GDU1 Members

GDU1 Members

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

First things first, happy new year! As I prepare this announcement,

the new year’s arrival is just hours away. At our house, the holiday

season was particularly busy, and lots of fun! Our house was

filled-to-overflowing with family members, most of whom we don’t get

to spend time with nearly often enough. Willow was thrilled beyond

calculation every time another family member arrived – and so were the

rest of us. Preparing and enjoying all kinds of amazing food kept us

occupied, along with gifts and conversation and anticipating the

arrival of Santa Claus (who even made a brief in-person stop-over for

the first time ever in our living room early on Christmas Eve! Our

three-year-old granddaughter was amazed and excited, Willow was a

little more cautious!) Now that everyone has gone back to their own

homes and there are only three humans and one canine in residence

again, I want to catch you up, briefly, on what’s happening and what’s

coming in GDUI, and to thank each one of you for your friendship and

support during this year that’s rapidly disappearing.

It’s time for Membership Renewals! If you haven’t renewed your

membership in GDUI for 2017, we hope you will do so soon. Our web

master recently installed a new membership plug-in on our web site,

which, we believe, will make the job of our Treasurer and Membership

Committee Chair a lot less complicated. To complete your membership

application and pay your annual dues of just $15, visit this link:

Just a Few Days until Top Dog! Willow and I are looking forward to

catching up with many of you and your dogs at Top Dog, which will be

here before we know it! I will be participating on a panel discussion

concerning possible new regulations that may affect those of us who

fly with our guide dogs – and the failed attempt to achieve consensus

with the airline industry during this past year’s RegNeg process. Top

Dog is such a wonderful conference. I feel very grateful to be able to

attend and renew acquaintance with conference organizers and

attendees. If you can come to Top Dog, please find us and say hello!

Several GDUI Committees  are seeking new or additional members. Will

Burley would like to invite any of you who would like to help with the

Disaster Assistance and Preparedness Program (DAPP) Committee to get

in touch with him. Will’s e-mail address is

And, Deanna Noriega is still hoping that any of you with a passion for

or experience in fund-raising will join the GDUI Fund-Raising

Committee. Fund-raising is one of those activities where it’s

impossible for too many cooks to spoil the broth! E-mail Deanna

UberProblems with Uber and Lyft! GDUI was pleased to work with ACB and

the Council of U. S. Dog Guide Schools (CUSDGS(to conduct a survey

which verifies what most of us already knew – that catching a ride in

a taxicab with a guide dog at our side is often quite problematic! If

you didn’t get a chance to read the summary that Tony Stephens

prepared for last month’s ACB E-Forum, we

encourage you to take a look. Although the data we collected may not

be particularly surprising to those of us and our guide dogs who

attempt to travel in taxicabs and Uber and Lyft cars, our hope is that

this reliably collected data will help convince regulators at all

governmental levels that discrimination is rampant, especially in

cities and suburbs, and we need stronger regs and better enforcement

of legislation that protects our civil rights!

GDUI was pleased to welcome Julia Marks, one of the attorneys who

represented blind and visually impaired guide dog users in the

class-action lawsuit which NFB and others brought against Uber for

discrimination against guide dog users, to our convention last summer.

If you missed her presentation, we featured it again in our November

GDUI Juno Report show on ACB Radio (still available as a podcast), and

the conference presentation is also still available on our web site.

We are mystified as to why services from Uber seem to have

deteriorated dramatically during the past several weeks — since the

settlement went into effect! Charlie Crawford and I are planning to

speak with Ms. Marks as soon as possible, hopefully during this coming

weeks, and we will report what we find out. Meanwhile, we are just as

dismayed as all of you are by the outright discrimination which seems

to be modus operandi for too many Uber and Lyft drivers, and for

drivers of regular commercial taxicab services as well. This issue

will remain a priority for our Advocacy Committee and for GDUI.

Next Board Meeting, January 21. 2017! We hope you will attend our next

scheduled board meeting on January 21. Our agenda is rapidly filling

with important issues and information. The meeting will begin at 1:00

p.m. The number to call is: 712.432.0075, the passcode is


Since it’s almost time for the celebrated  Waterford crystal ball to

descend over Manhattan and summon the arrival of 2017, I am going to

sign off now, with one more wish for a happy and peaceful 2017 for all

of you and your pups, and our continuing gratitude 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

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Enjoy the GDUI Juno Report on ACB Radio Mainstream, at8:00 p.m., EST,

every Friday of every month, here:

Download or subscribe to the GDUI Juno Report pod cast here:

Or search for the GDUI Juno Report on ITunes.

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