Everyone has equal access

A service dog resting his head on his handler's lap.Accessibility refers to the ability for everyone, regardless of disability or special needs, to access, use and benefit from everything within their environment. It is the “degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible.  The goal of accessibility is to create an inclusive society for people with physical, mobility, visual, auditory or cognitive disabilities. This means everyone has equal access to perceive, understand, engage, navigate and interact with all elements of the physical and digital world. 

  • Under the America's with Disabilities Act (ADA) a service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Learn more

  • State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. Learn more

  • Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices.  Learn more
Please click the links below for additional information.

State access law information can be found HERE

Americans With Disabilities Act

Americans With Disabilities Act Document Center

Access Laws in the U.S. Territories and Bermuda

Access Laws in Canada 

Important Note (Disclaimer) 

The information included on this page includes a list of legal rights guaranteed by statute to blind people who use dogs as guides.  Most of these specialized statutes also contain additional rights, but because they are not relevant to this particular compilation, they have not been included.  In addition, many of the broad human rights statutes created to protect minorities against discrimination may have applicability to the rights of dog guide users.

If legal interpretation is required, if legal action becomes necessary, or to obtain unabridged copies of relevant statutes, contact an attorney.

If you have questions concerning the ADA and service animals, please call the U.S. Department of Justice's ADA Information line, toll-free, at (800) 514-0301.