A Look Back at 2020
The new year is almost here. As messy and rough as this year has been for many, there is a lot to be celebrated and recognized. And there is much to look forward to in the year ahead.
As the year began, Atlas was set out to accomplish many wonderful things. With some tweaks, innovative tactics, and incredible support from volunteers, we achieved so much, even during these hard times.
- We were lucky to attend Clicker Expo in Seattle and meet many wonderful trainers and animal enthusiasts, all dedicated to positive training methods.
- Wonderful new board members joined our team and have been incredible additions to the Atlas family.
- We shifted our Team Facilitator workshops to a virtual model with great success. We now have amazing new facilitators supporting our clients.
- We certified 3 new service dog Teams, who had to work harder than ever to achieve their goals throughout the pandemic. We continue to support our hard-working in-training teams.
- We continued to expand our Academy offerings for our trainers, facilitators, clients and volunteers by launching new exciting courses.
- We attended Abilities Expo virtually and got to meet and chat with many incredible folks in the disability community.
- We created a new Atlas mascot: Arrow!
Pawing at 2021
We are hopeful for the year ahead. Whether in-person or virtual, we now know we have the ability to adjust and make things work. Here are some of our plans for 2021:
- Launch our Assistance Dogs Set in Motion™ program which will increase access to service dog candidates and training
- Launch a series of online courses geared toward Owner Trainers
- Attend multiple virtual conferences
- Continue to support people with disabilities and their dogs
- Continue to expand a network of passionate, dedicated, and amazing trainers and Team Facilitators
- And so much more…
Some changes were made to the Department of Transportation’s travel regulations, most are wins for service dog handlers! Here are a few:
- Emotional support animals are no longer accepted in cabin
- Psychiatric service dogs are to be treated the SAME as other types of service dogs
- Airlines can NOT ban certain dog breeds
- Airlines may ask for proof of vaccination and forms attesting to
their service animal’s training and behavior up to 48 hours prior
to their flight. IF the flight was booked in that time period. Last minute bookings are exempt.
If you have questions or concerns on these changes, feel free to ask us. Members of our team have spent the time to read through the entire 120 page DOT final rule and are prepared to answer questions.