ADA

October 9, 2016

 

We're all nuts!

 

When political correctness goes berserk, we all pay for it. Today, I'm pissed at the Americans With Disabilities Act.

 

Now, the ADA started out as a good thing. Handicapped people were having an unnecessarily difficult time just trying to live normal lives. Providing access to handicapped people whenever economically feasible was and still is a good idea. But let's take a look at what happens to a good idea when government and political correctness decide to have a child.

 

I'm in the hotel business. The ADA decided a few years ago that people with disabilities who can be helped by trained dogs should be able to bring their dogs with them when they stay at a hotel. Good idea, right? Not so fast there, Sparky.

 

I am only allowed by law to ask two questions: 1) is the service animal required because of a disability, and 2) what work has the dog been trained to perform? I can't ask anything else or I'm in violation of their rights. I can't even ask what their disability is. From their answers to those two questions, I then have to determine if the person has a disability that's covered by the ADA and if the animal is properly trained to provide the service required. Seriously? I have to figure all that out from those two questions?

 

Let's get right down to it. If a blind person comes in to the lobby with a Seeing Eye dog, it's a pretty easy call. But then Mrs. Nose In The Air comes in with her little puffball, Fifi, and says she must have her dog with her because it's a service animal. I ask what service the dog is trained to perform, and she tells me that Fifi provides her with “emotional support.” Well, needing emotional support is not a disability according to the ADA, and I can rightfully say that Fifi is a pet and not a service animal, and refuse to allow the little puffball into my hotel.

 

But then Mrs. Nose In The Air pulls out a certificate she bought on the Internet for $9.95 that declares Fifi to be a qualified service animal, and if we don't let her in, she's going to sue us for discrimination under the ADA. There is no certificate program for service animals, so it's clearly a fraud. So we could fight her, but even if we win it will possibly cost tens of thousands of dollars. It's easier to just let Fifi in and hope the feral cat that lives next door just eats the little …

 

Okay, emotional support is not a disability, but Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is. How do you tell the difference? I can't ask if you have PTSD, and if you tell me the dog provides emotional support (which is one of the tasks a service animal can be trained to perform), and I decide not to let you in, I'm screwed. I could be liable for fines and penalties that could bankrupt the resort.

 

So what are the do-gooders in the government doing now? They are considering expanding the definition of a service animal to include miniature horses, pigs, and parrots in addition to dogs. I'm not kidding. If someone shows up at my place with a miniature horse and tells me that the horse can open the refrigerator, get her medications, take her pulse, and call the doctor, I have to let the horse in. Or the pig. Or the parrot. Or maybe next year the llama, because they're cute and cuddly too. An industry colleague has told me that the government is even considering approving monkeys. Monkeys!

 

UC Berkeley has been offering free online college courses, but they are thinking of taking them off line. Why? I'm glad you asked.

 

“The Department of Justice has recently asserted that the University is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because, in its view, not all of the free course and lecture content UC Berkeley makes available on certain online platforms is fully accessible to individuals with hearing, visual, or manual disabilities.”

 

I had to quote it exactly because even I don't believe it. We're upside down. We're trying so hard to make everyone equal and all the same that we've forgotten that people are neither equal nor the same. We have to understand that if I have legs and you don't, there are going to be some things that I can do and you can't. That's life. Get over it and get on with it.

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