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Glenn Service Service Animal Project

Do you have a service animal? Do you know someone who does?

Dr. Margaret Glenn at West Virginia University's Rehabilitation Counselor Education program just received a fellowship to study the role of service animals in the lives of PWD and the practices that may allow for appropriate access and positive outcomes in the workplace.

The expansion of the use of service animals to support people with disabilities in community participation and employment is fueling an interest in research to determine promising practices that will inform policies and procedures and possibly regulation. Employers and people with disabilities need data-driven approaches to navigate the expectations of defining reasonable accommodation in the workplace, a relatively under -researched phenomenon.

The goal of this one year research project is to create a foundation for understanding the role of service animals in the lives of people with disabilities and the practices that may allow for appropriate access and positive outcomes in the workplace. The project will identify the elements relative to the process of process of creating the research situation, a successful service animal partnership in the workplace. This will be accomplished through systematic literature reviews and Concept Mapping/Pattern Matching, a mixed methods form of structural conceptualization used to assess complex issues from the perspective and needs of a diverse group of stakeholders. This foundational understanding will be augmented by retrospective single case studies of the expanded use of service dogs: hearing dogs and service dogs for people with disabilities other than those related to vision or hearing for purposes of medical response, mobility assistance, psychiatric service, and seizure response. Case studies can show how different aspects of these partnerships and employment are related to each other. Use of Grounded Theory in the process allows us to identify what theory accounts for the research situation.

This will lead to the organization of a relational database that can be used on future research efforts, to expand on the current project’s ultimate findings. The research will be disseminated via peer-reviewed journal articles, conference presentations in disability and employment conferences, as well as through the Job Accommodation Network.

For more information about this project, contact Dr. Margaret Glenn at West Virginia University’s Rehabilitation Counselor Education program: mkglenn@mail.wvu.edu