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Can they legally exclude me?

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Lily CGC- 2001-2014

Enjoying- Retirement
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 25, '06 10:54pm PST 
My mom is a member of a living history group that reenacts 18th century life during the rev war. They allow any human (even little ones with their parents) to join and everyone pays dues. Last year I went to many events with her but quite a few got rained out or we didn't attend. Last year my mommy arranged for me to be boarded no more than 5 min away from where she was. We arrived too late for me to go there that night so I had to stay at the encampment for one night. The people had a fit and said I had to be gone before camp opened to the public in the morning. They still weren't happy I was there for that one night anyways. Mommy was told that animals are not allowed at continental events (because of safety reasons). For example they don't want horses (though they would be period correct) there because they might get spooked from gun or cannon fire. The captain of our group knows I'm a SD but I'm not sure how much he knows about how much they are needed. Some members are aware too. I was brought to the meeting in my vest at the school they hold it at. We are not sending in this years dues until we know what will happen. All the events are pretty much held in places that would normally be accessible to the public (such as public parks, outdoor museums, Fort Ticonderoga and such. The tents are owned by the group and there are enough to not have to share so that is not an issue (the tents also don't have a floor in them so dog hair isn't an issue either). We pay the same as everyone else for dues and food costs. Why shouldn't we be able to stay just like everyone else? The events are over an hour away so making day trips are out of the question. They are too far away and too long for me to be left home. My mom usually would try to keep me out of sight and as descreet as possible during public hours. Now she doesn't think she'll be able to have me away for such an amount of time especially since she's going through med changes that will take months. She keeps my travel crate in our car all the time even though I don't like it. She sometimes will bring my folding wire crate that I like better. She makes sure I'm under control at all times. She normally will crate me during their meal times so I can't beg by staring at my mommy and food frown. She's going to say the heck with being discreet in the future and have me wear my vest all the time if we go to any future events. She also will not board me because she cannot only go without me but also can't afford it or trust having to find one in the directory and making reservations without being able to check them out first. She also can't afford to stay at a hotel and why should she if she pays the same as everyone else? Can they legally say I'm not allowed to attend certain events with her? Normally events are arranged by our group being invited to attend. The public is also allowed in the camp during the day.

Edited by author Sat Mar 25, '06 10:54pm PST

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Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 26, '06 12:22am PST 
Oh, Lily, that is so not fun!

Unfortunatly, you set a precident last year by not bringing Lily with you... now no matter what they expect you to not bring Lily since you were able to board her last year.

I think the way it works is private groups you can be denied access. If your group requires membership fees and is allowed to deny membership to people without reason, then yes, they can deny access to you if I'm understanding the ADA correctly... that is, they can deny you membership to their group (unless, of course, they get federal funding, in which case they can't). However, they can't not allow you at public places... so you can always go to the same public places that group is at and bring Lily. Like the group might be able to deny you membership to their group, but you could still show up at events like any other public member and bring Lily.

WHat does your group do for other people with disabilities? Wheelchairs, walkers, canes, etc (and how about glasses?)... are they allowed? If so, you have a good chance of arguing Lily should be allowed. If they are allowed but have to be period, perhaps you can try to use some sort of period style leash/collar and get some period material to make a SD bandanna or vest out of.

If you are going to be bringing Lily, you should make sure she is comfortable around cannon fire etc. If she can't work with loud canon and gun fire, there is no reason to have her there. But I guess you'd have to try it and see how it works.

It's really a shame some people are not understanding of SDs. Perhaps you could print out some flyers from psychdog.org and use those to try to explain why you need Lily with you. If I was going through some med changes I wouldn't be able to go without Sabrina, especailly overnight!

I hope someone else can help figure out if this is legal or not... the ADA can be really confusing sometimes and while I think I understand how it works in relation to private groups, I'm never sure!

Good luck and keep us posted what happens!
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Tiny

Tiny- All Heart with a- Big Bark.
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 27, '06 12:28pm PST 
If it is an event open to the public, they cannot exclude you. If it is a private event, they may choose to exclude you. If the first part is true, I would attend and let them exclude you and then talk to the press. Bad publicity is their worst enemy.
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Lily CGC- 2001-2014

Enjoying- Retirement
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 27, '06 12:40pm PST 
The group is a non-profit group and states anyone can join. They don't state that they won't accept disabled people. They do not however get any direct state or federal funds. For all but that event I brought Lily and kept her with me. She doesn't mind the gunfire much but hates it if the cannon is too close. She just goes the other way. We keep our distance. I understand her dislike it is enough to bother anyones ears if you are standing near it. She spent only one night at the kennel and I didn't do the best that one night. I think even the captain saw it. She looked horribly depressed in the run they had her in when I saw her outside before picking her up. I don't think the people listened to my instructions that she needs to be brought out to potty since she won't go even inside a pen if she can help it. She was despirate to poop as soon as she got out of there. So I'm not even sure how well she was even treated during her stay. If I had to do that for every event and could afford it, I think we'd end up with major issues that might cause her to no longer be able to work. I can't be there to make sure no one is mistreating her or check them out before. Also last year Lily hadn't been working as a full SD yet. Her obedience classes hadn't finished yet.

I've spent hundreds getting together correct clothing for the period and other useful items. The clothing isn't cheap to buy and I'm no sewing wiz.
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Tiny

Tiny- All Heart with a- Big Bark.
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 27, '06 12:48pm PST 
It does not matter whether the group gets federal or state funds. They cannot exclude your SD as long as the events are open to the public. Because they do not exclude any disabled person, they cannot exclude you. Print out the ADA guidelines and show it to them, or give them the Department of Justice telephone number.

