Guest Post: Canadian Coalition of People who use Guide Dogs and Service Dogs Conference call, May 10, 2018

Hello Everyone

 

The next Coalition Conference call is Thursday May 10th, 2018 at 4:30pm Pacific Time,  5:30pm Mountain Time, 6:30pm Central Time,

7:30pm Eastern Time, 8:30pm Atlantic Time and 9pm Newfoundland Time.

 

To ensure we can accommodate all participants, could you send back an email if you want to attend with your name and Province. Even if you are unsure and at the last minute can call in or end up not attending thats not an issue. It is just important to let us know you may attend. We want to ensure everyone can participate and let other Guide Dog and Service dog people know about the meeting. All are welcome.

 

In case you have not read the official letter from CGSB, I have pasted it below.

 

Yvonne Peters will chair and the agenda items are

 

  1. Introductions
  2. Debriefing the CGSB withdrawal of the proposed service dog standard
  3. Where to from here:
  4. A) continued contact with MPs demanding that meaningful consultation be carried out with service dog handlers before any other standards/policies are introduced
  5. B) what is the future work of the coalition and how best to accomplish this?
  6. Other issues

 

Thanks everyone

Heather Walkus

Hands Off Our Harnesses, Hands off our Hounds   H.O.O.H

Canadian Coalition of People who use Guide Dogs and Service Dogs

 

info@hooh.ca    http://www. hooh.ca

250-499-0780

 

 

April 17, 2018

 

 

Subject:        National Standard for Service Dogs

 

 

Dear members of the CGSB Technical Committee on Service Dogs,

 

 

In January 2015, the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) began developing a National Standard of Canada for Service Dogs.  Since that time, CGSB has been working with you on what has proven to be a complex and demanding standards development project.

 

I am now writing to inform you that after careful consideration, CGSB has withdrawn its intent to produce a National Standard of Canada for Service Dogs and as a result, ongoing technical committee work is not anticipated at this time.  The Government of Canada continues to be committed to following through on addressing inclusion and participation issues faced by all Canadians.  It also continues to promote equal opportunities by increasing accessibility and removing barriers in areas of federal jurisdiction.  Much has been learnt from the experience since 2015, and CGSB’s efforts will now turn to documenting those lessons and assessing how they might be applied to future standards development work.

 

I wish to thank you personally, as well as your organizations, for the time and dedication that you have devoted to this project.  Your passion and commitment is to be commended.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me further.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Jimenez
A/Team Leader, Standards Division

Canadian General Standards Board

Public Services and Procurement Canada

(873) 469-3225

Jennifer.Jimenez@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca

 

 

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Guest Post: NAGDU Guide & Service Animal Advocacy & Information mobile app, by the National Association of Guide Dog Users, (NAGDU)

Hi GTT Participants.  Here’s a press release related to an app regarding Service Dog Legislation in Canada and the USA that Dog Guide users might want to have at their fingertips.  It is a project of the National Association of Guide Dog Users, (NAGDU) and it was recently updated to work with iOS 11, and an Android version will soon be released as well.  Read on, and if it’s of interest to you it will be found on the App Store by searching for the following:

 

NAGDU

 

Leading Guide Dog Users’ Membership & Advocacy Organization Releases New Mobile App

 

When the National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU), a strong & proud division of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), launched the NAGDU Guide & Service Animal Advocacy & Information mobile app in September 2014, it was hailed as an innovative ambitious project. This mobile app was the first to compile all the relevant state and federal service animal laws in the United States, along with associated guidance articles to help service animal users and businesses alike understand their rights and responsibilities. Over the past three years, this mobile app has been downloaded by nearly 5,000 iOS users and has been helpful in resolving numerous access issues across the country!

 

Now, with the advent of iOS 11 and with the input from hundreds of users, the National Association of Guide Dog Users is excited to announce the release of version 2.0 of the NAGDU Guide & Service Dog advocacy & Information mobile app for iOS and, by the end of September, its Android version. Here is what you will find in version 2.0:

 

  • Updated information on each state statute
  • The laws for each of the Canadian provinces
  • The ability to download the app from the Canadian app store
  • The complete regulations concerning service animals from the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Specific guidance for industries of concern to service dog users
  • Frequently Asked Questions to help these industries understand their rights & responsibilities
  • A direct email button to get more specific guidance & offer suggestions
  • A direct telephone connection to speak with a trained advocate
  • A more dynamic app with frequent updates
  • An Android version by September 30

 

“Those of us who use service dogs experience discrimination more frequently than most are aware,” says Marion Gwizdala, a guide dog user who serves as the NAGDU president. “We believe this new app will help guide & other service dog users better advocate for themselves, while providing accurate information to the general public and places of public accommodation so that instances of discrimination are resolved quickly and amicably!”

 

This incredible app is provided absolutely free as a public service by the National Association of Guide Dog Users and was created with the generous support of Aaron Cannon, a blind Software Accessibility Engineer and member of NAGDU. We also extend a special word of thanks to Michigan State University’s Animal Legal & Historical Center for the use of their legal research and information on state and provincial laws.  Before this announcement was even released, the app had been downloaded more than 1400 times! To download your free copy of this awesome mobile app, simply go to the App Store and type “NAGDU” in the search field; it’s that easy! Once you download the app, please browse through the information and send us your feedback. You can do this directly from the app by using the “send an email” feature. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you to raze the expectations of the blind in the United States so we can live the lives we want!

 

For more information about the National Association of Guide Dog Users or the National Federation of the blind, please visit the following websites:

 

National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU)

http://nagdu.org

 

National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

http://nfb.org

 

About NAGDU

 

The National Association of Guide dog Users is the nation’s leading membership and advocacy organization for blind people who use guide dogs.  NAGDU is a strong and proud division of the National Federation of the Blind. NAGDU conducts public awareness campaigns on issues of guide dog use, provides advocacy support for guide dog handlers who face discrimination, supports sound policy and effective legislation to protect the rights of guide dog users, offers educational programs to school and civic organizations, and functions as an integral part of the National Federation of the Blind. For more information about the National Association of Guide Dog Users and to support our work, you can visit our website at <HTTP://WWW.NAGDU.ORG>, send an email message to <Info@NAGDU.ORG>, or call (813) 626-2789.

 

About the National Federation of the Blind

 

        The National Federation of the Blind is the oldest and largest organization of the blind in the United States. The NFB knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want! Blindness is not what holds you back.

        The Federation provides scholarships to blind students; support for those who are blind or losing their eyesight; advocacy for the blind facing discrimination; and educational programs for the general public on topics of blindness. The NFB is not an organization that speaks on behalf of the blind; we are the blind speaking for ourselves.

 

For more information about the National Federation of the Blind or to support our work, please visit <http://nfb.org> or call (410) 659-9314.

 

 

 

Marion Gwizdala, President

National Association of Guide Dog Users Inc. (NAGDU)

National Federation of the Blind

(813) 626-2789

President@NAGDU.ORG

 

 

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise expectations because low expectations create barriers between blind  people and our dreams. You can live the life you want! Blindness is not what holds you back.