Hero of Hyrule
|Barked: Tue Apr 16, '13 1:58am PST |
|Sadie, while I understand where you are coming from, I will not allow discrimination and violations of my federal rights. If they want to say allow a very well behaved, quiet dog into their visiting rooms is an unreasonable accommodation, fine, I have plenty of documentation that they would allow a guide dog, so obviously it's my disability that is the problem, not the dog. I would simply have more documentation of their discrimination. And while I know I need to keep my health in mind especially considering I'm just gaining weight back from the 88 lbs I wasted away to while dealing with divorce court and the same sheriff being completely ignorant of the law, it is a fundamental belief of mine that no one is above the law, I don't care what uniform you wear or who supplies your paychecks. And I do not want another SD team to have to go through what I went through, no one should be subjected to that, and I have a feeling they're just quietly allowing me access and won't change anything else about their policy.
Anyway, I received calls from a sergeant and the sheriff today. The seargeant said I would be allowed to visit my friend with my service dog, but I should call in advance (as I mentioned previously I already did that), he said I shouldn't have issues again.
The sheriff called me back later, ee have dealt with each other before regarding service dog issues (when my ex stole my SD equipment), and I remember him as having the typical incredibly demeaning cop personality. He was also ignorant of the law. This was all reaffirmed as I tried to talk reasonably with him. I was not rude, but I was firm, I don't allow myself to be intimidated like he especially tries to do. I was constantly having to talk or wait through his, "Listen Autumn, Autumn, Autumn, Autumn!" interruptions similar to how one talks down to a dog or child. I asked what his facility's policy was on admitting service animals, turns out they don't even have one (besides from what I gleaned from my earlier phone calls, only guide dogs and no pit bulls). I asked what he was going to do to do his best to make sure this didn't happen to me or another service dog team, he said he doesn't make promises that he can't keep! He can't even guarantee his underlings will follow federal law... I asked him if he would make sure there was education and proper disciplinary action taken, and I explained how severely his officers aggravated my disability, and told him that during the first phone calls his officers committed many violations of the ADA, most notably they continued to ask me what my disability was in spite of me telling them that was my private medical info (and also in violation of the ADA), and demanding certification. He said he handed out some info, and that was all he would do, he wouldn't tell me what information he gave his officers. I voiced my concern that he and his officers needed to know that what they did was discrimination on the basis of my disability, and in violation of the ADA because I did not want this to happen to me or anyone else, and he laughed, and said that they could kick me out at any time and never had to give a reason. That may be true, but I was given a reason, and also businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone too, but under the ADA they CAN NOT discriminate on the basis of my disability, and that applied to them too. I was getting far past done with him by this point, he was rude, demeaning, and refused to apologize or even admit any wrong doings. He would not back down on his commander being perfectly in the right about denying me access. I informed him I was not satisfied with how he has handled this, and that I will be following through on my complaint to the DOJ. So that was that.
I may be calling the human resources office again to file an official complaint because I do not like how this was handled at all. The least he could have done was apologize for his officers making me extreming ill. I have been having continuing full body shaking panic attacks just talking to these people on the phone about it, and I had a doctor's appointment, Link's first time at this office, and was sick with anxiety over the possibility of another access challenge. I had to ask my boyfriend to come in and sit in the waiting room with me, which I haven't needed since Link coming back to public access work, because I was so anxious about being challenged again. I wasn't challenged and Link did great, though I did put off a blood draw due to my anxiety levels main it pretty impossible to focus on Link since that would be another first experience. Anyway if I do call it will be at my therapy appointment tomorrow so my therapist can be there to support me. She's going to have a cow when she hears about it. This has been my first real access refusal, and I'm really shaken by it, probably doesn't help that it was at a police station. Do these happen fairly often, or only every once in a while?
I'll keep you guys updated on what happens with the complaint, I'm going to write my friend a letter and focus on being able to see him at the next visit.
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