Jun 02

Rights of a Disabled Veteran

Fernando Gaud is Darren Aquino’s uncle and a disabled veteran. Uncle Fernando, as we lovingly call him, suffers from mental illness due to a brain aneurysm. When he takes his medication is he coherent, mild mannered, a total gentleman. He was an amazing musician and artist. Unfortunately, he has been in the company of persons that have taken advantage of his condition, since, when he doesn’t take his medication, he is not fully aware of danger, monetary responsibility, or his health.

A Mr. Michael Costello and a Ms. Reba Wexlar have fully taken advantage of his condition, Ms. Wexler stopped giving him his medication, so he lost his apartment, and Mr. Costello, made himself, uncle Fernandos’ healthcare proxy, took his money and placed him in a nursing home, while his family looked for him for 2 years! Before uncle Fernando left his familiar surroundings and family and began to wander, he authorized Darren to be his guardian, his advocate rep. regarding veteran affairs and social security. All these documents are in tact.

We found him at the Riverdale Nursing home in Riverdale in the Bronx, NY. We have been trying to get him out and home and back to the VA for treatment. Since Mr. Costello has himself down as the proxy, we have been unable to have him released to us. Tomorrow, Monday, June 3, 2019, we are taking uncle Fernando, AMA and will be bringing him to the VA in the Bronx where he used to get his treatment, before he was stopped from taking his medication which made him wander, homeless and penniless. Mr. Gaud is cognizant, wants to be home with his family and is not being released, this is against his will, his dignity, his best interest. But, he will be back home since we have found him, Mr. Costello and Reba Wexler will be prosecuted for the horrible people that they are.

Please if you know of a veteran that has been or is being taken advantage of, call our organization, we will do whatever is needed to assist.


May 24

The Seasons of Emma

A very unique children’s book written by Darren Aquino, about a special little girl. The book was inspired by Darren Aquino’s childhood. See how Emma overcomes her disability. The story hopes to spread disabilities awareness. Please take a look at the link below:


Feb 24

Fire at the premises of Advocates for Disabled Americans, Veterans, Police, Firemen & Families

To all of you that follow our posts and those of you that we have been able to assist, please note that there was a fire at our premises on January 17, 2019, located at 574 Junard Blvd., West Hempstead, NY 11552. As most of you know, we are a unique organization, all of our members are disabled, hence, everyone’s office is their home. Our home burnt and our office was in our home.

The insurance company Narragansett Bay has not moved on the claim. The house is being illegally foreclosed and there has been no due process. Since the house is in foreclosure. the insurance  company will not move forward. We lost everything folks. Files, furniture, sentimental items, everything, and the DISABLED MEMBERS of the family, Darren, the CEO and founder, his disabled son, and his disabled uncle, who is a DISABLED VETERAN, have all had to be separated and are living with friends, we had to place his uncle in a nursing home until this whole situation can be resolved.

WELLS FARGO AND CARRINGTON MORTGAGE SERVICES did not communicate with the disabled home owner, Darren Aquino, effectively, as per TITLE II OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (THE ADA, THE ACT). We received no notification, no calls, nothing, regarding the foreclosure. FOLKS we are sending this to the DOJ.

MAKE NOISE FOLKS, the disabled do not have the fundamental right of due process. For those of us that have difficulty communicating, hearing impaired, visually impaired, those of us that cannot use their limbs, those of us that cannot speak, those of us that are developmentally delayed, and in this case, severe processing dyslexia and difficulty communicating on paper, do not get the needed accommodations warranted by the ADA.

We are a grassroots advocacy organization and do not charge for our services, we do not have the funds for counsel and the court will not grant counsel. WE need help and support. We are now reaching out for assistance….

Dec 03


The founding and strength for Advocates for Disabled was inspired by President Reagan and President Herbert Walker Bush.

He was the continued hope for me, the national chief and founder of this civil rights organization. President Reagan gave him hope, President Bush solidifed my belief in the greatness of this country. It was an honor to volunteer during his campaign. His son, President George W. Bush followed in his footsteps, and is a friend to this organization. Also an inspiration.

He was my hero. He was the American defender. All the Bush men are men of honor, they had a father who set the example. You will always be in my heart.

He will remain on this wall for life. Just as his signed picture does in my home. I am very, very saddened by the death of this great man.

