They Comfort and Assist. Let’s Celebrate Them
by Phil Gambino, Asst. Deputy Commissioner, Communications
Social Security Administration
(From the Soc. Sec. blog, and focuses on service dogs for hearing disabilities)
August 17, 2015
The word “friend” conjures images of laughter and warmth. Friends stand by each other through good and bad times. They’re supportive, encouraging, and they come in all shapes and sizes — and sometimes with a wet nose and fur. Social Security celebrates four-legged helpers who aren’t only friends, but family and heroes: assistance dogs.
Assistance dogs help disabled people meet their daily needs. These faithful canines receive specific training to assist, comfort, and alert their special needs companion of danger. They allow their human wards to live independently and with confidence. Their training allows assistance dogs to help people with physical and mental disabilities, hearing loss, and seizures. Some also help our veterans and people with post-traumatic stress disorder to regain their independence, physically and emotionally.
From fetching medicine, to signalling an emergency, to answering the doorbell, these dogs are vital supporters. Their service is priceless, giving peace of mind to the families and friends of people with disabilities.
Social Security praises and cheers assistance dogs. Their labor of love is something we’re familiar with. Long ago, our agency made a commitment to empower people with disabilities by providing them with information about our programs, and what benefits are available to them. Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access our programs, activities, and facilities, regardless of disability, is one of the promises we made to America in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Our reasonable accommodation options guarantee effective communication. We provide certified and qualified sign language interpreters, lip-reading or speech-reading services, telephone devices for the deaf or hard of hearing (TDD or TTY), and free handwritten notes upon request. If you or someone you know needs to request a reasonable accommodation, please visit our website, or call our toll free number (1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Like a faithful companion, Social Security is here to offer support and access to the information people need.