Yes. So the truth is that most people with disabilities are either unemployed or under-employed. By the grace of the Grand Architect, I’m at least reaching, very fully employed, and certainly have a very prosperous career. But unfortunately, I know the challenges. I know the discrimination that many people with disabilities face. For me, I get to live with those, or suffer those benefits and challenges with my side-kick Bowie.
In terms of my career, this means that I’m partnered with a service animal and the public space: in this context, an employer or a place of employment. So that does really involve a couple of things.
Number one, it involves sort of technical, legally speaking, workplace accommodations or reasonable accommodations. But then the way I view the law is that it’s a floor, not a ceiling. So it also involves the concept that Debra and I have developed together: the idea of on-the-spot conflict resolution, or if you use a different kind of language where we had the pleasure of speaking at the ABA, a concept called being relational. We also call it being organic or organic conversation, the idea of bilateral interaction with others.
If the law is one thing, and there are technical requirements; this could be its own podcast or audio recording on the idea of reasonable accommodations, the technical requirements of reasonable accommodations. But the larger question is how do we, how do we wrap our arms around providing reasonable accommodations to people with service animals for better, for worse, that may indeed involve conflict.
Moreover, I think it’s fair to say that Debra and I think there’s a conversational piece to that law area or legal area that is not fully addressed right now. That’s, I think, the space that Debra and I can uniquely fill together, at least in the animal context.