Sheri Soltes founded Service Dogs, Inc. in 1988 to help people and animals. Over the past 33 years, they have expanded their mission from training Hearing Dogs for Deaf individuals, to add Service Dogs for people with mobility challenges, Courthouse Facility Dogs to help child victims of trauma and most recently, Emergency Services Facility Dog to support first responder mental health. Ms. Soltes, a former trial and appellate attorney, will discuss Service Dogs, Inc.’s evolution over three decades while maintaining its core mission, values and commitment to providing its services free of charge.
About our Speaker:
Sheri Soltes founded Service Dogs, Inc. in 1988 on the concept of using dogs rescued from animal shelters.
An honors graduate from both the University of Texas School of Law and the University of Texas Plan II Honors undergraduate program, she left her law practice to devote her full time to building Service Dogs, Inc. Under her guidance, Service Dogs, Inc. has led the industry in combining the use of all rescue dogs with positive reinforcement training methodology.
As Chair of the Assistance Dogs International North America Legislative and Advocacy Committee, Sheri worked with the Department of Transportation to revise the Air Carrier Access Act. The new rules, effective this year, make air travel safer for disabled passengers with legitimate service dogs. Sheri is now working with the airline industry to increase accessibility of flight registration for disabled passengers. She also is working with various Texas airports on their accommodations for service dogs.
Sheri has mentored assistance dog programs around the world including Australia, Japan, Spain and Chile. She has been a featured speaker at many conferences and institutions in the United States, Spain and Chile.
Her articles on the legal rights of Assistance Dog users have been published by Assistance Dogs International, the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners and Leader Dogs for the Blind. She drafted the 1995 revisions for Texas’ Assistance Dog accessibility statute.
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