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ADA Law Information

New Changes March 2011 to ADA LAW

The new law is taking place this year in March and defines a service animal as the following:

"Any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition."

The service law states that a the only reason a service dog may not be admitted is if its not house broken or its not under the control of the owner.  It also states that you can not be asked what your disability is, but you can be asked what the service your dog provided is and if the animal is required due to a disability.  You are also not required to carry any documentation.

To read the entire law click this ADA Law button



Public Access Law for Service Animals
The ADA law is a federal law and comes before any state law.  The Americans With Disabilities Act defines a disability as with respect to an individual--
       (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
       (B) a record of such an impairment; or
       (C) being regarded as having such an impairment.
And defines a Service Animal as:
Any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Tasks typically performed by service animals include guiding people with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to the presence of intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or retrieving dropped items.
Service Dog Income Tax Deductions
Service Dog Income Tax Deductions
According to IRS Publication 17, "Guide dogs or other animals aiding the blind, deaf, and disabled" qualify as a medical expense. You will have to itemize your deductions. You can include buying, training, and maintaining a guide dog or other service animal to assist a visually-impaired or hearing-impaired person, or a person with other physical disabilities. 

Click on photo to go to the IRS Government site or link listed below-
Page 8 of IRS Publication 502
ADA amendment act passed in 2008 - H.R. 3195
A historic coalition of disability advocates, businesses and supporting organizations has succeeded in negotiating a compromise to restore the original protections and intents of the American with Disabilities Act!
Organizations from the US Chamber of Commerce ( to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness: worked together to get this passed.
A basic summary from the NAMI site:
“The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 reaffirms civil rights protections dismantled by a series of Supreme Court decisions that narrowly interpreted the definition of disability, leaving people with epilepsy, diabetes, cancer and mental illness without the protections Congress envisioned when the ADA was originally enacted in 1990.
Business, human resource, disability and civil rights organizations have recognized that the courts went too far in some decisions, leaving out many people with disabilities Congress intended to protect. In a 2007 case, a Court even held that an individual with severe intellectual disabilities (“mental retardation”) was not covered by the ADA because he had failed to adequately demonstrate his impairment substantially limited a major life activity. The alliance of employer and disability advocacy organizations negotiated the compromise to clarify elements of the ADA Amendments Act, a bill first introduced in July of 2007.
The new compromise bill clarifies for the courts that people with disabilities should not lose civil rights protections because their condition is treatable with medication or can be addressed with the help of assistive technology. The bill also clarifies the definition of disability to include all individuals whose impairment substantially limits a major life activity.”
This is major step forward and I salute all of you who worked hard to make this possible!
For those of you tasked with ensuring compliance under the ADA rules, take heart this would seem to make things simpler as the sometimes hair splitting decisions about whether someone qualifies under the act becomes very easy. Also new guidance will be issued by the US Department of Justice.  You can check for updates and general ADA news at: