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Dog/animal dander in hospitals & Rehabilitation Facility/Assisted Living/Nursing Homes

Help! What legal rights do I have? What accommodations can be made? How can accommodations be made? Dog/cat, etc. dander travels in entire building making it impossible for me to be in a building with dog/cat, etc. dander. I had allergy attacks in 2017 both at a hospital, and at a rehabilitation facility most recently when visiting parent and acting as their Power of Attorney. I fear allergy attacks when I have to go to hospital and other rehabilitation/assisted living/nursing home facilities as a patient or caregiver. I need practical solutions to and legal advice for this disability.

Respond here or send me a private message.

Edited to remove personal, identifying details – CRR – 10/24/2017

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  • K8sMom2002

    Ann, that sounds like a really frustrating situation! You need to be able to take care of your parent, and I'm sure you also want to see your parent as well. 

    We're not lawyers, so we can't give you legal advice. But maybe we can brainstorm some suggestions and point you in the direction of resources.

    First, you're absolutely right that asthma and allergies can be considered a disability.

    AAFA has a great .

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law. It gives people with disabilities the right to ask for changes where policies, practices or conditions leave you out or put you at a disadvantage. Public companies and places must give people with disabilities full access to all facilities, programs, goods and services. They must also give them the chance to enjoy these places and services just like someone without disabilities.

    Could you ask the rehab facility who assists with accommodating their patients' disabilities? That might be a good place to start. 

    Could your parent be placed in a room that was near an entrance, and air cleaner be placed in the room?

    Some more tips that might help are in a 

    Like I said, this sounds really frustrating — hugs that you are having to endure both reactions to the environment along with the stress of caring for a parent.

  • Shea

    I have severe dander allergies as well. I am finding it very difficult to navigate these days since more pets and "service" animals are indoors and dander collects. I do not fly on planes, and I make my home a sanctuary. I feel places like hospitals should be animal-free, or have those with animals housed in a separate building. I am sorry you are going through this as well. Please post any updates about proposed accommodations and legal information as you find it! (I will to if I find any!)

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, I thought about you when we were leaving the hospital after DD's latest procedure … there, in the lobby were two beautiful therapy dogs, wagging their tails happily — and spreading dander everywhere!

    And this was a children's hospital. I worried about kids who managed asthma and who were in the hospital just for that.

    I figure for you, seeing a dog is a lot like my DD seeing an ear of corn — pretty as long as it's only a picture! I'm so glad that you've educated me on how hard dander allergies can be to manage. It has helped me know how to reduce the risks from my own pets  for people who manage dander allergies. 

    I love my pets, but I love people, too! 

  • Pljohns

    Same here Shea-thank you for the education-I absolutely never thought about it until I became active on this board.  I have 3 dogs and have always been careful about them not jumping on people or being in their face or all over them if they visit-figured if someone else wanted a pet, they would have one and they shouldn't have to deal with mine, BUT I never really thought about the pet dander going everywhere and how badly it affects people with those allergies.  We never take our pets anywhere but the pet store but I see more and more in regular stores and when we were in CA on vacation, pets were EVERYWHERE.  I wondered how someone with allergies would have ever been able to go to the park and some of the places we went because dogs were everywhere.  

    Thank you for educating me/us on how tough it really is.

  • Shea

    Thank you both, just in being caring and compassionate and considerate. Some people have been mean, and rude, and uncaring, some have made it seem like I am overreacting– I used to treat myself very badly and ignore my body and treat my allergic reactions like they weren't a big deal, it just got worse and worse -I'd suffer trying to breathe… I'd take every medicine in the book… I'd forget what it is like to breathe out of my nose or smell… I got used to my real bodily needs being placed low, and the feeling of helplessness, and that I was wrong, and to hide my allergies or brush them under the table or just medicate… It took me nearly dying to get it… I have to stand up for myself, listen to my body, and avoid dander, even if it means I don't get to go certain places, or hug certain people… I am not good at taking on businesses and trying to explain. I just stay at home more. It is not a solution I know, but the problem is too much for me, and I am emotionally and physically drained. People are bringing their animals everywhere, and it affects me and isolates me. I have hope because people on this forum have shown kindness and understanding. 

