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Physical Impairments and Service Dogs

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330 There are several kinds of vision impairments. The World
331 Health Organization defines four levels of visual function: normal vision, moderate visual impairment,
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severe visual impairment, and blindness (1). Most visual impairments are caused
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severe visual impairment, and blindness [[FootNote(([http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/ http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/])]]. Most visual impairments are caused
333 by “uncorrected refractive errors”, issues with the physical structure of the
334 eye. Refractive errors include astigmatism (irregular cornea shape), myopia
335 (near sightedness), hyperopia (far sightedness), and presbyopia (inability to
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focus as a result of aging) (2). Diseases, such as glaucoma, can result in
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focus as a result of aging) [[FootNote([http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/refractiveerrors.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/refractiveerrors.html])]]. Diseases, such as glaucoma, can result in
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vision loss or blindness (3). Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve. It can be
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vision loss or blindness [[FootNote([http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp])]]. Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve. It can be
338 caused by eye pressure buildup due to fluctuations in how fluid moves around
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the eye (3). Medication and corrective surgery
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the eye [[FootNote([http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp])]]. Medication and corrective surgery
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can slow the progression of glaucoma (3).
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can slow the progression of glaucoma [[FootNote([http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp])]].
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346 Hearing loss can occur from a variety of factors. Things
347 like hereditary, diseases and infections, trauma, reaction to medications,
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long-term exposure to loud noise, and aging can contribute to hearing loss (4).
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long-term exposure to loud noise, and aging can contribute to hearing loss [[FootNote([http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hearingdisordersanddeafness.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hearingdisordersanddeafness.html])]].
349 According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication
350 Disorders, there are two main types of hearing loss. The first occurs when the
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inner ear or auditory never is damaged (4). This is also permanent. The second
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inner ear or auditory never is damaged[[FootNote([http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hearingdisordersanddeafness.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hearingdisordersanddeafness.html])]]. This is also permanent. The second
352 occurs when sound is unable to reach the inner ear. This damaged can be caused
353 by earwax build up, excess fluid, or a punctured eardrum. Treatments include
354 hearing aids, cochlear implants, special training, medication, and surgery
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(such as ear tubes) (4).<o:p></o:p>
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(such as ear tubes) [[FootNote([http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hearingdisordersanddeafness.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hearingdisordersanddeafness.html])]].
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<o:p></o:p>
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361 For hearing and/or sight-impaired persons, animals have
362 filled service roles to help those individuals increase their mobility and
363 independence. Service animals can fetch items, turn on lights, aid in crossing
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streets, and recognizing alarms and other household concerns (Skloot 2009).
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streets, and recognizing alarms and other household concerns [[FootNote(Skloot, R. (2009). Create Comfort. ''New York Times Magazine. ''34-40.)]].
365 Service animals have been predominately dogs. Dogs have long been human
366 companions. Some dogs pull wheel chairs, fetch keys, and help those with vision
367 impairments as guides and a second pair of eyes. Other animals have taken on
368 the role of service animals as well, including chimpanzees for quadriplegics
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and even miniature horses in the same service roles as canines (Skloot 2009).
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and even miniature horses in the same service roles as canines [[FootNote(Skloot, R. (2009). Create Comfort. ''New York Times Magazine. ''34-40.)]].
370 Besides these task and assistance benefits, many owners of service animals
371 report similar positive psychological gains that those with therapy or
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companion animals receive (Whitmarsh, Rintala). The expansion and diversity of
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companion animals receive [[FootNote(Whitmarsh, L. (2005). The benefits of guide dog ownership. ''Visual Impairment Research''. 7. 27-42.)]] [[FootNote(Rintala, D., Matamoros, R., Seitz, L. (2008). Effects of
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animals in service roles has caused pushback in legal terms and concerns over
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assistance dogs on persons with mobility or hearing impairments: A pilot study.
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health and safety of both humans and animals. <o:p></o:p>
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''Journal of Rehabilitation Research &
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Development''. 45(4). 489-504.)]]. The expansion and diversity of
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animals in service roles has caused push back in legal terms and concerns over
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health and safety of both humans and animals.
