Service animals serve a diverse range of purposes and service animal requirements are different depending on the setting. These two factors have led to misunderstandings about the rights of people with disabilities who utilize service animals which in turn results in discriminatory treatment and accessibility challenges.
At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:
- Understand disability access laws as related to service animal usage.
- Clarify what is and is not a service animal.
- Compare and contrast service animal requirements as applied to employment situations versus non-employment situations.
- Discuss common accessibility challenges related to service animal usage and how to overcome them.
- Examine case studies to review the real world application of best practices throughout the session.
Sarah P Williams leads Health Resources and Services Administration(HRSA)'s Civil Rights Coordination and Compliance Section (CRCC), which promotes compliance with federal civil rights laws through research, partnerships, and technical assistance to improve care for underserved populations. In particular, CRCC provides recipients of HRSA funding with guidance designed to prevent discrimination and improve accessibility. Before coming to HRSA, Sarah held positions focused on Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights at the National Institutes of Health and the HHS Office for Civil Rights. Sarah obtained her BA at Missouri State University, her JD at St. Louis University School of Law, and is a member of the Missouri Bar.
Katie Slye-Griffin is the Accessibility Section Chief at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) where her work focuses on reasonable accommodations and Federal sector disability programs. Before HRSA, Katie was the Executive Director of the Montgomery County, MD affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) where she worked on efforts at the local and state level to educate and advocate for the needs of individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses. Katie is a longtime advocate of both job opportunities and workplace supports for individuals with disabilities. Katie is a graduate of the University of Maryland and with her family lives with two dogs who will never qualify as service animals.