This September is Guide Dog Awareness Month.
Education is the number one priority for many handlers, who need these dogs to keep their independence.
So this month the CNIB will have an increased social media presence and will be promoting businesses that are guide dog friendly.
Handler Ashley Nemeth, said unfortunately there are still to many who see guide dogs more as pets than lifelines.
She said in reality, these animals help many people keep their independence.
“There really is no words to describe what it’s like to be the master of a guide dog and to be able to really have the confidence and independence that I always wanted, a guide dog to me really is my independence, he is so much more than I can really describe,” said Nemeth.
Currently there is legislation in place across Canada to prevent discrimination of guide dogs, although for many like Nemeth, more needs to be done before they are able to walk freely without judgement and barriers.
Nemeth feels the number one priority right now is increasing education.
“Guide dogs are a lifeline for so many people, a guide dog means that they can have the independence and freedom to live the life that they want,” she said. “Without a guide dog it might mean that they can’t even go to a grocery store or access something like transit as easily as they like,” Nemeth continued.
Currently there is legislation in place right across Canada that prevents discrimination against guide dogs and their handlers.