Daily Herald: A 17 year old girl wanted to play on a basket ball team while she is connected by a plastic tube to an oxygen tank carried by her service dog. “But her family was told it was ‘not appropriate’ for Jenny to be on the basketball court with her service dog and oxygen tank, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday on Jenny’s behalf by Equip for Equality, a legal advocacy organization.”
If the girl played on the team and a player tripped over the dog or the tube and were injured, who do you think would be sued? Both the girl and the school would be defendants in the lawsuit and the school would probably be liable. Wouldn’t all reasonable people say that having the dog and tube connected to the girl on the court creates a dangerous condition and an accident waiting to happen? Guess what the lawsuit is based on? The Americans with Disabilities Act. Do you think that when Congress passed the ADA, they intended it to give the girl the right to play basketball with her service dog in tow?
Wow, that is ridiculous! And I say that as a disabled person who uses a service dog for mobility and other issues. The school would not be allowed to ban the girl from playing basketball WITHOUT the dog and tubes or if the oxygen/tubes were completely on her body (in the manner that insulin devices are), but they certainly CAN ban her from basketball with the dog and tubes for safety reasons. The ADA is NOT and never has been above safety – in fact, safety is specifically mentioned as an exception in the ADA regulations.
Not to mention common sense! This girl’s parents need a dose of reality! So does the girl. While the ADA is great and I’m thankful for the equal access it gives me, especially since I need a service dog to help me get out and around, I do know that there are some things that I just cannot do either due to my disability or due to the fact I use a service dog (or both).