The NEADS mission is to provide independence to people who are deaf or have a disability through the use of canine assistance.
NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services) (also known as Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans), is a non-profit organization that was established in 1976 to provide canine assistance for people who are deaf or have a disability. These assistance dogs become an extension of their handlers and bring freedom, physical autonomy and relief from social isolation to their human partners.
NEADS has trained over 1,300 assistance dog teams since 1976. NEADS offers a wide spectrum of assistance dog services, including: canines for combat veterans; dogs for children with a physical disability; hearing dogs for people who are deaf or have hearing loss; service dogs for people with physical disabilities; dogs for the classroom, therapy and ministry; and dogs for children with autism. NEADS is accredited by Assistance Dog International, the internationally recognized governing body that establishes industry standards and practices.
NEADS’s national headquarters is located in Princeton, MA, a rural setting close to Worcester in Central Massachusetts. NEADS is the oldest continuing hearing dog program in the country and the only program of its kind in New England. Our assistance dogs include both animal shelter rescues and puppies that are donated or sold to us by breeders.
NEADS receives no government funding and relies solely on the support of individuals, foundations, corporations, service organizations, bequests and workplace campaigns.