Service dogs have had a place in American healthcare for almost 100 years. While companion animals were relatively common in European mental institutions during the late 19th century, dogs were not incorporated into American therapy settings until 1919.  Guide dogs for the blind began being trained in the United States in 1929, after World War I left many veterans without their sight. Though the use of service animals expanded after World War II and the Korean War, it wasn’t until the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that people with assistance dogs were guaranteed access to businesses and services available to the general public.  For National Service Dog Month, we will outline the programs available for those in need of assistance that could be filled by a properly trained service animal as well as resources available for the health of our animal companions.

There are many different kinds of service animals that perform numerous tasks.  As mentioned above, therapy or companion animals

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As declared by the UN, today was International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Started in 1992, the observance day aims to promote understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of those with disabilities. With one billion people worldwide experiencing some sort of disability, the day can have an important impact on many who experience difficulties every day. In honor with the international observance, we at NeedyMeds want to share the resources available for people with disabilities in the United States.

The UN theme for 2014 is “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology.” In a previous blog post, we covered state grants that are available to those in need of assistive technology. We also have information on over 20 national organizations offering financial assistance to those requiring assistive technology, and many more serving regional areas. For those less suited to technology, there are programs offering assistance dogs to those suffering from various disabilities and conditions.

As technology and assistance animals can improve the quality of one’s life, worthwhile

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In today’s blog post we highlight a number of national and state programs that assist those who are deaf or suffering from hearing loss. Hearing loss affects many Americans, with approximately 3 out of every 1,000 children born deaf, along with 17% of the nation reporting some degree of hearing loss. Symptoms of hearing loss include muffled speech and sounds, difficulty understanding words in a group of people, need to turn up the volume of the radio or TV, and social issues such as withdrawal or avoidance of social gatherings.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

There are two major types of deafness: conduction deafness and nerve deafness. Conduction deafness is caused by an “interruption of the sound vibrations in their passage from the outer world to the nerve cells in the inner ear.” This can be caused by damage to the inner ear, earwax buildup, or ear infections among other causes.

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