Guide dogs who have undergone special training are lent to blind individuals who have passed an examination of suitability and a training course.
- Guide dogs are given to blind individuals who have undergone an intensive training course (where the participants live on the premises), which lasts for one month and takes places in a special guide dog training school.
- During the course, the blind person learns how to be assisted by a guide dog for mobility and navigation outdoors.
- Both personal and group instruction (with other blind people) are used as part of the course, and it requires physical and mental effort.
- After completion of the course, a guide dog is lent to the blind person to help him/her in his/her daily life.
Who is Eligible?
- Certificate of Blindness/Visual Impairment holders who are completely blind or have severe visual impairment.
- An individual’s eligibility for a guide dog is determined by an authorized guide dog training school according to the following criteria:
- The applicant is able to orient him/herself and be independently mobile (not necessarily with the assistance of a walking stick).
- The applicant is healthy enough to care for a guide dog.
- The applicant has the proper living conditions to maintain and care for a dog indoors.
- The applicant performs daily activities that require some mobility, such as: social or community activities, rehabilitative processes, work, school, etc.
- The applicant’s family is willing to accept a dog in the home (if the applicant lives with others).
- The applicant has a positive attitude towards animals, particularly dogs.
How to Claim It?
- Applicants should contact one of the guide dog training schools directly:
- Israel Guide Dog Center for the BlindMoshav Beit Oved, 76800,Tel: 08-9408213, 050-5404070, Fax: 08-9408220, Website: http://www.israelguidedog.org.il/, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Seeing Eyes for the Blind in Israel: PO Box 649, Kiryat Shmona 10200 Tel: 04-6980218, 050-5527685 Fax: 04-6987263 Website: http://www.guidedogs.co.il Email: email@example.com
Obtaining a Guide Dog Abroad
- There are cases in which a guide dog ceases to function properly and the guide dog training schools in Israel are unable to provide a proper long-term replacement within a reasonable period of time.
- Those who find themselves in such a situation may submit a written request for a guide dog from abroad to the Blind Services Department (Rehabilitation Branch, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services).
- A decision regarding the importation of a guide dog from abroad (including all transportation fees) is made by the Blind Services Department and the local social services office in the area of the applicant’s residence. The decision will be provided within 30 days of receiving a request.
- If the request is approved, the applicant may contact a recognized guide dog training school abroad to request their approval, in addition to information regarding commencement of a relevant training course. Assistance in this may be requested from Tzemed - Organization for Blind People Aided by Guide Dogs.
- After receiving approval from the guide dog training school abroad, the applicant must present it to the Blind Services Department.
- It is important to note that receiving a guide dog from abroad requires substantial knowledge of English.
Approval for someone to accompany a blind person receiving a guide dog from abroad
- The transportation costs of someone accompanying a blind person to receive a guide dog from abroad will be approved and funded by the Blind Services Department if the following two conditions are met:
- The blind person has an illness that requires constant supervision. In this case, relevant medical documentation must be presented to the Blind Services Department.
- The person accompanying is an immediate relative such as a spouse, sibling, or child. Other relatives require special approval from the Blind Services Department.
Laws and Regulations
- Provision 6.2 of the Social Work Regulations - Guide Dogs for the Blind
- Original information regarding the blind and visually impaired was primarily based on the Guide to Rights and Services for the Blind in Israel from the Blind Services Department (Rehabilitation Branch, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services), and was uploaded to the site with the assistance of Blind Services Department grant recipients.
- Original translation performed by The Shira Pransky Project as part of a grant from The Fellowship Fund.