Friday, January 28, 2011

Service Dog Information - Oregon Assistance Dogs Link to Information

 I was searching for service dog information for the State of Oregon as well as a simple description of the ADA.  I  found both here at the link below:

I was supposed to move to Oregon, but the move didn't take place.  Thank God!

I might add that if you live in or around Oregon, Oregon Assistance Dogs may be able to assist you in training your service dog or assist you in purchasing your own service dog if you fit the definition of "Disabled" as defined by the ADA.  The link above is the link to check out about what they provide in the way of training and service dogs.

The way it works is if state law provides more protection than federal law (ADA) then the state law is the one that rules.  If federal law (ADA) provides the most protection than the state law does (as is frequently the case) then federal law is the one that rules.  Many states have not brought their service dog laws up to date with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).  Like Oregon, many states only cover people who are blind or physically disabled.  Although there is a justifiable argument that points out that psychiatric and neurologic disabilities ARE indeed physical, usually this is not recognised or understood by those in leadership roles who can actually do something to update or revise laws.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. This federal law applies to all businesses open to the public, including restaurants, hotels, taxis and shuttles, grocery and department stores, hospitals and medical offices, theaters, health clubs, parks, and zoos.

Effective March 15, 2011, “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. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have impaired vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition."

Key changes in the ADA (regarding service animals) include the following:

1. Only dogs will be recognized as service animals.

2. Service animals are required to be leashed or harnessed except when performing work or tasks where such tethering would interfere with the dog's ability to perform.

3. Service animals are exempt from breed bans as well as size and weight limitations.

4. Though not considered service animals, businesses are generally required to accommodate the use of miniature horses under specific conditions.

Until the effective date, existing service animals of all species will continue to be covered under the ADA regulations.

Existing policies that were clarified or formalized include the following:

1. Dogs whose sole function is “the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship” are not considered service dogs under the ADA.

2. The use of service dogs for psychiatric and neurological disabilities is explicitly protected under the ADA.

3. “The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence” do not qualify that animal as a service animal and “an animal individually trained to provide aggressive protection, such as an attack dog, is not appropriately considered a service animal.”

These previously existing policies are already in effect.

More ADA Links:

OREGON LAWS (Some differ):

(1) "Assistance animal" means any animal trained to assist a person with a physical impairment in one or more daily life activities, including but not limited to:
   (a) Dog guides, as defined in ORS 346.610;
   (b) Hearing ear dogs, as defined in ORS 346.640;
   (c) An animal trained to pull a wheelchair;
   (d) An animal trained to fetch dropped items; and
   (e) An animal trained to perform balance work.

(2) "Assistance animal trainee" means any animal undergoing training to assist a person with a physical impairment.

(3) "Daily life activity" includes but is not limited to:
   (a) Self-care;
   (b) Ambulation;
   (c) Communication; or
   (d) Transportation.

(4) "Mode of transportation" means any mode of transportation operating within this state.

(5) "Person with a physical impairment" means any person who has a permanent physical impairment, whose physical impairment limits one or more of daily life activities and who has a record of impairment and is regarded by health care practitioners as having such an impairment, requiring the use of an assistance animal including but not limited to blindness, deafness and complete or partial paralysis.

(6) "Public accommodation" means a place of public accommodation as defined in ORS 659A.400 including but not limited to educational institutions, airlines and restaurants. The exception stated in ORS 659A.400 (2) is not an exception under ORS 90.390 and 346.680 to 346.690.