  • Ann Barbiero

    In reviewing the Americans with Disabilities Act, my argument is as follows:

    The Act retains the basic definition of "disability" as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as an impairment. However, it changes the way that the statutory terms should be interpreted. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.

    A dog/cat or other dander-producing animal does not take precedence over a human being in medical facilities such as hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, doctors' offices, or other public buildings because a dog's/cat's, or other dander-producing animal's dander is a direct threat to human health by imposing dog/cat or other dander-producing animal's DANDER on all humans in these types of facilities without exception. In this case, it is a direct threat to my health by limiting my major life activity of breathing due to forcing me in these facilities to inhale such dander which creates life-threatening respiratory issues for me.

    Animal dander in a home, for example, takes approximately 6 to 12 months AFTER the animal has been removed to be considered "safe" for a person to exercise the major life activity of breathing.

    Animal dander is breathed into a human's body, attaches externally to human's hair, eyelashes, body hair, skin, clothing, footwear, etc. and requires removal and cleaning of clothing, as well as, head and entire body showering to remove dander.

    With the tremendous increase of pets in homes, no wonder there is a significant increase in allergic reactions concerning the major life activity of breathing. There was a huge front-page article in The Connecticut Post regarding this topic by Bridgeport Hospital's, Pulmonary Department, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, not long ago.

    Now, this can be a touchy subject because many people own a pet and cannot differentiate between a pet in their own home vs. a dog/cat or other dander-producing animal in facilities as described above.

    The inclusion of these types of animals in the above settings, has overstepped the intent of The Americans with Disabilities Act. The current interpretation of this Act, rather than including me, is EXCLUDING me. In order to be rectified, this needs to be remedied by legal methods, whether it be a legal interpretation or revision of The Americans with Disabilities Act or some attachment to it, to address this oversight.

    So, what I need is to communicate this national issue, this violation of The Americans with Disabilities Act, to a person affiliated with The Americans with Disabilities Act, national contact person(s) in order to legally STOP the imposition of animal dander on all humans in these types of facilities.

    Who is/are that/those contact person(s)??? I need names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or some way to make a connection in order to move this forward to being resolved. 

    Do you see any way other than a legal method in accomplishing this?

     

  • Shea

    Anne, I like what you wrote. I think it expresses the issue clearly and professionally. I registered for webinar at that link you posted too. 

    The only thing I could think of for a more immediate relief is to file an ADA complaint,  

    for a specific establishment that does not make accomodations, like having indoor places for those with dander allergies… and winning one small battle at a time, while still pursuing the larger battle at hand. 

    I really like that you are making preparations and taking action. I really think it is an important issue, for a lot of people. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Ann, the link that you shared above is to an information session with the Great Lakes ADA Center. They list telephone contact numbers:

  • Ann Barbiero

    Thanks for asking. Mom is still there rehabbing at facility.

    I spoke to Social Worker there in depth today about how animal dander is a direct threat to all human health without exception, which forces me to inhale such dander creating life-threatening respiratory issues for me. She offered to have me meet my mom in a front room that she would have cleaned, until I told her it takes approximately 6 to 12 months AFTER the animal has been removed to be considered "safe" to exercise the major life activity of breathing. I told her that since 4 years ago, when my husband and I stopped going into homes with pets, we have not been sick. I also told her that allergy medication does not work for 100% of people 100% of time. Imagine, getting 3-week respiratory congestion (cold-like) symptoms from inhaling dog dander in someone's home, or hotel, or hospital, or other medical or public building until I made the connection. With windows & doors closed in cooler months, dander is more concentrated exacerbating the situation. To accommodate those persons needing service animals in same facility as those who have the dander breathing issue: in order to prevent contaminating entire building with animal dander, a remedy would be to only allow animals in a separated area of building with external access, without being on same building's shared air ventilation/air-conditioning/heating system or a separate building so that the majority of people who do not need service animals can breathe uncontaminated air. Possibility for housing in same building, have a chamber like they do for employees working on computer chips. They enter a chamber, the chamber has the capacity to decontaminate the air. Then, the chamber door opens to let the employee into computer chip room. Air purification experts needed here for their input.

