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Charities announce Year of the Assistance Dog

FIVE CHARITIES have announced plans to designate 2008 Year of the Assistance Dog, campaigning for the rights of guide dog and other assistance dog users.

Year of assistance dogGuide Dogs, Hearing Dogs, Dogs for the Disabled, Canine Partners and Support Dogs will work together as Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK) to promote rights of access to services for guide dog and other assistance dog users.

Guide dog and other assistance dog users will nominate retailers, leisure facilities, public premises, parks and transport operators for Dog Stars, providing service providers with an incentive to make their premises assistance dog friendly.

Dog Star Awards will be symbols of service excellence, given in recognition that premises and services meet the needs of all guide and assistance dog users. For example, provision of Braille menus for blind and partially-sighted people, induction loops for customers with hearing impairment, wheelchair access, and of course - water bowls for assistance dogs!