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Title III Technical Assistance Manual (with 1994 supplement)

III−4.2300 Service animals. A public accommodation must modify its policies to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability, unless doing so would result in a fundamental alteration or jeopardize the safe operation of the public accommodation.

Service animals include any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Tasks typically performed by service animals include guiding people with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to the presence of intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or retrieving dropped items.

The care or supervision of a service animal is the responsibility of his or her owner, not the public accommodation. A public accommodation may not require an individual with a disability to post a deposit as a condition to permitting a service animal to accompany its owner in a place of public accommodation, even if such deposits are required for pets.

ILLUSTRATION: An individual who is blind wishes to be accompanied in a restaurant by her guide dog. The restaurant must permit the guide dog to accompany its owner in all areas of the restaurant open to other patrons and may not insist that the dog be separated from her.

A number of States have programs to certify service animals. A private entity, however, may not insist on proof of State certification before permitting the entry of a service animal to a place of public accommodation.

This regulation also acknowledges that in rare circumstances, if the nature of the goods and services provided or accommodations offered would be fundamentally altered or the safe operation of a public accommodation jeopardized, a service animal need not be allowed to enter.

ILLUSTRATION: A showing by appropriate medical personnel that the presence or use of a service animal would pose a significant health risk in certain designated areas of a hospital may serve as a basis for excluding service animals in those areas.


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