    I also told her about the upcoming national Webinar, Service Animals and the ADA, and I e-mailed her the link to register.

    Also, I told her about my story regarding highly allergenic holiday Poinsettias & live Christmas Trees, as well as roses and other highly allergenic flowers. Story goes: I would start Christmas vacation at home for 1-2 weeks perfectly healthy. I decorated my house with a live Christmas tree. Soon after Christmas vacation started with Christmas Tree in place, I developed severe congestion and respiratory issues year after year until I finally suspected the Christmas Tree. Next year I decorated with an artificial Christmas Tree and NO CONGESTION NOR RESPIRATORY ISSUES DID I HAVE, year after year. Same story happened with live Poinsettias and roses and other highly allergenic flowers, feather pillows, down comforters, etc. I now must only stay in hotels etc. that are pet-free & no smoking & that have hypoallergenic pillows & bedding. Rental cars and purchasing a used car from former dog owners are problematic.

    This past Christmas I was at our local bank and my husband and I could not help but overhear a conversation a man was having with a teller about how his wife got so sick after putting up the artificial Christmas tree and decorations. My husband and I looked at each other. I felt I owed it to this poor man's wife's holiday joy so I excused myself and asked him if they had live Poinsettias. He said, "How did I know?" His wife had just brought a few into their house. I told him my story. He said, "Thank you so much. That's it! The Poinsettias…with her allergies, she must be allergic to those, too!" He told me he was going straight home to remove them from the house. As he was a total stranger, I have only to guess his wife's outcome.

    The Social Worker told me that she learned so much from my conversation with her today. I will be included in progress reporting meeting on my mom this Wednesday afternoon via phone in room during meeting, contrary to being excluded during mom's admission meeting. 

    Lots of information to digest. You can just imagine the amount of times I have been exposed to these major activity of life's breathing scenarios and the life-threatening respiratory issues they created NEEDLESSLY for me. How much wasted societal time and money in medical diagnosis and medical care and medical insurance and loss days of employment and pain and suffering…ALL NEEDLESSLY.

  • Jen

    It sounds like the social worker was receptive to what you had to say.  I'm glad that you're able to phone in during the meeting tomorrow.

  • Shea

    Ann, when I signed up for the seminar at the link it gave me an option of how Id attend and I checked the box that said webinar.

    Yea, seperate buildings and/or seperate a/c units is something to consider. These are living facilities, healthcare facilities, and indoor air quality is important. The problem is the business itself cannot refuse service animals without getting in trouble. Id say the people who request service animals should be the "unreasonable request", and the allergic people who want no animals with dander rresudin in these facilities would be the reasonable request. But when my own allergists office had service animals in it, I gave up because they were telling me maybe I could wait outside. I switched allergists. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Ann, so great that the social worker is being open to you and helping you figure things out! I'm glad you're able to be included by phone on the progress report — sure hope your mom's rehab gets done very quickly so she can be home and you won't have this to worry about. 

    Shea, ugh on the allergist … glad you found one that would work with you!

  • Ann Barbiero

    Cynthia,

    But I DO have this to worry about even after this rehab session for my mom. What about future rehab stays? What about me needing rehab services at rehab facility, for example, in my future?

    The Director of Nursing at Lord Chamberlain Rehabilitation Facility in Stratford, CT 06614 said to me last week on the phone in response to me asking how would I be able to be a patient in rehab at their facility if I needed it in the future, "You would never be able to use our facility" because of the dog policy (dander) Lord Chamberlain has.

