Tag Archives: Service animals

Summer Fun in Sunny Florida

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Lorinda Gonzalez …it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!      – Kenny Chesney The temperature is rising and soon everyone will hit the beach. Summers in Florida are epic, and people travel from all over the world to feel the warm sun on their face. As… Read More »

No Wheelchair Users Allowed in a Miami Beach Condo!

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Turns out that the least of Abbot House Condominium’s worries should have been whether Rachel Siler would not be able to get around in her wheelchair and would injure herself. Maybe instead of assuming she was an invalid who sleeps with her personal assistant, the Condominium Board should have started with the premise that she had a job, a life, and a passion for helping others. The real liability was the failure to acknowledge Rachel Siler as the die-hard disability advocate who works to help others destroy attitudinal barriers and harmful stereotypes.

Litigation: Is Your Child A Runner?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Some children with autism, developmental or intellectual disabilities may wander off without any comprehension of possible danger.  This might include running off from adults at school or in the community, leaving the classroom without permission, or leaving the house when the family is not looking. While most children are drawn to water, many autistic… Read More »

Summer Fun and Discrimination against Kids (with or without disabilities)!

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Happy Summertime! The Summer should be a time where all kids, kids with disabilities and kids without disabilities, should be able to have fun. Discrimination about kids in the Summer is not fun, and here are some tips on how kids can avoid discrimination in the Summer.

Kiddle Ordinance passes in Hallandale Beach

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Michele Lazarow, Hallandale Beach Commissioner I have always wanted to fight for those who could not fight for themselves. Once I realized that putting an official title in front of my name would be the best way to impact change, I ran for political office. I am now a Hallandale Beach City Commissioner…. Read More »

Disability: The Market You’re Missing Part III

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Rachel Goldstein For the last part of my series I am going to address how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to service animals and the responsibilities of businesses to allow service animals into their facilities. The ADA defines “service animal” as limited to a dog that is individually trained to do… Read More »

Florida’s New Service Animal Statute — Section 413.08

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Matthew Dietz This legislative term, Florida Representative Jimmie T. Smith, from Citrus and part of Hernando Counties, sponsored one of the most progressive service animal bills in the United States, Florida Statute 413.08 (2015). As a veteran, Rep. Smith has become a leader for the Florida House when it comes to issues dealing… Read More »

Litigation Update: Anthony gets to keep Stevie in School!

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Matthew Dietz On February 10, 2014, United States District Court Judge Beth Bloom ruled that Broward County School District violated Anthony Merchante’s rights, as a child with a disability, by denying his right to have a seizure alert animal accompany him at his elementary school. Anthony’s mother, Monica, requested that the school allow… Read More »

HUMAN-ANIMAL INTERACTION: Can it prevent disease?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Sharon Langer In the past 20 years there have been many studies conducted that measured the therapeutic value of human-animal interaction. A companion animal may reduce anxiety, loneliness, and depression and thus delay the onset, decrease severity, or even slow the progression of stress-related conditions. Pets can stimulate someone to exercise, provide social… Read More »

Litigation: Pledger v. SAS Transportation

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Matthew Dietz Litigation – Pledger v. SAS Transportation Jeff and Suzanne Pledger love to go on cruises. Jeff is blind and he uses a guide dog named Joelle. As an advocate for persons with visual impairment, Jeff is the past President of Verizon’s Disabilities Issues Awareness Leaders (DIAL), which provides support and resources… Read More »

Flying with your Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

All Air Carriers are legally required to allow both emotional support animals and service animals on flights without charge. However, it is always good to review the requirements for service animals for your particular airline, and whether there are any conditions that need to be met. In addition, some international destinations and Hawaii provide… Read More »

Cruising with your Service dog

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Dogs have long been the companion of our U.S. Navy Sailors on vessels for their ability to build morale. In the early days, dogs often served a more practical function by leading patrols onto foreign shores to search for food and warn of any dangers lurking out of eyesight. Now, most cruise ships allow service animals on board their ships…. Read More »

Have Dog – Will Travel

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

How to travel with your service or emotional support animal For many, travelling without their service animals or emotional support animal is not an option. However, in many cases, the concern and fear of being denied access is enough to keep some from traveling with their animal. Basic Facts: There is no certification, registration,… Read More »

Paws in the Court

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Paws in the Court 11th Judicial Circuit of FL and Children’s Courthouse & Juvenile Justice Ctr This project is a collaboration between the Humane Society, Volunteers, Court Teams and Administrative Office of the Courts. This project will provide victims and witnesses comfort and reassurance during court appearances including depositions and trials. Research has shown that… Read More »

Kiddle’s Ordinance

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Matthew Dietz On July 6, 2014, Nancy Alfonso’s worst nightmare occurred while she was having lunch at a restaurant in Doral with her friend Luz Rosenthal. Nancy’s guide dog Kiddle and Luz’s guide dog Chelsea were with the friends, when Kiddle became violently ill and started vomiting inside the restaurant. An emergency veterinarian… Read More »

A Service Animal…What Does Florida Say?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Sharon Langer   Florida actually has a little known statute that defines a service animal differently than the Federal ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) does. While the ADA limits service animals to dogs and, in a special separate provision, miniature horses, the Florida law seems to be broader using the words “SERVICE ANIMALS”…not… Read More »

11th Circuit Decision in Bhogaita v. Altamonte Heights Condominum

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

  [PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT _ Nos. 13-12625; 13-13914 _ D. C. Docket No. 6:11-cv-01637-GAP-DAB AJIT BHOGAITA, Plaintiff – Appellee, versus ALTAMONTE HEIGHTS CONDOMINIUM ASSN., INC., Defendant – Appellant. _ Appeals from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida _ (August 27,… Read More »

Litigation UPDATE – Sabal Palm Condominiums v. Fisher

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Former Teacher with Multiple Sclerosis obtains a $300,000 settlement in her fight to keep her service animal in her home in Broward County On May 8, 2014, Deborah Fischer and Larry Fischer obtained a $300,000 settlement against their condominium association for their three-year long fight to keep Deborah’s service dog, Sorenson, in their home…. Read More »

Animal Partners– A need not a want

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

  Disability Independence Group hosted a wonderful committee of animal advocates for a brainstorming session on how to work together with the GOAL of creating programs, support systems and strategies that will allow the elderly, disabled and those in nursing homes or ALF’s to keep their pets or have the comfort of a pet…. Read More »

VICTORY for the Fischers and Sorenson the Dog

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

On Thursday, March 13, 2014, Judge Robert Scola vindicated the Deborah Fischer’s right to use a service animal, Sorenson the Dog, in her home because of her obvious need of this trained animal.  See  Order – Omnibus DE 283.  In this case, her condominum association sued Mr. and Mrs. Fischer in Federal Court to… Read More »