How You Can Participate in International Guide Dog Day - Juice 107.3

How You Can Participate in International Guide Dog Day

By knowing the facts, we can contribute to the empowerment and independence of those living with low vision or blindness.

By Joni BoydWednesday 24 Apr 2024Health and WellbeingReading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve all seen them out and about.
Key points
  • April 24 is International Guide Dogs Day.
  • Guide Dogs QLD is urging people to remember that ‘everywhere you can go, a Guide Dog can go too!’
  • Guide Dogs and their Handlers are refused entry on average, every second time they go out.

Guide Dogs are special; their capabilities and diligence in caring for their Handler is inspiring to witness.

Sadly, a report has revealed that Guide Dogs and their Handlers are not being welcomed as warmly as they should be, in some public places. Despite the fact that they are legally allowed to go anywhere people are allowed to access, Guide Dogs and their Handlers are regularly being refused entry or treated differently.

Today, on International Guide Dog Day, Guide Dogs Queensland is urging businesses to understand the rights of Guide Dogs and their Handlers by remembering the phrase, ‘everywhere you can go, a Guide Dog can go too!’

“New data suggests that Guide Dogs and their Guide Dog Handlers face almost a refusal about every second travel journey, whether that’s from a taxi or ride share,” said John Officer, Guide Dog Mobility Specialist at Guide Dogs Queensland.

Everywhere you can go, a Guide Dog can go too!

“Some of our clients have also reported a range of either refusals or restrictions being put in place.

“For example, clients can enter a restaurant, they may be refused potentially due to a lack of knowledge from those businesses but in some cases, they can also be restrictions can be applied as well, so they may be asked to go to a dog only area.”

Guide dogs, photo sourced from facebook_guidedogsaustralia (2)

Guide Dogs are legally allowed to access any public space where people are allowed to go, with only a few exceptions. Photo sourced from facebook.com/guidedogsaustralia


It’s a sad reality, but one we can easily change. For someone living with low vision or blindness, a Guide Dog can drastically increase quality of life. This happens because of the freedom the Guide Dog provides, enabling greater independence. So, it’s devastating to think that even still, people are being restricted from enjoying that freedom and independence.

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Guide Dogs and their Handlers are refused entry on average, every second time they go out.

“In Queensland, Guide Dogs have a legal right to enter events, businesses, public premises and rideshare services under the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009,” a statement said.

“Despite this, shockingly, certified working dogs and their Handlers are still being refused access to public places and transport facilities.”

Guide Dogs: the facts

They have a legal right to access any public place

Guide Dogs have a legal right to enter any event, business, public venue or rideshare service in Queensland, providing Handlers with
vital increased accessibility to their community.

There are some exceptions

There are only a few exceptions, which include hospital procedure rooms, the back of an ambulance or inside a food van.

575 000 Australians live with low vision or blindness

The use of assisting aids for people with low or no vision is widespread, with an estimated 575 000 Australians living with low vision
or blindness. We all need a solid understanding of access laws around Guide Dogs.

Support dogs wear a badge for easy identification

All certified guide, hearing and assistance dogs must display an approved badge on their collar or harness – providing an easy way
for businesses and individuals to differentiate a working dog from a pet.

Today, let’s do our best to spread awareness and education. By knowing the facts, we can contribute to the empowerment and independence of those living with low vision or blindness.

For more information visit guidedogs.com.au.


Feature image: All photos sourced from facebook/guidedogsaustralia