Girl with her dog and an award from The Assistance Dog Assessment Association

The Assistance Dog Assessment Association (ADAA)

Like a Labrador bouncing through a stream on a peaceful walk it was obvious that waves needed to be created, something needed to be done, in the assistance dog world for owner trained Assistance Dogs. But who, yes, The Assistance Dog Assessment Association (ADAA).
There is an ever growing need to offer the opportunity for people living with disabilities to have their assistance dog independently assessed.
With a number of charities providing amazing assistance dogs to service users, there is the inevitable growth of waiting lists, subsequently this has been matched with a growth of owner trained assistance dogs. Everything from Whippets to Labradors, the increase in reports of people with genuine assistance dogs being denied access or discriminated against for trying to live a normal life is on the increase. It was clear there was a gap in the world of assistance dogs, from this the ADAA was born.
The ADAA is made up of a small team with a combined excess of 30 years’ experience within the assistance dog sector, both within Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK) and non ADUK/owner trained organisations. Not only this but the board also comprises of assistance dogs service users, this means that we have both professional and lived experience that utilise to make a difference.
We at the ADAA appreciate that being an owner trained team or Non ADUK team can make access to services difficult, that is why we have complied a comprehensive public access assessment to bridge this gap. We want to help offer service users peace of mind working your assistance dog.
We also want businesses of all shapes and sizes to be aware of the law, and beyond the law understand the negative impact that a denial of access can have on a service user. We know that this is the hardest area as it is grey.
The ADAA has been created to relieve the needs of people with disabilities who depend on privately trained assistance dogs, we provide an independent assessment and accreditation to enable service users to access public spaces such as supermarkets, restaurants and public transport.
We also are working towards raising awareness of people with disabilities who depend on assistance dogs in public places. The ADAA assessment is for assistance dog teams where the dog is either:
  • Owner trained
  • Trained by a private trainer
  • Trained by an organisation (not accredited by ADI[1] or IGDF[2]).


Assessments are carried out by highly experienced assistance dog assessors who will work with the service user to ensure it is a positive experience. We know that this is a stressful process, the welfare of both the dog and the service user is key. We have a welfare-focused process that exposes the dog to appropriate environments.
Our Qualified Dogs list is ever-growing, but in order to keep this going we need the support and donations of wonderful people far and wide to help us provide this support and reassurance to people with disabilities.


[1] Assistance Dogs International
[2] International Guide Dog Federation
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