Below are some links to federal laws, regulations, and other information on public access and accommodations for service animals. (Links open in a new tab or window.)
- Housing and the FHA (Fair Housing Act): View the original online PDF (large file) OR smaller copy on this web site.
- Work Place Access is under the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission): The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issues its final revised (ADA) regulations and accompanying interpretive guidance in order to implement the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.The Commission is responsible for enforcement of Title I of the ADA, as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability. Pursuant to the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, the EEOC is expressly granted the authority to amend these regulations, and is expected to do so.This link takes to you to the Federal Register web site: Regulations To Implement the Equal Employment Provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act, as Amended
- Air travel is governed by the ACAA (Air Carriers Access Act): The text of the act as relates to service animals can be found on the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations web site. Call your regional ADA Center at 1-800-949-4232 for questions on the ACAA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other disability-related laws.
- Federal Government Buildings are covered by the Rehab Act (also known as 504): The access rights are preserved under the GSA (US General Service Administration). This link opens a copy of the regulation in PDF format: The Key to Accessing Federally Conducted Programs and Activities
- Schools fall under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act): The IDEA web site contains the federal equirements, but you will likely have to follow up by seeking out state and local rules and resources.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to most situations. Though Churches and various other places are exempt from the regulations. This link contains a nice summary of the section on service animals: ADA 2010 Revised Requirements: Service Animals. State laws can also affect access; if they are more lenient or in the benefit of the person, they trump federal law, otherwise federal always trumps it.
- State laws also can affect access: If they are more lenient or in the benefit of the person, they trump federal law, otherwise federal always trumps it.Always keep in mind people with dogs in training are not granted access rights by the ADA, that is controlled by state law. Some states don’t allow dogs in training anywhere, some states only allow trainers from accredited service dog schools, some say “qualified” trainer (whatever that means) and others like Illinois just say “a trainer.”Many state laws are summarized in this link, but please note that they may not be current: Table of State Assistance Animal Laws
Know Your Rights!
Study these resources and consider carrying copies with your Diabetes Alert Dog, perhaps in a pocket on his service vest.
Be polite, but firm, and maybe you’ll make it easier for the next person with a service dog!