Take The Lead
Take The Lead Education Campaign
Guide Dog Awareness Week 2014, Monday 28 April to Friday 2 May, celebrates International Guide Dog Day on Wednesday 30 April and the vital role Guide Dogs play in enabling people with impaired vision to get around safely and independently. This year, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is launching a new education campaign called 'Take the lead' aimed at creating a safer community for Guide Dogs and their handlers who are blind or vision impaired. A new survey has revealed that working Guide Dogs are experiencing high levels of attacks and distraction problems from other dogs, causing them and their handlers anxiety and compromising their safety and independence. To address this issue, a number of educational initiatives and media opportunities are being undertaken across NSW and the ACT throughout Guide Dog Awareness Week. These include the release of a new TV advertisement and the distribution of free dog leads displaying 'I'm taking the lead to support Guide Dogs' to schools and councils. So, remember if you see a working Guide Dog, take the lead - keep your dog on a leash and under control and give the Guide Dog and its handler space so they can safely reach their destination.
How you can take the lead
- Please keep your pet dog on a leash and under control when out and about
- If you see a loose dog, please alert your local council
- If you see a working Guide Dog, please give it and its handler space
- Please don't pat, feed or otherwise distract a working Guide Dog. A well-intentioned pat can undo months of training.
- When approaching a Guide Dog team with your dog, please clearly introduce yourself to the person and say you have a dog with you.
COMMUNITY SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
A light-hearted 30-second TV community service announcement is being released across NSW, the ACT and nationally during Guide Dog Awareness Week to demonstrate how the public can contribute to the safety and independence of Guide Dogs and their handlers who are blind or vision impaired.
Click Here To View
A new national survey of Guide Dog handlers has revealed that working Guide Dogs are experiencing high levels of attacks and distraction problems from other dogs, causing their handlers anxiety and compromising their safety and independence. This table provides a summary of the survey's key findings nationally and for NSW and the ACT that support the 'Take the lead' campaign.
Click here to download Guide Dog Survey Key Findings
Click here to download article in the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (Oct/Nov 2011) about the implications of the trauma dog attacks have on working Guide Dogs and their handlers.
TAKE THE LEAD AMBASSADOR, BONDI VET'S DR LISA CHIMES
Dr Lisa Chimes, veterinarian, dog owner and star of Channel 10's Bondi Vet has witnessed the trauma of dog attacks first-hand and is supporting the Take the lead campaign to remind the public about the importance of responsible dog ownership.
" I'M TAKING THE LEAD TO SUPPORT GUIDE DOGS" EDUCATION PACK
Featuring a dog lead displaying 'I'm taking the lead to support Guide Dogs' and an infographic-styled flyer, this pack is designed to inform the public about why it's important dog owners keep their pet dogs on-lead and controlled when out and about, particularly when around Guide Dogs. During Guide Dog Awareness Week, the pack will be distributed free of charge by local councils to new dog owners in the Sutherland Shire, Inner Western suburbs, Eastern suburbs and Northern suburbs of Sydney, as well as to various city and regional schools across NSW and the ACT where Guide Dog handlers are giving 'Take the lead' educational talks. The leads have been produced with support from animal product company Joseph Lyddy. If you would like to further show your support you can purchase a lead for $9.95 from the Guide Dogs NSW/ACT online shop.
You can purchase a lead by clicking here.
GUIDE DOG HANDLER CASE STUDIES
High profile guide dog handler, Graeme Innes AM, Australia's Disability Discrimination Commissioner, knows too well the importance of being able to travel safely and efficiently. Graeme has been blind all his life and currently works with his second Guide Dog, Arrow, to navigate his way around - whether it be across the city, interstate or overseas. However, a common inhibitor to this is other dogs distracting Arrow from her job, which can make her anxious and put Graeme's independence and safety at risk.
Click here to read more about Graeme's story and to download case studies about other Guide Dog handlers and their experiences with other dogs attacking or distracting their Guide Dogs.