Section 21-7-1

Declaration of policy; definitions.

(a) It is the policy of this state to encourage and enable the blind, the visually impaired, and the physically disabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the state and to engage in meaningful employment.

(b) For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) HANDLER. Includes an individual with a disability and a trainer.

(2) HOUSING ACCOMMODATION. Any real property or portion thereof which is used or occupied, or intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occupied, as the home, residence, or sleeping place of one or more individuals, but does not include any single-family residence, the occupants of which rent, lease, or furnish for compensation not more than one room therein.

(3) INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY. As defined by 42 U.S.C. §12102, and further defined as an individual who has a physical or mental impairment, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability, that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual.

(4) MAJOR LIFE ACTIVITY. A function such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

(5) PHYSICAL OR MENTAL IMPAIRMENT. A physiological disorder or condition, disfigurement, or anatomical loss that affects one or more bodily functions, or a mental or psychological disorder that meets one of the diagnostic categories specified in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, such as an intellectual or developmental disability, organic brain syndrome, traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder, or mental illness.

(6) PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION. A common carrier, airplane, motor vehicle, railroad train, motor bus, streetcar, boat, or other public conveyance or mode of transportation, a hotel, a timeshare that is a transient public lodging establishment, a lodging place, a place of public accommodation, amusement, or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all individuals. The term does not include air carriers covered by the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986, 49 U.S.C. Section 41705, and by regulations adopted by the United States Department of Transportation to implement that act.

(7) SERVICE ANIMAL. a. As defined by 28 C.F.R. §35.104, and further defined as an animal that is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The work done or tasks performed shall be directly related to the disability of the individual and may include, but are not limited to all of the following: Guiding an individual who is visually impaired or blind; alerting an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, assisting with mobility or balance, alerting and protecting an individual who is having a seizure, retrieving objects; alerting an individual to the presence of allergens; providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a mobility disability; helping an individual with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors; reminding an individual with mental illness to take prescribed medications; calming an individual with post traumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack; and doing other specific work, or performing other special tasks. b. The term shall include a dog owned, used, or in training by any police or fire department, rescue or first response squad, ambulance corps, or search and rescue organization for the purpose of locating criminals and lost individuals, or detecting illegal substances, explosives, cadavers, accelerants, or school or correctional facility contraband. A service animal may not be a pet. For the purposes of Sections 21-7-3, 21-7-4, and 21-7-5, the term is limited to a dog or a miniature horse. The crime-deterrent effect of the presence of an animal and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

(8) TRAINER. Any of the following:

a. An owner with a disability who is actually involved in the training process.

b. An individual who is competent and qualified to train a service animal, has at least one year's experience training animals, and who is actually involved in the training process.

c. An individual having photo identification stating that he or she is an employee, volunteer, agent, or graduate of a school for seeing eye, hearing, service, or guide dogs or an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities as reputable and competent to provide dogs with training, and who is actually involved in the training process.

(9) TRANSIENT PUBLIC LODGING ESTABLISHMENT. Any unit, group of units, dwelling, building, or group of buildings within a single complex of buildings that is rented to guests more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or one calendar month, whichever is less, or that is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.

(Acts 1975, No. 869, p. 1711, §1; Act 2019-478, §1.)