Author Topic: My boyfriend is getting medically disabled, is he able to get a service dog?  (Read 407 times)

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Offline kaylibaby

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My boyfriend went into basic for the United states Army and sadly has been medically discharged because he went blind in one eye. He has a hard time reading, writing, walking, etc. They are technically calling him a Veteran but we personally are not going to be calling him that because he never finished basic training due to his eye. So my question is if he is able to get a service dog? Thank you!

Offline Kirsten

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There isn't really anything a service dog can do to mitigate blindness in one eye.  Generally blindness for service dog purposes is judged based upon the legal definition of blindness, i.e. that the vision of the better eye would need to be either less than 20/200 or or a field of vision of 20 degrees or less.  I think field of vision with only one eye is still about 140 degrees. That wouldn't usually be considered disabling in terms of the ADA unless there was something else also going on.  What I'm trying to say is that disabled in terms of military service might not be the same as disabled in terms of the ADA because each regulation uses different definitions.

For the ADA it's "substantially limited in one or more major life activities" which I don't think include reading and writing directly, but do include seeing but is monocular vision substantially limited? (usually not).  The thing is that aside from the question of meeting the definition of "disabled" under the ADA, there's nothing a dog can do to mitigate reading or writing impairments and a guide dog school usually won't place a guide dog with someone with that much vision because they've discovered that it interferes with handling the guide dog (the handler second guesses the dog which undermine's the dog's confidence and training) and very quickly he dog stops trying to guide.

What is it you two are wanting the dog to do for him?  If he's having difficulty with depth perception then his best option is probably a long cane.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest