Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Hi! Campbell’s World Visitors! Patty and Campbell back with more GDUI announcements. If you have been following the air carrier issue situation or if you have had any other issues, this will be an announcement you will want to read. Also, those of you who have friends with service dogs of any kind will want to look at this as well if you have a service animal please take note of the information being disseminated.

It is our wish, to keep all informed as much as is possible about these types of events. If you have further information you would like to share, please send it to me. Make certain it is accurate, up to date, all links work, and that it is edited. Is for any type of disability. Thank you, for reading, liking, and sharing! Have a great day!
Patty, and Campbell

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,
This morning – Thanksgiving Day for all of our friends in Canada – we
awoke to temperatures in the 40s and the sure knowledge that leaves
will be changing colors and landing on the ground – and all of the
sidewalks we walk along with our dogs – quite soon. Since I have the
day off from work, I (reluctantly) put away summer’s linen clothing
and then cheered myself up by baking a pumpkin pie! Willow has an
autumn-is-finally-here spring in her step and an extra wiggle in her
waggely tail!

GDUI Board of Directors Update:
Now for some news from GDUI. We held the first meeting of our
newly—elected board on September 24. You can listen to the meeting
recordings here:
Drop Box:

Send Space:

Telephone Play back: 712-432-1085
Access: 919245.

Since that meeting, there have been two changes in the membership on
GDUI’s Board. Debbie Grubb has resigned as GDUI Affiliates’ Liaison.
We thank Debbie for getting so many good things started in meetings
with all of the GDUI affiliates over the past two years. We know that
the shared educational programming she launched as Affiliates’ Liaison
and our collective movement toward meeting shared advocacy goals and
improved public outreach will continue and blossom – thanks to her
excellent motivating leadership.

We are so pleased to welcome Pauline Lamontagne as GDUI’s new
Affiliates’ Liaison. Pauline is the president of Guide Dog Users of
Maine and has played an active role in affiliate meetings over the
past two years. Welcome, Pauline, we look forward to the cooperative
spirit you bring to the role of liaison and to your participation in
discussions at GDUI board meetings and online.

Annie Chiappetta resigned from her position as director on GDUI’s
board, and as the chair of the GDUI Disaster Assistance and
Preparedness Program (DAPP). Annie was in the last year of her term of
office. she had served on GDUI’s board during Becky Barnes-Davidson’s
and our administration, and we thank her for her work on behalf of
guide dog users.

We are delighted that Pat Hill has agreed to complete the remaining
months in that term of office. Welcome, Pat. We look forward to taking
advantage of all of your skills as a social worker and your long
experience as an effective advocate and an excellent guide dog

Will Burley is the new chairperson for the GDUI Disaster Assistance
and Preparedness Program. He stepped in and stepped up just in time as
Hurricane Matthew put lives and safety and property at risk for many
guide dog users in the southeastern portion of the country. The storm
was not nearly as devastating here in the United States as it was
while it traveled north through the Caribbean, especially in Haiti and
Cuba, but Matthew still managed to impact the lives of many who live
in the South, leaving folks in North Carolina still coping with major
flooding today, and causing property damage and the loss of at least
five lives in its wake in the United States. Remember, if you are
coping with a disaster-related emergency, GDUI can provide financial
assistance to help you care for your working guide dog. Visit this
page on our web site for

GDUI Web Site News
GDUI’s web site is finally comfortably settled with our new web
hosting service, and our e-mail discussion lists are up and running!
We owe a huge amount of gratitude to our web master, Steve Zelaya, as
well as Will Burley, Dixie Sanderson, Lynn Merrill, and Michael
Malver. They all spent many hours moving the web site, restoring its
contents, and getting our GDUI e-mail discussion lists up and running.

