Reliance on mobility equipment, assistive devices or assistance animals

Many people with disability rely on mobility and assistive devices for access to a range of facilities or services, including shops, education facilities or workplaces.

Mobility equipment include a wheelchair, scooter, walking frame or cane.

Assistive devices include vision, hearing, and breathing equipment or accessories.

Assistance animals include guide dogs, hearing dogs or a dog that has received adequate training in:

  • hygiene and behaving appropriately in public or in the presence of other animals, and
  • what to do specifically in order to alleviate the symptom of a person’s disability.

An assistance animal that has not had both these parts of training or only serves as a companion animal is not an assistance animal under discrimination law. The animal must be able to demonstrate that the skills acquired from training alleviate the effects of the disability.

The owner or manager of a place open to the public is required to allow an assistance animal in the premises even if they have a ‘no animal on site’ policy. However, they can refuse the entry of a pet or companion animal.

You must ensure that your animal receives a regular health check. If it has an infectious disease, or behaves in a manner dangerous to the public, it will not be able to work as an assistance animal.