2012 Change In VA Access Issues - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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2012 Change In VA Access Issues

Public Law No: 112-154
Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012

Before this law was passed and signed into law on August 6, 2012 the only type of Assistance Dog that disabled handlers had official access rights were with Guide Dogs. Some VA facilities would allow access to other types of Assistance Dogs while others would not.

TITLE I—HEALTH CARE MATTERS
Sec. 109. Use of service dogs on property of the Department of Veterans Affairs

Section 901 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection
‘‘(f)(1) The Secretary may not prohibit the use of a covered
service dog in any facility or on any property of the Department
or in any facility or on any property that receives funding from
the Secretary.
‘‘(2) For purposes of this subsection, a covered service dog
is a service dog that has been trained by an entity that is accredited
by an appropriate accrediting body that evaluates and accredits
organizations which train guide or service dogs.’’.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-11...112publ154.pdf


Previous to Public Law No: 112-154
From the
Code of Federal Regulations ~ Title 38 - Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief
Volume: 1
Date: 2011-07-01
Original Date: 2011-07-01
Title: Section 1.218 - Security and law enforcement at VA facilities.
Context: Title 38 - Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief. CHAPTER I - DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. PART 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS. - Security and Law Enforcement at Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities.

"Dogs and other animals. Dogs and other animals, except seeing-eye dogs, shall not be brought upon property except as authorized by the head of the facility or designee."

Security and law enforcement at VA facilities.


This new law opened the official doors to other types of Assistance Dogs besides Guide Dogs but also put in restrictions. Only "covered service dogs" that is one, "that has been trained by an entity that is accredited by an appropriate accrediting body that evaluates and accredits organizations which train guide or service dogs" are allowed access under this change.

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post3111610

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Public Law No: 112-154 on Public Access Issues only states that covered Service Dogs must be approved by an appropriate accrediting body while not stating any specific group as approved.

Under The Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) in a final rule on 09/05/12 addressing Benefits there were two approved accrediting agencies named -- Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF).

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post3112410


Since both Access Issues and Benefits on the topic of Service Dogs were in the news at the same time there was a lot of confusion going on in the general public and by veterans and various other groups during this time period.


Website Links of Approved Accrediting Agencies:
Assistance Dogs International : Assistance Dogs International : Setting standards for the assistance dog industry since 1987
International Guide Dog Federation Home Page

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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To go further with a previous post on this thread made by myself:

This new law opened the official doors to other types of Assistance Dogs besides Guide Dogs but also put in restrictions. Only "covered service dogs" that is one, "that has been trained by an entity that is accredited by an appropriate accrediting body that evaluates and accredits organizations which train guide or service dogs" are allowed access under this change.

Was this a good change or a bad change? Did the change solve some problems? Did it raise new issues?

* Before only Guide Dogs were officially allowed but some VA facilities were allowing Service Dogs in general on site.

* There were problems with dirty, ill-trained, and in some cases dangerous dogs slipping by. There was a decision made that something needed to be changed or added to the procedure in place.

* It was decided that only working dogs trained by a facility that has been approved by certain agencies would be allowed in the future.


~ One view is this change does increase the type of Assistance Dog allowed from just Guide Dogs to others but the other view is that the change does not go far enough with the limiting sources of dogs including owner trained dogs.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Some basic info ...

Public Law No: 112-154.

What is a Public Law?
A law passed by Congress.

How are they numbered?
112 refers to 112th United States Congress.
154 states that this is the 154th enacted Public Law of this Congress

How are Public Laws deleted or changed?
A future U.S. Congress can make changes to a previous Public Law.
A Public Law can be overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of Administrative Law and is published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register is in the Public Domain and as such there are no copyright restrictions.

Can the Dept. of Justice make a law that corrects something in a Public Law?
NO -- Public Laws are passed by Congress while Administrative Laws are passed by Regulating Agencies. These agencies were assigned their tasks by Congress through Public Laws.

Simple explanation: Congress says such and such will be done and then it is up to the appropriate Agency to figure out how it will be done.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
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Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 09:15 PM
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2012 Change In VA Access Issues

TJ,

There is a lot more to this. Psychiatric Service Dogs (PTSD service dogs fall in this category) are NOT allowed in VA facilities and a new order signed by the Secretary of the Army clearly states that Psychiatric Service Dogs are not allowed at all. The way it is written attempts to put ADI under the radar as the order clearly violates the ADA.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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As Public Law is currently, the Secretary of the Army who is under the Dept. of Defense is not in violation of the ADA.

The ADA is a Civil Rights Law passed by Congress. The various sections or Titles of the ADA were placed under various departments by Congress.

