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Access Laws for Guide Dog Users: U.S.

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Texas

Texas Statutes, Title 8, Chapter 121, Sections 121.002 through 121.009, amended 1997

Texas statutes guarantee a blind person the legal right to be accompanied by a specially trained dog guide in harness in all public facilities. A dog guide user has a legal right to equal housing accommodation in all housing offered for rent, lease, or compensation. The landlord need not modify the premises, nor is a higher standard of care required than that provided other tenants. No extra fee can be levied because of the dog guide's presence, but the dog guide user is liable for any damage the dog might do to the premises. Equal employment opportunity is also guaranteed, except where the visual impairment prevents performance of work involved.

Under Texas statutory law, the definition of public facilities includes hotels, stores, restaurants, college dormitories, places of resort, recreation and amusement, public buildings, railroads, buses, boats, airplanes, taxis, and all other common carriers or places to which the public is invited. (Sect. 121.002, Sect. 121.003)

Housing accommodations include any real property, in whole or part, designed or used as a home, residence, or sleeping place, except for a single family dwelling, the occupants of which offer for rent no more than one room. (Sect. 121.003)

Violation: Any person, firm, association, or agent thereof who interferes with the above enumerated rights is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of not less than $300 or more than $1000. In addition, the dog guide user whose civil rights have been violated may proceed in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover personal damages with the presumption that at least $100 worth of damage has been sustained. (Sect. 121.004)

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