I am so grateful for his service to this country and to the citizens he served humbly. The slogan of this organization, ” A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out” was inspired by President Bush.

He served the people.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. In loving memory forever, he is the reason for this civil rights organization. He and President Reagan will forever inspire, as they did the founding of this organization.


Oct 02


—– Forwarded Message —–
Subject: Check out the new look of ADA.gov’s TA Materials page!

We have revamped our Technical Assistance Materials webpage on ADA.gov to make it more organized and user friendly. Materials are now arranged by the relevant Title of the ADA as well as by subject matter covered in the documents. Check out the new look of the page here.

The previous Technical Assistance webpage can be accessed here. There is also a whole section regarding service dogs. Please take a look at the website.


Sep 23

Onur Topac Heading to Help Those Effected by the Hurricane in Jacksonville NC







Onur Topac and his team, Topac Enterprises and Battle Born Kustoms is heading out to help those effected by the hurricane. He calls it JAX TO JAX. He is going from Jacksonville ,FLA to Jacksonville, North Carolina.His whole family, wife and children are helping, as you can see from the pictures below, his son is even packing.  This patriot and his team are always, READY, WILLING AND ABLE.


Apr 14

The Seasons of Emma, a Unique Children’s by Darren Aquino

A very unique children’s book about a little  girl with special needs . In this book Darren shares Emma’s challenges, but, more importantly, shares her victories and her perseverance. We hope that with this book, we can spread awareness regarding disabilities. We hope that you can read it to your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Awareness and knowledge  are the key ingredients to acceptance, compassion and understanding. THE SEASONS OF EMMA CAN BE FOUND ON AMAZON. JUST TYPE IN SEASONS OF EMMA BY DARREN AQUINO. PROCEEDS OF THE BOOK GO TO ASSISTING DISABLED FAMILIES.

Jan 14

Cover up At The Forward School located in the Bronx

The Forward school located in the Bronx, NY, has been trying to cover up the lack of adequate classroom staffing . Mr. Mitchell Ellingsen, a general ED teacher of over 22 years, was placed in an ICT classroom without any real support, assistance or coverage. The principal of the Forward school, Magdelena Neyra, ordered Mr. Ellingsen to teach in this an ICT classroom, knowing that his expertise is in general ed and not special ed. Mr. Elingsen had ATRs in the classroom on an inconsistent basis. ATRS are teachers that are on a rotation schedule, working in different schools for different periods of time since the schools they worked in have been closed. Mr.Ellimgsen has been been a teacher for 22 and a half years, can retire in June 2018, with a full pension, however, he is being deemed ineffective and is being pushed out this year. The National Advocate for disabled and NYC Mayoral candidate, Darren Dione Aquino, will be advocating for this teacher, Mr. ELLINGSEN, who is being coerced out, has had no support

Jul 27

Advocate & Actor, Darren Dione Aquino Decides to Run for Mayor

Darren Dione Aquino, after receiving many requests from disabled veterans, disabled americans, has decided to run for Mayor of  NYC in 2017. New York is fed up with the leadership of Mayor Di Blasio.  Crime is at an all time high, there is rallying in the streets, unrest…..

Darren Aquino has a plan for NY , a plan that will economically stimulate NY, that will deal with housing for seniors, but first and foremost, will restore the trust between citizens and law enforcement. The city has not seen such bad leadership since Mayor Dinkins.

One of his plans will be to oversee local government agencies, in a letter to the Governor and President 8 months ago. He had a solution to implement a citizens community crisis advocate, that would have an unbiased ear to the governor and President,giving more control of government to  the citizens of NY, in times of crisis, such as the tragedy involving Eric Gardner.

The plans for  this vision for a greater New York will be fully disclosed as we draw near to the Mayoral election.

Plan #2 of a series of plans and visions-to restore NY to its greatness again, being the greatest city in the world. I will seek out the help of New Yorker and Presidential candidate Donald Trump. I will be approaching him now to stike a deal that will remove all homeless veterans from the streets of NY and open its doors to homeless veterans in surrounding states. It is a disgrace that any veteran be homeless, it is an abomination.

One of the thoughts would be to take over Pilgrim State Hospital, A NY State property and by community effort, coming together for our veterans, would I hope to be the first of many for our veterans, free housing. Those that would fall in the criteria, hoeless and disabled, I think would cover the cirteria! These veterans went with all intentions of giving their life for country and have come home broken and weathered by the storm of battle. Now, it’s up to us NY, to not forsake them and their patriotism, but to honor them for it.

