Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Motor Coaches (Bus) and The ADA

This is a respost because the answer to the question is so short and sweet:

Ask Project ACTION

“I am a motorcoach operator. I heard the Department of Justice (DOJ) has changed the definition of a service animal to include only dogs and in some cases, miniature horses. How does that change affect me?”
Answer: You are referring to a Final Rule issued by the DOJ that made a number of changes to their ADA regulations and became effective on March 15, 2011. For motorcoach operators there is no change in how you define service animals because you operate under regulations of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The definition of service animal found in 49 CFR 37.3 of the DOT ADA regulations has not changed and is not limited to a particular kind of animal.
Under 37.167(d) of the DOT ADA regulations, transit entities are required to permit service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities in vehicles and facilities. Service animals are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities, such as guiding people who are blind or who have low vision, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. Service animals are working animals and not pets.
An operator may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but cannot require special ID cards or harnesses for the animal or ask about a person’s disability. Other passengers’ allergies and fear of animals are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people with service animals.
Refer to the Federal Transit Administration “Technical Assistance Note (Word),” which aims to clarify that DOT regulations apply to the provision of transportation by public and private operators.
View related questions in our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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Ask ProjectACTION by phone M-F 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET at 800-659-6428 or by email.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pet Obesity: Health Implications, Recognition, and Weight Management | petMD

Service dogs like their human partners gain weight for a variety of reasons; however, because we spend so much with our canine partners and we love them to pieces we may not recognize when they have put on a few extra pounds.
Top Reasons Our Service Dogs Pack on the Pounds 
1. Simply being over fed. Remember, all treats and chews need to be counted in your service dog's over all calorie count.
2. Being under exercised. Many things affect how much exercise a dog gets and while a service dog may be out working everyday, if the brunt of their workday involves long down stays chances are pretty good your service isn't getting enough exercise.
3. People are feeding your service dog unauthorized treats or your dog lies in the lurch under the high chair.Hey, these things happen, but it might be time to refresh the rules about your service dog. Also you might want to keep your service dog out of the area or on leash when the children are eating!
4. You or your service dog are have recently recovered from an illness or injury that affect one or both of your abilities to exercise.
5.Aging. It is not uncommon for dogs as they age to have different nutritional needs that can affect their weight.
For more on Pet Obesity Read:Pet Obesity: Health Implications, Recognition, and Weight Management | petMD
Finally, as we approach the new year consider setting some health related resolutions for the health and happiness of your beloved service dog!

Friday, December 2, 2011

News: Chongqing (China) lets guide dogs for blind in public

CHONGQING - Blind residents will be able to take their guide dogs on public transportation in Chongqing as the municipal legislature revised a draft regulation on the protection of the disabled on Friday.
The regulation will take effect on Jan 1.
When a third draft of the regulation was delivered for discussion at the meeting of the municipal people's congress standing committee on Wednesday, a stipulation that "blind people can take their guide dogs to public venues and public transportation", which appeared in the second draft, had been removed.
The reason given for the removal was that it conflicted with the local regulations on the management of rail traffic, which say: "No pets and other animals are allowed to be brought on the rail transport system and violators will be fined 20 yuan to 100 yuan ($3 to $15.4)".Read More