You might have seen our (kinda) irreverent and tongue-in-cheek ‘Dogs 4 Clicka’ media campaign doing the rounds on our Clicka-channels. If you haven’t, here’s the scoop…

We’re asking our supporters to sign a petition for a new disability service category (or dogegory!) to be added to our website. Simply, we want to make it easier for users to search for animal-related disability services.

But you might be asking, ‘why don’t you just add this dogegory without this petition?’ Good point.

Well, the reason we decided to run the campaign wasn’t just to get support for the dogegory, but also to raise awareness about the important role that animals play in the Australian disability sector.

We think it’s time we spruiked the great work that they do, so here’s a snapshot of the wonderful world of animals – and the amazing work that organisations, including some of our very own subscribers, do in this space. 

Guide dogs

According to Guide Dogs Australia, there are over 450,000 Australians who are blind or who have low vision – a number that’s expected to increase with an ageing population. Guide Dogs Australia provides many of these with aids to help them navigate, including white canes, mobility aids and, of course, Guide Dogs themselves.

Through intensive training, these dogs are taught to stop at all kerbs and at the top and bottom of stairs, help avoid obstacles at head height and narrow passages, and approach lifts. They’re even taught to refuse commands that might lead to any sort of danger.

With a series of access right and laws, Guide Dogs can now go to shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels, cinemas, medical practices, all forms of public transport and more.

What do you need to remember? Be sure never to pat, feed or distract Guide Dogs when they’re in their harness; don’t grab onto a person or dog’s harness; and place your own dogs on leashes near Guide Dogs. For more, you can check out Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, one of our subscribers!

Equine therapy

Horse

We’ll cover therapy animals briefly below, but we figure horses deserve their own mention! Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) is a treatment that combines credential mental health professionals and therapeutic horses.

There’s evidence they can help with post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, bullying, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, stress, autism, and more. During sessions, participants might groom horses, lead them, play with them – all at a pace that the participants sets themselves.

For more, click here.

Assistance/therapy animals

Smiling dog

The great news is that we published a blog on service dogs last week! Click here to read how Labrador Max helps his human, Mark, with day-to-day activities. (You can also check out Cherished Pets, a social enterprise that helps those who cherish their pets!)

Animals are also used in a number of therapy settings, to help a patient’s emotional or social functioning. They’re capable of forming unique relationships with humans. For a look into what they can do, from calming us down to helping children with disabilities read, click here.

What can you do to help?

Dogs4Clicka banner

To help spread the word about the important role that animals can play in the Australian disability sector, and to give us at Clickability that little nudge to hurry up and make dogegories a thing, click here.

This post is brought to you by Clickability. We’re working towards a better disability service sector by helping users share their ratings and reviews. We invite you to write a review.

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