USA: new Regulations on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Public Accommodations to come into force

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) has issued new regulations on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities effective March 15, 2011. The new regulations will substantially limit the types of animals that will qualify as "service animals" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Service animal now only 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, do not qualify as service animals any longer.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 the definition of the regulations.

The regulations provide that a public accommodation may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if the animal is not housebroken or if the animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it. The regulations also confirm that a public accommodation is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal.

Text of the revised regulations available here>>.

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