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Traveling With Your Eye Shut
Travel Tips for the Visually Impaired
Traveling with a Guide Dog

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Travel Tips for the Visually Impaired
Part Two - Traveling with a Guide Dog

By Rochelle Caviness - June 10, 2002

According to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) rules, guide dogs are legally allowed in any public area that the general public is allowed. This includes restaurants, hotels, buses, trains, and on aircraft. Although guide dogs are legally allowed in all such establishments, odds are that at some point you will run into someone who is not aware of this fact.

If your dog is denied access into a public facility, (here's were patience comes in), briefly explain what a guide dog is and the regulations concerning their admittance to public facilities. Carrying a copy of the ADA regulations can be helpful. If they still deny you access, ask to speak to someone in management. Be polite, but firm, you have a legal right to take your dog with you. Don't forget that you have the right, and the power to take your business elsewhere - its their loss. Just be sure to note down who you spoke with and the name of the establishment, so that you can write a letter of complaint to the company after your trip is over. In such a situation, your first instinct may be to raise a big (and rightful) stink, but keep in mind - do you want to waste your holiday dealing with idiots?

Hopefully your trip will not be marred by such ignorance, and you and your guide dog will enjoy a pleasurable vacation.

When traveling out of state, you should be aware that a few states have quarantine regulations that affect all dogs, including guide dogs. For example, if you take your guide dog to Hawaii, he could face weeks in quarantine! So, unless you plan to be in Hawaii for several months, this may be one state that you'll have to skip, or go to without your guide dog. You can find out about all the regulations regarding quarntine and other travel restrictions by contacting your local guide-dog school. Other things to keep in mind: Service Animals and the ADA

For a complete overview of your rights, under the ADA to take a service animal with you on public forms of transport, and into public buildings, see:
Other sections in this series: Back to top

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