“Assistance dogs provide valuable services for people with disabilities and impairments in all circumstances. Therefore, it is natural for the City of Wolfsburg to promote the motto ‘Assistance Dog Welcome – here and everywhere’ as best as possible. To break down barriers, all areas should be accessible for people with assistance dogs.”Statement from Herrn Weilmann
Our campaign day in Wolfsburg had a joker on the spot who made everything so much easier for us: Susanne Deimel. Thank you very much! The evening before, she personally picked us up at the hotel, made a site visit, discussed the details and then accompanied us to the nearby park where our assistance dogs, Daika and Mascha, were allowed to have fun.
Ms Deimel is seen here in the white T-shirt on the left of centre. At the microphone, Ms Müller, the head of social affairs, finds definite words regarding the acceptance and access rights for assistance dog teams.
Ms Deimel was by our side the whole day, rejoicing with us in the success of the day and playing a major role in making us say: “Wolfsburg has set the bar very high.”
We were impressed by the determination and clarity in Wolfsburg’s politics and administration. Between an application to become an assistance dog friendly municipality by the CDU in April 2021 and 25.8. 2021, our campaign day, only a few months passed.
While we were still setting up with many hard-working helpers, whom we would like to thank once again, the first interested people from Wolfsburg came to find out more. She had read about the campaign day in the newspaper or found out about it on social media.
Moderated by Frank Roth from the Wolfsburg Disabled People’s Advisory Council, our programme started at noon and was well attended.
The Wolfsburger Nachrichten, the Wolfsburger Kurier, waz-online, the online portal of the city of Wolfsburg, the Braunschweiger newspaper and Radio 38 were on site. The reporters curiously let themselves be shown how a guide dog leads through a foreign city. Through media presence, many people were reached who were not at Hollerplatz. The local radio alone broadcast at least three contributions.
Representatives of the cities where we will be in the future were also among the visitors. It was possible to reach agreements in concrete terms right away.
In addition, many members of the public came to us specifically to find out about assistance dogs and also to “just have a look at how the dogs do it”. There was the young woman who had just chosen a puppy to become an assistance dog in assisted self-training and wanted to know how access rights work in everyday life. A young mother with a small son in a wheelchair came by with many questions, e.g. when is the right time, how would the assistance dog relate to the other family members and what would it be like if she had to go to hospital with the little one.
We threw the programme overboard at some point. The individual discussions were more important than our plan. People had come all the way to get individual advice on the spot, and we wanted to give them the time that such a thing needs.
We were most touched by the grandmother who wanted to speak to someone with experience because she wants to finance an assistance dog for her granddaughter. The little one had suffered an oxygen deficiency at birth and will soon start school and become more independent. On TV, the grandmother had seen a report about assistance dogs that can open doors and help with undressing. ” A lot of therapies are available nowadays. But a dog like that doesn’t just take his socks off, he heals something. I think he would even help my daughter after going through this hard time.”
We would like to thank Aktion Mensch and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs for supporting these campaign days.
The event and the campaign also received a lot of attention in the media!
The “Assistance Dog Welcome” campaign was made possible by funding from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the Aktion Mensch.