American Disability Rights Inc (AmDisRights) is a nonprofit organization committed to securing equal rights and inclusion for Americans with disabilities. Through education, advocacy, and activism, AmDisRights promotes awareness of disability protections, combats stigma, and advocates for the proper use and accommodations for prescribed service animals and emotional support animals. AmDisRights envisions a future where disabilities are universally accepted, and they work to make this vision a reality by driving social change and upholding values of access, empathy, and empowerment.
The American Disability Rights Inc mission is to bring a better understanding of the issues to the community through education of businesses, groups and individuals in the relevant requirements, responsibilities and protections for the disabled including public access locations and reasonable accommodations in residential, workplace or travel environments.
We strive to accomplish our mission through three major avenues.
First, through direct community education programs. This includes ADR’s self-led, digital programs for individuals, available 24/7/365 for free and ADR’s customized harassment-prevention programs scheduled for businesses and groups, led by our disabled service teams. Second, with large-scale messaging, in traditional, digital and social media including advertising and public relations opportunities. Third, with the founding of and participation in community events which offer positive exposure and advance the ADR mission.
In addition to these major avenues, ADR will utilize additional resources which directly or indirectly support the nonprofit’s mission.
American Disability Rights discourages all types of disability discrimination and disability fraud. This includes businesses who deny public access to legitimate service dog teams and pet owners who purchase online paperwork or gear in a direct attempt to avoid pet fees/deposits or gain access to non-pet friendly areas.
American Disability Rights, Inc. does not believe in anyone judging a disability by its visibility. However, we do not support either the self-diagnosis of a disability or the self-prescription of the use of a medical assistance animal. The determination of any physical, sensory or mental impairments that would define a disability must remain exclusively with experienced, objective, licensed medical professionals utilizing acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.
ADR is recognized as an Exempt Organization by the Internal Revenue Service, being designated a 501 (c)(3) status and eligible to receive tax deductible charitable contributions.
American Disability Rights, Inc. advocates for disabled Americans responsible use of prescribed Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals in appropriate situations of reasonable accommodation (employment/housing), public access (retail stores, restaurants, etc.) and travel (airlines, public transit, etc.)
ADR works with businesses, groups and individuals on compliance with nondiscriminatory requirements that prohibit exclusion, segregation and unequal treatment for disabled Americans with medical assistance animals. We support the full compliance will all related national and local laws.
Service Dogs are individually task-trained medical assistance animals prescribed to mitigate their handler’s physical, sensory, mental or mobility disability.
A service dog team’s civil rights protections include public access and reasonable accommodations found in the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Air Carrier Access Act, the Rehabilitation Act and many state codes.
Service Dogs in Training (SDiT) may have public access rights with restrictions under specific state laws, but are not required to be admitted to non-pet friendly locations under the protections of the ADA.
Non-medical assistance working canines such as police k9, military k9, search & rescue, drug detection, explosive detection or similarly trained animals are not classified as service dogs with civil rights protections.
For some people diagnosed with a mental disability, their treating medical professional might prescribe an emotional support animal. Any domesticated animal could be prescribed as an ESA.
The protections afforded emotional support animals handlers should not be confused with service dog teams. The ESA handler’s protections are limited to regulated residential housing locations
and domestic travel on airlines only. The civil rights protection for ESA handlers are found through administrative rulings of the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act.
In all other situations, an ESA is legally considered a pet and should only be going to “pet-friendly” locations.
In December 2020, the Department of Transportation (DOT) updated regulations for the Air Carrier Access Act, removing Emotional Support Animals (ESA) from requiring airlines to accommodate in-cabin travel with their owners. The regulations also permit airlines to charge ESAs the standard fee for pets during travel.