Assistance Dogs and Discrimination - Insights from UK Handlers



This research examines discrimination faced by UK assistance dog handlers, aiming to determine its prevalence, impact, and strategies for addressing it.


A survey-based study with 120 participants (99 eligible) revealed that a significant number of handlers experience disability-related discrimination, with 86% reporting an access challenge/refusal in the last 12 months and 90% in the last five years. Additionally, 91% reported problems relating to policies and signage. The study emphasises negative impacts on handlers and the need for action. It showed that accurate information, education, and advocacy is key in preventing and tackling discrimination. Ongoing research is advised to monitor trends and assess support available.


This study highlights the need for a more inclusive and supportive environment for disabled individuals and their assistance dogs.

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Author: Abigail Hughes

Company: PAWtected CIC

Date Published: Monday 24th July 2023




This research has highlighted the need for resources dedicated to preventing discrimination from occurring. So, we have created ADvocate, a subdivision of PAWtected CIC, to provide free educational resources for service providers, assistance dog handlers, and kids on the topic of assistance dogs. Check it out by clicking the logo below: