The subject of Service Animals, especially the interpretation of the laws pertaining to Service Animals, has proven to be complex and confusing to many. In order to clarify it’s stance, the DOJ (U.S. Department of Justice) published it’s Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA in July 2015. For ease of access, the full text of this document has been provided below. It can also be viewed here.
Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA
Many people with disabilities use a service animal in order to fully participate in everyday life. Dogs can be trained to perform many important tasks to assist people with disabilities, such as providing stability for a person who has difficulty walking, picking up items for a person who uses a wheelchair, preventing a child with autism from wandering away, or alerting a person who has hearing loss when someone is approaching from behind.
The Department of Justice continues to receive many questions about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to service animals. The ADA requires State and local government agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations (covered entities) that provide goods or services to the public to make “reasonable modifications” in their policies, practices, or procedures when necessary to accommodate people with disabilities. The service animal rules fall under this general principle. Accordingly, entities that have a “no pets” policy generally must modify the policy to allow service animals into their facilities. This publication provides guidance on the ADA’s service animal provisions and should be read in conjunction with the publication ADA Revised Requirements: Service Animals.
Definition of a Service Animal
Certification and Registration
Exclusion of Service Animals
For more information about the ADA and to speak with an ADA Specialist please visit their website at www.ADA.gov or call 800-514-0301 (Voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY).