to that place in the future, and you wouldn't want to be denied
access because another person with a disability didn't stand up for his and
your right to travel freely accompanied by your service animal.

Good luck, and if you need further advice, help, or support, that is just
what these guide dog users' groups are designed for--to support you in
advocating for your rights as a guide dog user--so go ahead and take
advantage of the resources available to you.


-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of jeff crouch
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 7:15 PM
To: nagdu at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nagdu] greetings. access issue

Hello everyone,
My name is jeff crouch, and I am 16 years old and am going to start training
with a guide dog on auguist 18th at Pilet dogs.

I am wanting to know about something that I was told by a manager at a place
where I workout at. She told me that I will not be able to bring my guide
dog in because one of her clients who works out at that gym is allergic to
dogs and that the client made a ordeal about the last service dog that came
in. I don't know how to preseed, weather I just leave it alone and not take
the dog when I go to workout, or what I should do. Advice would be greatly

Jeff Crouch

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