Saturday, September 7, 2013
Service Dog Handeler Assaulted By McDonalds Manager
Published on Aug 31, 2013 Service dogs provide invaluable assistance for the disabled. Tiffany Denise Allen doesn't agreea it seems. The Mariettaa Ga.a McDonald's manager punched guest Jennifer Schwenkera a mom with two autistic sonsa for bringing their dog into the restaurant. Allen was off duty at the time Schwenkera her sons and their guide dog visited the restaurant. Allen was caught on surveillance cameraa holding a small childa following Schwenker and confronting her. Upon leavinga one of Schwenker boys got separated. The mother dropped her drink on the floor and some spilled on Allen. Allen tossed the baby in someone's armsa dashed out of the restaurant and slugged Schwenker. Allen's behavior is wrong on many levels. First of alla there was obviously no provocation for assault. She endangered Schwenker's children and the child she was holding. It wasn't even Allen's place to address the Schwenker; she was off-duty and at that pointa just another customer. Allen should have been cited for harassment also. Allen was wrong even about the original issue. Regardless of what individual restaurant or business policies statea service dogs are legal in all public places. A guide dog does not fall under the same guidelines as other animals. A service dog is at worka providing a necessary service for his disabled person. Without a guide doga many people can't function in society. Allen may not have realized Schwenker's boys were autistic. Allen may have thought that only visually impaired people use guide dogs. This does not excuse even her heckling Schwenkera let alone assaulting her. As a store managera she ought to have known the law. I'm a trained special needs teachera with certification in autism and emotional impairment. Guide dogs greatly help autistic children. Children generally respond well to animals; often better than they do with humans. Autistic children lack internal safety signalsa communication and social skills. A guide dog helps autistic children navigate safely. In special educationa we talk about providing the least restrictive environment. LRE means that care providers must give children the most flexibility within the limits imposed by the handicap. A guide dog helps reduce environmental restrictions and provides adaptive support for autistic children. Lows don't just allow service dogsa it protects disabled people from harassment. Handicapped persons aren't required to present any special proofs as to why they have a dog escort. Some people identify their dogs with a vesta but this isn't mandatory. Some carry ID cards but are not required to present them. This makes Allen's actions triply heinous. As a managera she didn't even know or understand simple laws. Even by questioning Allen about the doga Allen was stepping outside of her bounds not only as a manager at McDonald's but as a guest. Setting the assault asidea McDonald's better hope that Schwenker doesn't decide to sue them for their manager's ignorance of guide dog owners' rights.