Here’s the question before the court: If police know they are dealing with a person with mental illness, and they use confrontational tactics that can agitate the person, are they violating the Americans with Disabilities Act?

More Than Half of Those Killed by San Francisco Police Are Mentally Ill

I would also like to point out that most of the cases in the article are people of color (not always black) with mental disabilities who were killed by police. This is about police brutality and mental disability and racism. Together.


Photos by Chasing Linnaeus

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit a store a friend of mine just opened in Seattle, called Aquarium Zen.  Today’s grand opening has been a couple years in the making, and I was privileged to be asked to come in before the crowds to capture the energy of the place.  The boutique is less a fish shop than it is an experience.  In his words:

My goal when designing the space was to create a sort of alternate universe where the contrast between the chaos of urban street life would juxtapose with the tranquility of the aquatic life held within.  The idea was to create a natural sanctuary that is artificial but still resonates with the healing vibes you might associate with a walk in the forest or sitting by a stream.  The space itself is nearly a hundred years old and is loaded with character – exposed brick walls, skylights, old growth Douglas fir exposed beams and hardwood floors.  Not your typical pet shop.  

We cater to a style of aquarium keeping that originated in Japan called the “Nature Aquarium,” which tries to elevate the aquarium to an art form.

I wanted to create a space that celebrated nature and love for aquariums and to create an experience for our community.  In my mind, it’s a living art installation disguised as a pet shop.  The aquarium can be a lens into normally unseen realms of nature that are magical.  When executed with an artistic intention, the aquarium can create a transformative experience for the viewer, a timeless space and moment that is not soon forgotten.

I just signed a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama: Please push the Federal Aviation Association to require airlines to provide designated wheelchair accessible spaces on every commercial aircraft, which will allow passengers to remain safely seated in their personal wheelchairs.

Please sign this petition! As it stands now, people who can’t transfer out of their chairs just can’t travel by plane. Not to mention all of us whose chairs get smashed and broken when they’re thrown into the cargo hold, leaving us completely stranded when we get to our destinations.

Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, to claim disability is to ask for reasonable accommodation — accessible buildings, more time on tests, audible formats for books, Social Security disability payments, and more. Too many people seem to regard the request to accommodate as a burden and meet such requests with suspicion. The not-disabled exercise their privilege by demanding that people prove their disabilities; then, all too often, proof just generates pity, not understanding or inclusion.
Service Dogs, Emotional Support Animals, and Therapy Dogs
  • It is illegal to pretend your dog is a service dog
  • It is illegal to register your pet as a service dog through an online service, these are ALL scams. Every. Single. One.
  • By pretending your dog is a service animal you are usurping rights and protections afforded by the American Disabilities Act for the DISABLED
  • An emotional support dog DOES NOT have to be trained because people who are mentally ill are not physically incapable of performing daily activities. 
  • You need a PRESCRIPTION for an emotional service animal by a currently licensed psychologist or psychiatrist that says you have a mental illness severe enough that it renders you unable to cope with daily life without an animal by your side. You DO NOT get an emotional support animal because you are mildly depressed.
  • Because you are not physically incapable of picking up the pencil you dropped, opening doors, or carrying your bag etc you CAN be denied access LEGALLY if your dog is an emotional support animal.
  • Due to the fact that so many people insist on illegally impersonating service animals there is legislation in the works that will violate your right to privacy, force those with REAL service animals to carry ID asserting that their dog is LEGALLY a service animal and for what disorder they are trained to help with. 
  • All business owners have the right to ask if your dog is a service animal and what they are trained to do according to the ADA.
  • REAL service animals are not required to wear any identifying vest, collar, ID tag because technically this is a violation of your privacy. 
  • If you register your dog illegally you are a bad person. 
  • If you need a service animal, have a trained one place with you rather than training your own dog. Service animals trained by southeastern guide dogs and other organizations are chosen for the right temperament and have comfort levels that will allow them to work with you in any situation (like the service dogs you got their people out of the twin towers).
  • Do not force your pet into situations they are uncomfortable with. Not all dogs are capable of the self control, diligence, and focus needed to work all day every day. You are being selfish by dragging your uncomfortable pet along with you just because you don’t want to make that extra trip to the store without him.
  • Therapy dogs do have perform appropriate behaviors in order to do hospital visits and educational visits.
  • Therapy dogs must have proof of recent grooming, teeth cleanings, toe bean clippings, ear cleanings.
  • All injuries, even the tiniest scratches are documented and you can be held responsible as a therapy dog handler.
  • You have to join an organization in order to be a therapy dog, (we are AKC registered therapy dogs and have created our own local group called Huskies for Heroes).
  • You get absolutely no special treatment as a therapy dog. 
  • If I know you, I will personally report you.

U.S. District Judge Wiley Danielin Denver, ruling on a lawsuit brought against Abercrombie, had found that the front-porch-style step-up entrances at 231 of the Hollister youth-fashion chain’s stores violated the Americans with Disabilities Act because they barred wheelchair access.

Last August,Daniel ordered the Hollister stores— representing about 40 percent of its U.S. locations — to reconfigure their wheelchair-unfriendly entrances by the end of 2016.

But The Denver Post’s Kirk Mitchell reportsthat a three-judge panel of 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges decided 2-1 this week that the entrances do not violate the ADA.