I am Darren Dione Aquino, born and raised New Yorker, and I love New York, and I am announcing that I will run as a Mayoral candidate in 2017. Frank Sinatra said, “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere”, if he were to see the current affairs, he would change that chorus….

God Bless the United States of American and Our Troops.


Jul 16

Department of Justice-Updates to Service Dog Regulations

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section

Department of Justice seal

Link to PDF Version

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA 

Many people with disabilities use a service animal in order to fully participate in everyday life. Dogs can be trained to perform many important tasks to assist people with disabilities, such as providing stability for a person who has difficulty walking, picking up items for a person who uses a wheelchair, preventing a child with autism from wandering away, or alerting a person who has hearing loss when someone is approaching from behind.

The Department of Justice continues to receive many questions about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to service animals. The ADA requires State and local government agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations (covered entities) that provide goods or services to the public to make “reasonable modifications” in their policies, practices, or procedures when necessary to accommodate people with disabilities. The service animal rules fall under this general principle. Accordingly, entities that have a “no pets” policy generally must modify the policy to allow service animals into their facilities. This publication provides guidance on the ADA’s service animal provisions and should be read in conjunction with the publication ADA Revised Requirements: Service Animals.


Q1. What is a service animal? 

A. Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.

Q2. What does “do work or perform tasks” mean? 

A. The dog must be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability. For example, a person with diabetes may have a dog that is trained to alert him when his blood sugar reaches high or low levels. A person with depression may have a dog that is trained to remind her to take her medication. Or, a person who has epilepsy may have a dog that is trained to detect the onset of a seizure and then help the person remain safe during the seizure.

Q3. Are emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals considered service animals under the ADA?

A. No.  These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person.  Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.  However, some State or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places.  You may check with your State and local government agencies to find out about these laws.

Q4. If someone’s dog calms them when having an anxiety attack, does this qualify it as a service animal? 

A. It depends. The ADA makes a distinction between psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals. If the dog has been trained to sense that an anxiety attack is about to happen and take a specific action to help avoid the attack or lessen its impact, that would qualify as a service animal. However, if the dog’s mere presence provides comfort, that would not be considered a service animal under the ADA.

Q5. Does the ADA require service animals to be professionally trained? 

A. No. People with disabilities have the right to train the dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog training program.

Q6. Are service-animals-in-training considered service animals under the ADA?

A. No. Under the ADA, the dog must already be trained before it can be taken into public places. However, some State or local laws cover animals that are still in training.


Q7. What questions can a covered entity’s employees ask to determine if a dog is a service animal? 

A. In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.

Q8. Do service animals have to wear a vest or patch or special harness identifying them as service animals? 

A. No. The ADA does not require service animals to wear a vest, ID tag, or specific harness.

Q9. Who is responsible for the care and supervision of a service animal?

A. The handler is responsible for caring for and supervising the service animal, which includes toileting, feeding, and grooming and veterinary care. Covered entities are not obligated to supervise or otherwise care for a service animal.

Q10. Can a person bring a service animal with them as they go through a salad bar or other self-service food lines? 

A. Yes. Service animals must be allowed to accompany their handlers to and through self-service food lines. Similarly, service animals may not be prohibited from communal food preparation areas, such as are commonly found in shelters or dormitories.

Q11. Can hotels assign designated rooms for guests with service animals, out of consideration for other guests?  

A. No. A guest with a disability who uses a service animal must be provided the same opportunity to reserve any available room at the hotel as other guests without disabilities. They may not be restricted to “pet-friendly” rooms.

Q12. Can hotels charge a cleaning fee for guests who have service animals?

No. Hotels are not permitted to charge guests for cleaning the hair or dander shed by a service animal. However, if a guest’s service animal causes damages to a guest room, a hotel is permitted to charge the same fee for damages as charged to other guests.

Q13. Can people bring more than one service animal into a public place? 

A. Generally, yes. Some people with disabilities may use more than one service animal to perform different tasks. For example, a person who has a visual disability and a seizure disorder may use one service animal to assist with way-finding and another that is trained as a seizure alert dog. Other people may need two service animals for the same task, such as a person who needs two dogs to assist him or her with stability when walking. Staff may ask the two permissible questions (See Question 7) about each of the dogs. If both dogs can be accommodated, both should be allowed in. In some circumstances, however, it may not be possible to accommodate more than one service animal. For example, in a crowded small restaurant, only one dog may be able to fit under the table. The only other place for the second dog would be in the aisle, which would block the space between tables. In this case, staff may request that one of the dogs be left outside.