    According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, if a business does not have accessible features, then it may be sued by any disabled person who encounters a barrier to access.

    I know of a well known top ADA attorney, in industry recognized as Top One Percent 2017 by NADC, 10.0 Avvo Rating, Lawline, Super Lawyers; also, seen on 60 MINUTES, CNBC, CNN, FOX NEWS.

    Law Offices of Nolan Klein, 39 Broadway, New York, NY 10006, Toll Free: 1-877-253-5406, Fax: 1-877-253-1691

    Damages available under the ADA include correction of the accessibility issues, and recovery of all attorney's fees and costs. Money damages may also be available to the disabled claimant under state law. Free legal consultation with an ADA lawyer.

    Does anyone have past or present experience with an "ADA" attorney? Any "ADA" attorney recommendations?

  • Shea

    The only experience I have with attorneys is having my social security disability case attorney, when I won disability based on my chronic allergic disease Churg-Strauss Syndrome aftee I had a heart attack, vasculitis, and asthma. But, I believe they just focus on those types of cases, not human rights violations or ADA violations. 

    I did find this on the websites FAQ ( )

    Q26. When might a service dog's presence fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program provided to the public?

    A. In most settings, the presence of a service animal will not result in a fundamental alteration.  However, there are some exceptions.  For example, at a boarding school, service animals could be restricted from a specific area of a dormitory reserved specifically for students with allergies to dog dander.  At a zoo, service animals can be restricted from areas where the animals on display are the natural prey or natural predators of dogs, where the presence of a dog would be disruptive, causing the displayed animals to behave aggressively or become agitated.  They cannot be restricted from other areas of the zoo. 

    So… I see that specific areas of a dormitory can be protected, and that establishments CAN restrict service animals… that is good news! (I never heard that before). 

    Also, religious instituest and federal as well are not required to follow ADA, so that could be good IF they have a no animal policy. 

  • Ann Barbiero

    Thank, Shea!

    The Social Worker at the rehab facility is receptive to all information on this topic that I can feed her. Yesterday, in joint phone conversation with Lord Chamberlain's Rehabilitation Facility's Administrator and Social Worker, their administrative team said they would further discuss this topic and will include Dr. Robert Sbriglio, Chief Medical Director and Governing Board Member, in that discussion to see if their Pet Policy should be revisited.

    They will get back to me in one week from yesterday.

    Fingers crossed!

  • Shea

    Crossing my fingers!!! (I'd love to hear a winning story on this topic, it'd give me some hope!)

  • K8sMom2002

    Ann, I'm hoping that you will hear some encouraging news when they get back in touch with you!

  • K8sMom2002

    @Ann Barbiero, saw your other reply on another thread, and I wanted to check in and see how you were doing. 

    I also thought about you and the way you have needed to educate the staff at your mom's rehab facility. There's a new program from AAFA and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The goal of the program is to increase awareness of asthma and research and to increase patient participation in research. 

    You can watch and share AAFA's collection of 11 short videos on understanding asthma and asthma research. Then take short surveys after each one to give us your feedback. 

    Short topics (mostly 2-3 minutes long) include: 

      All those, as well as another video on , may help you educate folks about what asthma is REALLY like. 

    • Shea

      Ugh. I just listened to the replay of that webinar listed above….. and was completely annoyed. It answered nothing. There are so many problems, it is ridiculous. The guy says if there is an allergic person and a person with a service animal in a class, the person with the allergies would have to change classes. He says in response to fake service animals that lots of people speed and don't VDT caught, and that people break laws– well for one you ha e a drivers license, and police doesn't just take your word for it, omg…. I cannot even get started. Then he says the establishment has to accomodate both disabilities… And he offers no possible way the establishment  can actually do that. I am so annoyed.

    • Marie E Natzke

      I agree there has to be a way to satisfy both needs. The need for a service animal and the need to avoid service animals as well as pets. I'm sorry for what you are going through but by hearing this I  don't feel so alone. 

