Therapy dogs highlight another day of Disability Awareness Week at UAA
The University of Alaska Anchorage's Disability Support Services held its Love on a Leash day Wednesday as part of Disability Awareness Week. The event is designed to bring awareness to various disabilities, both overt and subtle, but also to remove some of the stigma surrounding the term.
For a few hours on Wednesday, students and passersby could pet a therapy dog. DSS says studies have shown the human-animal connection is incredibly beneficial. According to DSS, animal companions can help lower blood pressure during stressful situations. They can also impact speech patterns and facial expressions in people.
The week of events also helped to promote DSS and its role on campus.
"The science has definitely caught up to the soul," said Lauré MacConnell, the office manager at DSS. "There are many physiological and psychological benefits to interacting with animals. And the therapy dogs get just as much out of it as the humans do."
Disability Awareness Week's last event is Thursday, with an induction celebration for the UAA chapter of the Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society.
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