Q14. Does a hospital have to allow an in-patient with a disability to keep a service animal in his or her room?

A. Generally, yes. Service animals must be allowed in patient rooms and anywhere else in the hospital the public and patients are allowed to go. They cannot be excluded on the grounds that staff can provide the same services.

Q15. What happens if a patient who uses a service animal is admitted to the hospital and is unable to care for or supervise their animal?

A. If the patient is not able to care for the service animal, the patient can make arrangements for a family member or friend to come to the hospital to provide these services, as it is always preferable that the service animal and its handler not be separated, or to keep the dog during the hospitalization. If the patient is unable to care for the dog and is unable to arrange for someone else to care for the dog, the hospital may place the dog in an animal shelter until the patient is released, or make other appropriate arrangements. However, the hospital must give the patient the opportunity to make arrangements for the dog’s care before taking such steps.

Q16. Must a service animal be allowed to ride in an ambulance with its handler? 

A. Generally, yes.  However, if the space in the ambulance is crowded and the dog’s presence would interfere with the emergency medical staff’s ability to treat the patient, staff should make other arrangements to have the dog transported to the hospital.


Q17. Does the ADA require that service animals be certified as service animals?

A. No.  Covered entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal, as a condition for entry.

There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal.


Q18. My city requires all dogs to be vaccinated.  Does this apply to my service animal?

A. Yes.  Individuals who have service animals are not exempt from local animal control or public health requirements.

Q19. My city requires all dogs to be registered and licensed.  Does this apply to my service animal?

A. Yes.  Service animals are subject to local dog licensing and registration requirements.

Q20. My city requires me to register my dog as a service animal. Is this legal under the ADA?  

A. No.  Mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA.  However, as stated above, service animals are subject to the same licensing and vaccination rules that are applied to all dogs.

Q21. My city / college offers a voluntary registry program for people with disabilities who use service animals and provides a special tag identifying the dogs as service animals. Is this legal under the ADA?

A. Yes.  Colleges and other entities, such as local governments, may offer voluntary registries.  Many communities maintain a voluntary registry that serves a public purpose, for example, to ensure that emergency staff know to look for service animals during an emergency evacuation process.  Some offer a benefit, such as a reduced dog license fee, for individuals who register their service animals.  Registries for purposes like this are permitted under the ADA.  An entity may not, however, require that a dog be registered as a service animal as a condition of being permitted in public places.  This would be a violation of the ADA.


Q22. Can service animals be any breed of dog? 

A. Yes.  The ADA does not restrict the type of dog breeds that can be service animals.

Q23. Can individuals with disabilities be refused access to a facility based solely on the breed of their service animal?

A. No.  A service animal may not be excluded based on assumptions or stereotypes about the animal’s breed or how the animal might behave.  However, if a particular service animal behaves in a way that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, has a history of such behavior, or is not under the control of the handler, that animal may be excluded.  If an animal is excluded for such reasons, staff must still offer their goods or services to the person without the animal present.

Q24. If a municipality has an ordinance that bans certain dog breeds, does the ban apply to service animals?

A. No.  Municipalities that prohibit specific breeds of dogs must make an exception for a service animal of a prohibited breed, unless the dog poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.  Under the “direct threat” provisions of the ADA, local jurisdictions need to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether a particular service animal can be excluded based on that particular animal’s actual behavior or history, but they may not exclude a service animal because of fears or generalizations about how an animal or breed might behave.  It is important to note that breed restrictions differ significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In fact, some jurisdictions have no breed restrictions.


Q25. When can service animals be excluded?

A. The ADA does not require covered entities to modify policies, practices, or procedures if it would “fundamentally alter” the nature of the goods, services, programs, or activities provided to the public.  Nor does it overrule legitimate safety requirements.  If admitting service animals would fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program, service animals may be prohibited.  In addition, if a particular service animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or if it is not housebroken, that animal may be excluded.

Q26. When might a service dog’s presence fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program provided to the public?

