2016 National Conference

Dog Guide Handlers Australia is holding its second national conference in Adelaide.

The Conference is being held on the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October 2016 at the Sage Hotel in South Terrace Adelaide.

Dog Guide Handlers Australia would like to thank the following organisations for their support:

For the full information, please go to our 2016 National Conference page

About Dog Guide Handlers Australia

Dog Guide Handlers Australia (DGHA) is an independent association of dog guide and service/assistance dog handlers , and is not affiliated with any dog guide or assistance dog organisation.

Our Mission:

DGHA strives to foster, represent, promote, enhance and protect the interests of Australians who are dog guide handlers and people who are Assistance/Service Dog Handlers.

Our Vision:

“Life without Limits and Access for All.”

Key Objectives

DGHA draws on the experiences and varied knowledge of its members, to provide peer support, advocacy and information to dog guide and service/assistance dog handlers throughout Australia.

What is an Assistant/Service Dog?

Assistance/Service Dogs are highly trained dogs which provide support, freedom and independence to people with disabilities.
Assistance/Service Dogs are legally allowed to accompany their handlers in all public places, and on all forms of public transport, and are accredited annually with the Public Access Test.

Types of Assistance/Service Dogs:

Assistance/Service Dogs provide support to people with disabilities such as sensory impairment (blindness or vision impairment, deafness or hearing impairment), people with complex medical conditions (such as Diabetes or Epilepsy) people with physical impairment (such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis), people with developmental disabilities (such as autism), and people with mental health disorders (such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD and Dementia).

Background Information

Dog Guide Handlers Australia was formed in August 2009 by four passionate people who were inspired by similar groups which exist in other countries.

DGHA was registered as an incorporated association in January 2011.

DGHA does not have a physical office, and we have no paid staff.

The DGHA Committee is a group of dedicated volunteers who meet regularly via teleconference.

Some of the issues we are advocating for include:

  • DGHA hosts biennial national conferences around Australia, to enable people with disability to meet together for peer support, networking, sharing information and participating in various workshop sessions and discussion forums.
  • DGHA HOSTS regular members teleconference meetings, with invited guest speakers, and focus topic discussions.
  • Advocating for equal access to client services. This includes assistting dog guide and assistance dog organisations to establish client advisory committees, throughout Australia.
  • Developing a national photo identity card.
  • Establishing availability of toileting areas for dog guide and service/assistance dogs within Australian airports.
  • Advocating for the establishment of national standards for assistance dog training, public access testing and accreditation.
  • Representation on external consultations on issues that affect people with disability.