We now have 3 separate discussion lists: GDUI Chat, GDUI Business, and
GDUI Leadership. The GDUI Chat list is open to any individual
interested in topics relating to guide dogs and life with guide dogs.
There are two ways to subscribe. The first way is to send an e-mail to:,
 and Then to reply to the confirmation e-mail you will receive. Or,
you can complete the form for subscription at the following link:

GDUI Business is open to any current GDUI members and is for the
discussion of programs and policies pertinent to GDUI. For the e-mail
Subscription address, send a message to:,
 and then reply to the confirmation e-mail message that will arrive
quickly in your e-mail In Box. Alternatively, you may subscribe via
the internet at the following link:

Finally, the GDUI Leadership list is open to 3 appointed members from
each GDUI affiliate:
To join this list please have a representative from your affiliate
send the names and e-mail addresses of any individuals to be
subscribed to the list moderator at the following address:

The e-mail list through which members receive these announcements is
meant to be a one-way list. Instructions for subscribing to
GDUI-Announce are included at the end of this announcement.

And now for some news about GDUI’s social networking presence
– from the two members of our board who have the most experience with
Facebook and Twitter, IOS, and 21st Century public relations and
outreach, Minh Ha and Brianna Murray. Minh writes:
Dear GDUI Members,
Brianna and I are working with some very capable young members to
spruce up the visual appearance and appeal of the GDUI Facebook page,
found here:  We intend to
 include pictures and stories from guide dog handlers going about
their daily lives. If you have cool photos of you and your dog
working, please do send them to me or Brianna with a little
 explanation attached so we can share them on Facebook.

Also, we are working on a little project to make a collage of guide
dogs to put up as our cover photo. If you have pictures of your dog,
by itself and  in harness, that you want us to include in our
welcoming collage, please send them to us as well. Bri and I are very
excited about this new endeavor, and we hope that you will support us
by sending us lots and lots of pictures and stories.

The GDUI Juno Report
is now being guided by a new production team, Marlaina Leiberg and
Nolan Crabb. We are so grateful to Dan Kysor for getting the ACB Radio
program off to such a great start. You set a standard for excellence
and entertainment and sharing of information that we are proud to
acknowledge and continue. Look for the GDUI Juno Report to come back
to ACB Radio and ACB Radio Podcasts on the first Monday of November
and December with programming currently under development by Nolan and
Marlaina. In January, we expect to make some exciting announcements
about new directions for the GDUI Juno Report and a new time slot as
well. Thanks again to Dan, and welcome to Marlaina and Nolan! We know
that our GDUI Juno Report will continue to thrive. We look forward to
an expanded and worldwide audience and much excitement about our ACB
Radio project in coming months.

Results from our Taxicab and Vehicles for Hire Survey
have been collected and tabulated and preliminary analysis has
revealed some interesting statistics. Nearly 600 of you completed our
online survey. We are grateful and expect to make good use of the
information we obtained when we advocate with governmental agencies at
all levels for regulations that will improve our chances for procuring
timely and affordable transportation that complies with the civil
rights protections guaranteed to us – and too often ignored by taxicab
and vehicles-for-hire drivers – under the Americans with Disabilities
Act. Tony Stephens spoke to members of the Council of U. S. Dog Guide
Schools late last week. He shared highlights from the survey with them
and he is also writing an article to summarize the results for the ACB
Braille Forum and for PawTracks. Here are just a few tidbits of what
we learned:

Sixty-eight percent of the respondents have been denied service by a
taxicab or vehicle for hire. From those who report service denials, 17
percent report service denials at least half the time they order
taxicab or vehicle-for-hire transportation. Most of the people (82
percent) who reported service denials live in urban areas.

Eighty-two percent of people who reported experiencing service denials
reported that they were not refused service until a vehicle arrived.
Most of the time in service denial situations, drivers didn’t bother
to give a reason for driving away and leaving a consumer stranded (69
percent). Sometimes drivers claimed allergies to  or fear of dogs(60
percent). Also, approximately 43 percent of denials were attributed by
drivers to religious objections to dogs. Approximately 24 percent of
people who experienced service denials attributed the discrimination
to lack of understanding or knowledge about the laws that are meant to
protect us from discrimination.

