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Campaign to improve access for assistance dogs
A CHARITY that provides life-changing services to deaf people across the UK is campaigning for more businesses in south Wiltshire to allow access to assistance dogs.
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is asking businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries to confirm online that they open their doors and welcome registered assistance dogs accompanied by their disabled owners.
Philip Biggs, access and inclusion manager for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, said: “Like me, there are hundreds of deaf people in the UK who rely on their hearing dog. “Not only does Marsh assist me by alerting me to sounds that I cannot hear, but he also increases my independence and confidence in public situations. Therefore, if I am denied entry to a restaurant, café or hotel with Marsh, it can be very upsetting and degrading.
“The Equality Act of 2010 states that service providers must not treat people with disabilities less favourably if they are accompanied by an assistance dog. We hope that our ‘Who lets the dogs in?’ campaign will ensure that business owners, restaurateurs, hoteliers and all service providers are aware of their obligations to allow access to hearing dogs like Marsh, and all other assistance dogs.”
Hearing dogs are trained to alert their owners to a range of sounds such as alarm clocks, doorbells, mobile phones and smoke and fire alarms.
In addition, hearing dogs offer people greater levels of independence, more confidence and companionship.
To pledge to allow unlimited access to assistance dogs and find out more about the campaign visit hearingdogs.org.uk/wholetsthedogsin.
During September, companies can choose to display a collection box, donate a percentage of profits for the month or organise an event to help raise vital funds for the charity.
* The Rose and Crown in Tilshead was recently highlighted by Hearing Dog recipients as a place that allows unhindered access to hearing dogs and their owners.
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