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'I could not imagine life without a dog' True story of a blind man

 I could not imagine life without a dog


At my 14th birthday, I could never have dreamed that I would sit here typing these lines.
At that time, in July 1993, I loved surfing, playing basketball and I thought I would be a stockbroker, but in October, I was hit by a train and got up blind in the hospital.
All of a sudden, there was no more surfing, basketball or reading complicated graphics for stock trading.

'I could not imagine life without a dog' True story of a blind man

A few months later, I represented Queensland as an elite handicapped athlete and represented Australia at two Paralympic Games, two Commonwealth Games, and three World Titles.

I studied law, obtained a master's degree and a doctorate in law, obtained my lawyer's license, practiced and now, I teach law at the University of Queensland.


At the time of my 14 years, I'm sure I would have been happy to see where my career was at the age of 40, but I will not have a guide dog is expected to play a role in this regard.
Now that I'm almost 40, I could not imagine a life without a dog.
My guide dog, Sean, is cute. friend to everyone.
Before my first dog, I was a good user of white cane.
But as everyone who has used one knows, a white cane must strike something to know if it is there.
The chairs, the doors or the steps are hit with the cane to show me that it is there.
It's good for some obstacles, but trains, trucks, and cars are something else.
Sean can find places in cafes, help me cross passages, enter stores, navigate tables, display stands, etc.
When I walk in a classroom, on a stage or in a courtroom, my guide dog guides his stuff and lets me go where I need to go.

The many benefits of guide dogs are well known to most people.
They have been operating in Australia for more than a century and are associated with the international body.


'I could not imagine life without a dog' True story of a blind man

The highly trained dogs they extract are not only fantastic, they are trained by incredible people, but also because of the selection, training and rigorous support of the dogs.
While the benefits of these four-legged friends continue to be realized, more and more medical conditions are using animals to improve their health conditions, and in the return more and more animals.


That's why people use dogs, cats, horses, birds, cats, and other animals to help with epilepsy, psychiatric illness,  deafness, mobility and, of course, blindness.
The fact that animals are used in these different situations is great.

But the challenge now is the lack of regulation.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 allows people to use any animal trained to reduce disability and who have been trained to operate safely and hygienically in public.
However, it does not provide detailed information on the determination of an animal is or is not trained enough to mitigate a person's disability, or if they are sufficiently trained to.
Each state and territory has its laws, but these are contrary to federal laws and other states of the Disability Discrimination Act, which creates challenges for the population.


This can also be a problem for people with large animals.
The public is also exposed to risks in these situations.
What we urgently need is the development of a standard for all animals to determine whether or not they are assisting people with disabilities and their access rights.


'I could not imagine life without a dog' True story of a blind man

Without this, uncertainties and complexities are stressors, denial of rights and avoidable expense for many of the most vulnerable members of the community.


Creating standards is not easy. After all, guide dogs have been developing their standards within a global brand for centuries.
However, the fact is that it can be done, it should be done, and I pray that it will be done soon.
If these standards were incorporated into the regulations, the government could issue an ID card with the photo of the animal and the breeder, as well, when the problem will be solved.

an animal is, in fact, and a service animal, a debate would not have to follow as it does so often.

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