Gloria talks about the ADA and certification of therapy animals to assist the disabled




TO:      Sharon D. Opryszek

Litigation Counsel

Illinois ARDC


FAX:    312-565-2320                        Re.  Joanne Marie Dennison

Commission NO. 2013PR00001


Ms. Opryszek,


Had I not been harassed and an attempt to intimidate almost one year ago when I was to do a deposition for the investigation against attorney Kenneth Ditkowsky, I may have been lured into believing that the IARDC cared one ounce to have the truth reported to them under oath:  had I one ounce of faith that the Illinois ARDC would give a hoot about justice, or the protections mandated by the Illinois Department of Justice, the Department On Aging or other agencies that protect the elderly and disabled, I may have listened to your ‘excuses’ today.  However, you and other members of the Illinois ARDC have lost all credibility and in particular, that because you have ignored all complaints against attorneys Adam Stern, Cynthia Farenga, Peter Schmiedel, and Deborah Jo Soehlig, et al, it is reasonable to confer that the Illinois ARDC will do whatever it may to prevent me from participating in a deposition that would give good evidence that the blog of Joanne Denison contains documented facts in and regarding the probate case titled, The Estate of Mary G. Sykes 2009 P 4585.  Further, that the Illinois ARDC has publically demonized and placed my good name in false light, for the sole purpose to discredit me not only to your Commission, but also law enforcement and other agencies.


FACT: The federal American Disabilities Act (ADA) does NOT require mandatory or voluntary certification of service animals.


FACT: Voluntary certification, registration, and service animal identification makes dealing with service animal accessibility in public places, private housing with no-pet policies, lodging, and public transportation MUCH easier.


However, the simple truth is that although certification of service animals is not required under federal law, many business owners, managers, and employees are not trained or aware that a person with a disability and service animal must be allowed in their establishment by law! Because of this lack of education and understanding, many disabled persons and their service animals are often denied access until they’ve successfully pled their case and shared the law.


Even the informed and knowledgeable business will confront a person attempting to bring in their dog if the dog isn’t wearing something (vest, patch, ID card) that clearly indicates the dog is a service animal.  However, Shaggy has one tag he wears: he certification papers were stolen and destroyed by Carolyn Toerpe, the client of attorneys Adam Stern, Cynthia FArenga, and Peter Schmiedel.


Living with a disability (diagnosed situational Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (SPTSD)in 2003) is hard enough without the embarrassment and frustration of having to fight for my rights to enter the offices of the ARDC and now, after been given clearance by Mr. Helms (sp) the Director of Security at the Potential Building, been lied to by you, Ms. Opryszek, as a means to obstruct justice and witness tampering.  Knowing, as you do, that the triggers to the ‘situations’ which have caused me much hardship and harm (including Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAB)) were and are caused by attorneys Adam Stern, Peter Schmiedel, Cynthia Farenga, and now the attorneys and agents of the Illinois ARDC, is, well, a crime on top of crimes already committed by an agency of the Illinois Supreme Court that is suppose to protect the legal profession – not provide more reasons why the public should not trust lawyers.


That said, for a simple fee of $149. I can receive a new kit that includes a vest and certification papers by the 29th, although the law does not require certification. I have contacted the proper authorities in this matter who have provided me with the information I need to end this discrimination and intimidation:  included below is a statement from the ADA regarding this issue, for my protection(s), support and for your education.  If you want to pay for the documents not required by law,  great: tomorrow at 4 pm I will allow service upon me and included with  said service of summons, a check for $149 and one for the $35 (or whatever the fee is for depositions now).  Otherwise, just please stop the illegal attitude and let’s move forward and Shaggy and I will do the deposition accordingly on the 29th.


Shaggy is trained to respect commands beyond the training most receive to obtain a Good Canine Citizen certification which healso has.  He is trained to determine any situation that may cause me harm, such as if, for example, you or one of your staff present themselves in a hostile or aggressive manner: Shaggy is also trained to determine when I am under undue stress, and to ‘get me away’ from the situation.  A good example is a few weeks ago I was at the DuPage Courthouse filing some papers.  Shaggy was at my side. He was fine when I met with the social workers, but when we went into a room filled with people who were present for various court appearances; he detected aggression, the anxiety of others, et and refused to allow me to enter the room.  I did not. Another good example was when Carolyn Toerpe and her husband Fred were preventing me from packing and procuring my property during a wrongful eviction:  Shaggy attempted to stand between them and me and tried to get me out of the home, where he had for most of his life found as a safe zone, or when the Cook County Sheriff refused to let me enter the first floor, or basement of the single family home where Toerpe procured a void order to have me evicted form the 2nd floor, Shaggy tried to support me and prevent the aggression of the Cook County Sheriff who, at one point, one had grabbed me and stopped me from getting my lap top computer: one Deputy Sheriff actually told me, “If your dog bites me I’ll shoot him”.  Shaggy doesn’t bit people, but this threat from the Sheriff caused Shaggy to push me with his nose, bit my clothing in an attempt to ‘get me away’ from harm.  Thus, you may be concerned that he will point out your aggression, the intimidation and biases against me.  Rest assured, he will, but in doing so, I will continue the deposition without any episode(s) of SPTSD as he will make me aware of the tactics and give me comfort that I can overcome: or, you will be professional and cause me to apologize for even mentioning such tactics.  That’s up to you.


Nevertheless, the Illinois ARDC is wrong in preventing me from having Shaggy at the deposition and against the laws set by the ADA.  I’ve copied the ADA as well as other organizations who are in the business to make certain that people with disabilities are able to have service (companion) dogs with them at all times so he or she can be better equipped to help manage the on-going stresses that cause the reason for a companion pooch.  That this is the second time the Illinois ARDC has violated the laws and prevented me from testifying.


I hope we can work this out now that you are educated.  It’s your choice.


Please see attached page.



Healthy Regards,




Gloria Jean Sykes




CC.  JoAnne Denison (Email),  ADA Chief Rebecca B. Bond, U.S. Department of Justice (fax, 202-307-1197), Kenneth Ditkowsky (email)






ADA and Certification of Service Dogs

Clipped from Department of Justice ADA Title III Final Rule


Training requirement. Certain commenters recommended the adoption of formal training requirements for service animals. The Department has rejected this approach and will not impose any type of formal training requirements or certification process, but will continue to require that service animals be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. While some groups have urged the Department to modify this position, the Department has determined that such a modification would not serve the full array of individuals with disabilities who use service animals, since individuals with disabilities may be capable of training, and some have trained, their service animal to perform tasks or do work to accommodate their disability. A training and certification requirement would increase the expense of acquiring a service animal and might limit access to service animals for individuals with limited financial resources.


Some commenters proposed specific behavior or training standards for service animals, arguing that without such standards, the public has no way to differentiate between untrained pets and service animals. Many of the suggested behavior or training standards were lengthy and detailed. The Department believes that this rule addresses service animal behavior sufficiently by including provisions that address the obligations of the service animal user and the circumstances under which a service animal may be excluded, such as the requirements that an animal be housebroken and under the control of its handler.







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