I took my wife to an Ohio Urgent care. Upon entering the receptionist asked about my dog and said if the dog was not my service dog or was an ESA it was not aloud. I stated that she was MY service dog. She said ok but it’s not for you. I said again yes she is my service dog and she is for a psychiatric disability. She proceeds to go on about how I don’t have a physical disability to which I said not all disabilities are visible. She then said she would try and get in touch with her manager and went into the back. This is where I started filming.
Ohio has two different sets of laws on service animals and public accommodations, and they describe which animals qualify for protection differently. Under the Ohio Revised Code’s dog laws, “assistance dogs” are allowed to accompany people with disabilities into public accommodations. Assistance dogs must be trained by a nonprofit special agency, and are limited to guide dogs that have been trained to assist a blind person, hearing dogs that have been trained to assist someone who is deaf or hearing-impaired, and service dogs that have been trained to assist someone who is mobility-impaired. Under this definition, psychiatric service animals don’t qualify, nor do animals trained to assist with other disabilities, such as a seizure alert animal who assists someone with epilepsy, an animal that alerts someone with diabetes of low blood sugar, or an animal trained to detect allergensd.
However, another provision of Ohio law, in the Administrative Code that interprets the state’s civil rights laws, has a much broader definition of service animals—and this law also applies to public accommodations. Under the Administrative Code, people with disabilities may bring all “animal assistants” into places of public accommodation. An animal assistant is any animal that assists a person with a disability. The examples provided include a hearing dog, a guide dog, and a monkey that retrieves things. Because the definition of disability in the Administrative Code includes both physical and mental impairments, this provision of the law appears to include psychiatric service animals and animals trained to perform other services for those with disabilities. -Ohio Disability Law/Ohio.gov
ADA Law: www.ada.gov
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