American Disability Rights, Inc.

American Disability Rights, Inc. (ADR) is a nonprofit organization, chartered to educate the public on the civil rights protections for qualified disabled Americans and advocate the proper use of a medical assistance animal when prescribed as part of an individual’s treatment plan.

 

Our Mission

The American Disability Rights Inc. mission is to bring a better understanding of the issues to the community through education of businesses, groups and individuals in the relevant requirements, responsibilities and protections for the disabled including public access locations and reasonable accommodations in residential, workplace or travel environments.

We strive to accomplish our mission through three major avenues.

First, through direct community education programs. This includes ADR’s self-led, digital programs for individuals, available 24/7/365 for free and ADR’s customized harassment-prevention programs scheduled for businesses and groups, led by our disabled service teams.  Second, with large-scale messaging, in traditional, digital and social media including advertising and public relations opportunities.  Third, with the founding of and participation in community events which offer positive exposure and advance the ADR mission.

In addition to these major avenues, ADR will utilize additional resources which directly or indirectly support the nonprofit’s mission.

 

End Disability Discrimination
and Stop Disability Fraud

American Disability Rights discourages all types of disability discrimination and disability fraud. This includes businesses who deny public access to legitimate service dog teams and pet owners who purchase online paperwork or gear in a direct attempt to avoid pet fees/deposits or gain access to non-pet friendly areas.

American Disability Rights, Inc. does not believe in anyone judging a disability by its visibility. However, we do not support either the self-diagnosis of a disability or the self-prescription of the use of a medical assistance animal. The determination of any physical, sensory or mental impairments that would define a disability must remain exclusively with experienced, objective, licensed medical professionals utilizing acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.

 

Nonprofit Organization

ADR is recognized as an Exempt Organization by the Internal Revenue Service, being designated a 501 (c)(3) status and eligible to receive tax deductible charitable contributions.  Parties interested in making a donation or grant can check our current status directly with the IRS or review our history of compliance at Guidestar.

 

Advocacy

American Disability Rights, Inc. advocates for disabled Americans responsible use of prescribed Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals in appropriate situations of reasonable accommodation (employment/housing), public access (retail stores, restaurants, etc.) and travel (airlines, public transit, etc.)

ADR works with businesses, groups and individuals on compliance with nondiscriminatory requirements that prohibit exclusion, segregation and unequal treatment for disabled Americans with medical assistance animals.  We support the full compliance will all related national and local laws.

Service Dogs

Service Dogs are individually task-trained medical assistance animals prescribed to mitigate their handler’s physical, sensory, mental or mobility disability.

A service dog team’s civil rights protections include public access and reasonable accommodations found in the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Air Carrier Access Act, the Rehabilitation Act and many state codes.

Service Dogs in Training (SDiT) may have public access rights with restrictions under specific state laws, but are not required to be admitted to non-pet friendly locations under the protections of the ADA.

Non-medical assistance working canines such as police k9, military k9, search & rescue, drug detection, explosive detection or similarly trained animals are not classified as service dogs with civil rights protections.

Emotional Support Animals

For some people diagnosed with a mental disability, their treating medical professional might prescribe an emotional support animal. Any domesticated animal could be prescribed as an ESA. The protections afforded emotional support animals handlers should not be confused with service dog teams. The ESA handler's protections are limited to qualified housing locations and domestic travel on airlines only. The civil rights protection for ESA handlers are found through administrative rulings of the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act. In all other situations, an ESA is legally considered a pet and should only be going to "pet-friendly" locations.

Therapy Animals and Family Pets

In the United States, Therapy Animals, come in all shapes, sizes and species, but their owners have the same civil rights as granted any other beloved family pet. Therapy Animals do not have the same legal protections as either an emotional support animal or service dog. Therapy Animals have been granted a formal certification(s) from independent association(s) that enables them to be used as a tool in animal-assisted therapy group sessions with the goal to improve many patients social, emotional or cognitive functions. Therapy Animals should only be found in locations that are pet-friendly or where they have been invited to a group therapy session in areas as children's hospital, senior citizen housing, or disaster relief site.

ADR Supporters

American Disability Rights, Inc. is grateful to have received grants, donations and charitable contributions from the following groups and companies to advance our mission.

ADA, FHAct, ACAA and State/Local Laws

American Disability Rights, Inc. supports the full and direct compliance with all national and local laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act.

Additionally, some states have enabled complementary statues to extend the use of medical assistance animals in situations of reasonable accommodation or public access within their borders.

Responsible medical assistance animal handlers should comply with all applicable laws including local restrictions on species, dangerous animals, vaccinations and registrations.