U.S.

Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Office of the Assistant Attorney General APR 3 1998 The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510-0703 Dear Senator Lieberman: Your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, Ms. XXX , has been forwarded to the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division for consideration and response. Ms. XXX had several questions regarding proposed changes to regulations established by the State of Hawaii related to the quarantine of guide dogs for the visually impaired. In addition, Ms. XXX listed several changes to the regulations which she advocates. Please excuse our delay in responding. As way of background, a group of private plaintiffs sued the State of Hawaii under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. S 12101 et seq., alleging that the State's refusal to modify its rabies prevention program violated the ADA. Specifically, the Plaintiffs argued that the State should be required to replace its quarantine of guide dogs for persons with visual impairments with a rabies prevention scheme that included administrative requirements aimed at ensuring that rabies would not enter the State. Among the safeguards proposed by the Plaintiffs were the use of titer-testing, microchip implantation and a record of vaccination since infancy for a dog provided by a reputable guide dog training school. The United States intervened in the litigation, arguing that the Plaintiffs' proposals were reasonable under the ADA and would not fundamentally alter Hawaii's rabies control policies. As the litigation progressed, the parties agreed to a settlement, adopting much of what the Plaintiffs were seeking, including replacement of quarantine with a rabies control system advocated by the Plaintiffs. In accordance with the settlement, the State has proposed and is considering regulations which will implement the settlement. Washington, D.C. 20035

(handwritten)FOIA -2Ms. XXX is not correct in her assessment of certain facts regarding those regulations. First, it is not true that only guide dog schools that are members of the U.S. Council of Dog Guide Schools are eligible to be on the list of approved schools maintained by the State. Instead, under the regulations, any school that meets the following criteria is eligible to be included on that list: 1. Dogs must be required to have their first rabies vaccination administered between approximately 12 and 24 weeks of age; 2. A second rabies vaccine must be required approximately one year later; 3. All dogs in the school must be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian; 4. Before taking a guide dog trained at the school, the user must be instructed on the proper care, maintenance, and training for guide dogs, including proper veterinary care; 5. For all dogs that are still owned by the school, the school must have a policy or practice requiring that veterinary records of its guide dog graduates, including but not limited to rabies vaccination records, be made available to the school at the school's request. Second, it is not correct that blind visitors can stay only in "pre-selected, pre-approved lodgings." Under the regulations, the State will maintain a list of hotels that have been inspected and have been approved because the hotels take steps to control stray animals and rodents and offer a secure environment that contains no other carnivores in the guest areas (except other certified guide dogs, security dogs or other animals entitled to be present pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act or other federal law). However, blind visitors are free to stay in

other hotels or in other lodgings, including private residences, so long as they provide the address to the State so that the State may ensure that the residence meets the above criteria. In addition to the above, Ms. XXX proposed several other revisions to the regulations. Under the State regulations, there is a public comment period while the regulations are being considered. We note from her correspondence that Ms. XXX has submitted her suggestions to the State for their review and consideration.

-3I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, Bill Lann Lee Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division