Eligibility Criteria to apply for a Seeing Eye Dog is to be legally blind. Individual cases outside of these guidelines may be considered.
We are the only National provider of dog guides in Australia with clients in every state and territory.
Seeing Eye Dogs staff is also available to provide ongoing support for clients.
Individual designed training is generally residential or domiciliary training can be considered.
The training process is around 2-3 weeks of residential training, and 1-2 weeks in the clients home area.
All travel and accommodation costs are covered by Seeing Eye Dogs Australia.
As our national training headquarters is in Victoria, clients from Victoria and other states including NSW, SA and TAS will complete their training while based at the client residential training accommodation in Victoria.
We have instructors based in NSW, WA and QLD and clients from those states will be trained there. NT clients will be trained by our QLD instructors in their own state.
Consideration to change these training arrangements can be looked at on a case by case basis (ie: domiciliary training).
Training arrangements for each state
Our training residence is located within 100 metres from our office. The training residence is where clients will stay for the duration of their residential training.
Clients can either be trained from home, in centrally located accommodation in their state, or we can assist in travel to Victoria for their residential training.
Seeing Eye Dogs support group
A group of very experienced Seeing Eye Dog handlers are ready and willing to chat over the phone, correspond by email, by audio or by braille.
The support contacts are not experts in training or animal behaviour. They are people who have had working dogs for some time and are willing to share their experiences with you, your family and friends.
Anyone who has trained with their first Seeing Eye Dog knows the anticipation of receiving the correspondence starts you thinking about so many things, such as:
- What sort of changes will I need to make in my own home for a dog?
- Where will I be able to take my dog?
- How will my family react?
- Will this dog really make a difference in my life?
This is an exciting journey for you and those who share your life. Like anything else you tackle in your lifetime, information will make the journey that little bit easier.
Support group details
Kate Watkins, Victoria
Kate has been associated with the organisation since 1969, having received six Seeing Eye Dogs over that time – the first in 1974. Kate has also twice worked for SEDA. Kate’s current Seeing Eye Dog is Selwood.
Kate’s contact details:
Phone: 03 9752 1255 (after 6pm please)
Brent Franklin, Victoria
Brent has Seeing Eye Dog Yorick. At varying times Brent has been president of organizations such as Blind Cricket, VIC Swish and Access Audio.
Brent’s contact details:
Phone: 03 9263 2444 or 0412 704 749
Peter Ryan, Queensland
Peter has had two Seeing Eye Dogs. First was Virgil and he was lucky to have him for 14 years. His current Seeing Eye Dog is Pebbles. Peter says “she is a very good worker and we enjoy each other’s company.” Peter has established a support group for the vision impaired in Queensland called the Blind and Vision Impaired Persons Network with 381 members. Peter has also chaired several community groups, last being Chair of Mornington Peninsula Shire Council of Victoria’s “Disability Consultative committee”.
Peter’s contact details:
Phone: 07 5492 5755
Pam Barras, Western Australia
Pam trained in Melbourne in late 2007 with Whisper, a Labrador Golden Retriever cross. Pam is a member of the SEDA Consumer Advisory Committee. In Perth, Pam works actively as an advocate for people who are blind or have low vision. Pam is a member of the City of Perth's Disability Access Committee, and the Department of Culture & the Arts Disability Services Planning Committee. In 2008, the Art Gallery of WA in conjunction with Sculpture by the Sea, the Disability Services Commission and Vision Australia, introduced Touch Tours at the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Cottesloe Beach.
Pam’s contact details:
Phone: 08 9417 3082 or 0431 378 661