United Service Animal
Users, Supporters, and Advocates
Partnering for reasoned advocacy
Now–July 10, 2019: Airport accessibility survey
The survey below is about access on airport property. This feedback will go to different people than the survey we ran in May, which resulted in chapter 6 for our new 358-page compilation handbook, “The path to responsible air travel governance: A recent history of service animal recommendations“.
Thanks to community members for participating in the survey. Anyone who wants to help us get this information to the people in power in a DC presentation can share the survey on social media or donate here.
What is USAUSA?
USAUSA is an internationally oriented, ad hoc advocacy coalition. USAUSA experts develop policy and lawmaking recommendations regarding service animals, inviting stakeholder organizations to sign on and individuals to write in to express support. Read more on USAUSA’s About page.
What work has USAUSA done?
Starting 2016, USAUSA:
• Upon USDOT request, conducted a survey and issued a 2016 survey report regarding the burdens of the current flight regulations on service animal users
• At the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA’s) invitation, shared the above two items to aid in their regulatory modernization effort
• Invited other organizations to sign on to support the sentiments expressed in PSDP’s press release about Delta’s more burdensome 2018 policies. Delta rescinded the portion of their planned policy that would violate 14 CFR §382.27, though “Delta ‘enhancements’ keep updates legal, but immoral“.
• Upon USDOT request for more data (pertinent to updating service animal and ESA regulations and enforcement priorities), conducted a flight access survey and issued a 2018 Flight Access Survey Report
• Proffered a petition for individuals and solicited organizational support so AKC would not harmfully co-opt a term from the service dog community in changing a program name (PSDP’s initial efforts did not accomplish the goal)
• In preparation for a May 17, 2019 meeting in which we gave a speech to USDOT officials, we conducted a simple survey about the challenges of flying with a service animal in the last two years while airlines create a maze of different requirements; responses are available in our 358-page compilation handbook, “The path to responsible air travel governance: A recent history of service animal recommendations“
Read more in Psychiatric Service Dog Partners’ Advocacy section, which details the above actions among others.
What is USAUSA not? What does supporting USAUSA commit an organization to?
USAUSA is not a membership organization, but merely spearheads advocacy action on a case-by-case basis. An outside group’s support for one USAUSA issue or project does not commit or restrict them beyond that instance of support. Only organizations are eligible to sign on within USAUSA letters, and a representative must attach their name for accountability.
An organization is entirely free to agree with USAUSA and sign on for one issue/letter, while disagreeing with USAUSA on another. Signing on by having one’s name listed simply indicates agreement with that letter, and many groups will sign on to a USAUSA letter and submit their own comment for the same issue when they have more to share.
USAUSA solicits and welcomes advocacy support from individuals in the form of writing to policymakers to express personal stories and reasons for agreeing with any USAUSA actions. This humanizing effort is often essential for agencies to understand the everyday impact their actions would have.
Who has supported USAUSA actions?
Over 25 organizations have signed on to USAUSA letters, including service dog programs, advocacy groups, and businesses. These include:
American Council of the Blind (ACB)
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
Autism Service Dogs of America (ASDA)
Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
Blinded Veterans Association
Canine Partners for Life (CPL)
Delta Air Lines
The Dissociative Living Partnership
Freedom Guide Dogs
Guide Dog Users, Inc.
Guide Dogs of Texas
Guide Dogs of the Desert
Hidden Hollow Miniature Horses
International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP)
Leader Dogs for the Blind
National Association for the Deaf (NAD)
National Center for Accessible Media at WBGH (NCAM)
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
National Association of Airline Passengers
Open Doors Organization
Service Dog Express
Service Dog Society
Southeastern Guide Dogs
Train a Dog Save a Warrior (TADSAW)
If you are with an organization that may be interested in future USAUSA advocacy actions, please contact us early so we are able to consult with you when the time comes. Advocacy opportunities often arise quickly and with looming deadlines, so we have to be prepared to take quick action in coordinating support.
Apart from supporting advocacy actions, how can I contribute to USAUSA’s work?
USAUSA actions are led by the Board of Directors of Psychiatric Service Dog Partners (PSDP) in conjunction with a prominent service animal advocate who formerly served as the Consumer Relations Coordinator for Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s VetDogs. Donations to PSDP support our work and are much appreciated.
If you would like to bring a potential advocacy action to our attention or give any feedback, please do not hesitate to send a friendly message our way.
How do I contact USAUSA?
Email: USAUSA [at] psych [dot] dog
Phone: (805) 876-4256
Mail: 1651 Sandpiper Drive, Rock Hill, SC 29732 USA