Guide dog festival: Education centers mobilized

In order to inform and raise public awareness, the French Federation of Associations of Guide Dogs for the Blind is organizing a new edition of the guide dog festival on September 24 and 25, 2022.

On September 24 and 25, 2022, the French Federation of Guide Dog Associations for the Blind (FFAC) is organizing a new edition of the Guide Dogs Festival. Objectives: Raise public awareness of visual impairment, understand the work of the dog, guide and inform visually impaired people who may be susceptible to obtaining it.

14 education centers mobilized throughout France

In this context, no less than 14 education centers spread throughout France will offer open days as well as numerous activities.

In the program :
– Demonstrations of the work of educators.
– Guided tour of the schools.
– Demonstration on simulation courses.
– Meetings with professionals, foster families and guide dog handlers.
– Awareness of visual impairment.
– Fun and festive activities for young and old.

Among the participating centres: Guide dogs from Lyon and the Centre-East in Misérieux ● Guide dogs for the blind from the Centre-West, in Limoges and Lezoux ● Guide dogs from the East, in Woippy and Cernay ● Guide dogs from the Great South West in Toulouse ● Great South West Guide Dogs – Aliénor Bordeaux in Mérignac ● Guide Dogs Association for the Blind in the West, in Angers and Pont-Scorff ● Paris Guide Dog School ● Island Guide Dogs -de-France in Coubert ● Guide dogs for the blind Paul Corteville Centers in Honguemare-Guenouville ● Guide dogs for the blind in Provence Côte d’Azur Corsica in Lançon-Provence ● Frédéric Gaillanne Foundation in Isle-sur-la- Sorgues.

2 million people with visual impairment

“In France, 2 million people declare a visual deficiency and more than 200,000 of them suffer from blindness or profound visual impairment. These people are eligible to obtain a guide dog: however, only 1% of them benefit from it, comments the FFAC. This is a unique opportunity for the general public to better understand the work of the dog educated by school professionals and to remember this precious life companion”.

The FFAC also specifies that if the education of a guide dog lasts up to 24 months and costs around 25,000 euros, it is given free of charge to visually impaired people thanks to a formidable chain of solidarity.

She recalls that each year, 220 guide dogs are given free of charge to visually impaired people with an impact on their autonomy and their social inclusion which is unanimous as revealed by the consultation carried out by the FFAC in partnership with OpinionWay*. The guide dog facilitates their journeys (93% yes, absolutely) and makes them safer (88% yes, absolutely). In addition, the guide dog guarantees them greater autonomy (91% yes, absolutely) and accompanies almost all working people to their workplace (98%). It provides moral support on a daily basis (96%) and acts as a real socializing factor: 96% of mistresses and dog handlers believe that it allows them to strengthen their social life.

* Consultation carried out in May 2022 with 309 visually impaired people with a guide dog.

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