Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI) is an organization dedicated to assisting guide dog users in various ways. They offer empathetic advice and information, educate the general public about guide dog handlers and their independent lifestyle, and advocate for a safe environment and welcoming communities by working with legislators, businesses, and officials.
- The Disaster Assistance and Preparedness Program assists guide dog users with dog-related expenses that may arise after disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes. GDUI aims to support guide dog users during difficult times.
- Advocacy – GDUI collaborates with affiliates, individuals, and government entities at the federal, state, and local levels to support legislation and regulations addressing the challenges guide dog users face. They strive to ensure the safety of guide dog users and their dogs by raising awareness about the hazards posed by untrained pets or emotional support animals that can interfere with their well-being.
- Public Relations – GDUI focuses on maintaining a robust online presence. The website is secure and user-friendly. It offers a safe platform for discussions on their email lists, Facebook groups, and X, formerly Twitter, pages.
The organization is continuously optimizing its website to make it the most informative and frequently visited site for guide dog users, as well as for those interested in guide dogs and their civil rights. They share informative announcements through their website and email newsletters, and plan to include longer articles, interviews, and stories contributed by members of the guide dog community.
GDUI’s handbook, “The Handbook for Prospective Guide Dog Users,” is for individuals who want to learn about guide dogs for themselves or those they know. The book is available through the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, as well as Bookshare.
- Guide Dog Schools: GDUI takes pride in their guide dog school surveys on their website, which allow people to compare different guide dog training programs and choose the one that suits their needs and preferences.
- Paws for News You Can Use: GDUI’s newsletter publication is published six times a year, with the next publication scheduled for December 5, 2023. Deadline for the February issue is January 15, 2024. Submit your story, poem or song lyrics and get published.
- Membership: Involving their members is a top priority for GDUI. They strive to keep their members informed about important issues and involve them in decision-making. Members are welcome to attend GDUI board meetings and have the opportunity to voice their opinions and offer suggestions.
GDUI encourages people to get involved in various ways. They have email discussion groups, social media connections, and committees where members can actively participate. One of their active committees is the Advocacy Committee, which assists guide dog users nationwide with access issues related to their guide dogs. This committee provides practical assistance for reasonable accommodations in different settings.
GDUI also holds an annual membership meeting with guest speakers and a drawing for door prizes.
Welcome to our new board members: Liz Bottner, Vickie Kennedy, and Kay Malmquist.
GDUI welcomes you regardless of whether you are part of a committee, are a member at large, or choose to join one of GDUI’s state affiliates. Another option is that you can join an affiliate that is in another state. There are many possibilities. Join one of our meetings, listen to past meetings, look around the website, or call our office manager at (866) 799-8436.
To contact Guide Dog Users, Inc., visit our website, www.gdui.org, or call our office manager at (866) 799-8436.
We wish you and your guide a safe and happy 2024.