A series of 4: Accessibility is a bare necessity. Part 2: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Accessibility is a bare necessity – a series in ‘Awareness First’
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In a series of 4, we will share some tips and insights. How easy it can be to implement accessibility in all its variety of do’s and don’ts in your business, and how to make a start.
AS EVERYONE IS AS UNIQUE AS CAN BE, SO IS A DISABILITY
In this second article in a series of four, I will zoom in on guide dogs and service dogs or as we call them, assistance dogs.
People have assistance dogs to accompany them, every day, all day. These dogs are well trained to:
- help around the house
- walk safely on the street
- give comfort and support
- and most important of all, more independence
The list of talents of these dogs is endless, and I think it is absolutely fantastic that there are so many four paws around the world, doing such an important job.
THE LAW AND THE PAW
In many countries assistance dogs or guide dogs are allowed in any public place by law. At our website we share some websites in Europe and the United States. (Assistance Dog Week in the United States, 2016 in the Netherlands).
In every day life, people with assistance dogs are refused entrance to shops, restaurants, public transport, hotels and other venues. And not always in a polite way.
The reason is usually that staff is not aware. They do not know about assistance dogs, or the law created to enhance independence for their owners.
Gaining more independence with their well trained assistance dog, their owners need to fight, on a daily basis, to go where they want to go.
This has to change.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PET AND A GUIDE DOG
An assistance dog or a guide dog is a highly trained dog and simply not to be compared to a regular pet.
It would help tremendously if AWARENESS will be high on the agenda, and managers train their staff to know the difference.
TRAVEL WITH YOUR FOUR PAW OFFICIAL – info in 15 languages
We created an informative sheet for travelers to show in case it is needed to explain about the need to be with their canine partner at all times, especially when they travel to places where assistance dogs are not as common.
Inclusion is not asking about the – mandatory – international dog pass, but more about how to approach your guest, accompanied by a four paw assistant, to make him or her feel welcome and make sure he or she will be a satisfied customer.
RECOMMENDED APP FOR BUSINESSES
When you do not know about guide dogs and how to welcome them – our short guide is very popular.
Also learn more about WelcoMe, an affordable app to improve your customer services with 100%. Available in the UK and Ireland. This app makes sure you know what to do and say if a customer is visiting your shop, gallery, office or hotel.
ATO Ambassador Danielle and her assistance dog Noah
INTERNATIONAL GUIDE DOG DAY AND ASSISTANCE DOG WEEK
April 24 is International Guide Dog Day and the second week in August is International Assistance Dog Week.
These 4 articles in the series Awareness First are free to share using the following credits: written by Marlies van Sint Annaland, Founder Accessible Travel Online.
Accessibility is a bare necessity, a series in ‘Awareness First’ 3: TECHNICAL
Accessibility is a bare necessity, a series in ‘Awareness First’ 4: TIME MANAGEMENT