Dogs for the Disabled is a UK based charity who help create partnerships between people with disabilities and specially trained assistance dogs. Most people these days are familiar with hearing dogs that partner with the deaf and sight dogs who partner with the blind, but assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities are less well known.
Dogs for the Disabled specialise in providing assistance dogs to both adults and children with physical disabilities (age 7 and upwards), as well families who has a child of 3 years or older with autism.
Dogs are specially trained to perform function like:
- Opening and closing doors
- Helping a person dress and undress
- Barking to raise the alarm in an emergency
- Retrieving items such as mobile telephones or dropped articles like keys or a bag
- Loading and emptying the washing machine
- Retrieving named articles such as slippers, gloves or a remote control
- Switching the lights on and off
- Retrieving the post
- Pressing a pedestrian crossing button
- Reaching up to shop-counters with items such as a wallet
- Helping people to walk by providing a constant forward motion
For children they are also trained to assist with physiotherapy routines. Assistance Dogs can be invaluable for someone with a disability and provide help and support that allow them to function much more independently.
It costs approximately £10,000 to fully train one assistance dog, so it is recommended to do some fund raising yourself when applying to help cover that cost and general fees are payable by the owner for food, insurance and other regular expenses which add up to around £60 per month.
For more information, view their information pack here.