We Welcome Service Animals
Join Us in This Important Effort
Service animals enrich the lives of many disabled Americans by performing vital tasks that increase their owners’ safety, mobility and independence. These animals are not a luxury, but a necessity. By denying a disabled person with a service animal access to your business, you’re exposing yourself to lawsuits and serious penalties. So please join us in welcoming disabled guests and their service animals into your business. It’s the law. And it’s the right thing to do.
“We Welcome Service Animals” is a national campaign created by the California Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Foundation and made possible by funding from the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation and the American Express Foundation to teach people in the hospitality industry and law enforcement how to improve service to disabled guests who depend on service animals for assistance. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hotels, motels and restaurants are required to treat disabled customers with service animals like all other guests, providing them with the same service and access to all areas where other guests are allowed. Violating the ADA can lead to serious penalties and costly lawsuits. Also denying access to disabled people with service animals is a crime in every state.
In addition, videos are also available online - click on the link below.
It’s the Law — and the Right Thing to Do
Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities. Among other things, the law guarantees all disabled persons the legal right to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas open to the general public. Failure to comply with the ADA exposes you and your business to lawsuits and serious federal penalties. Other state and local laws against discrimination may also exist in your area.
What is a Service Animal?
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Beginning March 15, 2011, only dogs and miniature horses are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.)
The potentially life-saving tasks they perform may include:
You may not always see a service animal performing these tasks — but they’re always on the job, working to make life safer and more rewarding for their owners. Service animals can often be identified by special harnesses or colorful vests they sometimes wear — but these items are not required by law. So if you are uncertain whether an animal is a service animal, simply ask its owner.
Make All Your Guests Feel Welcome
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act:
For more information about our “We Welcome Service Animals” program, or to request materials, please contact CH&LA at 1-916-444-5780. For information on the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the Department of Justice via the telephone numbers or web site below.
ADA Information Line — Telephone: 1-800-514-0301 (Voice)
For a printed brochure, please send an email to Sue Norton.