Applicant Process - Ten Steps Toward Increased Independence

Step One

Contact our office via completing the online form. If it is determined an assistance dog is appropriate, an application packet is mailed to your home.

Step Two

Return the completed written application form, medical reference form, personal reference form and a non-refundable $50 application fee.

Step Three

After review and check of all references, the Client Services Director calls to schedule an initial interview at the ADAI Training Center. The videotaped interview allows the staff to observe the specific needs of the applicant, the ability to properly care for a dog and determine the client’s commitment to the process. A staff committee reviews the report and videotape from the director to determine acceptance to our program.

Step Four

Once you are accepted, you are placed on our waiting list for a service or therapy dog. While on the waiting list, you are asked to complete required reading with follow-up questions to prepare you for client team training. You may also want to inquire about support from your local community to assist ADAI in supporting your new assistance dog.

Step Five

When ADAI determines a dog is available that fits your needs, you are notified and client team training is scheduled. If you live out-of-town, you are required to make your own arrangements to stay at a hotel close to our Education and Training Facility in Swanton, Ohio. A list of recommended extended stay facilities is provided. You also need to provide your own transportation to and from our facility and for the public outing portion of our client team training.

Step Six

Our client team training is a two-week class training program for service dogs, and five days for our therapy dog training program. Team training consists of lectures, information, practice and community outings with your new canine partner. This time starts the bonding process that will last a lifetime.

Step Seven

After completing team training, you and your new assistance dog return home for a 90-day probation while you are adjusting and learning to work together in your home, work and school environments. You are required to keep a daily log and check in with our training staff on a weekly basis. A site visit is required after 30 to 45 days to help with any problem solving and issues that can arise with the dog changing environments. Once the probationary period is complete, the Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test is administered.

Step Eight

The ADI Public Access Test is administered to determine eligibility for safe public access with the new team. Passing this test is required before ownership of your new assistance dog is transferred to you.

Step Nine

Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence is there to support you and your dog for the life of your dog. Our training staff is available for assistance with continued training and with public access issues. Annual re-certification testing is required to maintain this support.

Step Ten

The result of all this hard work and dedication is a new beginning for you with a highly skilled canine partner to improve your quality of life.