I know you will find the data we were able to collect as fascinating
as we have, and we are looking forward to joining ACB in making use of
what we have learned to advocate for better public education and
better enforcement of laws that we count on to protect our civil

We have Disappointing News on another advocacy front, the “RegNeg” process
via which the U. S. Department of Transportation sought our input as
service animal users who fly, in advance of that agency’s promulgation
later this year or early in 2017 of a Notice of Proposed Rule Making
for the Air Carrier Access Act. Negotiations between the group of
people with disabilities who use service animals and emotional support
animals, representatives from the airline industry, and
representatives from the Department of Transportation have been
ongoing since May. Tony Stephens represented the interests of GDUI and
ACB as a member of the 25-person committee who are seeking to
negotiate language for anticipated revised regulations, and I served
on the Service Animal Working Group which met via conference call and
served to inform the committee. There were weeks when it looked like
we might be making some important breakthroughs that would guarantee
our civil rights and improve our comfort and safety as guide dog users
who travel by air. Other calls left me shaking my head and wondering
how in the world the three, very disparate groups, would ever come
together in agreement. Unfortunately, as the REGNeg committee prepares
for their final meetings next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the
Service Animal Working Group and the Airline Industry have reached an
impasse that could not be overcome. Apparently, the airlines cannot
bring themselves to shed their reliance on the so-called medical model
of disability. They continued to insist that all air travelers who fly
with service dogs must carry and present letters from medical
personnel verifying their disabilities and presumably their need for
assistance from a service animal. Service animal users refused to buy
into this discriminatory and outdated mindset, and so negotiations
that aimed to develop reasonable regulations for people with
disabilities who fly with their service and guide dogs ceased. The
next step will be the DOT’s release of a Notice of Proposed Rule
Making. Chances are good that we will be calling on our members to
step up and make ourselves heard regarding the regulations that the
Department proposes.

Regarding still more news on the advocacy front, GDUI wishes to
congratulate our friends in colleagues in California on the Governor’s
signature of SB 1331, a law which will make it possible for graduates
from schools who have not been certified by the California State Guide
Dog Board to receive follow-up services from their trainers from those
schools. GDUI is pleased that our combined advocacy efforts resulted
in a practical approach that will permit Californians to count on
receiving post-graduate services from the school personnel who know
them – and their dogs – the best! Arriving at this resolution of a
serious problem for many guide dog users who live in California
involved a long-term advocacy process that included resolutions from
GDUI and ACB, a letter-writing campaign from both organizations, and
in-person advocacy from many of our members in California as well as
members of CCB and GDUC. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Finally, if you’re in the mood for some stimulating online video
entertainment – involving people who are blind succeeding at one of
the most important tasks any of us ever take on –- parenting – check
out the newest video release from ACB. The video features Eric and
Rebecca Bridges and their sweet toddler son, Tyler, as they manage the
tasks associated with caring for an active two-year-old as parents who
are blind. Congratulations to Eric and Rebecca and Tyler, and to ACB
for demonstrating so effectively that people who are blind can
function – normally – and without vision – as they lovingly care for
their son’s needs and demonstrate that blindness – though sometimes
inconvenient – is not a barrier to living the kinds of lives all of us
want to lead I hope you will share the video, which is professionally
described so effectively by Dr. Joel Snyder, with friends and family
and anyone you may know who wonders about our abilities to manage the
demands of daily living or caring for the people in our lives who
depend on us.

Find the video here:

Both Eric and Rebecca are guide dog users and members of GDUI. We want
to thank you, both, and to celebrate with your family the joys of
living with and caring for your sweet Tyler.

Enjoy the beauty of the Fall, and look for another announcement from
GDUI soon again. As always, thank you for your friendship and support.
Penny Reeder, President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.

Call us, toll-free, at  866.799.8436
Like and visit us on Facebook:
Follow us at Twitter: @GDUInc
Enjoy the GDUI Juno Report on ACB Radio Mainstream, at 11:00 p.m. EDT,
the first Monday of every month, here:

Download or subscribe to the GDUI Juno Report pod cast here: http://gdr.xml

Or search for the GDUI Juno Report on ITunes.

Support GDUI when you use this link to shop at

To join the GDUI-Announce List, visit this link:

For our members and friends who do not have access to e-mail (or
prefer to listen to the pleasant sound of a human voice reading
aloud), we also offer telephonic recordings of every announcement. If
you are aware of guide dog users who do not have computer access,
please share this telephone number with them: 646-653-1900. Recorded
announcements available at this number are updated concurrently with
each new online announcement.

 We look forward to sharing announcements concerning our organization
with all who are interested in GDUI.
GDUI-Announce mailing list

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