       

    • Marie E Natzke

      Shea,  I was at the mall today and I was in Target. I had to look 3 times. Couldn't believe what I was seeing. A man walked it with a cockatoo on his arm.  Now I've seen everything. We have pigs allowed in planes and birds in stores.  Unbelievable!!!

    • Shea

      Oh my gosh. I'm going to end up being a hermit if things don't change. 

    • Jen

      @Ann Barbiero Any updates on your efforts at the assisted living facility?

    • Ann Barbiero

      Hi, Jen,

      I just saw this in my e-mail about Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 12 noon to 1 p.m. Twitter chat on Service Animals.

      Let's participate in this national Twitter chat. Please pass this event info onto others. Unfortunately, it is short notice.

      Thanks!

       

    • Ann Barbiero

      I spoke to Peter Berg, the presenter, immediately after the Service Animals and the ADA Webinar on November 21, 2017. He had no idea that dander from dogs and other animals is a direct threat to my health by limiting my major life activity of BREATHING due to forcing me in facilities of all kinds to inhale such dander which creates life-threatening respiratory issues for me. The current interpretation of The Americans with Disabilities Act, rather than including me, is EXCLUDING me. This is a violation of The Americans with Disabilities Act which is illegal.

    • Ann Barbiero

      Sorry, I left out the time is EST – Twitter chat on Service Animals by ADA National Network is Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 12 noon to 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

    • Ann Barbiero

      1-800-949-4232 

      This is the phone number I called to speak to Peter Berg, at the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) National Network for the Great Lakes Center. Here is his biography.

      Peter Berg

      ADA Technical Assistance Coordinator  Great Lakes Center

      Biography

      Peter Berg currently serves as the ADA Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Great Lakes Center. He joined the Center in October of 2000 and has since conducted trainings for a wide range of audiences, including Federal agencies, local and state governments, public and private employers and a variety of businesses. Peter has served and continues to serve on a wide range of disability related committees at the University and within the Great Lakes region. His personal experience with employment discrimination based on disability has given him a different perspective in the employment arena as both an employee with a disability and a manager of over 25 employees. He utilizes this experience and his knowledge of the ADA to work effectively with employers and employees to understand the reasonable accommodation process. In addition, Peter is a strong advocate of accessible environments and has been an active advocate for accessibility in the community where he and his family live.

      Session History

      11/21/2017 - 

      05/24/2016 - 

      02/16/2016 - 

       

      Great Lakes ADA Center MC 728 · 1640 W. Roosevelt Road · Room 405 · Chicago, Illinois 60608 877-232-1990 (V/TTY) · 312-413-1407 (V/TTY) · 312-413-1856 (Fax) 

      Some of the contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DP0091-02-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Accessibility Online program is funded through a contract with the U.S. Access Board. The contents of this page does not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, or U.S. Access Board and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

       

       

    • Shea

      It definitely is a violation of rights to exclude allergic people. I have even seen it expressly included that an allergic employee or store owner is not allowed to deny a service animal in their store because of their allergy. I was like whaaaaaaaat?!?! So that is insane. If I owned a store, I would say this store is explicitly for allergic individuals and absolutely no service animals allowed. I have seriously thought of makinga store that doesnt allow animals, perfumes, or smoke and is very indoor air quality-conscious. But Im not even sure it could legally be because of the current laws. 

    • Ann Barbiero

      After today's Twitter chat, I placed a call to David West at New England ADA Center, 200 Portland St, 1st floor, Boston, MA 02114 1-800-949-4232.

      The person answering the phone said David was on the phone probably with other people from today's Twitter chat. So, I left my phone number with phone receptionist, and David West will be calling me back.

      David West just called me back. He said that I DO have a legitimate complaint against Lord Chamberlain Rehabilitation facility in Stratford, CT. I have requested them to review their policies and practices to create a safe space for me and others (David called this a request for a modification of policy). He suggested I call the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights at 1-860-541-3400 to file a complaint.

