Webinar: Service Animal Questions-and-Answers



audio version (opens in a new tab)



My blog post this week discusses a subject which I wrote about previously. I suggest reading

my blog post about service animals written in 2020.

On January 12, 2022, the

Great Lakes ADA Center

Hosted a webinar entitled

“Ask an ADA Professional Questions RE: Service Animals”.

The link above provides the archived recording and presentation materials. This session is part of the

Ask an ADA Professional Webinar Series.

I heard the event archive on January 18, 2022. In this blog post, I will summarize what I learned.


The presenters were from the

Northwest ADA Center,

Northeast ADA Center


Pacific ADA Center.

Service Animals: A Brief Definition

Before responding to questions, a brief definition of service animals was provided by one of the presenters. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA), a service animal is a specially trained dog which has been trained to perform tasks for a person with disability. Performing a task by a service animal means the dog is trained to alert or remind someone about something. Two examples:


  • A dog can be trained to alert someone with epilepsy before a seizure occurs.
  • A service animal can also help someone with diabetes know about low blood sugar.


Under the ADA, miniature horses can be a trained service animal. A business can only ask if a service animal is necessary for a disability and what work can the animal perform. Documentation verifying the animal performs a service or demonstration of tasks cannot be required. A business also cannot ask what a person’s disability is. The event then focused on questions and answers.


Questions and Answers

Someone asked if two service animals are permitted. The answer is yes as long as the two questions discussed above can be answered by the person with disability. Someone else asked how an employer should respond to a request by an employee to have a service animal in the workplace. Having an animal in the workplace is an accommodation request. The service animal should be accepted as a reasonable accommodation. The interactive accommodation process always must be engaged in regardless of accommodation type. Additional questions were also asked.


Someone asked about how service animals can be individually trained. A speaker stated that training by a service animal training organization. Some people with disabilities train their own service animals. The cost of training can be expensive. Someone else asked for clarification about certification documents. A speaker made clear that such evidence is not required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Someone can choose to get a certification document, but such documents have no legal relevance Another person asked what under handler’s control means. Control means the animal responds to the owner’s physical or verbal commands. Finally, another person asked about the types of tasks which a service animal can provide. 22For example, hearing dogs can alert its handler to noises. Other dogs can help open doors, retrieve items or guide its handler. If a person has nightmares, they can be trained to wake up the person. Bottom line: service animals can assist people in a variety of ways. Bottom line: Service animals can help with a variety of tasks for people with disabilities who choose to use these companions.


Question for readers

If you use a service animal, how does it help you? I will return with another article.



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