IAADP Membership Information
Partner Membership is open to disabled residents of the USA working with an adult guide, hearing, service dog or psychiatric service dog obtained from a provider or one trained by the owner for a minimum of six months. Puppy training before the age of six months is expected, but is not considered task training to be completely finished. For the safety of the dog, dogs that provide mobility support must be at least 18 months old. Prior to enrollment, training must be completed in accordance with the IAADP Minimum Training Standards for obedience, manners and disability related tasks.
International Partner Membership
International Partner Membership is open to disabled persons residing outside of the USA working with an adult guide, hearing, service dog or psychiatric service dog obtained from a provider or one trained by the owner for a minimum of six months. Puppy training before the age of six months is expected, but is not considered task training to be completely finished. For the safety of the dog, dogs that provide mobility support must be at least 18 months old. Prior to enrollment, training must be completed in accordance with the IAADP Minimum Training Standards for obedience, manners and disability related tasks.
IMPORTANT: Dogs utilized for emotional support, companionship or therapy may provide a feeling of comfort, safety, and other therapeutic health and psychological benefits, but these functions in and of themselves DO NOT meet the ADA Training Requirements for a service animal whose disabled handler will legally have public access rights. Therefore, their owners are NOT eligible for Partner Membership in IAADP.
Effective February 23, 2023, the Provider Membership category is currently undergoing review and revision by the IAADP Executive Board. We are NOT accepting Provider Membership applications at this time. Please stay tuned for announcements regarding this category.
Friend Membership is open to disabled individuals with a puppy or dog “in training” for a career as an assistance dog who has not yet completed the required amount of schooling to become eligible for a Partner Membership. Health care professionals, volunteer puppy raisers and anyone else interested in the assistance dog movement are also encouraged to become an IAADP Friend.
IAADP Membership Eligibility Policies
Who is eligible for Membership in IAADP?
IAADP advocates for people with disabilities working with guide, hearing and service dogs. Additionally, anyone with a personal or professional interest in the assistance dog community is welcome to join as a Friend or Provider Member and contribute to IAADP’s global information sharing and advocacy network.
Why Are Trained Tasks So Important?
The legal basis for granting public access rights to disabled handlers under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is having a dog trained to perform specific tasks that mitigate or lessen the effects of a disabling condition. Examples include but are not limited to: guiding a blind handler, alerting a deaf or hard of hearing handler to specific sounds, wheelchair pulling, balance support, retrieving dropped objects, or providing different kinds of trained assistance in a medical crisis. An assistance dog with this special training is medical equipment, not a pet. The team is permitted under the ADA, to enter places of public accommodation that do not allow pet animals, such as a business, restaurant, hotel, and on public transportation.
For more information on the wide variety of trained tasks performed by guide dogs, hearing and service dogs, choose one of the following links:
- Traditional Tasks performed by Guide, Hearing and Service Dogs
- Tasks for Service Dogs for Persons with a Psychiatric Disability
IAADP Policy Prohibiting the Enrollment of Protection Trained or Aggressive Dogs
Any dog who is protection trained, attack trained or one who exhibits aggressive behavior in violation of our Minimum Training Standards for Public Access is NOT eligible for enrollment as an Assistance Dog in IAADP, or renewal, no matter what disability related tasks or alerts the dog is said to perform. If an IAADP Partner member’s dog later displays aggressive behavior and cannot be rehabilitated within a reasonable time period, ethically, that dog should be retired as unfit for duty outside the home, as the dog does not qualify as an assistance dog under our IAADP Minimum Training Standards for Public Access. Non aggressive barking as a trained behavior will be acceptable only in special circumstances when no other behavior will mitigate the disability. An example would be the human partner getting stranded in a public bathroom, and the dog barking on command to alert that help is needed when no one else is in the immediate vicinity to assist the person needing the help.
For handlers working with more than one assistance dog, IAADP’s agreement with corporate sponsors makes Partner members eligible for benefits for only one dog annually. That dog must be listed on the application form. For members whose assistance dog retires or dies, and who obtain an adult, task trained successor dog in the same year, the new dog will become eligible for benefits as soon as IAADP is officially notified of the Name Change.
How to Apply
If you wish to enroll or renew membership online using a credit card through PayPal, just click “Apply Now” button below. Alternatively, download and print out the application and send it to IAADP by mail with a check or money order for membership dues. Thank You!