On March 15, 2011, new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations went into effect. The new regulations include service animals, mobility devices, ticketing, and communication. Here is a detailed description of each one.
- Service Animals: Now, ONLY dogs qualify as service animals. No other animal may serve as a service animal to a person with disabilities. Dogs must be trained to do work or to perform tasks for a disabled person.
- Miniature Horses (It would be so cool to have one of those!): Even though mini-horses are not classified as service animals, they can be used as an alternative to dogs if the mini-horses are trained. They have to be a certain size to be used.
- Wheelchairs and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices: Wheelchairs must be permitted in all areas open to pedestrian use. Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices (OPMDs, like an electric scooter) must be permitted unless their use would cause a disturbance or a safety hazard.
- Ticketing (tickets to sporting events, concerts, etc.): Tickets for accessible seating must be available to purchase during the same hours, during the same stages of ticket sales, and through the same methods of distribution as tickets for non-accessible seating.
- Effective communication: Video remote interpreting (VRI) services may be used to provide effective communication. A minor child may not be used to interpret or facilitate communication except under emergency situations.
There will be more ADA regulations coming March 15, 2012. These have not been announced yet.
Written by: Sam Graves