Santa Clara Valley Blind Center Responds to Protestor Allegations, Reiterates “Vision Beyond Sight” Mission

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Responding to allegations made by a sole individual, the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center (SCVBC) today made it clear that the effectiveness of its programs were prioritized above the needs of an individual who repeatedly jeopardized the security of the Center’s clients.

In taking this action SCVBC was firmly on legal ground. Section 36.302 of The Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities (the act designed to implement Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act) clearly states in subsection c2: “A public accommodation may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if: (i) The animal is out of control and the animal´s handler does not take effective action to control it; or (ii) The animal is not housebroken.” Subsection c3 continues: “If a public accommodation properly excludes a service animal under § 36.302(c)(2), it shall give the individual with a disability the opportunity to obtain goods, services, and accommodations without having the service animal on the premises.”

In fact, these conditions were met. Steve Mahan, Executive Director of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center (SCVBC) stated: “For obvious reasons, we are very friendly toward service animals. Many patrons both with and without service dogs had directly expressed their concern about this animal. This was not an easy decision for us, but it was clear that it was required. In asking this client not to bring this animal back to SCVBC, we made it clear that this individual will always be welcome at the Center.”

Mr. Mahan further noted that the services provided by the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center are vital to the community: “Many people rely on the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center each week for vital services such as white cane training, braille training, job skills seminars, and more. Important and lasting friendships are formed here. In a very real sense, our clients depend on the secure and reliable environment the Center provides.”

About Santa Clara Valley Blind Center –

For more than 50 years, SCVBC has provided support to individuals facing the uncertainties, fears, and challenges related to uncorrectable vision loss. We are a community-based organization dedicated to increasing the confidence, independence, and quality of life of the blind and visually impaired. SCVBC tackles complex vision loss issues comprehensively through rehabilitative, educational, and recreational services that ensure the long-term independence and empowerment of our clients.