Friday, January 30, 2009
News: Alberta, Canada Extends Full public Access Rights to Person with Disabilities using Service Dogs
Monday, January 26, 2009
For information on the current definition see my previous postWhat is the purpose of a Service Dog.
To read more about the proposed changes see my previous posts:
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The Fox Valley FABLAB develop a universal door tool to be used by people with disabilities and their service dogs. Unlike other tools currently in use this one holds the base of the lever and has and extension that translates the dogs pulling action into the simultaneous downward motion needed to operate the handle. Being a gear head I bought several tools over the years. I hope I can try this one!
The recalled products include only the following types of Grreat Choice Dog Biscuits sold between Aug. 21, 2008 and Jan. 19, 2009:
- Small Assorted 32 oz., UPC 73725702900
- Small/Medium Assorted 4 lb., UPC 73725700601
- Small/Medium Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700605
- Small/Medium Assorted 10 lb., UPC 73725702755
- Large Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700638
- Extra Large Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700779
- Peanut Butter 4 lb., UPC 73725700766
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
T.V. Raman, a technology engineer at Google shares his life with Hubbell (AKA Bubbles) his Guiding Eyes dog guide in photos on Bubbles website.
Monday, January 12, 2009
1. When you have a service dog/small child you loose your own identity. You become so and so's mom!
2. Everyone has an opinion about how you are raising/treating them.
3. They will often surprise you with the latest thing they know how to do.
4. They live for positive attention from you.
5. They have to have time to play and let their hair down everyday. No one can be on their best behavior all the time.
6. Their down time adventures can from time to time leave you with someone who covered in mud, strange, smells, and upset stomachs.
7. Play groups have to be monitored so no one's feeling get hurt. And so no one hords all the toys!
8. Accidents happen- often in the wee hours of the morning!
9. Manners have to constantly reinforced and honed.
10. Their successes will make you the proudest you have ever been.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
- Colchester: Billy, the dog who helps Tilli hear
- Fort Lewis eighth-grader soon will welcome a new best friend
Friday, January 9, 2009
She also posted specifically of the department's stance regarding service animals for people with psychiatric disabilities.
"The Department has adopted regulatory text in Â§ 36.104 to formalize its position on emotional support or comfort animals, which states that "[e]motional support, comfort, companionship, or therapeutic benefits; the promotion of emotional well-being; and the crime deterrent effects of an animal's mere presence do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition." The Department notes however, that the exclusion of emotional support animals from coverage in the final rule does not mean that individuals with psychiatric or mental disabilities cannot use service animals that meet the regulatory definition. The Department has proposed specific regulatory text in Â§ 36.104 to make this clear: "The term service animal includes individually trained animals that do work or perform tasks for the benefit of individuals with disabilities, including psychiatric and mental disabilities." This language simply clarifies the Department's longstanding position."
The DOJ provides futher clarification:
"Under the Department's previous regulatory framework, some individuals and entities assumed that the requirement that service animals must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks excluded all individuals with mental disabilities from having service animals. Others assumed that any person with a psychiatric condition whose pet provided comfort to them was covered by the 1991 regulation. The Department reiterates that psychiatric service animals that are trained to do work or perform a task (e.g., reminding its owner to take medicine) for individuals whose disability is covered by the ADA are protected by the Department's present regulatory approach. Psychiatric service animals can be trained to perform a variety of tasks that assist individuals with disabilities to detect the onset of psychiatric episodes and ameliorate their effects. Tasks performed by psychiatric service animals may include reminding the handler to take medicine; providing safety checks or room searches for persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; interrupting self-mutilation; and removing disoriented individuals from dangerous situations.
