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Friday, February 5, 2016
“No Pets Allowed” — Consumers and retailers alike are accustomed to this “rule” when entering a retail place of business.
But, did you know that in Ontario all organizations that provide goods and services to the public are legally required to allow people with disabilities to be accompanied by a service animal?
Recently, a car dealer in Ontario generated negative media attention for denying a person with their service animal access to browse RVs due to their “No Pet” policy. At the time, the dealer was unaware of the rules concerning service animals under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
A service animal is used by individuals with disabilities. Organizations in Ontario that provide goods and services to the public, are required to permit a person with a service animal into all areas of business available to the public.
Autism Assistance Service Animals
Diabetic Alert Service Animals
Physical Disability Assistance Service Animals
Psychiatric Service Animals
Service animals often wear a vest, harness, saddle bag(s) or a sign to indicate they are working. If it is not apparent the animal is working (or in training), the owner or handler should have an identification card from the Ministry of the Attorney General or a letter from a physician. This card will also determine if the animal is a service animal in training.
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