ADA Commission

Welcome to the ADA Commission

Ruth McGrath, Chair - Biography
Stuart Beckley, Ware Town Manager and Member
Brittni Robidoux, Commission Member - Biography
Patricia Ranner, Commission Member
Heidi Reed, Commission Member

September 13, 2023 at 6:30pm
Click Here for Agenda

Zoom Link Information:

Dial by Phone: 1-929-205-6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 784 604 1861

Passcode: 01082

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Library Flyer                                                                                   
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There have been several inquiries regarding the difference between Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals recently.  The following is the most recent ADA Guidelines for Service Animals.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your ADA Commission.  ADA Requirements: Service Animals |

ADA Requirements: Service Animals.
The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for title II (State and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on September 15, 2010, in the Federal Register.

September is National Guide Dog Month.   
National Guide Dog Month is a celebration of the work of guide dogs in the United States as a way to raise awareness, appreciation and support for guide dog schools across the United States. It was established in 2008, as a method to benefit non-profit guide dog organizations accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation.   
There have been several questions in Ware recently regarding guide dogs.  We will attempt to answer some of those questions here.  For more information, please look at the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Guidelines for Assistance Animals:  Disability rights for users of assistance animals |

The ADA does not require any special equipment, clothing, or patches to identify your animal as a Service Dog. Although by definition, a Service Dog/Animal is trained to perform tasks assisting someone who is disabled, that training can be completed by anyone, anywhere. Training does not need to be facilitated by an expert or professional trainer. Many people have trained their own animals or have been assisted by friends and family, and there are numerous resources to help the home trainer. Most important is that the training enables the animal to: 1) perform the tasks required to assist its disabled handler and 2) be well controlled in public.

You are responsible for the training and manners of your dog while in public, however, and if your dog is barking in a theater or restaurant or otherwise being disruptive, the owner of that establishment can legally ask you to either leave or to remove your dog from the business.

By law, public entities (businesses and their representatives) are allowed to question a disabled handler to verify that they qualify to enter with a service animal. Although the questions may take a wide variety of forms, they are limited to the following: First, the handler may be asked to verbally confirm that he is disabled and that the dog is his/her service dog. The public entity MAY NOT ask about the person’s disability, however. EXAMPLE: “So you are disabled, and this is your service dog?"  Second, the handler may be asked what major life task the animal is trained to perform for the handler. The handler should be able to provide credible verbal evidence to this question. If the answer isn’t credible, then they may be denied. For example, if the handler explains that his dog carries his insulin or candy for him because he is diabetic, that isn’t a credible (major life) task. Why? Because the handler has pockets, can wear a fanny pack, or carry a bag to hold the insulin, etc. The answer must support the need for the service animal, based on the criteria of the ADA.
  • EXAMPLE: “What task does your dog perform specific to your disability?
  • SAMPLE ANSWER: “At the onset of a seizure he’s trained to alert my wife or otherwise bring attention to me if I’m in a public setting.
Finally, a public entity MAY NOT ask for registration or certification documents, ID cards, a letter from a physician, and may not require that a service dog wear a harness or vest with service animal.  It is not required that a service animal be registered.  (Information from the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) website, see link above)


This report is the final product of the Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act Improvement Grant Program, received by Ware.   The goal of the grant program is to increase accessibility for people with disabilities in Ware.  The Massachusetts Office on Disabilities works with communities to realize their ADA Title II obligations and engage in an interactive process so that municipalities like Ware can better understand and achieve increased access and opportunities for persons with disabilities.  The Ware ADA Commission has this report and will work to improve accessibility and inclusion for all people in Ware. Click Here for Full Report

Newsletter - September 2023
60 Minutes a Day Move Your Way
Plan Ahead for Disasters Flyer
Preventing Childhood Obesity - 4 Things Families Can Do
Health eating for kids and teens at:
USDA MyPlate Nutrition Information for Kids


There is a survey being conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. It is anonymous and should take about 10 minutes to complete. The responses to this survey will provide vital information for gaps in your community that could potentially be filled.  

The Community Health Equity Survey will help communities improve conditions that impact health, particularly those most impacted by health inequities. The survey was developed in collaboration with community members and partners across Massachusetts, and it reflects what residents want to know about how their communities experience housing, mental health, safety, and other drivers of health. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and our partners will use CHEI data to allocate funding, improve programming, and develop policies that address health inequities. 

Click Here to Take the Survey


What is the ADA?

SignSchool is a free way to learn Sign Language: - The resource for the disability community


Massachusetts Office on Disability


Pioneer Valley Planning Commission  

Massachusetts’s Initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer’s Hands 

The New England ADA Center

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Center

Disability Scoop - The Premier Source for Developmental Disability News

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Massachusetts Equipment Distribution Program

The Silent Call Procedure