Harry the assistance dog.
The Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 came into effect on 1 July 2009.
The legislation ensures that every person who relies on a guide, hearing or assistance dog has the same access rights as others to public places and public passenger vehicles. This includes cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs, sports venues, taxis and buses.
A guide dog, hearing dog or assistance dog is specially trained to perform specific physical tasks and behaviours to assist a person with a disability and reduce their need for support.
A handler is a person with a disability who relies on a guide, hearing or assistance dog for support. Under the legislation, all handlers may apply for a Handler Identity Card. People in charge of public places and public passenger vehicles may ask to see this card to ensure the dog is certified under the Act.
Trainers who want to certify guide, hearing and assistance dogs must be approved under the legislation. Trainers employed at approved training institutions can be approved by that institution.
A significant component of certifying a guide, hearing or assistance dog under the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 (the Act) is the successful completion of a Public Access Test (PAT) form.
Guide dog, hearing dog or assistance dog contacts.
Guide dog, hearing dog or assistance dog resources.