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Access Laws for Guide Dog Users: U.S.

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Maryland

Maryland Statutes: White Cane Law, amended 1992, Article 30, Section 33 and Article 24, Section 11-502

Maryland statutory law guarantees a blind person the legal right to be accompanied by a specially trained dog guide in all public accommodations and on all forms of public transportation.

Maryland law also guarantees equal housing accommodations to a dog guide user. No extra charge can be levied because of the dog's presence, but the dog guide user is liable for any damage the dog might cause to the premises. A landlord is not required to modify property or to maintain a higher degree of care than that provided to other persons. Maryland state policy ensures equal employment opportunity for blind persons in its state service, in the service of its political subdivisions, in public schools, and in employment supported in whole or in part by public funds, except where a particular disability prevents performance of the work involved.

Maryland exempts dog guides from licensing fee. (Article 24, Sect. 11-502)

The clerk will be satisfied that the dog for which the license is sought is a "dog guide," professionally trained to aid the blind and actually in use for such purpose. The license therefore shall be issued without the payment of any fee and the clerk shall inscribe across the face of the license in red ink the words, "Dog guide." (11-502)

Public accommodations include hotels, restaurants, public buildings, stores, places of resort and amusement, and all other places to which the general public is invited. (Art. 30, Sect. 33(d))

Public transportation includes trains, airplanes, boats, taxis, buses, and all other modes of conveyance offered for public use. (Art. 30, Sect. 33(d))

Housing includes all property offered for rent, lease or compensation which is designed to be a home or sleeping place, but does not include single family dwelling whose occupants offer no more than one room for rent. (Art. 30, Sect. 33(I))

Violation: Any person, firm or corporation who interferes with the above-enumerated rights is guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 for each offense. (Art. 30, Sect.33(g))

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