ESA Certification in Hawaii
The laws that govern the use of animals in Hawaii have been evolving for decades. In 1990, the U.S. Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide legal protection to individuals with disabilities. The ADA also requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities and requests employers to provide reasonable accommodations when needed by an employee with a disability.
Hawaii enacted its own law that gives rights to people who use emotional support animals (ESA). These are animals that are considered as an assistant animal under the Hawaii state law and they can be dogs, cats, or even other types of animals.
They are usually provided by mental health facilities or a doctor’s office and they are used by individuals who suffer from a mental disability, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, anxiety disorders, etc. They can also be trained by the handlers themselves.
These animals help their owners feel better about themselves by making them feel calmer and more relaxed. The owners also report that their lives become more stable and peaceful because of these pets in their lives.
The important thing to note is that this is not a type of therapy or treatment for any physical condition or medical condition as there is no medical evidence showing any real benefit for an emotional support animal.
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal (ESA) is a type of service animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These animals provide comfort, support, and stability for their owners who have a mental disability such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, anxiety disorders, etc. They are also used by people who suffer from physical disabilities such as epilepsy or diabetes and individuals who need assistance with mobility or balance.
The term “emotional support” implies that these animals help with mental health issues only. As such, there are many other conditions for which people can use these animals such as depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), etc.
Emotional support animals provide therapeutic benefits to their owners by calming them down and reducing their stress levels. The animals also provide companionship, affection, and a sense of security to their owners.
How is an Emotional Support Animal Categorized?
In order for an emotional support animal to be certified in Hawaii as a service animal under the ADA, it must meet certain criteria and requirements as listed below:
An emotional support animal must be a domesticated species (not wild) and must be either trained to perform specific tasks or be housebroken.
The owner must also submit documentation from his/her mental health provider stating that he/she has a mental disability (and the ESA will help reduce symptoms) and that he/she needs assistance with these disabilities.