Lifting the Barriers on Disability

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Lions Foundation of Canada-Dog Guides

Although not technically considered a piece of equipment, Lions Foundation of Canada's mission is to assist Canadians with a medical or physical disability by providing them Dog Guides at no cost. To do this, the Foundation operates Dog Guides Canada, a preeminent national training school and charity that assists individuals with disabilities through specialized Dog Guide programs. These Dog Guides are provided at no cost to eligible Canadians from coast to coast despite costing $25,000 to train and place. (source)

Lions Foundation of Canada trains Dog Guides and assist Canadians with a wide range of disabilities. With six programs in place, Canadians with disabilities are offered the opportunity to find greater independence, mobility and safety through the help of a Dog Guide. (source)

Canine Vision for people who are blind or visually impaired
Hearing Ear for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
Autism Assistance for children who have autism spectrum disorder
Service for people who have a physical disability
Seizure Response for people who have epilepsy
Diabetic Alert for people who have type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness

Depending on the program, Dog Guides are trained to perform a set of basic skills that are useful to all handlers. However, some of their training is also tailored to meet the specific needs of their future handler. In the final stage of training, the client and Dog Guide train and live together at the Oakville facility for two to four weeks. This helps to ensure that the new working team develops a bond and prepares them for their next step - returning home.

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