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New Obstacles For Service Dogs

July 13, 2020

While browsing through a Facebook group for guide, mobility and service dog recipients, a post by one of the members jumped out at me. “Did you dare to go out with your dog?” it asked. “Are you able to go out of your home?” Since the early days of the COVID-19 crisis in March, many have had their eyes glued to the news and are following government guidelines. But in all this turmoil, have we forgotten about citizens living with a disability?

I am a doctoral student at the University of Ottawa and a resource teacher for suspended or expelled students. I specialize in the areas of inclusion and service dogs. My research project allowed me to have Toulouse, an assistance dog from the Mira Foundation trained specifically for my special needs students. Since March 2019, she has been accompanying me everywhere and has helped me discover a reality that I didn’t expect.

As a researcher in this field, I am fortunate to have access to networks of assistance dog beneficiaries. With this article, I would like to offer them a public voice in order to draw a portrait of their reality since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

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