This municipality is on its way to becoming assistance dog friendly.
The regional newspaper also reported on the action and here is what they had to say:
Breaking down inhibitions: This is also what the “Assistance Dogs Welcome” initiative is about. The Saale-Orla district is now joining in.
“Assistance dog welcome” is written in large letters on a sticker at the main entrance of the district administration office in Schleiz. This means that the district administration is now participating in the access campaign “Assistance dogs welcome” of the non-profit organisation Pfotenpiloten, which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Brit Wollschläger from the press office of the Saale-orla district informs us.
Assistance dogs are specially trained dogs that learn tasks to help their human with a severe disability in everyday life. These dogs are only ever trained for one person. They accompany their person with a disability around the clock.
The training of the dogs takes about two years. For example, there are guide dogs for the blind that indicate steps, obstacles and entrances, exits, letterboxes and counters to their human and guide them safely through traffic.
Training lasts about two years
There are signal dogs that indicate sounds to severely hearing-impaired and deaf people, and diabetic alert dogs that warn type 1 diabetics in time of impending hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia.
There are assistance dogs that help people who have limited mobility and are dependent on wheelchairs, crutches or prostheses. They help with everyday tasks by picking up objects from the floor for their human, retrieving objects from shelves and operating light switches and buttons.
They open and close doors, drawers and cupboards, even pull the wheelchair and help with dressing and undressing. Assistance dogs can also be indispensable helpers in restaurants or when visiting doctors or authorities.
Action to reduce inhibitions
“The district office wants to set a good example. We want to call on municipalities, hotels, restaurants, tourist facilities to also participate and to draw attention with the stickers to the fact that people with disabilities and their assistance dogs are welcome in our region,” explains the Equal Opportunities and Disability Officer of the Saale-Orla district, Nadine Hofmann.
“Inclusion is the big issue,” says Sandra Herrmann from the Saale-Orla District Association for the Disabled. Actions like these could help to break down inhibitions for people with disabilities – both in everyday life in the Saale-Orla district and for planning excursions and holiday trips to the local region.
“People with disabilities have to plan very differently and much more elaborately where they can go in the first place,” explains the counsellor at the Association for People with Disabilities. “We would therefore like to see more of these welcome messages, more of these stickers,” says Herrmann.
The contact person for the Saale-Orla district is the Equal Opportunities and Disability Officer Nadine Hofmann. She provides the stickers and information. Contact: Nadine Hofmann, District Office Saale-Orla-Kreis, telephone 03663/48 82 10; [email protected]
The “Assistance Dog Welcome” campaign was made possible by funding from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the Aktion Mensch.