Guide Dogs SA/NT celebrates access and inclusion for International Guide Dog Day
This month, in the lead up to International Guide Dog Day on Wednesday 24 April, Guide Dogs SA/NT is launching a new advocacy and education campaign to celebrate the many ways in which Guide Dogs and Autism Assistance Dogs enhance access and inclusion for people living with disability.
Access and inclusion means that everyone can participate in our community and go where they want, when they want. This is the mark of a society that values and celebrates our diversity.
Throughout April, we'll be sharing stories of achievement from our clients and reflecting on the positive impact access and inclusion creates in the lives of people living vision impairment, other sensory impairment and autism.
In South Australia, accredited assistance animals, including Guide Dogs and Autism Assistance Dogs, are legally allowed into all public places, such as public transport, venues and accommodation. These legal access rights are protected by three key pieces of legislation:
- Disability Discrimination Act, 1992
- Equal Opportunity Act, SA 1984
- Dog and Cat Management Act, SA 1995
These laws protect the rights of people living with disability and support community inclusion for the person and their family.
Businesses that consistently demonstrate a commitment to accessibility and inclusion will also be honoured with the 'Friends of Guide Dogs Awards'. These awards are an opportunity to say thank you to local businesses that provide exceptional service to our clients, volunteers and staff accompanied by our Guide Dogs and Autism Assistance Dogs.
To be a Friend of Guide Dogs means to have staff who are kind and welcoming to people living with disability and their assistance animals, and who prioritise their customers' safety and wellbeing above all else. It means managers who accommodate volunteer Puppy Raisers in the workplace, and encourage their staff members to practice good Guide Dog etiquette. And it means business leaders who implement inclusive policies and procedures that ensure we can all participate fully in our community.
The Friends of Guide Dogs Award winners represent many different types of businesses, but there is one thing they have in common. They have each demonstrated a commitment to making our state a more accessible and inclusive place to live, work and play.
We encourage you to follow us on social media for all the highlights and share your own positive experiences of access and inclusion using the hashtags #AccessAllAreas and #CelebrateGuideDogs