      David West also agreed with me that in order to remedy this on a national level and not just a facility level, I would want to pursue the Service Animal in Buildings and Confined Areas issue with the attorneys specializing in Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") Lawyers. I told David I know of Nolan Klein Esq., Law Offices of Nolan Klein, 39 Broadway, New York, NY 10006 (877) 253-5406. These attorneys have been seen on 60 MINUTES, CNBC, CNN, FOX NEWS Channel, and are industry recognized by Avvo Rating 10.0 Nolan Keith Klein Top Attorney, Lawline, Super Lawyers, National Association of Distinguished Counsel (NADC) Nation's Top One Percent 2017.

      IGNORANCE of dog dander health/breathing ramifications is NO EXCUSE FOR BREAKING THE LAW, The Americans with Disabilities Act. I, too, have a disability caused by breathing in dog dander which creates life-threatening respiratory issues for me. The Americans with Disabilities Act is to protect me, too! Right now, the interpretation of the ADA is discriminating against me.

    • Ann Barbiero

      David West also said that patients may arrive outside of their doctor's building. A staff member may escort them into their office WITHOUT the Service Dog. No Service Dog needs to enter doctors' building/offices unless there by chance is a branch that is an animal friendly designated office building.

    • Marie E Natzke

      Ann, thanks for passing on this information. I wonder if that also extends to hospice centers. When my Uncle was dying I couldn't be with the family because of all the service/comfort/pets that were there. I have vacation time coming over the holidays and I'll have some time to compose a letter to him about pets in the workplace as well as malls. Short of saying all service animals should be licensed . Not to add costs but to stop the abuse of saying a pet is a service animal.

    • K8sMom2002

      Marie, that is terrible that you couldn't be with your uncle and family during that time. 

      I do hope you will keep us posted with what you find out!

    • Shea

      Ann thank you so much for making those calls and forwarding this information! You rock!!!

      Marie, I agree service animals should be licensed. That is horrible that you couldnt be with your loved one and family I am goung to start these conversations up as well!

    • Ann Barbiero

      Of course, Marie. Examples, a reasonable accommodation at the Hospice facility would be a separate building that is dander-free OR service animal may be brought to visit patient OUTSIDE. If not, you may request Hospice to review their policies and practices and create a safe place; but, in the case of dog dander, the only reasonable accommodation is a dander-free building. As we know, the NO SMOKING section in restaurants did NOT work because smoke permeates the entire building just as dog dander does for one year+. Hospice would have to revisit their pet policy and accommodate by providing a dander-free area. Or, Hospice services may be able to come to the patient's home where you could visit but this seems too late to choose this option. Attacking this issue locally is one thing. I don't know about you, but I travel around the country and so this needs to be addressed nationally, not just locally. But, locally is a start for sure.

    • Ann Barbiero

      Marie, In order for a person to get a document to take their dog on a plane as ADA stands right now, the person would need to have a psychiatric evaluation by a psychiatric medical professional. A primary care doctor does NOT have the authority to issue a document to a patient to take their dog on a plane. Even doctors are not knowledgeable about the legal aspects of ADA, Service Animals, allowing or disallowing Service Animals in their offices and Service Animal documentation. The ADA should be a required piece of doctors' medical training. Any questions can quickly and easily be explained by calling David West at ADA Regional Center in Boston, MA, 1-800-949-4232. More people need to be calling him to give him the full expanse and depth of this serious issue of dog dander and the ADA. What I heard from Peter Berg, who serves on the ADA National Network at Great Lakes is that no one else has brought these discriminating situations up to his attention. So, please start calling all of these supposed ADA specialists with your scenarios although there is Case Law from Department of Justice on some of those that do. These are the people training businesses, doctors, etc., in regard to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Remember, there is no cost to seek an attorney. If you win the case, the attorney takes about 1/3 of winnings. If you lose the case, there is NO COST to you. Among other things, I taught Business Law and know enough about how legal cases work. For your peace of mind, just verify this with attorney during free legal consultation which is also available to you. The attorney will tell you if they think your scenario is a legal case that they feel confident in taking on or not. Let the legal experts help you.

