Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals
A service animal means 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. Tasks performed can include, among other things, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, or pressing an elevator button.
Individuals with disabilities may use service animals and emotional support animals for a variety of reasons. This guide provides an overview of how major Federal civil rights laws govern the rights of a person requiring a service animal. These laws, as well as instructions on how to file a complaint, are listed in the last section of this publication. Many states also have laws that provide a different definition of service animal. You should check your state’s law and follow the law that offers the most protection for service animals. The document discusses service animals in a number of different settings as the rules and allowances related to access with service animals will vary according to the law applied and the setting.
Vinh Nguyen (Ed.)
Southwest ADA Center
A program of ILRU at TIRR Memorial Hermann
The goal of the Northeast ADA Center is to educate and empower the diverse range of ADA stakeholders throughout New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to increase their knowledge of the ADA, to support our stakeholders to include people with disabilities in local communities, and to implement the ADA in their own lives, workplaces, businesses and communities
The Northeast ADA Center is a member of the ADA National Network funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DP0088). We provide information, guidance, and training on implementation of all aspects of the ADA. Our center is located at the Yang-Tan Institute at Cornell University. Our staff consists of individuals with and without disabilities who have extensive experience in the disability field.