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To promote the independence and inclusion of people with disabilities as fully participating and contributing members of their communities.
KSDS has three programs where specialized skills will be taught to prepare the dogs for the working world of gaining independence for an individual with a disability. Guide dogs are trained to provide mobility assistance to those individuals who are blind or visually impaired. People with little or no vision can travel safely and confidently, using guide dogs to navigate sidewalks, negotiate street crossings, and alert to stairs or obstacles. Guide dogs are trained to know left and right, facilitating object identification in response to commands to "find" doors, counters, elevators, escalators, sidewalks, chairs, etc. Service dogs are used by individuals with physical disabilities. They are trained to assist people with such skills as pulling wheelchairs, bracing for balance or transfers, retrieving dropped or selected items, helping with dressing/undressing, switching lights on/off and opening/closing doors. Social dogs are trained to work with a professional in the field of education, counseling, medicine, rehabilitation, retirement and specialty agencies.
- Judith Sifers
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