I wanted to follow up on my last podcast about how critical an issue standards and evaluation is and make it very clear that I don’t think any organization – including Assistance Dogs International – is getting that job done right now when it comes to service dogs. (IGDF may well be doing that for guide dogs, I don’t know, but in the “other than guide dog” assistance dog world, i.e., service dogs? No.)
I took a very hard look at ADI over the last month in conjunction with these podcasts – not to tear them apart, but from the perspective of “If I had to work these issues – if it was my job to fix them – what am I looking at?”
Unfortunately, the more I looked, the worse it got. The challenges just kept mounting, and there’s a long list of issues ADI needs to work – and quickly – if it wants to maintain relevancy, something it’s already in danger of losing.
I outline those issues in this podcast, starting with the overriding one that colors all the others – the need to split the US portion of ADI off into its own region and handle things separately there. Almost half of the member organizations are here, there are more than enough issues to handle in just the US, and those issues are different from the ones in other regions.
Keep an eye on ADI and watch to see how many of these they take on and correct. Let’s hope. I have tried to give ADI every break – I’ve said good things about them here, I’ve talked about the good things they are doing, I’ve defended them – but… They have some serious work to do, and I hope they recognize that and get started on it. Quickly.
And the truth is, they need a full-time staff of at least four or five people to do what they need to do, and that is something they don’t have.
I also briefly talk about what the DOT attorney responsible for aviation enforcement says you should do if you run into problems with an airline while traveling with your service dog. I’ve posted the link for filing a disability discrimination complaint and the attorney’s contact information here – she says they investigate every single one of those complaints.
Blane A. Workie
Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings
Office of the General Counsel
Department of Transportation
Office of the Secretary
Room 4116/C-70, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Phone: 202 366-9342
TDD Phone: 202 755-7687
Fax: 202 366-7152