The Assistance Dog United Campaign (ADUC) is a health and human welfare organization which provides financial assistance to individuals who have the need for an assistance dog but have difficulty in raising the necessary funds and to people and programs whose purpose is to provide assistance dogs to people with disabilities.
Assistance dogs, be they guide, hearing, service, social/therapy, psychiatric or skin melanoma sniffing dogs, provide a very serious and meaningful service to people with disabilities or disabling conditions. Service dogs compensate for physical limitations by pulling wheelchairs, turning light switches on and off, and picking up dropped or needed items. Guide dogs are trained to maneuver visually impaired individuals around obstacles and across streets. Hearing dogs alert the hearing impaired to sounds that might otherwise go undetected. And all provide emotional support for those in need. Additionally, disabled individuals with assistance dogs attest to the fact that having the dog with them has decreased the social isolation that is a part of being different in this society - a very important part of the value of this concept.
The ADUC Board of Directors raises funds for assistance dog placements, for grants to support industry research and development efforts and specific provider program development projects, and for scholarships for individuals attending the Bergin University of Canine Studies. ADUC's funding for assistance dog placements is unique in that seventy percent of the donations are earmarked as vouchers. These vouchers are provided to the assistance dog user applicant who can then choose whichever ADUC member provider program they wish to enroll in. This unique disbursement method was designed to place some fiscal empowerment in the hands of the assistance dog user applicant, thereby ensuring that the provider program be accountable to the applicant for quality service.