Did you know that under the DOG ACT 1976 – SECT 8, Guide and Assistance Dogs are allowed access to everywhere their handler goes – and this includes dogs in training.
It is an offence to refuse entry to a person accompanied by a Guide or Assistance Dog including dogs in training; the only exceptions to this rule are operating theatres and some areas of zoos (such as the walk-through exhibits).
These rights are covered by a variety of legislation including:
How To Identify Guide Dogs & Autism Assistance Dogs
Guide and Assistance Dogs and those in training are easy to recognise as they wear different harnesses/jackets:
White Leather Harness – Qualified Guide Dog
A white leather harness, with a rigid handle and reflective front panel indicates that this is a qualified Guide Dog, who is working with their vision impaired owner.
Brown Leather Harness – Guide Dog in training
A brown leather harness, with a rigid handle and reflective front panel indicates that this is a Guide Dog in training, who is working with their Guide Dogs WA Trainer.
Orange Jacket – Autism Assistance Dog
An orange canvas jacket with a black foam handle attached by soft straps indicates an Autism Assistance Dog.
They may be in training with a Guide Dogs WA trainer or they may be working with a child and their family.
An Autism Assistance Dog has the same public access rights as a Guide Dog.
Orange Jacket – Dog or Puppy in training
An orange fabric jacket indicates a dog or puppy in training – or it could be one of our Ambassador Dogs!
Which legislation ensures Access Rights for Guide and Autism Assistance Dogs and those in training?
- Western Australia Dog Act 1976 (Part 1, Section 8)
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Section 8, Commonwealth)
- Western Australia Disability Services Act 1993
- Western Australia Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911
- National Disability Services Standards (2014)
- Disability Services Act 1986 (Commonwealth)
- Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth)
The Department of Communities (formerly Disability Services Commission) can provide more information on access legislation.