Did you know to deny an assistance dog access to a public facility or service could be breaking the law?
Assistance dogs aren’t pets. They are highly trained support services for people with disabilities. Their role is to enable people to participate in personal and public activities safely. Traditionally, assistance dogs have mostly been recognised as a ‘guide dog’ for people who are blind or visually impaired, but that’s changing. Dogs can signal sounds, retrieve items, raise alarms and more.
Legally, assistance dogs can accompany the person who depends on them to any public place; such as shops, cinemas, restaurants, educational institutions, accommodation, work places, public transport/passenger services, libraries, public areas within hospitals and more.
To help you understand these laws, the Dog and Cat Management Board in conjunction with the Equal Opportunity Commission have produced a pamphlet to provide clarity around access rights for assistance dogs in South Australia.