Community development, Social inclusion, /


It appears that a few countries have general anti-discrimination laws which might or might not contain provisions about assistance dogs. How they will shift from institutional to community services?


Who is behind this?


Slovenian Instructors Association - Centre for Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs SLO- CANIS


Who is joining forces?

Museum of Madness, Trate, Slovenia



Idea pitch

The practice of institutions has become a self-explanatory solution, to the extent of the decision makers not seeing beyond the institutions.Dogs can be trained to perform many important tasks to assist people with disabilities such as providing new mobility,alerting or responding for medical diseases,building trust,independence in each other in everyday life.They can effectively help impaired persons with all kind of functional disabilities.

Where will your project idea take place?

Maribor, Slovenia - two milion of population,mainly affected in north-eastern less developed region.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

We are breaking new ground.It is time to fill the gaps between providers of such dogs-law makers-beneficiaries.Clients start to ask for good trained assistance dogs.This project would therefore create a contact/bridge between people in need in rural areas and a specific service provider that provides services for people with disabilities.We have a chance to work with a different organization which includes disabled persons in collaboration with specialist-educators.The AD users can be actively involved with the design of their mobility program to work towards specific objectives such as long cane training or achieving readiness for assistance dog training.Tasks that dog performs are directly related to a person who is individually coached.

Who are you doing it for?

We address impaired persons and partners from this area of as well related NGO’s.We address equality and equal participation of vulnerable groups including those with special interests and needs–young,elder,multi-functional disabled,autistic,epileptic.We just start two new programes for 1.“Developmental Disorder Assistance Dog” to assist a person with autism, epilepsy, mental, behavioural or neurodevelopment disorder by supporting mobility, community engagement and acquisition of skills to manage challenging situations by providing interventions to reduce anxieties and increase safety. 2."Developing beneficiary’s/children's behavior in social interactions" as an intermediate and promoter of relations.Key figures about the groups of people we are going to be working with is 100.

How do you plan to get there?

After reviewing our existing strategy, and following consultation with the board, we have classified the key strategic areas into the following categories: European Standards for Assistance Dogs; Professional Education and Development; Communication and Member Engagement; National Accessibility. First step will serve as an identification of the needs. In 2nd step we will focus on the needs of people in their local environments and test possible community services-who want and need service with an assistance dog.Together with various stakeholders we will identify possibility of collaboration between the municipalities in the region regarding guaranteeing the funds for providing services, which support people’s needs, within a community. In 3rd step we will provide seminar to discuss details and refine strategy (date/location open). Circulation project summary among NGOs coalition which must develop and maintain a consistent approach to how we respond to enquiries and provide assistance dog services.All communication with the client, their families, volunteers and para-professionals should be completed by competent staff. All that is required to continue to be the leader in our field all this will make a significant difference to determining our medium and long term priorities.

What are the expected results?

There is no such a project in Slovenia yet, we are aware of the responsibilities and complexity, but we have enough knowledge that can be start and derived. RESULT: unification of standards in field of assistance dogs and their implementation; access to global knowledge; improved awareness regarding new mobility with assistance dogs; "Hybrid model for audit"; to be recognized for our expertise; e.g. 6 consultations, 25 individual plans; a pilot model of how to expand the service to rural areas where the dog is still recognized mainly as a watchdog rather than as a possible support and relief.Here is a gray area-which we can complement with our services and in collaboration with a partner.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Assistance dogs have existed in Europe for nearly 100 years.Their abilities are well respected and as a result,they are authorised to access all the areas a human might normally wish to go.Free movement in all areas of live.This access is a right conferred by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which prohibits disability discrimination and requires equality of treatment for disabled people.These hard-earned access rights can only be guaranteed in the future if dog behaviour is impeccable and this requires a very high standard of training,both of dogs and their human partners.The forthcoming EU standard will assist in this area,but in the meantime,there should be no reduction in the quality levels should continue to be the operating requirement.

Why is this idea important to you?

Our president is board member of European Guide Dog Federation.We have 3 Guide Dog Mobility Instructors, several trainers, instructors for mobility and orientation, therapists, veterinarian, dog breeder, puppy walkers.Our motivation to bring this idea to life is too much negative accessibility issues that users and their assistance dogs face on a daily basis.Without clarity of what an assistance dog is challenging these cases is difficult and is presenting a growing concern to all.Our motivation is to get people out of institutions and some rigid help systems, which do not really provide them any help, but hinder them in their independence and a decent life. Our assistance dogs are a great “tool” to gain new mobility and a better quality of life also in places outside of big cities.

€ 45000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Staff costs: 19.750
Travel and accommodation: 2.500
Costs of external services: 5.000
(events, presentations, public relations)
WEB seminars: 2.500
Office expenses 15% from all costs 5.250
TOTAL eligible costs: 35.000
We have a sponsor /partner to cover for the remaining portion of the budget which would not be covered by Civic Europe

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We ask for very specific and detailed feedback about our idea. Hoping for initiatives to reach out to us and vice versa, so we can generate new partnerships and a united advocacy front that will tackle the adverse measures taken across Europe in limiting civic engagement.



Idea created on March 15, 2021
Last edit on April 23, 2021

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