|Unmasking the complexities of service and support animals|
Image source: Pixabay
As a refresher, the Wisconsin State Legislature gives this definition: "Service animal" means a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal that is individually trained or is being trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including the work or task of guiding a person with impaired vision, alerting a person with impaired hearing to intruders or sound, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items. (Source)
If a person with a disability uses the public library with a service animal, consider the following from the ADA National Network's booklet "Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals: Where are they allowed and under what conditions?" which is available for free online as a PDF and webpage.
From Section V: Handler's Rights, A) Public Facilities and Accommodations:
Titles II and III of the ADA makes it clear that service animals are allowed in public facilities and accommodations. A service animal must be allowed to accompany the handler to any place in the building or facility where members of the public, program participants, customers, or clients are allowed. Even if the business or public program has a “no pets” policy, it may not deny entry to a person with a service animal. Service animals are not pets. So, although a “no pets” policy is perfectly legal, it does not allow a business to exclude service animals.
|While animals can provide emotional support |
to humans, only service animals are protected
by ADA law. Image source: Pixabay
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development Team