A. In most settings, the presence of a service animal will not result in a fundamental alteration.  However, there are some exceptions.  For example, at a boarding school, service animals could be restricted from a specific area of a dormitory reserved specifically for students with allergies to dog dander.  At a zoo, service animals can be restricted from areas where the animals on display are the natural prey or natural predators of dogs, where the presence of a dog would be disruptive, causing the displayed animals to behave aggressively or become agitated.  They cannot be restricted from other areas of the zoo. 

Q27. What does under control mean?  Do service animals have to be on a leash?  Do they have to be quiet and not bark?

A. The ADA requires that service animals be under the control of the handler at all times. In most instances, the handler will be the individual with a disability or a third party who accompanies the individual with a disability. In the school (K-12) context and in similar settings, the school or similar entity may need to provide some assistance to enable a particular student to handle his or her service animal. The service animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered while in public places unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the person’s disability prevents use of these devices. In that case, the person must use voice, signal, or other effective means to maintain control of the animal. For example, a person who uses a wheelchair may use a long, retractable leash to allow her service animal to pick up or retrieve items. She may not allow the dog to wander away from her and must maintain control of the dog, even if it is retrieving an item at a distance from her. Or, a returning veteran who has PTSD and has great difficulty entering unfamiliar spaces may have a dog that is trained to enter a space, check to see that no threats are there, and come back and signal that it is safe to enter. The dog must be off leash to do its job, but may be leashed at other times. Under control also means that a service animal should not be allowed to bark repeatedly in a lecture hall, theater, library, or other quiet place. However, if a dog barks just once, or barks because someone has provoked it, this would not mean that the dog is out of control.

Q28. What can my staff do when a service animal is being disruptive?

A. If a service animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, staff may request that the animal be removed from the premises.

Q29. Are hotel guests allowed to leave their service animals in their hotel room when they leave the hotel?

A. No, the dog must be under the handler’s control at all times.

Q30. What happens if a person thinks a covered entity’s staff has discriminated against him or her?

A. Individuals who believe that they have been illegally denied access or service because they use service animals may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice.  Individuals also have the right to file a private lawsuit in Federal court charging the entity with discrimination under the ADA.


Q31. Are stores required to allow service animals to be placed in a shopping cart? 

A. No.  Generally, the dog must stay on the floor, or the person must carry the dog.  For example, if a person with diabetes has a glucose alert dog, he may carry the dog in a chest pack so it can be close to his face to allow the dog to smell his breath to alert him of a change in glucose levels.

Q32. Are restaurants, bars, and other places that serve food or drink required to allow service animals to be seated on chairs or allow the animal to be fed at the table? 

A. No.  Seating, food, and drink are provided for customer use only.  The ADA gives a person with a disability the right to be accompanied by his or her service animal, but covered entities are not required to allow an animal to sit or be fed at the table.

Q33. Are gyms, fitness centers, hotels, or municipalities that have swimming pools required to allow a service animal in the pool with its handler? 

A. No.  The ADA does not override public health rules that prohibit dogs in swimming pools.  However, service animals must be allowed on the pool deck and in other areas where the public is allowed to go.

Q34. Are churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship required to allow individuals to bring their service animals into the facility? 

A. No.  Religious institutions and organizations are specifically exempt from the ADA.  However, there may be State laws that apply to religious organizations.

Q35. Do apartments, mobile home parks, and other residential properties have to comply with the ADA?

A. The Fair Housing Act is the Federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities in residential facilities.  For information or to file a complaint, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.

Q36. Do Federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, have to comply with the ADA?

A. No.  Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the Federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities to participate in Federal programs and services.  For information or to file a complaint, contact the agency’s equal opportunity office.

Q37. Do commercial airlines have to comply with the ADA?

A. No.  The Air Carrier Access Act is the Federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities in air travel.  For information or to file a complaint, contact the U.S. Department of Transportation, Aviation Consumer Protection Division, at 202-366-2220.


For more information about the ADA, please visit our website or call our toll-free number.



To receive e-mail notifications when new ADA information is available, visit the ADA Website’s home page and click the link near the bottom of the right-hand column.


800-514-0301 (Voice) and 800-514-0383 (TTY)

M-W, F 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. , Th 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) to speak with an ADA Specialist. Calls are confidential.

For people with disabilities, this publication is available in alternate formats.

Duplication of this document is encouraged.
July 2015

July 13, 2015

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