Assistance Dogs International

Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is a voluntary accreditation group that has lists of standards for service dog organizations to meet, and preferably exceed. Member organizations must be non-profit. ADI is also an advocacy group for persons with disabilities who utilize service dogs, and have put together a comprehensive booklet entitled ADI Guide to Assistance Dog Laws that lists pertinent federal and state laws for the US, as well as laws in Canada, the UK, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

One section of the standards applies to training programs. For example, the employees and volunteers whose duties involve contact with the public, clients, or the dogs, must be respectful, communicative, knowledgeable, and experienced. The program must have policies and procedures to ensure that their standards and ethics are followed. Trainers must be able to produce working teams that meet ADI standards for assistance dogs and handlers.

If you are a member of the public seeking a training program to contact about receiving an assistance dog, it is highly recommended to consult ADI’s list of accredited members. Their website includes a search function to look up accredited organizations by state.