A U.S. Army and Navy veteran says he was told he had to leave a west Houston restaurant because of his service dog. Aryeh Ohayon says it happened Tuesday at the Thai Spice Buffet II restaurant in the 2500 block of South Voss Road.
This has yet to happen to me, but I know that it will. Because it HAS to. Because EVERY DAMN DAY people look at Sadie and then look at me and go “is she in training?” “You don’t look disabled?” “Well what do you have?” “They make service dogs for [ptsd] now?” Also cue the strange and bizarre looks I usually get because I dare to be out in the community *gasp* working or shopping or, you know, doing normal things.
And to make matters worse my PTSD dog is, like the dog in the link, an American Pit Bull Terrier. To those who don’t buy into media bullshit you know that these dogs are nothing but love, kisses, and loyalty, but to others it just makes people think that my dog cannot be a service dog. This is utter bullshit. There are no “specific breeds” for service dogs. I got my dog to have a dog. She just alerted me to a flashback and wouldn’t stop pounding on my chest until I locked eyes with her, thereby grounding myself in the present. So we trained her to be the perfect SD she is today,
THIS SHIT IS REAL.
THIS SHIT HAPPENS.
And one day, it’ll happen to me. Because I’m not blind. Because I have PTSD. Because I don’t look disabled.
EDUCATE YOURSELVES AND OTHERS.
Because I’m sick of this shit.
The social justice tumblr reblog party is all fun and games until a disabled person says something is harmful to them and then we’re all just being too unreasonable and shouldn’t expect to be accommodated.
My struggle to this very day with mental health services, the visited me at home, and they lIterally told I wasn’t ill enough and I’m now being passed around and waiting for a phonecall.
Extremely personal piece. Doesn’t really need that much explanation.
*apologies if it turns up pixelated, just click the picture for a full res. view
As a severe chronic illness sufferer, I so often get asked “how do you do it? You’re so strong!”
The answer is simple: I do it because I have to. You’ve got no other choice but to be strong. That’s how you do it.
Many people are confused about what service animals are, or what rights people with disabilities have about bringing their service animals to places like buses, restaurants, schools, and other places. Some businesses violate the law when they refuse service to people with service animals out of ignorance, but we can’t demand our rights effectively if we don’t know them better than they do. This guide is designed for people who are interested in going to places with their service animal.
What Are Service Animals?
Service animals must be dogs (with some exceptions) that have been trained to perform a task to assist a person with a disability. They are different from pets, “companion animals,” or “emotional support animals” because they are specifically trained to do something for a person with disability.
Examples of “tasks” given by the Department of Justice include:
- guiding someone who is blind
- alerting someone who is deaf
- pulling a wheelchair for someone
- protecting someone who is having a seizure
- calming someone during an anxiety attack (licking, nuzzling, etc.)
Service animals must be trained to do one of these things (or some other task), but they do not need to be trained by professionals. Some organizations train and certify dogs as “service animals,” but you or your friends and family members can train your own dog as well. There is no requirement for certification or registration for service animals.
What Are My Rights and Responsibilities?
Businesses, government buildings, clinics, and non-profit organizations that other people can enter generally must allow service animals. There are some exceptions, but they are very specific (such as an operating room at a hospital).
Service animals must wear a harness, leash, etc., unless these devices prevent them from working. They must be under control (not barking or making a scene) and must be potty-trained (they are able to hold off until they are in an appropriate place to relieve themselves).
What Are Businesses’ Rights and Responsibilities?
There are only two questions businesses are allowed to ask about someone’s service animal: 1. “Is this a service animal?” and 2. “What work does the animal do?” They cannot ask what disability you have, require documentation of any kind, or make you “prove” that the animal can perform tasks.
Businesses cannot charge extra fees for people with service animals, even if they charge extra for people with non-service pets (hotels, airplanes, etc.). They must allow service animals even if they do not allow other animals (restaurants, grocery stores). They cannot treat people with service animal any worse than they treat other customers.
Businesses can ask people with service animals to leave if the dog is out of control, or the animal is not potty-trained, but not just because someone else is afraid of or allergic to dogs.
Businesses can make people with service animal pay for damages their animals cause only if they would also ask customers without service animals to pay for damages they cause.
What Else Should I Know About Service Animals?
Some people make their service animals wear “service animal” tags, harnesses, or jackets. They are not required, but they might stop other people from questioning if your dog really is a service animal. You can buy them at a pet supply store or online.
This document addresses your rights in most places of “public accommodation.” There are different definitions of “service animal” or “assistance animal” for having service animals in housing (including shelters), or for air travel, which might give you more rights. Talk to your friendly disability justice advocate to find out more!
This document is based on “ADA 2010 Revised Requirements: Service Animals” issued by U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Download the original document, print out a copy and hand it to ignorant businesses to educate them!
I’m fucking tired of seeing jokes made about Bipolar disorder. “I hate having Bipolar disorder, its so awesome!” Seriously? That’s not what being Bipolar is. Just because you’re happy one second and sad the next doesn’t give you the right to say things like “omgeee! I’m so Bipolar!” You wouldn’t be saying that shit if you had it. I have Bipolar disorder and its a fucking nightmare. Being so depressed you’re on the verge of ending it when you bounce right up and get your hopes high. But then in a few weeks, or days, or months, you get slammed back down again. And also getting your hopes up, thinking you’re cured, when its really just hypomania. Do you even fucking know what mania is? Just please, PLEASE, at least TRY to learn a few facts about it before you tell the whole fucking world how “Bipolar” you are. It doesn’t mean you fucking change your mind a lot. It doesn’t mean you’re moody. It doesn’t mean you cry at happy things. Its a fucking chemical imbalance and people with it have a hard enough fucking time without trying to ignore shitheads like people who make shithead comments.