Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence® (CCI) is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.

The assistance dogs it breeds, raises and trains aren’t just the ears, hands and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and often, their best friends. They open up new opportunities and new possibilities, and spread incredible joy. They unite people with dogs in a powerful program that leads to greater independence and confidence.

Four types of assistance dogs CCI trains:

  1. Service dogs assist adults with physical disabilities by performing daily tasks. 
  2. Hearing dogs alert their partners, who are deaf and hard of hearing, to important sounds. 
  3. Facility dogs work with clients with special needs in a visitation, education, criminal justice or health care setting. 
  4. Skilled companions enhance independence for children and adults with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities. 
For more information on volunteer opportunities or applying for an assistance dog, please visit CCI's website by clicking here.

Snip-its stylists, in conjunction with Autism Speaks┬«, receive special training to meet the needs of children with autism. We were one of the first to provide this unique training for our stylists so coming to Snip-its is a positive experience for children with autism. Our Snip-its Haircut Guide has useful information and tips to make your child comfortable about coming to a salon. You can also schedule a pre-visit with your child to familiarize them with the salon and our stylists. Available at participating salons. Click here for information about your local Snip-its in Walnut Creek. 

Shelly is a photographer who specializes in autism and special needs families. To contact her, click here.

SEED (Special Education Enrichment Development Foundation) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization run by parent and community volunteers to benefit diverse learners in Lafayette, California.

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