Assistance dogs are covered at CHW

Photo caption: Culture Development Officer, Heidi Biggin, with Guide Dog, Freya, CHW Board Director, Lynne McLennan CHW Board Chair, Angeleen Jenkins, CHW Managing Director, Jeff Haydon, Technical Specialist – Asset Strategy, Heath Baker, with Seeing Eye Dog, Tina

Central Highlands Water (CHW) is implementing changes that will make a big difference to both team members and customers.

In a first for Ballarat, we have recently installed an assistance dog relieving area for the use of CHW team members’ assistance dogs. It also features Braille signage to explain how the area is used. Managing Director, Jeff Haydon said, “This area will provide a dedicated, safe, clean and purpose-built space for our team members’ assistance dogs to use during all weather.”

“The project is an important part of our ongoing efforts to improve accessibility and inclusivity for all team members,” Mr Haydon said. The area, about the size of a bus shelter, is made of pet premium synthetic grass on top of absorbent infill sand. The natural mineral sand absorbs dog urine on contact, preventing the gas from the ammonia to release into the air which would otherwise produce the strong smell of urine. An environmentally friendly cleaning agent is applied periodically. The area has a roof for shelter and a screen for privacy.

Chris Edwards, Manager Government Relations & Advocacy at Vision Australia (and a Seeing Eye Dog client matched with Seeing Eye Dog, Eva) said, “Dog relieving areas are so important for people with dog guides as they provide a permanent location that you know is there, instead of having to spend time finding areas for your dog to relieve itself. This task can be especially frustrating for someone who is blind or with low vision. It just makes life that little bit easier.”

Read the full Press Release here.