Service Dogs for People with Disabilities

Service dogs (and other animals) provide assistance to individuals with a wide range of disabilities. In the broadest sense, they include assistance dogs for people with mobility impairments, hearing dogs, guide dogs for people who are blind, therapy dogs, and dog partners. The sites listed below provide general information about service dogs. Due to space limitations, individual service dog schools and centers are not included; however, you can find them on several of the sites described below.

Assistance Dog Information
This page from the Cozy Canine House includes Christy Hill’s extensive “Service Dog Information Directory” and “Hearing Dog Information Directory,” “Top Dog’s Service Dog Training Book,” and related information and links.

Assistance Dogs International
Geared for organizations and service providers, “Assistance Dogs International, Inc. is a coalition of members representing organizations and individuals training and placing Assistance Dogs. The purpose of ADI is to improve the areas of training, placement, and utilization of Assistance Dogs.” Its website provides Training Standards for service dogs, hearing dogs, guide dogs, therapy dogs, and dog partners, as well as information about the organization.

Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business
Can a business evict a misbehaving service dog? How can you tell if an animal is a service dog or pet? If you’re a business owner with questions about service dogs, check this FAQ from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Delta Society
This organization promotes the use of animals to help people improve their health, independence and quality of life. In addition to information about the organization, the Society’s s website offers research, articles, and other resources on the benefits of relationships with companion animals; information about the Society’s Therapy Animals program; and articles and other resources on service dogs that assist people with disabilities.

Dr. P’s Dog Training – Assistance Dogs
This site offers an extensive and well-organized list of links to information about assistance dogs, providers, training therapy dogs, testing and selection, e-mail lists, books and videos, equipment providers, etc.

Guide Dogs for the Blind
Sponsored by the National Association of Guide Dog Users, a division of the National Federation of the Blind, this page lists guide dog schools across the U.S.

Service and Assistance Dogs
A state-by-state listing of organizations concerned with guide dogs, hearing dogs, support dogs, and search and rescue dogs from The American Dog Trainers Network. Hyperlinks are provided when available.

Service (Assistance) Dogs
This personal home page by Dana Marshall contains useful information and links about the various kinds of assistance dogs, laws pertaining to service animals, training your own dog, books, equipment, links, a discussion forum, and more.

5 thoughts on “Service Dogs for People with Disabilities”

  1. This is a great list of resources for someone interested in service animals. Service animals can be very beneficial to people with disabilities and make a large impact on ones well-being.

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  2. I loved this post! In our research class I am writing my research proposal on the use of therapy dogs with school-aged children with autism and its affect on social skills. So I found this post to be very interesting and helpful currently as well as for the future!

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    1. I am also doing my research proposal on the use of therapy dogs in the classroom. The post has a nice list of resources. My favorite part is the nice description about the resource.

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  3. I have never really given much thought to using service dogs as part of occupational therapy. However, we have learned how service animals can have a huge impact on one’s life. This is an excellent resource to learn more about the use of service dogs. I will definitely use this information in my future work as an OT.

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  4. I really like that all of these resources are here for health care professionals and the public to access. I understand that service and therapy dogs can play a huge beneficial role in the lives of clients. Continuing one’s own education about service dogs for people who have a disability is important; especially for those who bring one into the work force and also to understand what types of service dogs can be most helpful to a specific individual.

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