Service dogs aren't just for blind people

Not everyone who has a service dog is blind. You may sometimes notice a person with a service dog looking at things. That doesn’t mean that their dog is fake or that they’re not really disabled. It just means that they have a service dog and some usable vision. There are a lot of reasons that peope work with service dogs (or other service animals):


For instance:

Also, they might be with a dog for the same reason as a completely blind person. Some partially sighted people have some usable vision, but still need a guide dog or a cane in order to navigate safely. 

  • Some people who can’t see well enough to navigate can read
  • Some people who can’t see well enough to detect swift-moving hazards can see well enough to tell the difference between still objects they’re looking at
  • Some partially sighted people enjoy looking at things like lights and flowers, but need to rely on senses other than vision for most things
  • People who have partial vision have the right to use it 
  • They also have the right to work with service animals or use assistive devices they need
  • It’s not either/or; people should never be forced into the position of choosing between using their vision and doing what they need to do to have full mobility 


tl;dr Don’t assume someone is faking their need for a service dog if you see them reading or looking at things. They might be partially sighted, or they might have a dog to help them for reasons related to a different disability. Disability is complicated, and you shouldn’t be judging the adaptative choices made by random strangers.