Tuesday, 25 April 2017

We Passed

It's official.  We passed our Public Access Test and are now officially licensed handlers for Icon.  

This is actually a bit of an unusual circumstance in the service dog community.  Service dogs are usually directly handled by the people they're helping.  But for children (and some adults) with autism, the dog must be handled by the parents which creates a big of a legal grey area.

It is not permissible to prevent someone from bringing their service dog with them into a public place.  It is the same as telling someone they can't bring their wheelchair.  However, technically, the dog isn't our service dog.  It's Alex's.  So they can't prevent Alex but they could, in theory, try to prevent us.  Which is how the Westjet incident happened.

It will happen to us at some point, just as we always have to be aware of Alex's behaviour and its impact on the rest of the world.  But the vast majority of people we've encountered so far have been respectful, pleasant and understanding.  As I'd hoped, Icon is serving as a visual heads-up to the public that Alex is a special boy and needs some extra tolerance.

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