[nagdu] Will Your Next Employee or Co-Worker Be a Dog?

Ginger Kutsch GingerKutsch at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 11 23:02:55 UTC 2014

Will Your Next Employee or Co-Worker Be a Dog?

Santa Fe, New Mexico (PRWEB) July 11, 2014 

Source: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2048264


People with physical disabilities and military veterans with post-traumatic
stress disorder are just some of the increasing numbers of people partnered
with assistance dogs. Their dogs help them to lead more independent and
productive lives. 


But are these service dog teams welcome in the workplace? Or is an
assistance dog an impediment to employment? 


In honor of International Assistance Dog Week, August 3 - 9, 2014, West
Virginia University associate professor and researcher, Margaret Glenn, and
assistance dog expert, Marcie Davis, founder of IADW, author of "Working
Like Dogs: The Assistance Dog Guidebook," and host of the Working Like Dogs
radio show, will share information on assistance dogs in the workplace. An
August 5 webcast is being produced by the Job Accommodation Network, a
service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of


Employers often lack information on how to deal with assistance dogs on the
job. With numerous recent media stories about fake assistance dogs, and an
expanding number of types of assistance dogs, employers wonder how they will
know if a service dog is real. They are concerned about other employees'
reactions, and how to smoothly integrate the assistance dog into the


Associate Professor Glenn, of West Virginia University, has been studying
this issue. Her recent year-long research project gathered data on the
elements of service dog partnerships that have been successful in the
workplace. When she began looking into this topic a few years ago, Glenn
discovered that the upswing in the number and variety of assistance dogs was
helping more people with disabilities find employment. "On the other hand, I
found that some vocational rehabilitation counselors said they hadn't
encountered any people with assistance dogs applying for jobs," Glenn said.
She wondered if the dogs created a barrier to employment, although they were
providing their partners with increased independence.


Based on her years partnered with a service dog and involvement in spreading
awareness of assistance dogs through IADW, a book and radio show, Davis is a
firm believer that assistance dogs make employees more productive. "Years
ago when I got my first service dog, I was able to take on increased job
responsibilities, and was promoted within a month," Davis said. "I know that
many people are able to get jobs, start businesses, or have more
opportunities with their current employers once they have an assistance dog
supporting them." 


JAN has been fielding more and more calls on the use of service dogs as a
job accommodation. They are helping people in human resources, employers,
vocational rehabilitation counselors, and others understand how to welcome
assistance dogs in the workplace, and communicate with staff about topics
such as how to appropriately interact with the new service dog team. The
webinar on August 5 will answer questions about the law, types of assistance
dogs, and how to create a successful outcome for both the employer and the
individual with an assistance dog


As evidence of the timeliness and interest in this topic, 500 sites (many
locations with multiple employees who will take part) had already signed up
for the JAN webcast months in advance, completely filling the live event.
Yet everyone can access the webcast online, starting a few days after the
event at http://askjan.org/webcast/archive/index.htm. 


This year, International Assistance Dog Week, which is August 3 - 9, has the
theme: Dogs in the Workplace. This theme recognizes the growing diversity of
assistance dog types including:


Guide Dogs -Assist people with vision loss, leading them around physical
obstacles and with tasks such as crossing streets, and navigating doorways,
elevators and stairways.


Service Dogs - Assist people with disabilities with walking, dressing,
retrieving and carrying items, opening doors and much more.


Hearing Alert Dogs - Alert people with a hearing loss to the presence of
specific sounds such as doorbells, telephones, crying babies, and fire


Seizure and Medical Alert/Seizure Response Dogs - Alert to medical
conditions, such as diabetes, autism, heart attack, stroke, epilepsy, and
post-traumatic stress.


All of these types of assistance dogs are dedicated to their humans, who
rely on them daily. Please celebrate the selfless love and devotion these
dogs provide by participating in International Assistance Dog Week. Visit
http://www.assistancedogweek.org for more information.



Marcie Davis, mdavis(at)assistancedogweek(dot)org or 505-424-6631 

Margaret K. Glenn, Ed.D., CRC, mkglenn(at)mail(dot)wvu(dot)edu or

Job Accommodation Network, jan(at)askjan(dot)org or 800 526-7234 voice
877-781-9403 TTY


Photos: Kathy Taylor and Canine Companions for Independence Hearing Dog
Janet are a hard-working and effective team. Kathy Taylor works as a System
Designer-Engineer in field operations for CenturyLink. Kathy's job requires
extensive travel to business customer sites across the country and Janet
makes Kathy's job easier.


International Assistance Dog Week (IADW) http://www.assistancedogweek.org
was created to recognize all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs
helping individuals mitigate their disability-related limitations. During
International Assistance Dog Week, we raise awareness and educate the public
about how these specially trained animals are aiding so many people in our
communities and honor puppy raisers and trainers. IADW was established due
to the efforts of Marcie Davis, a paraplegic and CEO of Davis Innovations, a
consulting firm based in Santa Fe, NM. Davis is the author of "Working Like
Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook," and the host of the "Working Like Dogs,"
on http://www.petliferadio.com.

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