From guide dogs that help blind individuals navigate their surroundings, to cats that provide emotional support to people suffering from depression, there are numerous types of assistance animals available to people with disabilities. However, federal laws governing the right to be accompanied by these animals in various settings can be confusing. This toolkit is designed to help define and categorize the different types of assistance animals, and to inform those who use an assistance animal of their rights and what they can do if they experience discrimination.
Read an accessible version of the Assistance Animal Users’ Public Accommodations and Fair Housing Toolkit >>
The Equal Rights Center announced an initiative with The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX) to promote accessibility at TJX’s stores throughout the United States. TJX and the ERC will work collaboratively to review accessibility at TJX’s U.S. locations, including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods stores. The ERC will also work closely with TJX on the training of its associates on accessibility standards and customer service for people with disabilities.
"This collaboration between the Equal Rights Center and TJX shows that TJX truly values all of its customers, including the millions of shoppers with disabilities.” said Don Kahl, Executive Director of the ERC, “As an industry leader and a Fortune 500 company, TJX, along with other ERC partners understand that promoting equal opportunity is not only the right thing to do, it’s good business.”
A report released by the ERC found that individuals using guide dogs experience a 31 percent rate of discriminatory treatment while seeking rental housing in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
“Despite legal protections, thousands of individuals who use service animals encounter discrimination that acts as a barrier to their ability to secure safe and affordable housing, which has far reaching impact on their overall quality of life,” said Don Kahl, Executive Director of the Equal Rights Center. “Refusing to provide the legally required accommodation for a guide dog is simply unacceptable. By raising awareness about the issue, the ERC hopes to see the day when no individual with a disability is forced to choose between the use of their service animal and the ability to live in the home of their choice.”
Download an accessible Word document of the report here
A report released by the ERC found that 45% of Deaf or hard of hearing individuals who use telecommunications relay service experienced discriminatory treatment while seeking rental housing in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
“Despite technological strides and comprehensive civil rights protections, many housing providers still leave the Deaf and hard of hearing who rely on relay services to conduct daily activities disconnected,” said Don Kahl, Executive Director of the Equal Rights Center. “We have the technology to achieve equal housing opportunities for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Housing providers simply are not utilizing it, and that has got to change.”
Download an accessible word version of the report.
Learn how to advocate for your rights and create positive change in your employment.
Read an accessible version of the Americans with Disabilities Act Employment Toolkit >>