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Home > Design Needs > Exterior Design Elements > Maintenance > Indoor and Outdoor Guide Dog Relief Areas

Indoor and Outdoor Guide Dog Relief Areas

At airports, rail or ferry terminals where secured areas exist, travelers with guide dogs should have access to safe, well maintained spaces to relieve their guide dog. These areas should be equipped with waste receptacles, hand washing facilities, and a means by which surfaces can be easily cleaned.

Relieving areas should be large enough for a full-size guide dog to turn about inside a designated area.

Guide dog relieving areas should be easily accessible to a barrier free entrance following a straight path of travel. The relieving area, regardless of if it is located within a secured area or next to a building entrance, should enable a guide dog handler to allow a guide dog on a 1,500 mm leash to circle its handler prior to relieving itself.

The CNIB Foundation recommends that these relieving areas be 7.4 metres square (3 metres in diameter.

Alternative installations could be outdoor pens such as the illustrations provided below.

Outdoor, post-security, airport dog relief area equipped with waste receptacles, hand washing facilities, and a hose.
Image provided by Designable Environments.

If within secured areas, outdoor relieving areas should be easily accessible without requiring someone to come into close contact with heavy equipment operators who may not be accustomed to seeing passengers on the tarmac or secured areas.

Detail of previous photo illustrating receptacles and washing facilities.
Image provided by Designable Environments.

Introduced at Calgary and Vancouver airports, as well as several airports throughout the world, the availability and location of these amenities should be publicized on facility websites.

Avoid using maps as the only way to convey the location of these amenities, as travelers with sight loss may not be able to interpret visual depictions. Rather, provide clear detailed instructions as to where these relieving areas exist. Instructions should be provided in list form rather than paragraphs.

Indoor, post-security, airport dog relief area. Note large dog with ample room to turn-about.