luludi: (dreamwidth: believe)
[personal profile] luludi posting in [community profile] gimpy
Hello. I am posting to ask for your help. I am not myself physically disabled. I am writing a paper regarding the use of service animals for autism, depression, and other psychiatric or psychological conditions. I would very much like to hear some perspectives from the group (positive or negative) because I would like to include that voice in my paper.

Recently, the Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance has asked the Department of Justice to review the language of the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the use of service animals for psychiatric conditions (link: http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=advocacy_081408_dog). I think this is an important issue because, while I am not disabled, I do suffer from a condition that causes chronic pain which can also lead to depression.

I would be very grateful for anything you have to offer on the subject, and I am particularly interested in your reaction as a physically disabled person to the use of service animals for psychiatric conditions, as well as the connection between a person's psychological health in relation to their physical disabilities. While I am in support of service animals being used for this purpose, I am also particularly interested in the opinions of the physically disabled to legislation being expanded to provide the same rights and protections for the psychologically disabled or impaired. I have done a great deal of research regarding the human-animal bond and the positive differences animals can make in the lives of all people. I am also interested in hearing from those who do use service animals for a physical disability and whether they feel the animal helps them in an emotional or psychological capacity as well. I would imagine, for instance, that a blind person who uses a dog as their "sight" would build a great deal of trust and love for the animal which is with them on a daily basis and affords them a freedom they might not otherwise enjoy. In addition, I would also be very interested in hearing from those who have psychological or psychiatric conditions and their opinions on whether animals provide a beneficial element in their lives. I would be very appreciative of any feedback, suggestions, critiques or opinions you have on the issue, as well as anything which you think I may be overlooking in terms of this issue. Once the paper is more formed, I would be happy to share it with everyone if you would like.

Thank you very much for taking the time to review this post, and in advance for anything you would like to add.

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