Assistance Dog Week Highlights Workplace Challenges for People with Disabilities
With the spotlight on these essential dogs this week, IADW founder Marcie Davis and West Virginia University associate professor and researcher Margaret Glenn have announced an initiative to expand career horizons for people with disabilities who partner with assistance animals. The challenge? For many employers, having an assistance animal in the workplace is unfamiliar ground.
“The number of assistance dogs in the workplace is increasing rapidly due to returning military veterans and the proliferation of types of assistance dogs now available,” Davis says in a release from IADW. “Many employers have no experience with assistance dog teams and don’t know how to respond to this employment issue.”
The initiative, which aims to incorporate the role of assistance dogs into mainstream employment policies, will involve a yearlong awareness and information-gathering effort, including interviews with employers and assistance dog teams. “We want to bring together experienced assistance dog partners, researchers, trainers, vocational rehabilitation professionals and others for a yearlong focused conversation,” Glenn says.
Read more on International Assistance Dog Week's website.