The difference between an emotional support animal and a psychiatric service animal is the work or tasks that the animal performs. Traditionally, service dogs worked as guides for individuals who were blind or had low vision. Since the original regulation was promulgated, service animals have been trained to assist individuals with many different types of disabilities. In some cases, individuals who have impairments that do not qualify as a disability under the ADA have concluded mistakenly that the regulation gives them the right to use service animals. "
See my earlier post What is the Purpose of a Service Dog? for more on what a service dog is, behavior standards, and commonly trained tasks (including tasks for people with psychiatric disabilities.
Many are asking why the sudden need to regulate the species of service animals to just dogs. There are two reasons: the first being people choosing animals that may and is some cases out right do pose a risk to the public; the second being people choosing animals that cannot be trained to perform tasks and their sole pupose is comfort; and the third is my previous postPeople Claiming Their Dogs are Service Dogs to Take them in Public Beware.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
In the U.S. there has traditionally not been any limit placed on what kind of animal could be used as a service animal;however, service animals could not pose a direct health or safety threat to the public and any animal not under adequate control of its disabled handler could be removed from the business. Furthermore, the animal had to be trained to perform tasks to mitigate the handler's disability.
When choosing animals to be service animals for people with disabilities it was no accident that dogs were chosen. Dogs have been bred for thousands of years to live and work with humans. National Geographic has a whole series on how dogs and humans came together:
The Origin of Dogs
How Did Dogs Become Adept at Playing to Humans?
Human Gestures Fed Dogs' Domestication
Did Carolina Dog Arrive With Ancient Americans?
Human, Dog Genomes Similar, Study Finds
Scientists Start Deciphering Dog Genome
National Geographic magazine: Wolf to Woof—The Evolution of Dogs
After doing an Internet search I could find no mention of animals other than dogs being used to assist people with disabilities in other parts of the world. Even if other animals can be trained to assist people with disabilities potential handlers for these unusual animals must ask do the advantages of having a unique assist out way the challenges. I can't help but wonder if this latest definition change is the DOJ's effort to come inline with the rest of international policy regarding animal assistants for people with disabilities?
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I was pleased to discover Shilo comes alive when traveling. She took everything in stride and impressed everyone with her loving, calm demeanor and quick response. I think she was happy that it was just her and I for three days. We worked, we played, we relaxed.
People with disabilities who need a service dog who not only can travel, but loves to travel can do somethings to help their service dog see traveling, a normally high stress situation for both dog and human by associating travel with:
- Special toys, treats and other rewards that are reserved for travel
- Giving your dog stress breaks through play (you'd be amazed what a short game of tug, or game of find the item will do to lower stress for both the dog and handler.
- Rewarding your dog at a high rate for both new and from time to time entrenched behaviors such as a particularly well negotiated crowd, or leaving a particularly yummy tidbit thrown at them by the person in the next seat.
- Find itineraries that work for both human and dog schedule's
Monday, January 5, 2009
1. Be careful what you say about your service dog/ service dog in training on the Internet. It could come back to haunt you. "Their legal papers draw on 8,000 pages of Stamm's Internet postings, in which she suggests Wargas' breed - livestock guardian dog - is dangerous.
"Livestock guard dogs in the subways is a wonderful sight to behold. The seas of people part before us," the former ad agency manager boasted in a 1998 posting.
In other postings, Stamm discussed dog-on-dog attacks involving her previous service dog, Mishka, a Caucasian Ovcharka that died of cancer last month.
She described livestock dogs as genetically wired with "tremendous killing power" and said Mishka could be aggressive toward elderly cancer patients because "she can smell death, and she doesn't want it near her.""
2. If you decide to sue over access denials be prepared with proof of your disabilities and your service dog's task training as it relates to your disability. See Deciding What to Train.
3. Choosing unusual animals or unusually large breed dogs may increase the likelyhood you will experience access denials with your service dog. "pony-sized dog".
Friday, January 2, 2009
Inactive Blogs Removed:
- Summit Assistance Dogs
- Service Dog Blog
- Waiting for the Woof
For other blogs about service dogs and dog training see My Blog List on the right side of this page.