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10.7.7 Provision of Assistance Dogs
Assistance dogs may include: guide dogs, hearing dogs, mobility service dogs or psychiatric assistance dogs. Guide, hearing and mobility assistance dogs are dogs which fall within the definition of 'assistance animal' in section 9 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and which meet the standards set out by Assistance Dogs International (ADI). Psychiatric assistance dogs are dogs which fall within the definition 'assistance dog' in section 4, schedule 4 of Queensland Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009. These dogs can be individually trained to perform at least three defined tasks that mitigate the veteran's (also referred to as the handler) impairment and can pass a public access test (PAT).
DVA provides funding for assistance dogs under the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP). The RAP National Guidelines and RAP National Schedule of Equipment are available on the RAP [for providers] page. Further information is available from the DVA website's Assistance Dogs page.
DVA does not provide companion or emotional support dogs. An assistance dog must be individually trained to perform work or tasks directly related to the veteran's disability, while a companion or emotional support dog provides comfort and coping assistance to an individual.