Opinions sought on idea of Virtual Assistance Dog for young people

Are you or your family thinking of getting an assistance dog?

Are you or your family on a waiting list for an assistance dog?

Are you or your family using an assistance dog?

If the answer to any of the above questions is a yes, then Fathimath Shiraani from the University of Otago would like to talk to you!

Fathimath says: "I am a Research Assistant at the University of Otago and I am working along other researchers to develop a Virtual Assistance Dog (VAD) device for disabled children/youth. The aim of this study is to understand the needs and the benefits that an assistance dog can provide for disabled children/youth.

An assistance dog here refers to all types of disability assistance/support dogs (e.g., guide dogs, hearing dogs, therapy dogs). As part of this project, we are seeking to interview (either online or in person) disabled children/youth 8-12 years of age AND 18 years and above.

The interviews will be arranged at a day/time/pace that is convenient for the participant, including their parent/whanau/caregiver. The interviews will take approximately 60 minutes. Responses to interview questions will be kept confidential, and privacy will be protected at all times. More information about the project will be provided to potential participants and their families."

If you would like to take part, or have any questions about the study, please contact Fathimath Shiraani on 03 479 9189 or email fathimath.shiraani@postgrad.otago.ac.nz