Recommendation 4

Communication and awareness of the Act

Recommendation 4

To develop and implement a communication strategy with industry that educates business and the community about the Act and how to deal with people with guide, hearing and assistance dogs generally.

Current practice/framework

Currently, there are approximately 120 people who are approved handlers under the Act who rely on a guide, hearing or assistance dog. The effectiveness of the Act and accessibility for people with disability relies heavily on community and business awareness. It is important for the community and businesses to be aware of the following:

  • the differences between guide, hearing and assistance dogs
  • the specific rights of access granted to guide, hearing and assistance dog users, approved trainers and puppy carers under the Act
  • offence provisions under the Act
  • how to effectively communicate with guide, hearing and assistance dog users
  • discrimination laws.

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services has developed a range of communication material about the Act, including for business and trainers.

Reasons for recommendation

A joint communication and education strategy between government and industry would:

  • promote greater general community awareness about the Act and dealing with people with guide, hearing and assistance dogs generally
  • target private trainers who are not approved under the Act and encourage them to join the Queensland system.

It is also hoped that, by improving the operation and effectiveness of the Act and operational processes, the department will attract more applications from suitable trainers and training institutions, including those based in and working around regional Queensland.

Greater awareness of the Act and targeted communication will promote enhanced understanding of people with disability who rely on guide, hearing and assistance dogs and strengthen their rights of access under the Act. It would also help inform and clarify the legal obligations of businesses and service providers, and promote overall compliance.

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.