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Resolution 2021-04: COMMENDATIONS FOR WORK ON AB468

WHEREAS, for more than 100 years, Guide and Service animals have been a standard and well-regulated mobility method for people who are Blind and or physically disabled; and

WHEREAS, the training of both guide and service dogs is comprehensive, specialized, and specific under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA); and

WHEREAS, California organizations such as Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), established in 1942 or Canine Companions for Independence, Inc. (CCI), established in 1975, have served adults, children and veterans who are blind or physically disabled by providing specially trained dogs that complete tasks specific to the client’s needs; and

WHEREAS, in recent years, there has been a movement to have dogs be used as emotional support animals to provide comfort as their main function; and

WHEREAS, the uncertain lineage or training of many of these emotional support animals has put an undue hardship on blind and physically disabled dog handlers, who, in some cases have suffered bodily harm; and

WHEREAS, some blind and physically disabled people have had their service animal also harmed by some of these poorly trained or ill-bred emotional support animals; and

WHEREAS, it is well-documented that anyone can go online and purchase bogus documentation or misleading dog equipment to fraudulently gain access to public entities such as restaurants and grocery stores and the like, as there is no authoritative way to verify the documentation, tags, or vests on the support animal; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind of California, in virtual convention assembled this 24th day of October, 2021, recognize, commend, and applaud the California Assembly for crafting AB 468, a bipartisan bill that protects the rights of legitimate Service animals and their Blind and physically disabled handlers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization commend GDB and CCI for co-sponsoring this legislation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The National Federation of the Blind of California recognize and applaud California Governor Gavin Newsom for his support of all blind Californians by signing AB468 into law.          

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