Author Topic: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local  (Read 327 times)

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Offline philopsher77

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Re: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2017, 08:06:25 PM »
This part of the article bothered me:  "My Mom walked over and tried to calmly explain to her the situation and that she was a service dog, and the manager was like 'no, we need to see paper work.' My Mom, who is very educated on this, tried to explain that anyone can show you a piece of paper, you can order fake certificates offline without a dog going through training," Merritt explained. "My Mom provided her with the link to the registration for service dogs and said 'you can look online and see Whisky is registered.'

What registration is she referring to, and why would a business trust that when they have just been told that "anyone can show you a piece of paper"? 

I will also say that the fact that the dog appears to be a husky is also probably not working in their favor.  It's a non-standard service dog breed, and one known for being very furry... not the kind of dog you want to have in a restaurant generally.

Offline OlgatheGSD

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Re: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2017, 08:12:49 PM »
That line bothered me too. How is the paper a fake but this mysterious online version not?
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Offline Arrowcom

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Re: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2017, 08:56:09 PM »
The only thing I can think of is that they told the restaurant this and then the restaurant still demanded paper work and didn't believe them. I mean, if they didn't follow the 'you can't ask for paperwork' rule then why would they follow the 'paperwork is invalid' rule. Though yes, it does seem silly that the family would know not to register the dog on a scam site but then do it just to resolve access disputes... Actually, isn't that what most sites claim? "Register with us and you will have less issues bring your dog places"

I don't know. It all seems pretty odd.
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Offline SandyStern

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Re: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2017, 05:17:06 AM »
I think that any news article with the phrase "service dog" must get a lot of hits, so the media outlets are willing to print or display ANYTHING that allows them to have the phrase in a headline. For a while, I set up a news alert and e-mailed a stock message to the reporter correcting terminology and begging them to be more careful about referring to certification and repeating the term "service dog" without making sure the term applied.  I read probably 3-4 articles every day reporting that the service dog provides comfort or calms the handler's emotions. I conclude that even educated writers (I won't call them reporters) don't want to discover that the dog was an ESD because they would lose the click bait. 

Not one single response. There is a Boston Globe reporter who covers this issue and she promised to speak up as often as possible when the topic comes up among reporters.

Also, there was a little story months ago about a man who likes to pull stock photos of uniformed veterans with vested dogs and post a Facebook story about how the veteran was denied access to an identified business-- completely made up and he admitted he did it for the attention-- his post got circulated or whatever happens on Facebook.

Offline ScootersMom

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Re: EXCLUSIVE | Family claims ordeal ensued over service dog at local
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2017, 07:08:04 PM »
Ugggg!
Worse is when a government agency decides one of the scammer sites counts.  I read an article from the DC area a few months back. The landlord was fined by housing for not allowing an ESA.  The owner registered it with one of the scammed sites, and the housing agency decided that was old enough.  WHAT?!!!

 

Offline punstersquared

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There have been times when Cricket was not marked because I was doing something like popping into a store while taking him out on a mostly non-working trip, since there is a real energy cost to me to putting on his vest or changing to his work harness, and sometimes I've just plain forgot to bring his work gear with me because I wasn't expecting to go in a business with him. I'm very visibly disabled, sitting in a big wheelchair with tubes going to bags of medical equipment, so I've almost never been asked the two questions, and I think the wheelchair-helper dog image is fairly ingrained in the public consciousness, compared to someone with an invisible disability walking casually into a store with an unmarked dog. I have no problem working him 'nekkid' and talking to people, even though I don't make a habit of it. He has a tracking harness with patches and handles, and even has a separate leash for work that looks nicer and stays cleaner than his everyday gear. I've also used a leash cover in the past, and/or a labeled leash, but it seems like overkill at this point and I prefer not having anything extra on the leash.

Interestingly, on the times that I worked him in his daily non-work gear, which is just a Balance Harness (plain straps that go around neck and chest), I had a couple MOPs ask me if it were a special working harness.

Offline ZombieFodder

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It's the wheelchair. I used to do the same thing with my Lab, not putting the harness on when i had the powerchair & we went out because I didn't need it and was lazy or it was hot or whatever. I never got questioned. I wouldn't do this if you couldn't tell there was something wrong with me as, just like with parking, you'll get cornered & questioned as it looks like you are randomly bringing a dog in. I also had my Lab way before dogs were commonplace in public so I never really thought about it.
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Offline punstersquared

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You mean I can finally claim wheelchair privilege? Well, that, and never having to look for something to sit on. :tongue2:

Offline Henry Kisor

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Two observations:

1. I'm a retired journo who still writes, and can assure you that the vast majority of journalists aren't thinking of clickbait . . . but they can be terribly ignorant about service dog laws and make mistakes. Instead of accusing them, it's best to recognize that they are human and try to educate them so that they're more accurate in the future. They are generalists and can't be expected to know all the fine points of specialized pursuits.

2. I believe the reason the ADA does not require markings (vests) on service dogs is for reasons of medical privacy. Many people with disabilities don't want their disabilities to be obvious for fear of being taken advantage of or even assaulted. Many years ago I was glad that my disability—total deafness—was invisible, but now that I am almost an octogenarian, I don't mind if the general public knows that I have a disability and use a service dog for it. I'm kind of shaky on my pins, and appreciate other people allowing me space when Trooper in his bright orange vest and I enter a store or restaurant. Every person with a disability is different and we shouldn't generalize about them.

Offline Kirsten

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I agree that journalists should be politely educated when they make errors (though they rarely respond when I do contact them).

