The official phase of the access campaign Assistance Dog Welcome (funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and Aktion Mensch) has come to a successful end. It has far exceeded our expectations and set many initiatives in motion.
A huge thank you to the many assistance dog owners and supporters who have been involved in the campaign, as well as to the BMAS and Aktion Mensch.
We’ll keep going!
Many municipalities are still in the process of becoming assistance dog friendly. Many events and campaign days have been postponed due to Covid.
Unfortunately, we had to realise that even months after the Assistance Dog Act, many decision-makers have not yet heard of it and are thus unknowingly violating the law. There are also still far too many people who have never heard of assistance dogs for non-visible disabilities, despite vigilant media presence. We would like to continue the campaign in the future, with a special focus on the medical, cultural and tourism sectors. The free distribution of informative material is also to continue. Please support the future of the campaign!
You can easily support the campaign on our donation page. Some ideas are even free of charge. In this way, you help us to continue the campaign for many years to come.
Looking back: Three eventful years
So much has happened in the first phase of the Access Campaign, “Assistance Dog Welcome”. We look back on the first three years with gratitude for the commitment of so many people. The goal now is to be able to break down barriers for assistance dog teams for many more years to come.
Educational materials and stickers
Several editions of our educational brochure (German, English, Turkish), brochures in easy language, posters and stickers are already disseminating awareness across the country. They can also be requested here free of charge in the future.
Our documentary on the topic of access rights:
(Link with audio description)
Our campaign video:
(Link with audio description)
DogMap, accessible online and also as an Android and Apple app, lets you see and mark how accessible a place is for assistance dog teams. According to the traffic light system, more than 100,000 places have already been marked as “dog-friendly”, “assistance dog-friendly” or “barrier to entry”, and the number is growing constantly. Join in!
Over 50,000 entries came directly from local people. The other half was collected through a “phoneathon” lasting several weeks: In repeated, tireless conversations with over 250 chain shops operating nationwide, we were able to persuade more than half to make an assistance dog-friendly statement, which is now available on the DogMap via a confirmation link. Many chains have also used our information services to educate their staff.
Many committed assistance dog owners and our public relations officer Dr Reuter have tirelessly presented the issue to the media. All in all, according to Presse-Monitor, the topic has reached about 30 million people so far.
A current list of over 110+ pages of television, radio, print and online contributions is continuously being expanded with new publications.
Our Social Wall presents over 2,500 posts from social media (compiled as a video here). A publicity campaign with Fressnapf brought a stream of many thousands of posts. Today, people all over Germany are still celebrating and sharing their successes for the access campaign. A snapshot of what has happened and is happening in social media can be found on over 100 pages here.
Assistance dog friendly municipalities
Many municipalities have already declared themselves assistance dog friendly, often with jointly organised campaign days.
Many more are in the pipeline. Here and there Corona has delayed development, but we’re staying on the ball – with your help!
Please donate here to keep the campaign alive.
The aim of the campaign days is to ensure not only that municipalities declare themselves assistance dog friendly, but also that their residents are well educated, through talks, PR work and public events. The interest in the topic and especially the support of the media was outstanding every time – whether in Cologne, in the district of Soest/Warstein, in Goslar, in Ilmenau, or Wolfsburg.
In the run-up to the campaign there were huge banners placed on busy streets and spray-painted chalk messages in the pedestrian zone to attract attention.
Exhibition and Story Atelier
A second story workshop took place digitally in 2021 due to corona. The stories and atmosphere in the workshop touched everyone. This also increased our gallery of these special videos created by assistance dog owners on their own.
Our Exhibit Life with an Assistance Dog, which could not be shown at events due to the pandemic, is now being expanded into a new digital format.