The Best Western Plus Waterbury-Stowe is one of the first businesses in the nation to receive a new designation for being welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities, and for its commitment to public access rights for legitimate Service Dog teams.
Vermont Business Magazine The Best Western Plus Waterbury-Stowe of Waterbury has received the Red Vest Accessible designation in recognition of its efforts to offer a welcoming, accessible facility for those with a disability, its commitment to public access rights for legitimate Service Dog teams as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and its ability to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of ADA regulations. The designation was presented by NEADS World Class Service Dogs, a leading, nationally recognized Service Dog organization.
Businesses are nominated by a person who has had first-hand experience with the location, whether they have a disability or not. Recipients are selected based on a list of criteria relating to Service Dog accessibility and the staff’s general knowledge of disability access. Recognition will be given on a rolling basis throughout the year and Red Vest Accessible businesses receive a decal to display and recognition on the Red Vest Accessible website.
“We are pleased to be recognized for our efforts to create a welcoming and accessible environment for those with a disability, and our commitment to allowing seamless access for legitimate, working Service Dog teams,” noted Melissa Moore, Best Western Plus Waterbury-Stowe General Manager. “NEADS is very close to my heart and I appreciate their advocacy for Service Dog teams as well as accessible businesses.” Moore, who has a hearing disability, works in partnership with her hearing dog, a Yellow Lab named Ronnie who was trained by NEADS. The pair was matched in spring of 2020. In the past year, the hotel has opened with great success several designated dog-friendly rooms.
Service animals are defined by the ADA as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”
“NEADS is committed to doing everything it can to help all legitimate Service Dog teams navigate the world without worry,” says Cathy Zemaitis, NEADS Director of Development. “NEADS can do this by recognizing places that are welcoming and accessible and educating businesses about their rights as well as the rights of people with legitimate Service Dogs through the Red Vest Accessible program, which we started in 2020. Service Dog owners will be able to recognize the establishment as a safe place, and proprietors will understand their own rights – what questions they can and cannot ask when someone enters with a Service Dog.”
To nominate a business for the Red Vest Accessible designation, go to https://redvest.neads.org.
NEADS Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Princeton, Massachusetts. Established in 1976, NEADS offers the widest array of Service Dog programs in the industry, including Service Dogs for adults and children with a physical disability, Service Dogs for veterans, Service Dogs for Hearing, and Service Dogs for children with autism or other developmental disabilities. NEADS dogs are also partnered with professionals in classroom, therapy, hospital, ministry, and courthouse settings. As of 2021, NEADS has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for 19 consecutive years. NEADS has also established the Red Vest Accessible program which recognizes venues, organizations, and businesses for their commitment to public access rights for legitimate Service Dog teams and for being welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities. For more information, please visit neads.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Best Western Plus Waterbury-Stowe
Located at 45 Blush Hill Road in Waterbury, the Best Western Plus Waterbury-Stowe has been an integral part of the Waterbury community for over 40 years. It features 83 rooms including select dog-friendly accommodations, an indoor heated pool, a daily COVID-compliant build-your-own breakfast box included with guests’ stay, walking trail, covered bridge, children’s playground, and more. Each Best Western brand hotel is independently owned and operated. For reservations, call the hotel directly at 802-244-7822 or call Best Western’s 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-800-WESTERN. Reservations can also be made online at BestWesternWaterburyStowe.com.
Source: The Best Western Plus Waterbury-Stowe of Waterbury