Lending a Hand: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled

05 Oct 2015 by Jason's Connection

Recently Jason’s Connection’s founder, Jason Harris, Founder of Jason’s Connection, talked with Megan Talbert, Executive Director, of Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled. Since 1979, Helping Hands has been helping adults with spinal cord injuries and other mobility impairments throughout the United States live more independent and engaged lives. They do this by providing them, free of charge, with a unique service animal: a highly trained service monkey to help with their daily tasks.

In this fascinating interview, Ms. Talbert explains how having a service monkey can be life-changing for people with mobility challenges, and the process of training and placing the monkeys.

Interview With Megan Talbert

HELPING HANDS: MONKEY HELPERS FOR THE DISABLED’S mission is to improve the lives of those with spinal cord injuries and mobility impairments. The service animals they provide bring more than just a willing set of nimble hands to their recipients. They also bring companionship, joy, and the renewed sense of purpose that comes from taking responsibility for the health and well-being of another creature. Their work encompasses all aspects of this service:

  • They raise, train, and match the monkeys with carefully chosen recipients
  • They provide extensive coaching and customized in-home training at the start of each placement
  • They oversee each monkey’s lifelong behavioral, nutritional and medical needs
  • They provide ongoing active support and mentoring for every partnership
  • They place retired monkeys in loving homes where they are well cared for.

For more information on Monkey Helpers, please visit:

For a downloadable podcast of this interview, please visit: