Friday, 29 August 2008

88% of disabilities are invisible

One out of five Australians has a disability. 40% of Australians have dogs. A dog trained to assist this person to alleviate the effect of the disability, or because of any matter related to that fact is an assistance animal. Invisible disability link.

A disability can be permanent, long term or short term. A DSM-IV diagnosis is useful if you have trained your own dog, or have obtained a trained dog that assists you. Invisible disabilities include depression, mood disorders such as bipolar, panic, agoraphobia, OCD and post traumatic stress as well as more socially accepted conditions such as epilepsy and diabetes. (You asked...alcohol abuse is a symptom of some of these conditions, but although it can be disabling, it is not a disability).

Notably, for our ageing population, bereavement from the loss of a life partner can become a disability.

Assistance animals come in all shapes and sizes. Does your dog assist you to function in life, or does it keep you from becoming a statistic? The disability laws in many countries are the only legislation legitimising what so many of us know, especially health care professionals; that is that pets are a benefit to our society and our well-being. Join Barking Mad as a member to find out more.