International Association of
Assistance Dog Partners

Support The Assistance Dog Community - Your Comments are Urgently Needed!

      The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) represents more than 2000 disabled program graduates and owner-trainers who work with service, hearing and guide dogs to increase their independence. Seven years ago we formed a coalition with Assistance Dogs International, which represents more than 100 non profit assistance dog training programs in the USA. Other members include the Council of U.S. Dog Guide Schools and Guide Dog Users, Inc. Together we petitioned the U.S. Department of Justice to develop a better definition of a Service Animal as soon as the regulations for the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) came up for review. All of us were very worried about the future of the assistance dog movement due to widespread misunderstandings about the service animal definition.

      The good news is that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has finally proposed a new definition of a Service Animal, in an attempt to correct the problems with the old definition. Before finalizing the new Definition, its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on the ADA regulatory language is seeking comments from the public on three Questions pertaining to service animals. IAADP has also identified a fourth issue we see as critical.

      This is the assistance dog community’s long awaited opportunity to try to shape a better future. Please join us! There are good things in the new definition of a Service Animal, but we also foresee serious problems and want to try to fix them before it is too late.

      IAADP would very much appreciate your support for one or more of our positions on the 3 Questions and 4th topic, “the Do Work” part of the definition. After you read the information we provide, either the short version or our Public Comment with much more detail, please submit your opinion by email to the Public Comment website for the ADA NPRM. You can discuss just one topic in your own words or let them know you support all four of IAADP’s position statements, if you wish.

      Thank you for considering this request. Time is of the essence, as the deadline for you to submit a public comment on the ADA Definition of a Service Animal is August 18, 2008.

      Please let your friends know about this chance to help us. The more public comments submitted by individuals in favor of our community’s position on these issues, the more political weight those comments will carry when reviewed by officials who have the power to amend the proposed Definition.

      The Links below will provide plenty of information. Please participate!

With great appreciation,
the IAADP Board of Directors

  1. IAADP’s Four Positions....the Short Version! Will you support us? click here

  2. IAADP’s Public Comment with our Four Positions ....3 pages. click here

  3. DOJ's ADA NPRM Public Comment Submission Website. click here

  4. The new proposed Service Animal Definition. click here

  5. Other Info & language changes pertaining to Service Animals in the NPRM. click here

  6. Position Statement from the Coalition of Assistance Dog Organizations. click here

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