BEFORE Emo came into her life Tracy Piper was terrified of crossing the road.
She was born with a sight impairment. For years a cane was enough but eventually she couldn’t leave the house safely.
Emo cost $30,000 to train but the benefit to Ms Piper is priceless.
“It got to a point where I didn’t feel safe crossing roads or going to the shopping centres,” she said.
It’s for people like Ms Piper that the Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is campaigning to be included in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Recently the organisation took Gulliver the giant guide dog around NSW to gain signatures to take to the government to prove the need for coverage with the NDIS.
The petition was taken to Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin this week. They had 20,000 signatures.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT representative Geoff Koelma firmly believes the petition will make a difference.
“It’s a terrific result,” he said.
“It shows there’s a lot of people supporting the cause. We’d like to think it’s made the minister aware of the need.”
The guide dogs were out spreading awareness of macular degeneration at the Australian National Field Days. Mr Koelma said he was never surprised with the generosity shown from people at the field days despite farmers doing it a bit tough.
“Country people are just those kinds of people,” he said.
“They’re always generous.”