BTW, if the gunfire/cannon fire is a problem, you can use those soft ear plugs to prevent ear damage.
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Hunnie Girl

Mommy's Princess
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 27, '06 1:49pm PST 
If it is a public event and anyone can join, if Lily has her vest on, they have to let her in. If need be, have a copy of papers saying that you need her for health reasons (whatever they may be) and explain that you didn't bring her last year because she wasn't fully trained yet.

If it comes to it, talk to a lawyer.. just ask what the laws are and such. Usually a lawyer will advise you for no charge, if your just asking about laws.

Good Luck!
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Lily CGC- 2001-2014

Enjoying- Retirement
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 27, '06 1:56pm PST 
To answer more of your questions sabrina, I am already a member so being denies membership is not the issue. It is being denied from going to events in public places that are open to the public during daylight hours that is the issue. You have to be with of one of the groups to stay overnight though. I joined the night I went to the meeting at the school with Lily so they knew about her before I joined.

I've never seen a person in a wheelchair at events. It would be near impossible for them to participate as none of the places we go to are accessible (fields, places that have stairs, no ramps) I've seen people with canes but they usually will only use a wooden one so it doesn't look too out of place. Some will buy period correct canes and use those. They do allow glasses though they prefer you use as period correct as possible. Most people hate the 18th century style and buy the 19th instead. Even the captain wears those. I've always worn my regular glasses which are shaped very similarly to the 19th c style. They are antiqued copper (i think) but have nose pads which the period glasses don't have. Still the glasses mostly everyone uses (that don't use their regular ones) are at least 30 years or more ahead of the time we potray. Lily is a period correct breed. They were commonly used in this area during that period as hunting dogs to flush game. As you already know they originate in england but at the time were just called spaniels. You can see lots of portrates of people that were painted with their "spaniel". Some of them look just like Lily or are the black and white colors. The issue isn't period correct it is "no animals allowed" at certain events only. Our Captain brough his pet dog to an event once that Lily went to. It sounded so horrible I though it was going to die right there. She was extremely over weight shitz tzu (sp?) with congestive heart failure and it was a very hot day with high humidity and the tents and fly were the only shade we had. He really had no business bringing a dog in her condition out in weather like that when she could have been home with his wife in a cool AC house. Lily was hot but wasn't wheezing like the other one plus she didn't mind a good hose down. I was trying to be period correct with her so I wasn't using her vest at events which did make her think she was mostly having free time. I do have a leather leash now and plan on getting a show lead that is the correct length. Then I'd be able to take off her collar but I didn't have it off before because she wouldn't be wearing her tags though she is microchipped and glued to me. Those 2 items would be very descreet but I'll still want to have her in her vest/harness because it says "do not pet". The fabric may be nylon but it looks similar to duck canvas which is correct. The only thing that definately isn't is the reflective strip on the handle. If I had the money and thought it useful I'd buy her and assistance harness but with her so small it wouldn't make sense since she is too small to offer much support. When I get my next dog I will get one that will be able and tall enough to help with balance therefore I'd get a harness for that purpose. It won't be too long before I'll start training another so he/she will be fully trained before Lily retires.

Let me add one more detail onto where their funding comes from. Although they do not get funds from state or federal gov't they do get payed with town funds to participate in that towns parade. Therefore their funds aren't directly from those sources but you know some of the money from the towns comes from that and local taxes. Our dues are only $5, no where near enough to pay for all our expenses (insurance, gunpowder, etc.).

Our company also doesn't own a cannon so if there is a cannon at an event another group brough it and are the ones that fire it. Therefore they aren't at every single event. Lily has been to events with cannons and as long as they weren't really close or osed double charges she was fine with it. She does hate it if a group fires their muskets right next to her with a double charge (twice the amount of gun powder your supposed to use, can damage you musket if not careful). None of the groups I've been with do that because of the dangers. She's sat nicely while a parade has walked right by.

Tiny, I'll have to keep that in mind. They do save and distribute their acticle of when they get their pictures in the paper but I don't think they'd be wanting any negative press. I did sent the captain an email asking if the same would apply this year or if they were willing make a reasonable accommodation. I also included a copy of a law card the delta society makes. This way I will have his response in writing. That way I can save and print it as many times as I like. So far I haven't gotten a response. Hopefully he's waiting until he can ask the commitee that was running that event and not ignoring me. I'm still getting their newsletters in my email.
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Lily CGC- 2001-2014

Enjoying- Retirement
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 27, '06 2:39pm PST 
Hunni I think they definatly might listen if there is a risk of negative press especially if it isn't just their local paper. They want to look as good as possible so people will want to join. It isn't like I go with them on their school visits. A lawyer is unlikely to be needed.
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Tiny

Tiny- All Heart with a- Big Bark.
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 27, '06 5:25pm PST 
If they want to be 18th century correct, then they will need to hide the disabled behind the doors.

That said, I think that the group would actually have good press by showcasing you both because it would show that the disabled are not excluded and are encouraged to join. Accept the positive spin or endure the negative.....

As the group has a municipal "connection" it is even more important to abide by the ADA.
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Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 27, '06 5:47pm PST 
I think that them getting town funds means they need to be open to all people of the town, disabled included. That to me is the thing you need to hang on to.

Let us know what the captain says, I really hope he lets you in!
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