Service Animals: Rights and Responsibilities

The use of Service Animals to serve people with disabilities is becoming more and more common. It is important for both service animal handlers and local public access area representatives to understand the rights and responsibilities regarding the use of these animals.

A “service animal” or “assistance animal” in Texas refers to a canine trained or equipped to help someone with a disability. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guarantees the right of people who are blind, or have other disabilities, including PTSD to be accompanied by a trained service animal in public places.

The link below provides answers to most of the questions a service animal handler or a representative of a public access area need to know.

Service Animals: Questions and Answers

You may want to explore some of the ways these animals are trained. Many interesting videos on on this subject can be found online. Below are links to some of them:

 

Service animals can be a huge help in allowing a person with a disability to live independently. You will probably be seeing them more frequently than in the past.

Glad You Dropped In!

VAIL is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to help people with disabilities live independently. We want to do all we can to help you understand and use the resources available to you to accomplish this purpose.

We are managed by people many of whom have disabilities themselves. We originate from the community in which we live, serving people with a variety of needs. We are a nonresidential, private agency dedicated to find and share ways people with disabilities can be successful and productive.

(Notice you can view our website in Spanish if you so desire, using the little dropdown powered by Google Translate at the upper right corner.)

VAIL-Laredo Office

VAIL has a satellite office in Laredo under the umbrella of the McAllen office, which offers the same basic services that McAllen does. To learn more about it, follow the link titled “VAIL-Laredo” on the sidebar.

VAIL Deaf Services

VAIL also has a well-developed independent living program designed to assist consumers who are deaf. Deaf staffers fluent in ASL and gesture sign language are available to counsel and serve you. Be sure to check out the link on the sidebar titled “VAIL Deaf Services”.

Follow the tabs, explore our site and discover
the many ways we may be able to assist you!

VAIL Services are Free!

Mobi-Chair in Action

Almost everybody loves to go to the beach. Did you know there is a wonderful invention called the Mobi-Chair, which enables a person with a mobility disability to go into the water and enjoy the waves? Not only that, but did you know that you don’t have to buy one, but that you can rent one to enjoy at South Padre Island here in the Valley? Follow the link below to see how a person with a disability can enjoy the beach in a creative way with a Mobi-Chair!

Enjoying the Waves

For more information concerning the Mobi-Chair use at South Padre Island, use the following link:

Mobi-Chair at the Beach

To secure a Mobi-Chair at South Padre Island, Texas, call the South Padre Island Fire Department at 956-761-3040.

For more information about accessibility at South Padre Island, follow the link below:

Beach Accessibility