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Eligibility for a Seeing Eye Dog

Any citizen or permanent resident of Australia who is blind or has low vision is eligible to apply for a Seeing Eye Dog.

If you are independently active, currently using a mobility aid and would like to enhance your access to the community with a Seeing Eye Dog, please contact us for more information.

For healthcare professionals looking to refer a patient, please see the Vision Australia patient referral overview for information and clinical resources. 

Applying for services with Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs

Seeing Eye Dogs is a division of Vision Australia. If you’re interested in applying for services, you will first need to become a client of Vision Australia. You, a family member or health professional can enquire about services here to begin this process.

Vision Australia will support you in tailoring the right mobility services and solutions to you as an individual. This can include assessments, securing funding and matching with a Seeing Eye Dog if that is right for you. 

Learn more about Vision Australia services and funding

Process for applying for a Seeing Eye Dog

Seeing Eye Dogs come in all shapes, sizes and activity levels. It’s their individual personalities and drive that makes them the most incredible and unique mobility guides. 

Our application process is designed to match you with the right Seeing Eye Dog to enhance your mobility needs and lifestyle. This helps to create strong working partnerships that will last for years to come. In addition to assessing a current medical report on your eye health, we have an interview process to get to know you better. 

The interview process takes around 90 minutes and helps us determine your suitability for working with and caring for a Seeing Eye Dog, taking into consideration:

  • Your current level of mobility
  • Your goals and motivation for working with a Seeing Eye Dog
  • Your health status and exercise tolerance
  • Your housing situation and ability to care for a dog independently

You’ll also have the opportunity to meet with our instructors, who will assess where your Seeing Eye Dog will be working once matched. Your home, local area, regular routine and any place of work or education if applicable. They’ll run some practical tests with a dog harness to determine the size, speed and strength of the dog that would suit you best.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?

If your assessment finds that a Seeing Eye Dog wouldn’t be beneficial to your mobility at this time, you will be referred to another department within Vision Australia who can provide tailored mobility training and advice for your mobility needs. If anything changes, you are welcome to reapply at a later date. 

Where can I learn more about working with a Seeing Eye Dog?

It’s common to have lots of questions of what it would be like to be matched with and start working with a Seeing Eye Dog. For more information, visit our helpful FAQ page that answers common questions on waitlist times, matching with a Seeing Eye Dog, and the training process.  

Working with a Seeing Eye Dog

Apply for support from Seeing Eye Dogs Australia

Think you’re ready to take the next step to improve your mobility?

Contact Vision Australia to begin the application process or learn more about working with a Seeing Eye Dog.     

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