Sarah Dietz

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Kapperman, Gaylen, 1943-

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Special and Early Education


In the United States there are approximately 14 million people with a visual impairment. There are several options for people with a visual impairment to use to increase their mobility. Dog guides can be one such mobility aid, and currently there are ten facilities in the United States that are members of the United States Council of Dog Guide Schools, and train dog guides to assist people with a visual impairment. In this paper each school will be briefly described, and similarities and differences between the schools' application process, breeding practice, puppy raisers, and formal training will be discussed. In addition, the effectiveness and impact of using a dog guide as a primary mobility aid will be discussed. It is hypothesized that using a dog guide will increase independence, confidence in addition to facilitating increased interactions with other individuals and boosting self-concept. Participants for the study were 14 dog guide users who volunteered to participate. It was found that participants did experience an increase in independence and confidence. It was also found that many participants did enjoy an increase in interaction with others, and some participants did feel and increase in their self-concept. Due to the nature of the open-ended questionnaire, numerous additional benefits of using a dog guide arose and are discussed.


Includes bibliographical references.


47 pages




Northern Illinois University

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