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<o:p></o:p>
380
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383 '''State of Current Research'''
384
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387 Natalie Sachs-Ericsson, Nancy K. Hansen, and Shirley
388 Fitzgerald (2002) conducted a literature review regarding the benefits of
389 assistance dogs. Assistance dogs (ADs) aid persons with disabilities in
390 conducting a variety of tasks. Ads might fetch keys and perform other daily
391 activities. Service dogs (SDs) primarily work with people who have motor
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impairments while hearing dogs (HDs) aid those who suffer from hearing loss
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impairments while hearing dogs (HDs) aid those who suffer from hearing loss [[FootNote(Sachs-Ericsson, N., Hansen, N., Fitzgerald, S. (2002).
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(Sachs 2002). AD programs have been present in the United States since 1929,
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Benefits of assistance dogs: A review. ''Rehabilitation
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the first of which trained guide dogs (GDs) for the blink (2002). The immediate
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Psychology''. 47(3). 251-277.)]]. AD programs have been present in the United States since 1929,
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the first of which trained guide dogs (GDs) for the blind [[FootNote(Sachs-Ericsson, N., Hansen, N., Fitzgerald, S. (2002). Benefits of assistance dogs: A review. ''Rehabilitation Psychology''. 47(3). 251-277.)]]. The immediate
396 physical benefits of ADs are fairly well known because these dogs are taught to
397 do very specific and tangible tasks. Surveys collected data on the most common
398 tasks SDs provide. These tasks including navigating the community (82%),
399 getting around the house (78.2%), obtaining communication devices (72%), and
400 other activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, emergency responses,
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feeding, and toileting (2002). The review also notes that owners of SDs also
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feeding, and toileting [[FootNote(Sachs-Ericsson, N., Hansen, N., Fitzgerald, S. (2002). Benefits of assistance dogs: A review. ''Rehabilitation Psychology''. 47(3). 251-277.)]]. The review also notes that owners of SDs also
402 receive some of the psychological benefits that owners of strictly companion
403 animals do, such as greater self esteem, lower stress and anxiety, increased
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confidence, and higher life satisfaction (2002).<o:p></o:p>
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confidence, and higher life satisfaction [[FootNote(Sachs-Ericsson, N., Hansen, N., Fitzgerald, S. (2002). Benefits of assistance dogs: A review. ''Rehabilitation Psychology''. 47(3). 251-277.)]].
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<o:p></o:p>
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410 L. Whitmarsh (2005) claims that many visually impaired
411 people who do not own a GD do not own them. A study was conducted to determine
412 the benefits of GD ownership and why some people do not apply for guide dogs.
413 In a study of 831 visually impaired people (404 GD owners, 427 non-GD owners),
414 interviews collected information on ownership demographics, reactions to the
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guide dogs, awareness of guide dog programs, and reported benefits (Whitmarsh
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guide dogs, awareness of guide dog programs, and reported benefits[[FootNote(Whitmarsh, L. (2005). The benefits of guide dog ownership. ''Visual Impairment Research''. 7. 27-42.)]]. When elicited about what might have put a potential GD owner off of owning
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2005). When elicited about what might have put a potential GD owner off of owning
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417 a dog, misconceptions included age limits, non-eligibility for those with
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multiple disabilities, and cost of ownership (Whitmarsh 2005). Other
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multiple disabilities, and cost of ownership [[FootNote(Whitmarsh, L. (2005). The benefits of guide dog ownership. ''Visual Impairment Research''. 7. 27-42.)]] Other
419 psychological misconceptions were reported, such as stigma attached to owning a
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dog, unwillingness to accept blindness, and unwillingness to undergo training. <o:p></o:p>
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dog, unwillingness to accept blindness, and unwillingness to undergo training[[FootNote(Whitmarsh, L. (2005). The benefits of guide dog ownership. ''Visual Impairment Research''. 7. 27-42.)]].
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<o:p></o:p>
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426 Whitmarsh claims that service animals may provide the same
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comforts as companion animals (Witmarsh 2005). A similar study found that
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comforts as companion animals [[FootNote(Whitmarsh, L. (2005). The benefits of guide dog ownership. ''Visual Impairment Research''. 7. 27-42.)]]. A similar study found that
428 wheelchair users with SD reported more social interaction when with their SDs
429 than a control group without SDs. Participants in GD programs and with GDs
430 reported similar benefits: greater
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mobility, greater self esteem, and greater social interaction (Whitmarsh 2005).
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mobility, greater self esteem, and greater social interaction [[FootNote(Whitmarsh, L. (2005). The benefits of guide dog ownership. ''Visual Impairment Research''. 7. 27-42.)]].
