[nfbwatlk] Comment from Mary Ellen, please
k7uij at panix.com
Tue Mar 24 02:18:49 UTC 2015
There's discussion of it on the CFB list.
> On Mar 23, 2015, at 17:54, Debby Phillips via nfbwatlk <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> 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 Columbia, Canada
> Date sent: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:03:15 -0700
> Hey all,
> 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 handler’s name and info is on this ID), it isn’t reasonable in my opinion to require something of a service dog handler that is not required of anyone else. I don’t 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 I’m 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 ADA, sigh.
> 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 Chris Walker.
> 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 public transit.
> 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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