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A Client Driven Information Resource for Second Time Guide Dog Applicants

Authors
  • Ward, Katherine B.Sc., M.Spec.Ed., (Sens...1
  • Peirce, Kerry Grad.Dip., (Vision Impairm...1
  • 1 Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, 2-4 Thomas Street, Chatswood, NSW 2067 , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Orientation & Mobility
Publisher
Exeley Inc.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2010
Volume
3
Issue
1
Pages
36–40
Identifiers
DOI: 10.21307/ijom-2010-005
Source
Exeley
License
Green

Abstract

A need was identified to enhance the service to clients of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT who were in the transition from their first to their second guide dog. A questionnaire was devised to obtain feedback from clients who had trained with their second dog in the three years ending 30 June 2009. The data were analysed and formed the basis for an audio CD. Topics covered included: the decision to retire your guide dog; grief associated with this decision; where your dog will retire; the unique relationship with your first guide dog; consideration of your second dog’s temperament and experience; emphasis on the skills a handler already has; illustration of just how different two dogs can be; changes in vision and the implications on mobility; importance of consistent handling; possibility of displacement behaviours in dogs and management of these behaviours; initially restricting travel routes to allow the second dog to settle in; format of training to suit handler’s needs; and changes in teaching styles and training techniques. A script was written incorporating the results of the survey and the audio CD was professionally produced. The CD includes the personal stories of 10 people who share their experience of the transition to their second dog. The CD is available to clients who are about to make the transition.

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