Department of Justice Issues Guidance on Service Animals

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Following last year’s revised regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which apply to public school districts, the U.S. Department of Justice issued technical guidance last month regarding service animals.

The new guidance clarifies that for ADA purposes, service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. The guidance, however, acknowledges that the definition of service animal may be broader under other state and federal laws. Therefore, the guidance does not limit the Illinois School Code provision defining service animals more broadly as “guide dogs, signal dogs or any other animal individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a student with a disability.” 105 ILCS 5/14-6.03.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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