Campaigns and activities
Two aspect of this article have been examined;
In Slovakia the visually impaired receive a 50% discount while either their guide or guide dog travel free of charge on the national rail network.
The regional concession scheme is closely modelled after the national system.
The Slovak Railways (ZSSK) signed the IUR Agreement on Rail Transport for Blind People and their Guide issued in 1997 and amended in 2005. Visually impaired people residing in and travelling to any of the countries who signed this Agreement are entitled to a free ticket for their guide or guide dog provided that the return ticket is purchased in the country where the disability card was issued. In practice the Agreement does not apply to additional fees such as ‘reservation' or ‘couchette' which must be paid in full for both passengers. Furthermore, a survey conducted by EBU in 2000 revealed that in many countries the Agreement was not well known or was simply ignored by transport operators and authorities.
In theory, it is impossible to benefit from Slovakian schemes as a foreign visitor as locally-financed concessions are limited to local residents.
About 80 According to the official statistics, there are about 70 owners of guide dog and assistant dogs receiving an allowance to help them with upkeep of their animals, but not all owners are eligible for it (see section 5). We do not know the exact number since there are several providers who do not cooperate.
They have unrestricted access, backed up by law.
The access of guide dos is regulated by the following two acts:
Act 355/2007 about protection, support and development of public health
§26, 4, A: Natural person - entrepreneur or corporate entity running public catering establishments (further on public catering establishment operator) are obliged
a) to ensure that unauthorized persons do not enter into production and storage accommodations and avoid guiding and entry of animals into public catering accommodations with exception of accommodation intended for food consumption into which visually impaired persons with guide dogs are allowed to enter."
Antidiscrimination act 365/2004 Where direct and indirect discrimination are defined and forbidden.
Guide dogs and assistant dogs are recognised as an aid enabling free movement to a disabled person. Not allowing access to guide or assistant dogs means not allowing access to the disabled owner which could be qualified as direct or indirect discrimination.
When exporting, the animal must have a chip and chip must be registered in the international database. It also must have a pet passport in which vaccinations against cynolissa are recorded, only vaccinations made not later than 21 days before travel are acceptable. (2005/91/Ec)
The pet can travel until the recorded time of vaccination expiration. It can travel immediatelly after revaccination if the revaccination was made not later than during the day of date of the expiration of previous vaccination against cynolyssa.
The owner is obliged to ensure identification and registration in the central register run by the chamber of veterinarians at his/her own expense.
When importing, the condition are similar as above plus different obligations depending on country of origin.
There are no restrictions, but conditions for export must be fulfilled.
Conditions must be fulfilled for all travel.
Guide dog training is unregulated trade and no qualification is required.
The Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union is member of the International Guide Dog Schools Federation. This international organisation has standards of quality of training and provision of guide dogs compulsory for all its members and performs regularly audits at all its members. Our organisation follows all above mentioned certified processes.
When certified process is applied, at beginning of training, a dog is evaluated against international criteria not only from the point of view of its behaviour, but also its health , RTG examination of joints has to be documented.
Follow up training is performed according to the given rules. A trained guide dog must demonstrate its capability by passing a final examination. The choice of a future owner of the guide dog is also controlled by international rules which provide enough freedom for national adaptations.
Non-certified training need not follow any above mentioned rules which is obviously manifested by lower quality.
According to the Act 447/2008 about financial allowances to compensate severe disability owners of guide dog with low income can regularly receive financial support for food for the guide dog and also for serious veterinary interventions. There also exists an allowance to purchase a guide dog which is means-tested including the family of the disabled person.