People with Assistance Dogs

Disabled people may be supported by personal assistant, other workers, or dogs.

Support Workers include:-

  • Personal Assistants who provide practical and personal support. This can involve everything from intimate personal care to assistance with work or studying
  • Sign Language interpreters, using British Sign Language
  • Lip speakers
  • Academic supporters – note taking or book fetching
  • Communication supports, interpreting unclear speech
  • Assistance Dogs – this includes Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Support Dogs

Working with Support Workers

Here is a list of some of the key protocols:-

  • Don’t fall into the “does he take sugar” trap – in other words don’t ask the assistant questions about the disabled person they work for; ask the disabled person
  • Do look at the disabled person when they are speaking to you-even if they have an assistant
  • Personal Assistants don’t really participate in the event – but sometimes try to!
  • Don’t pet the assistance dog – it is a working dog
  • But if the owner gives you permission, hold out your hand, let the dog smell it and shake hands before attempting to pet it
  • Do not start telling the disabled person long stories about your own dog
  • Treat support workers and dogs with courtesy and respect
  • Remember that they all, including dogs, may need somewhere to sit; something to eat or drink; go to the toilet or simply take a break