Assistance Dogs under the NDIS. Why are some people funded but many are being denied?
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The NDIA is funding the occasional Assistance Dog for people with disabilities but the majority are being denied. A report submitted to the government by the Latrobe University, in September 2016, showed that there wasn't enough evidence available to fund assistance dogs, based upon the size of the study. The report was complex and a credit to the academics who took on the task, but they only had 19 people and Assistance Dogs in the study.
Assistance Dogs, although new in Australia have been shown in the short time they have been used to improve the lives of people with many different disabilities, just as guide dogs have for a number of years. The current companies which supply Assistance Dogs have a strict criteria and a long waiting list. Some only fund for Assistance Dogs for children under 6.
It has been brought to my attention that for every one person being granted funding up to 100 have been denied. The NDIA is pitting people with disabilities against each other by deciding that one person is worthy of an Assistance Dog and another with the same diagnosis is not.
Under existing NDIA rules if you have an Assistance Dog in your life now, you may not be able to get a replacement when the unbearable comes and you need to retire your existing dog.
If you are a parent with a child with autism, even though it has been shown how Assistance Dogs help those with autism, it is more than likely that you will not be able to get one for your child.
If you need an Assistance Dog for PTSD or mental health, do not think you will be funded, even if you need one.
Every person out there would either be a person with a disability, be a family with a person with a disability, or know of a family that has a person with a disability, or perhaps even work with those with disabilities. Those people are being denied, it doesn't matter whether the person has autism, ptsd, mental health issues, mobility problems, or any other disability that an Assistance Dog could help to alleviate they are being denied and forced to pay the costs of training themselves.
Even if you don't have a disability, have a loved one with a disability, or even know someone with a disability, life is fickle, in a split second you could become a person with a disability and need the help of an Assistance Dog.
We have to band together and make our voice heard, and show the NDIA that the La Trobe report of only 19 teams was underrepresented, due to lack of awareness. This is our chance to change this for all people who have an Assistance Dog, are in desperate need of one, or may even need one in the future.
Please sign this petition, share your stories, and share as far and wide as you can it is only then that we can show the government that there is a desperate need for funding, and as a group we don't want to be discriminated against.
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