About a week ago, I wrote about how I went for my biannual eye exam and was asked by two different employees why I have a service dog.
A couple days ago, I was able to go in and speak with the office manager (who happened to be one of the employees that asked me inappropriate questions about my service dog) a
bout my experience. It turned out he knew why I wanted to speak to him and was already aware there had been a problem. I think maybe the eye doctor told him how I'd pointed out to her that she was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by asking why I need a service dog.
The office manager told me that he'd done some research after my visit and that he was aware that he asked the wrong question or phrased it the wrong way. He was able to tell me what the two questions are that the staff is allowed to ask under the ADA.
He did try to tell me that they were only asking because they wanted to make sure they provided the best possible care for me. I addressed that, pointing out that if there is concern one of the eye tests could trigger seizures, they should be asking all patients if they have a history of seizures, not just those with service dogs since many people with seizure disorders will not have service dogs. He agreed. He also mentioned diabetes and was aware that there are service dogs that help people with diabetes (usually type 1 diabetes) and he himself pointed out that most people with diabetes won't have a service dog so it is important that they ask all patients if they are diabetic.
He told me that they all thought Isaac had done really well, he'd been very well-behaved and was clearly well-trained, and he was welcome there any time. He asked me some general questions about service dogs, like how long it takes to train them and things like that. He told me I was their first patient to come in with a service dog and I said I understood that and that I know people usually do not mean to be intrusive or to offend and that I just wanted to be sure they understood both the law and how to deal with patients with service dogs in a sensitive and respectful manner.