What To Expect If You Are Blind Or Visually Impaired And Use A Service Dog

This document was issued by the TSA in November, 2010 and contains that agency's latest guidance for guide dog handlers traveling by air.

Emergency Preparedness information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Air Travel Advice for Guide Dog Handlers

The GDUI Legislative Committee updated this overview on the subject along with links to important resources for handlers who are traveling by air in early 2011.

Fenway Park Access for Service Animals

While Service Animals are welcome throughout Fenway Park, space is very cramped for Service Animals in most normal seating locations. The Red Sox have modified their ticket procedures to make a limited number unsold wheelchair locations available to Guide Dog Users 72 hours prior to each game. These spaces provide ample space for you and your Guide Dog. Call the Red Sox Box Office at 1-877-733-7699 and follow the prompts for accessible seating 72 hours prior to the game you wish to attend. Please identify yourself as a Guide Dog user interested in purchasing wheelchair seating locations to accommodate you and your Guide Dog. You are allowed one adjacent companion, subject to availability.

Maine's Sales Tax Exemption for Guide Dog

The State of Maine's Sales and Use Tax Law provides an exemption for sales of goods and services which are essential for the care and maintenance of seeing eye dogs which are used to aid any blind person.

According to Title 36, Part 3, Chapter 211, 1760 of the Maine Revised Statutes:

"Seeing eye dogs. Sales of tangible personal property and taxable services essential for the care and maintenance of seeing eye dogs used to aid any blind person. [1993, c. 670, 2 (amd).]"

Dog Guide Schools

If you are thinking of training with a dog guide, there are many guide dog schools throughout the country from which to choose.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Access to Public Accommodations

Both Title II and Title III of the ADA contain protections for persons with disabilities who rely on dog guides and other qualified service animals.  The U.S. Department of Justice has produced at least two publications which apply to the rights of dog guide users to access public facilities as well as private businesses that are places of public accommodation.

In the "ADA Business BRIEF: Service Animals", the USDOJ summarizes your rights to access public accommodations with your dog guide.  These rights as well as the rights of the private business are explained in a question and answer format in the document titled "COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SERVICE ANIMALS IN PLACES OF BUSINESS".

The Air Carrier Access Act and Access to Airlines

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination in air transportation by domestic and foreign air carriers against qualified persons with disabilities including dog guide users.  In their publication "New Horizons: Information for the Air Traveler with a Disability", the U.S. Department of Transportation explains the provisions of the Air Carrier Access Act including those provisions that affect dog guides.

State Dog Guide Protection Laws

While there are no federal laws designed specifically to protect dog guide teams from loose or uncontrolled dogs, more than half the states have enacted such laws.  The Guide Dog Users of Arizona maintains a comprehensive listing of state dog guide protection laws

This web page revised 4/8/2011.

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