Did you know, that assistance dogs can diverse, they not only guide visually impaired people? They can also help for mobility-impaired in everyday life, indicate sound for hearing impaired, indicate epileptic or other seizures, but it exist personal assistant dog to help in independent living, and therapy dog who is involved in pedagogical or psychiatric rehabilitation. You need to know that not only the dogs, but also their owners have undergone a hard training and even taken an exam.
The owners of these intelligent dogs can enter anywhere with them lawfully. Yes, anywhere. Although some workers of institutions or even disabled people don’t know exactly the relevant legislation. Most of the false complains or even relegations come from catering units, shops, playgrounds or markets. In these cases they either don’t let the disabled person go in with his dog – but he can’t get by without him- or they make him put a muzzle on the dog. As the above list shows, this way the dog wouldn’t be able to help his owner. How could he warn the owner about danger if it can’t bark? How could he bring it’s owner an important device if it can’t open it’s mouth?
And it’s something like again that isn’t a potential, a possibility, it is a must to be provided. The Hungarian Equal Rights Authority takes these offenses as discrimination complaints and begins the administrative procedure against the institution, the operator.
The law enumerates examples of places where people can bring their assistance dogs (e.g. public transport, shops, supermarkets, catering units, malls, markets, accommodations, playgrounds, public institutions, child institutions.) However, people with disabilities can also enter ALL THE OTHER PLACES with his guide dog which aren’t mentioned in the law. He DOESN’T HAVE TO PUT A MUZZLE on the dog, but he needs to show a distinctive sign on the dog and also the logo of the dog’s training organization. The assistance dog can only be banned from the area if it is endangering others physical safety. Although let’s just say it, this would be very rare in the case of a trained guide dog.
It’s important to know that the assistance dog is working with it’s owner so however cute or pretty it is it cannot be petted and we shouldn’t take it as an insult if the owner doesn’t let it either. If we did, we would distract the dog and endanger the safety of the disabled owner. The case is the same when it comes to giving food to the dog. It can only be fed by it’s owner, therefore don’t offer food don’t tempt him.
Relevant Hungarian legislation:
A segítő kutyák gazdáinak jogait és kötelezettségeit a fogyatékos személyek jogairól és esélyegyenlőségük biztosításáról szóló 1998. évi XXVI. törvény.
A segítő kutya kiképzésének, vizsgáztatásának és alkalmazhatóságának szabályairól szóló 27/2009. (XII. 3.) SZMM rendelet
Written by Veronika Pataki. Thanks to Evelin Almádi for your additional thoughts!