However I disagree that the reason for not requiring markings is so people can be modest about their disability.  If you're in a location with a dog where dogs aren't allowed it's pretty obvious you're either a jerk or a person with a disability and of course people are going to ask about the dog so that lets it out of the bag.  The reason for not requiring markings is that there is no standard or official marking to require.  Just as there is no standard or official ID or certification.  And the reason for that is that it is cost-effective for the government.  It doesn't cost them anything to implement.  Standardization and official recognition, such as most of us would very much like to exist, would be costly to implement and when it comes to social services for a small minority, the government would rather avoid the cost unless they are in the one percent and make hefty campaign contributions.  The poor and disabled should simply pick themselves up by the bootstraps and carry on without complaint.
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Offline Henry Kisor

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Kirsten, you may be right. I think the DOJ does want to avoid another layer of bureaucracy. Still, unless the DOJ says otherwise, medical privacy is medical privacy and requiring visible identification is a prima facie violation of HIPPA.


Offline RedSonia29

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1. I'm a retired journo who still writes, and can assure you that the vast majority of journalists aren't thinking of clickbait . . . but they can be terribly ignorant about service dog laws and make mistakes. Instead of accusing them, it's best to recognize that they are human and try to educate them so that they're more accurate in the future. They are generalists and can't be expected to know all the fine points of specialized pursuits.

2. I believe the reason the ADA does not require markings (vests) on service dogs is for reasons of medical privacy.

Thanks for your perspective, @Henry. It's good for us to have a person with your background helping us to educate the masses.

There are a few points that I'd like to make in response to your two comments above.

1) Of course a newspaper (journalism organization) wants attention and clicks. That's how they make money now-a-days. The more visitors they have to their websites, the more valuable they are to their sponsors and popular they are to their readers. Whether or not we call this clickbait could be debatable, but a juicy tag line for a story certainly ups the ante for the newspaper.

I agree that journalists are human and make mistakes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are making mistakes. The SAME mistakes. They are not making the corrections, nor doing the investigation to correct their errors. As I understand it, good journalism starts with education and ends with accurate reporting. The disabled community is not getting that from most reporters. News reporters and their research teams should be held accountable for the accuracy of their articles. Right now, they are not and they are spreading a lot of misinformation, which is being taken advantage of by some members of the general public. Excused ignorance does not get the reporter, or the organization they work for, a good reputation. (Not that a good reputation or journalistic accuracy seem to matter to the general public in today's society, unfortunately.)

2) I totally agree with you on this point. Back in the 80s, when I was diagnosed with T1 diabetes, it was generally not talked about because, during the early years of diabetes treatment, many kids with T1D were permanently hospitalized by their parents for the rest of their lives. Obviously the permanent hospitalization thing had changed by the 80s, but the stigma still held in the minds of our parents and grandparents. You don't talk about your disability to anyone!

I suppose that I was fortunate to be part of a generation of youth who wanted to change that. I talked about diabetes, quite openly and honestly, all the time. My friends knew about it. Their parents knew about it. My teachers knew about it (some didn't want me or my "special" food near them for fear of birth defects in their own unborn kids). My parents friends knew about it. EVERYONE knew about it. I wanted people to know the difference between T1 and T2 diabetics (which is still a point of contention to most T1Ds and their parents), the symptoms, how to treat it, diagnosis details, everything.

Both my previous and current service dog have been clearly marked as a diabetic alert dogs, throughout their service careers. I want people to know that, if I am having a problem, they should first look at my blood sugars, not drugs or alcohol (it's not unheard of for diabetics to be thrown in the drunk tank when they are having a critical low blood sugar).

Not everyone has the same level of comfort about broadcasting their disability to the public as I do. It is still an extremely private issue and the decision to tell others about their medical condition by marking their service dog should be left to the PWD, not the law. That said, I think NOT marking the dog in some way when in public is like bait for future drama. Do I think that people should NOT have to mark their dogs? Absolutely, yes. They have that choice. Do I think they should mark their dogs? Again, yes. It helps avoid potential drama for the uneducated, which is frequently propagated by misleading information provided in news articles.
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Offline Kirsten

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It is not a violation of HIPAA (not HIPPA).

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) says medical providers cannot reveal personal medical information without permission of the patient except in specific situations. Has nothing whatever to do with service dog vests.

Requiring someone to disclose the specifics of their disability as a condition of access would be a violation of the ADA, not HIPAA. That said, once you take a service dog into a place where dogs are not permitted, you have already outed yourself as disabled. There's no point in revealing the specific nature of your disability unless you personally gain by it. For example, labeling a dog as a hearing dog also alerts people to the fact you can't hear them when not making eye contact.

Should all SDs be marked by vest or working harness when in public accommodations that don't allow pets? Definitely. It is a courtesy to the business owner so that the public is not confused about pets being permitted. Are they required to do so by law? No, but they should anyway.

Should all vests or markings identify the nature of the person's disability? Generally no, but for some individuals they may find it advantageous.

If you think not vesting somehow keeps the fact you are disabled private in public accommodations, it doesn't. Just like riding an unlabeled wheelchair doesn't hide the disability. Outing yourself as disabled when you would otherwise have an invisible disability is part of the cost of choosing to use a service dog.

My dog is marked "SERVICE DOG -- DO NOT PET," which is pretty much industry standard and has been for decades. Voluntary labeling by disability became a fad thanks to the PSDS people partly to fight stigma and partly because treatment for mental illness encourages over-sharing. Look at introductions. People without mental illness tend to use single word descriptors: blind, deaf, paralyzed, seizures, etc to describe their disability in intros while people with mental illness tend to list off all their diagnoses, their treatments, and an overview of their symptoms and struggles.
« Last Edit: Today at 01:30:23 PM by Kirsten »
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