- Always ask the person how you can best assist.
- Ask/Look for:
- An identification bracelet with special health information.
- Emergency contact information to reach the person’s family.
- Essential equipment and supplies (for example: wheelchair, walker, oxygen, batteries, communication devices [head pointers, alphabet boards, speech synthesizers, etc.]). Medication.
- Mobility aids (for example, wheelchair, cane, walker or an assistance or service animal).
- Special health instructions (for example, allergies).
- Special communication information (for example, the person might say [s]he is stressed, look confused, withdraw, start rubbing their hands together).
- Conditions that people might misinterpret (for example, someone might mistake Cerebral Palsy for drunkenness).
- Try to include the person in conversations with other people; don’t talk about a person in front of that person.
- If the person does not use words to speak, look for gestures or other behaviors that communicate what that person wants to express.
- Don’t assume that people do not understand just because they don’t use words to communicate.
Tips for People with Service Animals
(A) Traditionally, the term "service animal" referred to seeing-eye dogs. However, today there are many other types of service animals.
(B) Remember - A service animal is not a pet.
(C) Do not touch or give the animal food or treats without the permission of the owner.
(D) When a dog is wearing its harness, it is on duty. In the event you are asked to take the dog while assisting the individual, hold the leash and not the harness.
(E) Plan to evacuate the animal with the owner. Do not separate them!
(F) Service animals are not registered and there is no proof that the animal is a service animal. If the person tells you it is a service animal, treat it as such. However, if the animal is out of control or presents a threat to the individual or others, remove it from the site.
(G) A person is not required to give you proof of a disability that requires a service animal. You must accept that he or she has a disability. If you have doubts, wait until you arrive at your destination and address the issues with the supervisor in charge.
(H) The animal need not be specially trained as a service animal. People with psychiatric and emotional disabilities may have a companion animal. These are just as important to them as a service animal is to a person with a physical disability - please be understanding and treat the animals as a service animal.
(I) A service animal must be in a harness or on a leash, but need not be muzzled.
Service Animals Resources