The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) deals with Title II and Title III of the ADA.
The other Federal Agencies with ADA responsibilities are:
Employment (EEOC)
Public Transportation (DOT)
Telephone Relay Service (FCC)
Proposed Design Guidelines (Access Board)
Education (ED)
Health Care (HHS)
Labor (DOL)
Housing (HUD)
Parks and Recreation (DOI)
Agriculture (USDA)
This listing can be seen at
ADA Home Page - ada.gov - Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act


National Security and the three military sub-departments along with all their agencies are under the Department of Defense (DOD) and follow different laws, regulations and policies. So the Secretary of the Army did not violate ADA as this position is under the U.S. Department of the Army a part of the Department of Defense.


Every Department - both those mandated by Congress to oversee the ADA and those not - have the authority and power given to them to define Service Dogs differently.


Under Public Law No: 112-154 service dogs being allowed are those covered by the following:

(f)(1) The Secretary may not prohibit the use of a covered service dog in any facility or on any property of the Department or in any facility or on any property that receives funding from the Secretary.

‘(2) For purposes of this subsection, a covered service dog is a service dog that has been trained by an entity that is accredited by an appropriate accrediting body that evaluates and accredits organizations which train guide or service dogs.’.

It is then up to the Department of Defense to define and decide which accrediting organizations they will allow just as the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) defines Service Dogs for Title II and Title III of the ADA and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have their definition of Service Animals in housing issues under the ADA.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFGSSD View Post
TJ,

There is a lot more to this. Psychiatric Service Dogs (PTSD service dogs fall in this category) are NOT allowed in VA facilities and a new order signed by the Secretary of the Army clearly states that Psychiatric Service Dogs are not allowed at all. The way it is written attempts to put ADI under the radar as the order clearly violates the ADA.


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I myself am a big advocate for Psychiatric Service Dogs but they currently are not covered though there was a bill before Congress in the last session that was left behind to add them to the list. It will take an effort on the part of clear headed people with a serious knowledge of this topic to work on changing this.

Possibly when the 3 year study ordered on the benefits of PSDs is completed and scientific results are compiled the effort to add PSDs will happen.

Quote:
In 2009, Congress authorized VA to provide service dogs for the aid
of persons with mental illnesses by amending section 1714. Although VA
welcomes the possibility that trained dogs may provide valuable
services to veterans diagnosed with certain mental illness, at this
time we do not have any scientific data to determine, from a purely
clinical standpoint, whether or when service dogs are most
appropriately provided to veterans with mental illness, including post-
traumatic stress disorder. In the National Defense Authorization Act
for Fiscal Year 2010, Pub. L. 111-84 (2009), Congress mandated a 3-year
study on the effectiveness of dogs for mental health purposes. The
results of this study will help us learn more about the services that
trained dogs can provide for veterans diagnosed with mental health
conditions. Upon the completion of the study and analysis of its
results, VA may revise its regulations in order to provide this service
to our veterans.

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...-benefits.html

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 03-05-2013 at 11:02 PM. Reason: Came back to add more info on 3 year study
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 08:00 AM
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2012 Change In VA Access Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILGHAUS View Post
I myself am a big advocate for Psychiatric Service Dogs but they currently are not covered though there was a bill before Congress in the last session that was left behind to add them to the list. It will take an effort on the part of clear headed people with a serious knowledge of this topic to work on changing this.

Possibly when the 3 year study ordered on the benefits of PSDs is completed and scientific results are compiled the effort to add PSDs will happen.

Quote:
In 2009, Congress authorized VA to provide service dogs for the aid
of persons with mental illnesses by amending section 1714. Although VA
welcomes the possibility that trained dogs may provide valuable
services to veterans diagnosed with certain mental illness, at this
time we do not have any scientific data to determine, from a purely
clinical standpoint, whether or when service dogs are most
appropriately provided to veterans with mental illness, including post-
traumatic stress disorder. In the National Defense Authorization Act
for Fiscal Year 2010, Pub. L. 111-84 (2009), Congress mandated a 3-year
study on the effectiveness of dogs for mental health purposes. The
results of this study will help us learn more about the services that
trained dogs can provide for veterans diagnosed with mental health
conditions. Upon the completion of the study and analysis of its
results, VA may revise its regulations in order to provide this service
to our veterans.

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...-benefits.html
A study was already done. With both psychiatric and DAD, training methods of scent detection and counter conditioning were deemed as inconclusive. Although scientists cannot isolate and proof using their methods, it does not mean that a quantitative approach to proofing this is not valid. Although I agree that seizure alert is not a trainable task but the behavior can be conditioned when identified to create a consistent alert, it does not mean that seizure alert dogs do not exist. It only means that we do not have a trainable marker for the alert but can train the response during and after a seizure. With PTSD and DAD, we are miles ahead in identifying the trainable markers for these tasks and use these markers successfully and proof by a quantitative method for accuracy.

The fact is that PTSD dogs and DAD dogs are not the acceptable norm with ADI. The facilities that produce these types of dogs for the most part do not want to deal with ADI.

I do not blame the military or anyone in the government for this. They are following someone's lead, and guess who that is?




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