Posted by: Luigi | November 26, 2009

Stop Discrimination Against Service Dogs on US Airlines!

While this ruling does not personally effect mum and I, we think it is reprehensible that any government, let alone one of a first first world country, can think it is ok to discriminate against an entire class of disabled people. Its a step back in the fight for equality and stinks of the ‘lock the disabled away in an asylum’ mentality.

Here is a much simple way to advocate on the issue – Its a mostly automated system that will send off letters on your behalf. Even though the issue might not directly affect you, Please take a few moments to click the link and send a letter to help advocate about the DOT/airline discrimination issue in the USA and repost this to spread the word.


PLEASE HELP THOSE DISABLED BY MENTAL ILLNESS

As more people are being diagnosed with a mood disorder, the use of psychiatric service animals has increased as well. These animals (usually Psychiatric Service Dogs – PSDs) go through rigorous training to learn to perform specific tasks. They can include giving an alert to a manic or a panic attack, reminding the handler to take their medication, providing grounding during a panic attack and interrupt repetitive behavior, environmental evaluation, biofeedback, and cognitive behavioural intervention among other things.
This year, new rules were enacted that require airline passengers with PSDs to provide a 48-hour notice and a detailed letter from their mental health practioner stating they have a disabling mental illness.

Why isn’t this being done to others using service animals for physical illnesses? They don’t have to provide any notice or documentation.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) made these changes because they were concerned that people would misrepresent their pets as psychiatric service animals. However, requiring documentation and notice for psychiatric service animals is not a solution. Non-disabled people wanting to sneak pets in can simply fake other types of service animals such as guide, hearing, medical alert, mobility, seizure response etc
Why are the mentally ill being singled out?

The Department of Transportation has recently opened another comment period ending December 17, 2009 for people to respond to these new rules.

Without your help, the discrimination will continue. Won’t you make your voice heard by sending a letter to the DOT?
Make your voice heard. “Take Action Now.”
First they came for the mentally ill, and I did not speak out because I did not have mental illness;
Then they came for the epileptics, and I did not speak out because I was not a epileptic;
Then they came for the wheelchair bound, and I did not speak out because I was not in a wheelchair;
Then they came for the blind, and I did not speak out because I was not blind;
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
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