Meet Cudi! Cudi is a Service Animal that sometimes comes to work with his human here at the Museum of Us.

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), defines a Service Animal as:

“Dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medication, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”

Service Animals have public access rights, but Emotional Support Animals do not. If it is not obvious the dog is a service animal, staff at a business or institution are permitted to ask a person with a Service Dog two questions:

1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

It is important to remember that not all disabilities are visible, and it is not appropriate to ask a person about their disability or why they have a service dog. It is illegal for a business to ask what the person’s disability is.

Some best practices when interacting with a person with a service dog include:

  • Speak to the person, not the dog.
  • Do not distract a service dog in any way, let the dog focus on their person.
  • Give them space.
  • Do not take photos

For more information, visit ADA.gov or you can call 800-514-0301 (Voice) and 800-514-0383 (TTY).