    • Ann Barbiero

      The psychiatric evaluation would have to show a task that the service dog is trained for a person's psychiatric disability.

    • Ann Barbiero

      Please go to . If you do not have a Twitter account, please consider creating an account. 

      Click on Tweet in top right corner, type in your Tweet followed by #ADANetworkChat #ADANational #NortheastADA  and then just click on Post.

      ADA is Americans with Disabilities.

      To see replies to your Tweet, just click anywhere on your posted Tweet.

      If questions, just let me know. I had no prior knowledge of Twitter or Tweeting. My first Tweet was yesterday on the #ADANetworkChat. It is just that simple. 

    • K8sMom2002

      Welcome to Twitter, Ann! I'm not much for social media. 

      I do think that there's no one answer that all courts recognize about any legal situation. It's really a case-by-case situation on how a judge would rule a reasonable accommodation. Eventually, maybe the case law will be so clear as to give good clear direction. And like Shea pointed out, there are exemptions where the ADA doesn't apply.

      Shea, I hope you still have places that you feel free to go and that you don't feel like you have to be a hermit. Where are some places that ARE allergy-friendly that you like to go? 

      Marie, what about you? Have you seen any more birds perched on people's shoulders?

    • Marie E Natzke

      lol…no birds just dogs.  The couple I saw this past weekend in the mall walking (each one had a dog) looked like they were walking through the park.  I should have asked them if they brought their doggy poop bags…can't wait till this weekend to see what someone brings in with them…lol…I was so stunned when I saw the bird I didn't react fast enough to take a picture…

    • Shea

      There is no place that is allergy-friendly besides my home, my parents home, and one friends home… And the internet. Outdoors parks/events are usually OK although dogs are everywhere at least I am not enclosed with their dander. 

      Grocery stores, restaurants, malls, even doctors offices and hospitals… And many many peoples, homes with cats and or dogs…  are not dander-free and most places do have to allow plenty of unregulated fake and real service animals and or pets in them without anything they can realistically do to protect thise with allergies. 

    • Shea

      I think it is BS that the disability regulating agency  people throw this issue at individual businesses to create two separate facilities one for dander, one for none, when what they need to do is prioritize breathing diseases over "emotional" animals and actually regulate their service dogs and allow businesses to properly identify them and limit their access so as not to alienate and discriminate against employees and consumers with allergies. 

    • K8sMom2002

      Oh, man, Shea … I'm blessed that the companion animal idea hasn't taken hold in our rural area. It's still an oddity to see an animal in a store or a restaurant.

      I wonder if part of this isn't the recent uptick in warnings about people leaving their pets in cars? And also the heavy marketing from pet specialty chains that treat pets like children?

      I have to believe that one day there will be clearer regulations about all this that recognizes the needs of people with dander allergies.

      Marie, glad for no bird sightings! My sis is deathly afraid of birds, and she freaks out when she sees one, especially indoors. I hope the dogs stayed downwind and a good distance away from you.

    • Marie E Natzke

      No I still see people with leaving their animals in their car.  I have a cousin, a few weeks ago she got another dog (last one was put down due to illness/age) and now she is bringing the dog with her wherever she goes. More people have pets now than ever before.  Since the Gulf War,Afganistan, and Iraq war, having a lot of service members with PTSD and using service animals to help them,  now anyone with a problem say their pet is a service animal. 

    • Kathy P

      Comfort animals seem to have really become a huge thing. Those are different than trained service animals. 

      I was in Kohl's a couple weeks ago and there was little dog making a huge ruckus! Barking and yipping. The owner was trying to shush it  It had a vest on, but I couldn't see if it said service dog. 

    • Ann Barbiero

      1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST tomorrow, Tuesday, December 19, 2017.

      Please click on link to register for Tweet Webinar.