432 Whitmarsh’s study also found that owners of GDs reported increased mobility and
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independence (81% reporting they felt their mobility had improved) (Whitmarsh
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independence (81% reporting they felt their mobility had improved) [[FootNote(Whitmarsh, L. (2005). The benefits of guide dog ownership. ''Visual Impairment Research''. 7. 27-42.)]]. The author notes that while GDs may provide many benefits, they are not
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2005). The author notes that while GDs may provide many benefits, they are not
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435 for everyone and practitioners should know what means of sight augmentation to
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suggest based on the person. <o:p></o:p>
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suggest based on the person[[FootNote(Whitmarsh, L. (2005). The benefits of guide dog ownership. ''Visual Impairment Research''. 7. 27-42.)]].
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<o:p></o:p>
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442 Diana Rintala, Rebeca Matamoros, and Laura Sietz (2008)
443 conducted a study focusing on effects of assistance dogs on those with mobility
444 and/or hearing impairments. Forty persons were recruited to participate in the
445 study. For those with hearing and mobility impairments, the study reported
446 positive changes in psychological functioning such as feelings of greater
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independence, higher self-esteem, and greater contentment (Rintala 2008). Negative
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independence, higher self-esteem, and greater contentment [[FootNote(Rintala, D., Matamoros, R., Seitz, L. (2008). Effects of assistance dogs on persons with mobility or hearing impairments: A pilot study. ''Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development''. 45(4). 489-504.)]]. Negative
448 responses were also reported. For some, the attention received in public from
449 the SD or HDs was unwanted and a negative association with ownership. Some
450 individuals also had poorly trained dogs, which contributed to negative
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responses. However, the authors maintain that the benefits of a SD and the
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responses[[FootNote(Rintala, D., Matamoros, R., Seitz, L. (2008). Effects of assistance dogs on persons with mobility or hearing impairments: A pilot study. ''Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development''. 45(4). 489-504.)]]. However, the authors maintain that the benefits of a SD and the
452 tasks the animals are able to complete make up for the cost of owning the
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animal (Rintala 2008).<o:p></o:p>
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animal[[FootNote(Rintala, D., Matamoros, R., Seitz, L. (2008). Effects of assistance dogs on persons with mobility or hearing impairments: A pilot study. ''Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development''. 45(4). 489-504.)]].
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<o:p></o:p>
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459 Since the introduction of SDs, other kinds of animals have
460 stepped into the role of service animals. Monkeys assist paraplegics, miniature
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horses fulfill roles similar to SDs, and parrots for psychosis (Skloot 2009).
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horses fulfill roles similar to SDs, and parrots for psychosis [[FootNote(Skloot, R. (2009). Create Comfort. ''New York Times Magazine. ''34-40.)]].
462 Some animals have advantages over service dogs. Miniature horses have longer
463 service lives than dogs do (30 years as opposed to 8 or 9) and are more docile.
464 However, as more and more different kinds of animals were claimed by there
465 owners to be service animals there has been a legislative pushback. The
466 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows service animals entrance to public
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buildings such as restaurants, on public transit, and shopping centers
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buildings such as restaurants, on public transit, and shopping centers [[FootNote(Skloot, R. (2009). Create Comfort. ''New York Times Magazine. ''34-40.)]]. Service animals, unlike therapy animals, have a legal definition
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(Skloot). Service animals, unlike therapy animals, have a legal definition
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469 under the law and cannot be denied entrance with their owners. The variety of
470 service animals, some legitimate service animals and some comfort or companion
471 animals passed off as service animals, raised public concern over health and
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safety (Skloot). In 2011 the ADA was revised to say “only dogs are recognized
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safety [[FootNote(Skloot, R. (2009). Create Comfort. ''New York Times Magazine. ''34-40.)]]. In 2011 the ADA was revised to say “only dogs are recognized
473 as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA” (ADA). Service animals
474 are defined as being able to help accomplish a specific task. Comfort animals
475 often fail to fill that definition, since providing comfort is a nebulous
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definition (Skloot). <o:p></o:p>
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definition ( [[FootNote(Skloot, R. (2009). Create Comfort. ''New York Times Magazine. ''34-40.)]]. <o:p></o:p>
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480 '''Areas for Future
481 Investigation'''
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485 Rintala et al. note that, consistent with prior research,
486 their findings lack diversity (most of their subjects were Caucasian). The
487 authors believe more diverse studies would improve findings and give a more
488 definitive picture of human animal bond benefits.
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492 Whitmarsh (2005) suggests conducting a study to investigate
493 the differences between mobility aids for those with vision impairments. Not
494 everyone with vision impairments should use a GD, but materials for comparison
495 should be available between mobility devices.
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497 ''' '''
498
499 ervice animals are defined as being able to help accomplish a
500 specific task. Persons with mental disorders cannot always articulate the
501 specific task their animals is able to provide. In cases like Jim Eggers (a man
502 who has sever bipolar disorder and cannot be in public without large doses of
503 medication), a therapy parrot helps him stay calm and social. Is that a
504 specific enough task to provide justification for labeling that animal a
505 service animal? Is there any reason to exempt particular animals as service
506 animals if they are not dogs?''''''
507
508 ''' '''
509
510 '''Key Resources'''
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==== Rintala, D., Matamoros, R., Seitz, L. (2008). Effects of
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==== Rintala, D., Matamoros, R., Seitz, L. (2008). Effects ====
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516 assistance dogs on persons with mobility or hearing impairments: A pilot study.
517 ''Journal of Rehabilitation Research &
518 Development''. 45(4). 489-504. ====
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524 This study examines the effect that assistance dogs have on
525 persons with impairments. The article finds that people who have assistance
526 dogs reported more independence and required fewer hours of paid assistance.
527 The study also reports the positive and negative factors described by
528 individuals with assistance dogs. Overall, more positive than negative factors
529 are recorded. Positive effects include greater independence, positive emotional
530 effects, and assistance with tasks. Negative effects cited were cost of care,
531 unwanted attention in public, and shedding.
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==== Sachs-Ericsson, N., Hansen, N., Fitzgerald, S. (2002).
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==== Sachs-Ericsson, N., Hansen, N., Fitzgerald, S. ====
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537 Benefits of assistance dogs: A review. ''Rehabilitation
538 Psychology''. 47(3). 251-277. ====
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544 This article is a review of literature surrounding the
545 distinctions between service dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs, and the benefits
546 of assistance animal ownership and utilization. Evidence for the benefits of
547 assistance animal ownership is marshaled from activities of daily living that
548 the animal helps with, as well as physiological and psychological benefits
549 consistent with previous research in human and animal bond interaction. The
550 article also addresses the disadvantages of assistance animal ownership, such
551 as cost and behavioral issues.
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553
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555 ==== Skloot, R. (2009). Create Comfort. ''New York Times Magazine. ''34-40. ====
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561 Rebecca Skloot’s article describes the difficulties
562 associated with defining therapy animals versus service animals. Service
563 animals are defined by law and cannot be restricted access to establishments
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via the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The author describes <o:p></o:p>
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via the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The author describes cases where the line between service and therapy animals get blurred and the legal difficulties surrounding the allowance of many species of service animals. Since its publication, the ADA recognizes only canines as service animals. <o:p></o:p>
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==== Whitmarsh, L. (2005). The benefits of guide dog ownership. ''Visual Impairment Research''. 7. 27-42. ====
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==== Whitmarsh, L. (2005). The benefits of guide dog ownership. ''Visual Impairment Research''. 7. 27-42. ====
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572 This article outlines the benefits of guide dog ownership.
573 Guide dogs are service animals assigned to those with some kind of disability.
574 This specific study focuses on over 800 visually impaired people and found
575 greater independence, confidence, companionship, and social interactions were
576 reported in conjunction with guide dogs. Appealing to literature concerning the
577 benefits of human and animal interaction, the authors cite better
578 cardiovascular health, decreased depression, and higher well being in addition
579 to the advantages a service animal provides. The survey in the study also asked
580 about common misconceptions of guide dog ownership, including levels of visual
581 impairment and deterrents in cost of care for the animal.
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585 References
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(1) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/<o:p></o:p>
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(1) [http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/ http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/]<o:p></o:p>
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(2) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/refractiveerrors.html<o:p></o:p>
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(2) [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/refractiveerrors.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/refractiveerrors.html]<o:p></o:p>
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(3) http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp<o:p></o:p>
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(3) [http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp]<o:p></o:p>
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(4) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hearingdisordersanddeafness.html<o:p></o:p>
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(4) [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hearingdisordersanddeafness.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hearingdisordersanddeafness.html]<o:p></o:p>
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(5) http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm<o:p></o:p>
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(5) [http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm]<o:p></o:p>
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