The three major federal laws are Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. And, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which says that tethered and trained service dogs are allowed where food is served, when accompanying the person with a disability.
But, sterile settings such as hospitals, surgery centers, etc. may legally prohibit these animals. Check www.ADA.gov for specific information.
State and Federal governments have introduced laws in many areas. Some of them are:
- Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
- Drug Enforcement (DEA)
- Governing Fetal Stem Cell Transplants
- Pharmaceuticals (including Medical Cannabis) & Insurance
- Education & Habilitation
- Employment & Support
- Offender Laws & Forensic Issues for the Courts
< My Thoughts > “…Tethered and trained service dogs are allowed where food is served…”
Horoupian (2011) quotes the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) mandate of allowing use of service animals in public, including –
- Retail establishments
- Concert halls
- Assisting during a seizure
- Alerting to allergens
- Retrieving medicine or phone
- Providing physical support & stability for those with mobility impairments
- Preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behavior
- Pulling a wheelchair
- Assisting sight-impaired persons
The regulation makes it clear that the animal must provide work or tasks under the definition of service animal; not just for well-being comfort or companionship.
Yen & Mao (2011) say that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the primary law that is invoked when parents are trying to access services because it covers qualified individuals from age 3 to age 21 for educational needs. It includes Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) and Least Restrictive Environment (LEA).
There are procedural safeguards in place and families of children with autism may need legal help to navigate the system when gaining access to programs as children and adults. Also that parents often encounter unanticipated challenges in their efforts to find optimal treatment and educational placement for their child. One of the most difficult obstacles involves dealing with the legal aspects.
Prior to this, Finkel (2010) wrote that the law in Illinois was ‘fuzzy’ when it came to ‘service dogs’ in the school classroom. In addition, he reports the school district’s attorney as saying having a dog in the classroom has safety issues and is a distraction. “It’s potentially disruptive for us… We don’t feel that it is necessary for the student’s success.” The court, however, ruled in favor of the family.
REFERENCES used here:
Finkel, E. (2010). Who Let the Dogs In?; The National Pulse; V96:4.
Horoupian, G. (2011). Service Dogs in the Restaurant: Justice Department’s Rules; Retrieved from: franchising.com.
Yen, J. & Mao, A. (2011). Laws that Affect Parents Raising a Child with Autism; Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter; V27:1, p1-6.