NEADS Dogs Spend the Day at the Massachusetts State House

On Wednesday, November 2, 2011, ten dogs spent the day at the Massachusetts State House for a “Dogs at your Desk Day.” Ten house members were each joined by a service dog in training as a way to raise awareness about service dogs — with the added benefit of teaching the dogs what it is like to be in an office environment. You can read more about the visit and watch video at CBS Boston, The Daily Free Press, Wicked Local, and WWLP 22News.

November 2, 2011 -- With leashes in hand, members of the House of Representatives adopted a service dog in training for the day, allowing the canine to shadow them throughout the State House as part of the assistance dog training program NEADS. Pictured from left to right: Carl Richardson, State House ADA Coordinator; Kathy Devin assisted by her own guide dog from the MA Office on Disability; Kevin M. Lambert, Specialized Population Outreach assisted by a NEADS dog from the Executive Office of the Department of Veterans' Services; Gerry DeRoche, NEADS' chief executive officer; Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad; Rep. Kate Hogan, Rep. Kimberly Ferguson; Rep. David Linsky; Rep. Cory Atkins; Rep. Sean Garballey; and Rep. Sarah Peake. Photo courtesy of Rep. Cory Atkins.

Special thanks to everyone at the State House for hosting NEADS! Thank you to NEADS volunteers Mona Blanchard, Karen Irving and Sgt. Ann Regan Jones, and NEADS staff members Gerry DeRoche, John Moon and Sherrie Forest for attending this successful event!

Dogs at your Desk: Access TCA

NEADS corporate partner Access TCA hosted a “Dogs at your Desk” day at their company. What is “Dogs at your Desk”? Well, it’s an opportunity for members of the corporate community to participate in training NEADS dogs to be effective assistance dogs.

Approximately six dogs will come to your office with their trainers. After you and your coworkers receive a short education session, the dogs will spend the day happily meeting your officemates and practicing “down” under your desk. The “Dogs at Your Desk” program helps to familiarize the dogs in training with the sights and sounds of a busy corporate environment, including elevators, fax machines and cafeteria noise.

In order to make the activity a successful training experience for the dogs, employees are expected to engage in a normal work day. As a result, offices do not lose any valuable work time.  However, the presence of our highly trained, lovable dogs contributes to a positive office environment that has been shown to increase morale and productivity for weeks to come! It is a fun day for everyone involved, but serious work is accomplished in getting the dogs ready to help people with disabilities in their workplace.

To learn more about how your company can participate in a Dogs at your Desk Day, please visit our website for more information. Please note, we can only service offices that are within one hour of the NEADS Princeton, MA campus.