• I am somewhat surprised by the quoted law professor’s and several posters’ comments as to the wrongfulness of requesting/requiring the disabled person to call ahead to apprise the place of accomodation (store) of an upcoming need for accomodation.

    That’s accomodating someone isn’t it?

    I work in amateur theater. One company I work for is very big on accomodating the disabled community offering special accomodations for the deaf and blind and mobility impaired. They ask that people requiring such special accomodations call ahead and in turn it is requested that the disabled arrive early – that’s right, not treated like everyone else, but that’s the point isn’t it?

    Treated like anyone else, there would be no individual audio system to enhance the sound so the hard of hearing can hear the show. There would be no large print programs, no guided tour of the set with an explanation of the upcoming action, no sign-language interpreters (and more) and therefore no accomodation to those clients.

    For one thing, notice allows them to have otherwise unnecessary to the theater operation medical para-professional staff on hand to help move the mobility-impaired and remain on hand in the event of an emergency.

    Why should it be a problem to ask for special treatment if one expects the special treatment?

  • I think it all comes down to disputed facts. This is the handicapped vet’s version. Her dog pooped on the floor once, she cleaned it up, and they are telling her that if she shows up—with or without the dog—she will be arrested for trespassing. That strikes me as an overreaction.. I have worked in a Target, and when human waste ended up on the floor (don’t ask, you don’t want to know), we didn’t tell the human they were banned. We just held our nose, cleaned it up and kept customers away until it dried. To use a phrase, even poop happens.

    But the Y store says that the dog pooped in several spots, and the story implies she wasn’t controlling the dog let alone cleaning it up. If you credit that account, the store seems reasonable.

    Who is right? Beats me. I guess that is a matter for trial. And depending how their camera set up, this might be settled very definitively pretty quickly.

    The only thing I will say is this. to be blunt, the handicapped person’s story strains credibility, because of what complete massive tools the Y store is being. I mean it is POSSIBLE for company to be such jerks, but kind of rare.

  • It is clear that the service dog had an accident. After that it becomes more of a he said she said. If one believes the store then the service dog had more then one accident. Not to mention that the dog was off the leash running around. This is very unlikely but lets say that is the case, what can the business do? Well according to the ADA laws they do have the right to request that she take the dog out and that that particular dog cannot come back in again. However they cannot refuse the individual herself from shopping or that falls on a different part of the civil rights act.

    Now lets say that what happen was the dog happen to have had One accident. Being that she and her service dog shopped there many of times without any incidents before I would say that this was indeed what happened. An isolated incident and it was taken care of. That should have be the end of it. However they didn’t want to go with such and decided to take matters in their own hands as it were. Again if it was only one time and they had seen both them in many times then they did over react.

    To the poster talking about what’s wrong with calling ahead. For this issue that would indeed be in violations of the law under section reasonable accommodations. One does not have to call ahead to go shopping with a service dog. There is know special equipment needed or staff on hand. It’s not like one needing a special accommodations such as going to a hotel or flying. It’s shopping at a store like anybody else would shop. Stores must be in compliance with the ADA section of accommodations such as the restroom, parking areas, the size of the aisles, and ramps if there are steps to get into the stores. Any other reasonable accommodations would be information in different format. Or if it were housing that would be modifying the accommodations.

    But shopping in a store where the general public may go one does not need to contact the store in advance just to be allowed to bring with them their medical aid. (ie service dog).

  • Frank, people with disabilities and service dogs aren’t asking public accommodations to do anything special that they wouldn’t do for other patrons. It is the service dog’s owner’s responsibility to take care of all the dog’s needs, not the store’s. Would you also expect any person with a wheel chair, cane, crutches, a cast, or glasses to call ahead and tell the store they’ll be shopping just because they use an assistive device for an impairment or disability?

    Of course a person would need to plan ahead if they need something along the lines of interpretation at a theater event, but that’s only because they’re actually asking the theater to do something extra that will require time for them to put together. That’s not the case with a service dog in a grocery store because there’s nothing for the store to do to prepare. A customer with a service dog is no different from any other customer and requires no accommodation beyond being allowed to enter just like any other patron.

    Yes, clearly the store is wrong in expecting advanced notification and it is a violation of the ADA. It was also wrong of the woman to allow her dog to toilet inside the store. If the dog were suddenly and unexpectedly taken ill it might be a mitigating circumstance. However, any service dog handler should know their own dog’s eating and elimination schedule and the dog should be house trained. The dog should be trained to eliminate on command so the owner doesn’t have to stand in the rain 20 minutes waiting for the dog to go only to give up and let it go inside the store. The owner should also be paying attention to his or her dog and should notice the clues that the dog needs to toilet and get them outside before they do. If the dog was off-leash, as asserted by the store, then that was wrong too.

    Neither side is completely in the right in this case. But who is paying the price for this fiasco? The people with service dogs who do steward their dogs properly. I have a friend near where this happened and now she finds herself being followed around all the time by people suspecting that she is the woman whose dog pooped in a grocery store. She even carries a copy of the newspaper story with her to show that she’s not the woman in the photo, that’s just how bad it is for her even though she didn’t have anything to do with this incident.

    I can say that if my service dog pooped in a store I would be so mortified the very last thing I would do is go to the press to make sure everyone on the planet knew about it.

  • According to the newspaper story linked to above, the service animal helped its owner with her balance. How would that work? Couldn’t the woman in the story use a walker if she had a real problem with balance?

    The major trouble with ADA is the assumption that the law would help enough people to justify its cost. It also opens up opportunities for hypochondria and opportunism. The recent $700 million settlement for our heroic first responders to 9/11 was a total hoax.

  • William, I understand what your saying. Yes there are some people that will abuse the system, unfortunately. However these are people that do not read the rest of the law and feel they could indeed fake it. Just like those individuals they fake drivers license or drive while drunk. There will always be people that will be criminals. However we do need laws that would protect ones civil rights. Although the laws are only as good as those that would enforce it. And that’s the majour problem.

    When it comes to balance issues like all other types of disabilities there are many different type of degrees. While some individuals are able to use equipment such as a cane to help with balancing, others may have problems with such equipment. Therefore a choice of a service dog would be the right medical aid especially for counter-balancing. This is the same as those whom would choose a white cane instead of a guide dog while others will choose a guide dog over the cane to be more independent.

    One example of counter-balance: If their partner starts loosing their balance say leaning way too far backwards then the service dog would take the cue and start counter-balance by pulling forward. It also could be on an angle depending on ones off balance. Where as the cane just wouldn’t be able to do such a task.

    Hopefully this has enlighten people about balance problems and the use of a service animal over a cane or a walker.

  • One of the main problems with ADA as I see it is that it is written such that for some people the goal is to extort money rather than increase access.

  • so how would you propose rewriting it?

  • I would propose that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and there should be no exceptions for the legislators or their employees. So, it is not a question of re-writing, but of leaving out or removing.

  • I wonder if the problem is, this is a grocery store, so they would be caught between the ADA and state/local health laws……

    As for what I would do with the ADA–rewrite, repeal, or whatever: Bill A. is right…No exceptions, not for the government, courts, not even for the ADA-advocacy groups themselves.

  • That is why there was the New Regulation of the ADA put into law although will not be in affect til 2011. There are some straight and forward information.
    Under the new regulations:
    1. Service Animals only dogs and mini horses will be service animals
    2. Service animals must be housebroken
    3. Title II covers the State and Local Government facilities as it has from 1990
    4. Title III covers the public accommodations. (ie All other types of business excluding the Sta the government.
    5. Title I is for Employment which it was always way back in 1990.
    6. It is quite clear that people cannot demand ID’s or Certifications. This is to keep the law on to the person with the disability and not on the animal. This is so if the animal is unruly or aggressive and the handler doesn’t correct the situation the business can indeed demand the individual to remove said animal. Again only Service Dogs and Mini horses are service animals. This means even if an animal other then mention is trained to perform tasks they would under the new regulations not be covered under the law.
    7. It is written NO Emotional support animals are considered Service animals.
    And of course Service Animals in training never was covered under the ADA. However many states do have a provision to allow service animals in training the right to accompany the trainer/handler.

    That is just part of the law as it was written in the New Regulations. Again this will not be in effect until it is written in the federal register book. And then it’s about 18 months to become effective.

    However educating the people about the laws which includes the authorities is much harder then it is for the law to be written. The ADA was not actually change it was making some of the generalization more clearer then before so there would not be any misinterpretation of the law in hopes the the law would be enforce as it should be.