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Southwest Airlines Community

Recognizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Explorer C
Southwest Airlines is proud to recognize National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).  In addition to recognizing the abilities of all of our Employees, we asked some of our Customers and Employees to share their personal experiences with Southwest Airlines. One of my main life lessons instilled by my family has been to give back, even in times when I might be the one who benefits from someone’s generosity of time, advice, or community service.  I have had a “Servant’s Heart” long before I heard those words.  Volunteering satisfies my need to make life easier or make a difference for those who may need additional assistance.  A significant part of what makes me “tick” is giving back to my community.  In addition, I encourage EVERYONE to get involved with a cause or community service project that is important to YOU; it makes a big difference. I volunteer for several organizations, but Guide Dogs of Texas has had the most impact on me because of the work they do.  I was impressed from the first moment I encountered Guide Dogs of Texas.  First, they do not accept insurance, government grants, or taxpayer’s money in any way.  All of the fundraising is from private donations, much needed private donations.   Second, I am in awe of the training the dogs endure to become certified guide dogs.  It is a lengthy and significant financial process to train a future guide dog.  It costs $40,000 to train one guide dog, which is more than many people make in one year. As a Flight Attendant, my schedule often does not permit me to attend ceremonies, classes, and functions.  However, I have had the occasion to speak with recipients of fully trained guide dogs both within Guide Dogs of Texas and on our Southwest flights.  I love to hear stories of when clients first meet their guide dogs--the early beginnings of a relationship when the guide dog and owner meet can often be humorous. Education and advocacy are, without a doubt, my favorite things about Guide Dogs of Texas.  It is important to educate  about Guide Dogs of Texas to help raise money, to spread awareness of the guide dog training process, and advocate for educating the general public on ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and ACAA (Air Carriers Access Act). My experience assisting Customers and their fully trained guide dogs on Southwest flights has helped me appreciate the incredibly noble work that Guide Dogs of Texas accomplishes. Please note: Southwest Airlines only accepts fully trained assistance and emotional support animals onboard our aircraft.