Every Thursday at 8:30 pm, Juan Carlos Martín runs the radio program «Los perros de asistencia y tú» through RTV Mexico. Juan Carlos himself and his wife, María Concepción Hernández Gaytán, have been guide dog users since 1998 (currently supported by Ebony and Siona, two black labradors graduated from Leader Dogs For The Blind and ONCE Foundation of the guide dog), also head the Grouping for the Rights of Users of Assistance Dogs in Mexico, which has held national and international meetings on this topic.
Through his organization and his radio program, Juan Carlos gives voice to people with disabilities who have assistance dogs, who, from their point of view, are far from making their rights in the country valid.
«There are articles within state and national laws. There is article 58 of the Profeco that speaks of the free access of guide dogs, but we want to change all that, because we should no longer speak only of guide dogs, but of the other types of assistance dogs that exist: for people with motor disabilities, hearing, for children with autism spectrum disorder, medical alert for diabetics and for people who have epileptic seizures», explains the activist.
Read here an infographic we did about the five different assistance dogs.
Politicians without much guidance
For Juan Carlos, regulating and everyday the use of assistance dogs is primarily a task of the government. «Politicians are the first to put the most out of our shoes and have people with disabilities assistance dogs in Mexico have free access to hotels, restaurants and public and private transport. Through the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, they have to pass a legislature that covers us, not just articles within the laws that many people do not know.»
Martín has more than 30 years of experience in activism both in Spain, his native country, and in Mexico, where he acquired nationality. He believes that the European country is several light years from ours in the legislative issue. «In Spain there is a legislature that covers us. As a user, I am aware that I have my rights, but I also have an obligation for my assistance dog to meet all the hygienic-health requirements that mark the region or the state in which I live (vaccination, internal and external deworming, etc.», says the activist.
In April 2018, the Chamber of Deputies has already passed a Law on the Rights of Guide Dog and Animal Users, which, however, has not been approved in the House of Senators. Last year, in 2019, also in the Chamber of Deputies, the seat of the Citizen Movement party raised another Law for People of Assistance Dogs, only time will tell if this can be taken to the role and then to practice.
This story was originally published in YoTambien.mx. You can read it complete here
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