[nfbwatlk] Comment from Mary Ellen, please
semisweetdebby at gmail.com
Tue Mar 24 00:54:18 UTC 2015
Hi Mary Ellen, have you seen this bill? I think it really sucks,
for many reasons that ow won't go in to here. Debby P.S. Will
you be in Florida this summer?
---- Original Message ------
From: Heather Hutchison via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nagdu] Proposed Service Dog Legislation in British
Date sent: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:03:15 -0700
Just wanting opinions on this proposed legislation in British
Columbia, Canada, where I live (article below). I am currently
between dogs but am quite concerned about a number of things, to
the point where if this legislation passes I will have to think
very hard about whether or not to get another guide. I am not
thrilled about the requirement that all dogs come from accredited
schools, but what concerns me even more is that from my
understanding, a handler will be forced to present some sort of
government issued ID to gain access to any public facility with
their dog. This seems like a violation of privacy and human
rights (especially if the handlers name and info is on this ID),
it isnt reasonable in my opinion to require something of a
service dog handler that is not required of anyone else. I dont
like the idea of giving anyone who works at a business the right
to be the service dog police, and the stress of having to defend
my choice of mobility aid at every turn and prove Im not a fraud
makes me think I might just stick with the cane.
I was really hoping this legislation would be much closer to the
Fake ID is going to the dogs rather too much, as it turns out.
But a proposed B.C. law aims to stop people labelling dogs
without proper training as service dogs, by creating government
issued dog ID and a provincial registry.
"It'll be a bit like a service dog driving licence if you like,"
Bill Thornton, the CEO of BC and Alberta Guide Dogs, an
organization that trains service dogs, told Daybreak South's
Service dogs don't just include seeing eye dogs trained to help
people who are visually impaired. They're also trained to help
people in wheelchairs, people with hearing impairments, autism or
to act as seizure alert dogs.
Thornton said over the past decade it has become easier to buy
fake service dog tags and jackets online.
The identification tags allow the dog to accompany its owner to
places dogs aren't usually allowed such as restaurants or on
Thornton said he's seeing more and more situations involving fake
service dog IDs, but it's difficult for most people to deal with.
"It is an awkward circumstance for someone to challenge someone
who purports to have a disability and they've got a jacket on the
dog it's very difficult and often those folks behave very
poorly when challenged," he said.
He said the new law would make things better for everyone,
including people who legitimately need a service dog.
"They'll be able to check for the
licence and if you have it
then you're entitled to go in, and if you don't have it you're
not entitled to come in with the dog.
The new Guide Dog and Service Dog Act would also standardize
training and certification in the province. It has passed its
first reading and is expected to be implemented in the fall.
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