Monday, October 29, 2012

New friends - Phoenix Dog Assistance Program

At a recent NKBA meeting held at Ai, The Art Institute of York PA, the kick off of the liaison with Phoenix Assistance Dogs was announced to the 60+ members and guests in attendance.

Linzey Zoccola, founder of PAD is one of the most driven, focused and inspiring individuals I have ever met. Her personality is infectious, her mission true. 

Linzey's work with dogs and recipients has changed lives.  By rescuing and training dogs for service to aid people with disabilities, Linzey has not only helped the person in need of the dog, but rescued numerous dogs along the way. Countless hours of training, pairing the dog with their new owner, socializing the dog, raising funds - the tireless energy Linzey exudes for her foundation is amazing. 

What, you ask, can kitchen and bath designers and product suppliers do to assist service dogs and their owners? 

We are proposing to update a space within a home for it to become accessible for a recipient as selected by the Phoenix Assistance Dogs program in Lancaster PA. This update will accommodate the special needs of the recipient and promote ease of use in daily activities. Since this recipient will also have a service dog, the space will house a storage area for the needs of the dog. The intent of this space redesign is to allow both the recipient and service dog the ability to thrive and bond in the environment so that they will become a successful team outside of it. 

Participants from the local chapter and volunteers will pitch in both products and time to recreate a designated space agreed upon by the volunteer Design Team and staff of Phoenix Assistance Dog.

The combined experience of design and remodeling experience by members of the local chapter is quite impressive. Many members own their own remodeling companies; some are cabinet distributors, some manufacture cabinets and counter tops, while others specialize in remodeling for ADA compliance. With these skills and materials, a person with special needs could benefit everyday by the involvement of this organization to remodel a designated space in able to assist the inhabitant and their service dog.   
A lofty goal, I know.  The next few months will be dedicated to planning, asking for donations of products, services or time.  The scope of the project will be determined by the response received by those donating and those involved in the project itself.  By this time next year, I hope to have our first space renewal under our belt.
If you want to get involved in a worthwhile and rewarding project, please contact me directly.  Let's build this. I love good design. But good design with a purpose, design to enhance the live of the person utilizing the space is a goal I have adopted in every design I do. And isn't that what is should be all about?

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