Harmonizing DOT's Service Animal Regulations with DOJ
 
American Council of the Blind
Resolution 2013-05
 
Summary
 
This organization calls upon the Secretary of Transportation to direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to undertake an immediate review and revision of DOT's rules concerning service animals to harmonize them with the DOJ service animal regulations.
 
WHEREAS, the United States Department of Justice, as part of its comprehensive review and update of its regulations implementing Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), adopted important revisions to regulations pertaining to covered entities' non-discrimination obligations concerning service animals; and
 
WHEREAS, among other things, these revisions make critical clarifications to current law concerning the kinds of animals that fall within the scope of the ADA's protections and the circumstances in which such animals may be used; and
 
WHEREAS, the regulations of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) pertaining to service animals are in conflict with the DOJ regulations in, among other respects, their failure to apply the DOJ's more moderate and common-sense approaches to the kinds of animals that fall within the scope of the ADA's protections and the use of service animals and so-called emotional support animals; and
 
WHEREAS, the efficacy and validity of the practice of using uncommon and exotic creatures as bona fide service animals, as permitted by the DOT regulations, is, at best, questionable and leads to wide-scale abuse; and
 
WHEREAS, consistent federal regulation of service animals should yield consistent and reliable compliance by all entities covered by such non-discrimination obligations; and
 
WHEREAS, the DOT regulations, by permitting the utilization of uncommon and exotic creatures, instead exposes the use of service animals as a whole to ridicule and resistance by covered entities and the public generally, thus potentially weakening  the ability to ensure compliance with the ADA;
 
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 9th day of July, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, that this organization call upon the Secretary of Transportation, to direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to undertake an immediate review and revision of DOT's rules concerning service animals to harmonize them with the DOJ service animal regulations.
 
Adopted.
 
Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary