Guiding the way
Guiding The Way campaign is an initiative by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT that deepens our understanding so a guide dog and its handler can get around safely and unhindered. The campaign aimed to set the record straight on a number of myths and misconceptions about Guide Dogs.
Penrith's Barbara Bonfield says if her Guide Dog is not focused on its job due to distractions; like being patted by a member of the public, getting around can be frightening.
"There's a good reason why it costs $35,000 to train a puppy to become a Guide Dog, but my experience is that people don't really understand this, nor how much concentration is required for me and my Guide Dog to move around together," said Barbara, who has just started working with her fourth Guide Dog, Samara.
To address these concerns and to make the community an easier place to access and enjoy for people with impaired vision, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT launched a new education campaign called 'Guiding the Way' during Guide Dog Awareness Week, 22 to 28 April, 2013.
Facts & Figures
It is estimated that by 2020 there will be more than 100,000 people in NSW and ACT with uncorrectable vision loss, including over 20,000 who will be blind
Why is this campaign so important?
Guide Dog Awareness Week celebrates the critical role Guide Dogs play in enabling people with impaired vision to get around safely and independently. ‘Guiding the Way’ sets the record straight on a number of myths and misconceptions about Guide Dogs, in a bid to make the community an easier place to access and enjoy for people with impaired vision. Some common misconceptions being that: the public can treat them the same way as pet dogs; any dog can be trained as a Guide Dog; and that a Guide Dog decides where to go, including crossing roads. The campaign will offered the public a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the training, matching and working life of a Guide Dog.