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  • Articles by Hannah Gibson

    Articles by Hannah Gibson

    These latest articles from Hannah give a real insight into the impact of unseen disabilities

  • Worth a Read

    Worth a Read

    Article by Hannah Gibson in Huffington Post


Current Research at Mobility Dogs


Helen Spence

Research topic:

Begging for a canine prescription or barking up the wrong tree: Dogs in support of people with movement disorders. A feasibility study. View Helen's Profile on The University of Auckland's website

This thesis examines the question: How feasible is it to compare effects of companion dogs and service dogs (Mobility Dogs) on quality of life (QOL) in people with movement disorders?  H R Spence

Dallas Rewi

How do we know what we do works?  Building robust research through partnership

Dallas Rewi, Suzie Mudge, Alexis Channon

The Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust (Mobility Dogs) is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2003. Its mission is “to enhance the lives of people living with physical disabilities; increasing independence, confidence, self-esteem and participation in New Zealand communities” through the training of assistance dogs.  Mobility Dogs was keen to evaluate how well it meets its mission statement and formed a partnership with AUT University to design a research project to begin the process of assessing if assistance dogs enhance the lives of their clients. From this, a working group was established to bring together expertise about the Mobility Dogs service and knowledge of research methods and principles. The aim of the first stage of this project was to identify an established and robust questionnaire that could be used routinely by Mobility Dogs. We used a comprehensive and systematic search of the published literature to identify and assess existing questionnaires well-suited for use in service dog organisations. The working group then evaluated the top three questionnaires based on their service knowledge to select the most suitable questionnaire to implement at Mobility Dogs. This working partnership between AUT University and Mobility Dogs has helped to instigate a robust research process to begin answering questions meaningful to the organisation and its clients.

For further information on Dallas' research please phone Magda Smolira on 027 7001837.


Internal Audit MADT Impact Survey

Mobility Dogs was established in New Zealand in 2003 with the aim of meeting a need in the disability sector. In particular, the Trust set out to assist those individuals with physical disabilities who required support (but were not ready for, or high needs enough for, a full-time caregiver) to keep them independent and to increase their levels of participation in education, employment and society. It was believed that this, in turn, would enhance aspects of the individual’s social and emotional health and wellbeing.

Ten years on, it was deemed prudent to survey the impact our dogs were having on the lives of those individuals who had received a Mobility Dog. The aim was to find out if the documented benefits of independence, confidence and companionship, and the relief of anxiety, loneliness and isolation were indeed occurring within our small community.

For further information on this audit please contact  

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