Please help support the free Registry, visit our sponsors.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Have PTSD? There's an app for that.

PTSD is a very complex issue. Sometimes, those who have it aren't even aware at first. Others are aware, but aren't sure what to do about it, or are reluctant to seek help for fear of appearing weak. Perhaps they feel like they should feel lucky, that there's others out there that have it worse, and that they should try to ignore how they feel. Sometimes, the moments alone are the worst. But now, if you have a smartphone, you've now got a new tool in your pocket.
The Defense Centers of Excellence's National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) and the Veteran Administration's National Center for PTSD have developed a smartphone app to assist veterans, active duty personnel and civilians who are experiencing symptoms of PTSD.

The app is intended to be used as an adjunct to psychological treatment but can also serve as a stand-alone education tool.

Key features of the app include:

Self-Assessment: Self-assessment of PTSD symptoms with individualized feedback, and ability to track changes in symptoms over time. The assessment does not formally diagnose PTSD.

Manage Symptoms: Coping skills and assistance for common kinds of post-traumatic stress symptoms and problems, including systematic relaxation and self-help techniques.

Find Support: Assistance in finding immediate support. The app enables individuals to identify personal sources of emotional support, populate the phone with those phone numbers, and link to treatment programs. And in an emergency, users can quickly link to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Learn about PTSD: Education about key topics related to trauma, PTSD, and treatment.

 Available on the Android Market and Apple iTunes

Monday, June 27, 2011

Today is PTSD Awareness Day

Today is PTSD Awareness Day.  Established in 2010 by the United States Senate, to hopefully raise public awareness about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  

This “What is PTSD?” infographic, designed by the University of Southern California School of Social Work outlines the symptoms, causes and treatments for the various types of traumatic events.

Please click to enlarge.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Would you like a free photoshoot of you and your Service Dog?

Your Service Dog is ready for it's closeup, Mr. DeMille!

Lacey Rabalais, a professional photographer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, contacted us with a wonderful offer to donate her time to take photos of disabled individuals and their Service Dogs. The dogs will be featured on her website and blog.

Lacey amazing photographer. Her relaxed, journalistic-style images are inspiring and the way she captures light is beautiful.

Because she is graciously volunteering her time we ask that you be able to travel to Louisiana. If your Service Dog is fully trained (no Service Dogs in Training, please) you may contact her or us for more information.

All images below are owned by Lacey Rabalais.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How does someone become a Service Dog trainer?

First of all, please forgive us for not updating our blog sooner. We have a new blog in the works and haven't wanted to update this one. Our budgets are very limited and programming is very expensive.

A certified dog trainer just emailed us and asked how she could become a certified Service Dog trainer. We sent her a short response and thought it would make an interesting blog post.

Service Dog Trainer Schools
There are a few dozen schools around the country that train Service Dog trainers. Most are small and began with experienced dog trainers (some began with training Military Working Dogs, Police Dogs or other working dogs) who moved into training Service Dogs for disabled individuals and then decided to help train trainers too. One of the best places to learn how to become a Service Dog trainer in the country (and possibly the world) is Bergin University. If you're really looking for the finest Service Dog training education possible, Bergin is the hands-down go-to school.

There is no "federally recognized" certification for Service Dog trainers. Private schools or individual trainers who train other trainers "certify" their graduates as having passed their individual courses. Those trainers then go on to train Service Dogs and may "certify" that they have passed their training course once they graduate too.

Are there standards for training Service Dogs?
The Service Dog community has come up with minimum training standards for Service Dogs that we and most other trainers follow. Assistance Dogs International is an internationally-recognized private organization and the small handful of organizations who have earned their prestigious accreditation are the gold standard of Service Dog training. Unfortunately, those programs aren't capable of supplying Service Dogs for every disabled individual. Without other private organizations and trainers many disabled individuals would be denied Service Dogs.

About Service Dogs and the ADA
The ADA is written to allow disabled individuals to use their Service Dogs in public with as few barriers as possible. If access were not as open, every building, restaurant and dry cleaner in the country could stop disabled individuals with their Service Dogs and demand proof of training. The ADA specifically states that if someone says their dog is a Service Dog they are to be taken at their word, regardless if it has been certified by a state or other authority. See below:

The ADA states in section § 35.136 Service animals part (f) "A public entity shall not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal."

You can view the full ADA law here:

The ADA is also designed so that disabled individuals may train their own Service Dogs. Program-trained Service Dogs can be very expensive and out of many disabled individual's budget. Some Service Dogs may cost upwards of $10,000. The U.S. Department of Justice recently held open voting to revise the ADA and the updated version was just released last year. It eliminated animals other than dogs and miniature horses and officially included Psychiatric Service Dogs which can help with severe depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

About the Registry
Registering with us voluntary and is not required by law, nor do we provide any legal protection. Please note that we do not certify or authorize anyone to use a Service Animal. The privilege to use a Service or Assistance Animal is granted, under the law, by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and local governments.

Our focus is to help encourage education, training and exemplary behavior. Since the ADA was written in 1990, some disabled and non-disabled individuals have chosen to either knowingly or unknowingly claim their insufficiently-trained pet is a Service Animal, either by just saying it is, since no documentation is required, and/or by purchasing patches, vests, ID tags or other equipment at local pet stores or online.

Because the federal law states that there is no paperwork required, we were designed with input from the Service Dog community as an attempt to help reduce the number of people abusing the ADA by requiring our Registrants to understand that misrepresenting an animal as Service or Assistance Animal for any reason is not only unethical, it is also illegal. All of our Registrants are required to read and accept the following:

- What is involved with training and using a Service or Assistance Animal
- How important their behavior, and that of their Service or Assistance Dog, is to the general public and other Service and Assistance Animal teams
- The definition of a Service or Assistance Animal
- The Minimum Training Standards for a Service or Assistance Animal
- What is involved with a Public Access Test
- Our Terms and Conditions