Recommended Reading for Wednesday, September 8, 2010

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Today’s Recommended Reading is focusing on Service Animals!

Sharon @ After Gadget has been putting up videos of Service Animal Training. All the videos have transcripts at the source.

Level 2 Test Videos Part 1

Here’s our handling test. Test requires handling all paws, ears, and tail, without the dog fussing. On day one, I did it with him standing (because he was hyper), but that’s not typically how I do handling. I feel like he did pass it — he let my dad pick him up (twice!) so he could hold him to weigh him. I thought that was pretty good for someone he’s only met about three or four times. (For the record, Barnum weighed 64 pounds.)

Level 2 Tests Part 2

This is the first part of our L2 Crate test — the crate in my bedroom. The criterion for Level Two crate is that the dog enters the crate with no more than two cues, allows the door to be opened and shut, with no pawing or vocalizing. This is the crate we use the most. We had a false start, but I decided to consider it a fluke, because we use this behavior all the time.

Service Animal Discrimination: It’s more common than you think

Via Patient C’s: DC Cabs – No Rides for Service Animals, Change.Org has People with Service Dogs Can’t Catch a Cab in DC: (There’s an Action Item at the link)

ERC sent testers throughout the city in pairs: one blind person with a service dog and one person without. The people were “matched” according to race and age; the only difference was the dog. The person with the service dog was positioned so the cab would see them first, but a full 50 percent of the time, the driver ignored them in favor of picking up the person without the canine companion. Check out the video below — you can see several drivers pulling up the blind person, slowing down and then passing them by. In another 10 percent of the cases, the drivers added illegal surcharges for the dog.

Charles Crawford, an ERC member with a service dog, said being denied a cab is not only annoying, it’s “both hurtful and an insult to those of us who must rely upon the loving assistance of our dogs to travel independently.”

Speaker’s Corner: Shocker: DC Taxis Don’t Like To Pick Up Blind People With Guide Dogs

And one of the saddest parts of this entire thing is that the system in place for reporting problems with a taxi driver is to write down the taxi number and then call the taxi operator. Blind people can’t participate in such a system.

Brilliant Mind, Broken Body: Travel Fail

The driver said, “You didn’t mention the dog when you called dispatch. You have to mention the dog.” I told him that I didn’t have to, because legally they had to transport service dogs. He repeated himself. Then he said he wasn’t the cab who was sent for me; they would be along in a few minutes. He got into his cab and drove off.

I’m sure all of you out there in cyberland have seen through what he said. Of course he was the cab sent for me! I live on a little tiny residential street. Cabs are rare here, and I end up calling them more often than anyone else on the street, because I have the most need of outside transportation.

In the news:

More airports create areas for pets to take care of business (via The Disability Law & Policy e-Newsletter)

Dogs need to go, too. So airports are adding doggie restrooms.

Airports say “pet relief areas” enhance customer service. But they’re also being nudged by a federal rule that orders airlines to work with airports to install facilities for travelers who have service dogs.

Dogged by Lawsuit After Barring Service Animal From Office, Lawyer Settles for $50K

A Colorado Springs, Colo., lawyer who refused to allow a veterinarian and her service dog to enter his law office for a scheduled deposition in a civil action has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a federal discrimination suit.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado last November against Patric LeHouillier of LeHouillier & Associates. The suit alleged LeHouillier violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when he refused to allow the woman and her dog — and the woman’s lawyer — to enter the LeHouillier law office in December 2006.

This is an older news article that Ginny Tea brought to my attention, but I think it is still relevant: Creature Comforts [7 pages long]

Jamie Hais, a spokeswoman for the D.O.J., said she couldn’t comment on why the department suggested the species restriction. But its proposal expressed concerns about public-health risks and said that when the original A.D.A. was written, without specifying species, “few anticipated” the variety of animals people would attempt to use.

“That’s simply not true,” says Frieden, who was an architect of the original A.D.A. While drafting the regulations, he said, Congressional staff members had long discussions about defining “service animal” and whether a trained pony could qualify. “There was general consensus that the issue revolved around the question of function, not form,” he says. “So, in fact, if that pony provided assistance to a person with a disability and enabled that person to pursue equal opportunity and nondiscrimination, then that pony could be regarded as a service animal.” They discussed the possibility of birds and snakes for psychiatric disorders, he said, but one of their biggest concerns was that the A.D.A. shouldn’t exclude service monkeys, which were already working with quadriplegics. Since then, however, monkeys have become the most contested assistance-animal species of all.

And, a video, courtesy of Speaker’s Corner (transcript follows):

Video opens with an image of a Golden Lab (?) in a service animal vest & harness. Text reads: “No Dogs Allowed: Discriminaition by Taxicans Against People Who Use Service Dogs”

A Report By: The Equal Rights Center (ERC), The WAshington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affiars (WLC), Hogan Lovells US LLP.

Screen image changes to a person (who appears to be a white woman to me) with long blond hair standing on the sidewalk with a black dog.

Text: More than 25 million individuals in the United States report having vision loss; approxinmately 2.5 million of those are legally blind.

Federal Law requires taxicab drivers to allow service dogs in their vehicles, and prohibits them from charging a surchage, higher fare, or extra fee for transporting a service dog.

Despite these protections, people encounter discrimination on a daily basis.

Image changes to a dynamic one of a busy street. Cars whiz by a white-appearing person signalling for a taxi with a service animal. A taxi drives by and then stops for a person just 100 yards down the road.

Text: To view the report, visit

Image changes to a still image of a person standing on the side of the road to signal a taxi – just beyond them is another person signaling a taxi with a dog at their feet – the dog appears to be wearing a service animal harness.

Text: The ERC conducted test in the District, each included two individuals, one with a service dog and one without, who stood on the same side of the block.

Image changes to a dynamic image of cars whizzing down a busy street with the two people in the above image standing just a few meters apart. A taxi slows down in front of the person with the service animal, then slowly drives up to the person without an animal, ignoring the person with the service animal entirely.

Image changes to a TAXI sign with a wheelchair symbol.

Text: In 60% of these cases, the tester with a service dog was subjected to at least one form of discriminatory treatment.

Image changes to a dynamic one of a busy street. Cars whiz by a person signalling for a taxi with a service animal. A taxi drives by and then stops for a person just 100 yards down the road. (This image is the same as the one described above.)

Image changes to a static image of a person who appears to me to be a white woman seated outside, holding a white cane.

Text: “These instances are both hurtful and an insult ot those of us who must rely upon the loving assistance of our dogs to travel independently” – ERC Member, Charles Crawford

Image changes to another service dog user signaling a taxi on the street. The taxi drives right by, but picks up another person without a service animal just a few car lengths away.

Image changes to a static image of someone holding a golden lab (?) dog.

Text: “Cabbies go whizzing by and I can’t see to know if they have somebody in their cab or if they don’t.” – ERC Member, Stan Berman

Image changes again to a taxi passing right by a person with a service animal signaling and poicking someone up just a few car lenghts away.

Image changes to a person with a service animal opening a taxi door.

Text: Help advance civil rights and learn more about what can be done to end discrimination against indivdiuals who use servive dogs.

Learn more and download the report at

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One thought on “Recommended Reading for Wednesday, September 8, 2010

  1. Yay, Service dogs!

    Thank you for linking things about the discrimination teams face. It’s part of the reason people calling em lucky and telling how they wish they could take their pets everywhere makes me unhappy.

    My SD and I did our first restaurant last week, and I wasn’t ready for the glares I got, not from the staff, but from random folks. All my boy was doing why lying quietly under the table, although he did try to get up once, I’m the only one who noticed that.

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