Most of us take our independence for granted. However, individuals with disabilities face daily challenges to their independence. For many, life takes on a new purpose with the help of a highly trained and dedicated assistance or therapy dog.
Welcome to Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence, A Program of the Ability Center, located in our new, state of the art, Training Center in Sylvania, Ohio. Assistance Dogs helps children and adults with disabilities achieve greater independence by training and placing service and therapy dogs to assist with the individual’s daily needs. For over 25 years, our assistance dogs have helped transform the lives of over 250 individuals and their communities. From children with muscular dystrophy and spina bifada to adults with cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries, our service dogs provide their owners with self-reliance, self confidence and self-esteem, and most importantly, a chance to live their lives to the fullest potential. Our therapy dogs, equally highly trained, offer comfort and companionship to children in schools, persons in nursing homes and individuals with developmental disabilities, autism and Down’s Syndrome.
In recent years, Assistance Dogs has launched a number of innovative new programs, including the Prison Puppy Program. Inmates at the Toledo Correctional Institution learn about responsibility by raising and training puppies for Assistance Dogs. In November of 2007, the first three dogs graduated from the Toledo Correctional Institute’s Prison Puppy Program. Jazzy, Scarlet and Belle were successfully placed with their new partners. Over 25 dogs have now graduated from this program and are placed in our service area.
If dogs could speak, they might be able to explain that special bond and its benefits that exist between humans and dogs. Our success stories and studies speak for them. Studies show again and again that dogs can provide tremendous benefits to individuals by offering companionship and performing everyday “human” tasks. Not only can dogs reduce the physical obstacles facing people with disabilities, but also the social barriers. A dog helps bridge gaps of ignorance by stimulating common interests, like sharing dog stories.
At Assistance Dogs, volunteers allow us to provide these essential services to those with disabilities and special needs. From corporate sponsors to grade school children who raise money by baking and selling dog biscuits, Assistance Dogs is extremely grateful for the generosity of our donors and volunteers. With their support, we will continue to train and provide service and therapy dogs to enhance the lives of more and more individuals.
“k9″90: A Charitable Organization
The Ability Center files a form “990” with the IRS, giving us a 501(c)(03) status – otherwise known as a public charity. This means that ADAI is a nonprofit organization, relying strictly on donations and volunteers to keep our mission alive. To learn more about our nonprofit status, please go to www.guidestar.org.