Improvements on the way!
As we continue to grow the FSDS gathers careful data on outcome measures, then uses this information to make any improvements necessary to strengthen our program. Some of the areas under improvement that will be rolled out in the near future include:
- A new task assessment process to best determine which types of task assistance are needed by recipients at the current time, and also those tasks we project will be needed during the working life of the team as the diseases / disabilities progress
- Improvements in recipient education for diabetic alert dogs
The FSDS has been systematically improving our means to collect and retrieve useful information. To this end, as we continue to grow we are automating more and more of our data collection devices to permit online submission of these forms. Not only does this allow individuals to submit more concise information from the comfort of their homes, but it also allows us to have the information submitted appended into our databases. Once incorporated into the databases, our programs generate instantly updated charts and graphs that allow us to retrieve up-to-the-minute statistics and identify any trends that may have otherwise been missed.
Another area of identified need is for additional student handouts to supplement the instructions provided in the classroom. From the start, we have recognized that many of our students experience learning challenges for a variety of reasons. Some of our students have primary challenges, such as developmental delays, PTSD and head injuries. Others experience secondary challenges due to issues such as chronic pain and use of multiple medications that cause drowsiness and impair memory and concentration. In cases such as this it is very important that we keep a close eye on those areas in which students require some printed materials for use at home.
The FSDS provides online education for all didactic materials to address the learning challenges provide the resources needed to increased success in this required component of our training program. This didactic program was launched in June of 2015 and the initial passing score was 70%. The passing score today is 80%, and due to the attention that has been given to addressing the learning needs of our population, the average score for this comprehensive program across the board for students is approximately 89.5%.
Improved handouts are the next phase of education that we are addressing, as the hands-on classroom training is separate from the online didactic. It is our goal to make any changes needed to increase both mastery and retention of all materials we teach. We are excited to enter this new phase and will closely monitor student progress and adjust accordingly.
CB8 Class– this class is currently in their second semester of training, and is working to refine their public access skills. In the near future they will be taking the Public Appropriateness Test, the second of 3 tests on the road to becoming a certified SD team. This month the class has enjoyed their annual two week summer break to allow them time to vacation and spend time with family and friends.
SD Trainer Academy News
Welcome New Student – We wish to extend a very warm welcome to Ashley Trippel from Kansas. Ashley has been accepted into our SD Trainer Academy and will complete her required intern hours with Mary Hager of the Mutt School in Kansas. Mutt School is a probationary member of our Certified Affiliate Program Network, and they are currently at work to complete their requirements for full certification.
Stay Tuned for Scholarship Information
The FSDS has just been notified that it will soon receive funds to award a full scholarship to our SD Trainer Academy. This scholarship will permit yet another student to earn credentialing as a Master Trainer.
Did you know that your dog can get sunburn? During the hot summer months we urge all handlers to protect their dogs from over-exposure to the sun, and the painful sunburn that may result from this.
- The most vulnerable areas are the ears, nose and belly.
- Consult your veterinarian to learn about canine appropriate products PRIOR to making a decision
- Avoid any products that contain zinc oxide, as this is toxic to dogs.
- Avoid extended periods of time that your dog may be exposed to the sun.
- If at a picnic or outdoor event, bring a shade umbrella to protect your dog while they nap.
Remember also that dogs can get heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Bring an ample supply of cold water when outdoors and limit the exposure of your dogs to hot temperatures. It is hot for us humans, but your dog is wearing a fur coat! When going for a walk, slip off your shoe and put your foot on the pavement. If it is too hot for you to walk barefoot, it is too hot for your dog. Provide thermal booties for your dogs to prevent injuries to their paws.
Our sincere appreciation to:
- AZ Disabled Veterans Foundation for their generous donation
- DAV Auxiliary Unit 1
- Chicano’s Por La Cause / Workforce Solutions Program for supporting our Academy Intern and providing her a paid internship to attend our training program
- Yannin Martinez for her generous donation
- Darwin Gene BayerKohler for a generous donation to our program
Sept 4th, 2018 – presentation to the Westbrook Village Veterans Support Club
This past month our class has been on vacation, we so we present for your enjoyment some of our favorite photos of our teams having some summer fun. The FSDS does not kennel its dogs in training. All dogs are assigned to a student trainer and live with their trainers, as family members.