2015 Membership Drive

Submitted by:

Betsy Grenevitch

GDUI Membership Chair


I would like to invite you to join Guide Dog Users, Inc. ((GDUI) for 2015. We are an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and several of our states have state affiliates. Below are some benefits of joining our great organization.


GDUI  is the leading consumer-driven organization of guide dog handlers in North America. GDUI offers a variety of outstanding membership benefits.

  • A subscription to PawTracks, our flagship audio magazine for members only.
  • Access to the Disaster Assistance and Preparedness Program (DAPP), which provides monetary compensation for active guide dog teams who have been affected by catastrophy.
  • By joining GDUI at the National level your dues also make you a member of ACB.
  • GDUI leads the way by implementing relevant legislative and advocacy agendas focused on the rights of guide and service dog handlers in the United States.


Since 1972, GDUI has provided quality resources for guide dog users. We offer more ways to support our members than ever before. Online support and social media links can be accessed by visiting www.guidedogusersinc.org/ where you can join the announcement list, or by liking us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/GDUInc/

Follow our Twitter feed: @GDUInc

You can also subscribe   to the GDUI Chat list by sending a blank e-mail message to:


Place the word

subscribe in the subject line

We also try to make sure we can reach all of our members even if they do not have a computer.

Don’t have a computer? Telephonic announcements are ready for you: call(646) 653-1900

Founded in 1972, as an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), Guide Dog Users, Inc. strives to promote civil rights and enhance the quality of life for working guide dog teams. Drawing on the experiences and varied knowledge of its members, GDUI provides peer support, advocacy and information to guide dog users in every region of the country.

You not only have the benefits listed above but you can have a positive impact on our organization by being involved in the various committees that meet on a regular basis. We are a member—driven organization and would love to have you join us and become an imntegral part of moving our organization forward.


If you have any questions you can contact me at




GDUI 2015 Convention

The 54th annual ACB convention  along with the annual Guide Dog Users, Inc. convention will be held at the Sheraton Dallas, located at 400 N. Olive St. in downtown Dallas. Pre-registration pickup will be on Thursday evening, July 2nd. Convention activities and tours will be held from Friday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 11th. The exhibit hall will be open from Saturday, July 4th through Wednesday, July 8.

The opening general session will be held Sunday, July 5, with daily sessions Monday through Thursday mornings, and all day Friday. Tech sessions, committee and affiliate programming begin on Saturday and run through Thursday.

Traveling by Air Dallas is served by two airports, DFW and Love Field. Love Field is serviced by Southwest Airlines and, effective April 2015, by Virgin America.

DFW features flights from numerous airlines including American, Delta, Frontier, Jet Blue, Sun Country and United.

For a list of airlines serving DFW, visit www.dfwairport.com/airlines/index.php

Go Yellowchecker shuttle is offering ACB a round-trip fare from either airport of $30. Information regarding booking this service will be available closer to the convention. You can also take the light rail from both airports. Light rail stops at Terminal One at DFW; from Love Field you would take a shuttle to the light rail station.

The Pearl Street light rail station is outside the Sheraton. Rail and Bus travel Amtrak comes to Dallas’ Union Station, approximately 1 mile from the hotel. Union Station is served by the light rail’s red or blue line or a very short cab ride to the hotel. There is a Megabus stop in Dallas as well as a Greyhound station; both are located within easy traveling distance from the Sheraton. For additional information on Greyhound, visit Megabus
information can be obtained at https://us.megabus.com/Megabus%20adds%20downtown%20Dallas%20service.aspx

Hotel Details Room rates at the Sheraton Dallas are $89 (single, double, triple or quad) plus applicable state and local taxes (currently 13 percent) and tourism district fees 2 percent). To reserve a room, call 1-888-627-8191, and be sure to mention that you are attending the ACB convention.

To make reservations online, visit www.acb.org and follow the 2015 convention link.

GDUI Cruise of a lifetime

Have you ever thought of taking a great vacation and helping  Guide Dog users, Inc.  at the same time? Now you can because we have scheduled a cruise aboard the Carnival Valor for a 7 day cruise.  This cruise will depart on December 5, 2015 from Port Canaveral and visit the exciting ports of Nassau Bahamas, St. Thomas USVI, San Juan Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk. The prices are as follows:  Interior cabin $866.53 or Private balcony cabin for $1116.53.  All rates include 7-day cruise, port charges, taxes and gratuities. Two persons per cabin. We can do our best to help you get a roommate.


To book your wonderful vacation and help GDUI at the same time call Dave Kronk at 618-409-0143 or you can email him at dkronk@htc.net .

You and your Guide Dog welcomes Penny Reeder

You and your Guide Dog welcomes Penny Reeder, the national President of Guide Dog users, Inc., tonight at 8 pm. EST.  If you wish to attend via the telephone, come by ten minutes prior to the event by calling (605) 475-6777; access code: 090807 followed by a press of the pound key.

You can also attend by computer. Go to: www.accessibleworld.org and hit h until you hear conference rooms. Then tab down to Guide Dog users Room and enter. If this is your first time, then tab down to download and enter. Download run and install our simple software and you will be prompted to reenter the room. Then put your name in the username field and tab once to log in and enter. No password is needed.


Hope to talk with many of you this evening.

Bob Acosta

Disaster Assistance and Preparedness Program (DAPP)

The Disaster Assistance and Preparedness Program (DAPP) is now available to GDUI members who are teamed with a guide dog. The fund was created in June 2011 with the funding provided by a private donation.  Since then, the program has been renamed to better reflect its purpose.

A devastating event like an earthquake, wild fire, or act of terrorism can leave people feeling confused and not sure where to go for help. Because we know that adversity can befall any one of us, leaving us with few resources and even fewer places to turn for help, Guide Dog Users Inc., (GDUI) offers the Disaster Assistance and preparedness Program (DAPP).

GDUI members with working dogs recovering from a catastrophic event can apply for a stipend to purchase dog food and other essential supplies on behalf of their working dogs.

We encourage all GDUI members who are currently working with guide dogs to read the instructions outlined below carefully; if you find yourselves facing financial crisis in caring for your dog as a result of a natural disaster or catastrophic event, to call or e-mail and ask us for help. Who can apply • Once the application is submitted, the proposed funds shall be issued only to a current GDUI member with a current working guide dog. • Guide dog and handler must have been directly and negatively impacted by a recent

Disaster and in need of financial assistance for the well-being of the working dog.

  • GDUI’s Disaster Assistance and Preparedness Program funds will be available for three (3) weeks from the first date of a known and declared disaster. • Each GDUI member with a guide dog will be allowed a onetime monetary assistance grant of $50.00 after the application is processed. • Prior to releasing any funds, the applicant’s required information and qualifications will be verified and approved by the DAPP committee.
  • Upon approval, the funds will be issued by GDUI ‘Treasurer (or designee), to the applicant or directly to a vendor such as a pet food store or veterinarian depending on each circumstance. • An applicant must live in the affected area and have been negatively impacted. Additionally, the working guide dog must be in immediate need of resources to ensure proper daily care, food, medicine, veterinary intervention and/or to meet other needs.

How to Apply please read this section before proceeding to the bottom of the page for the contact information. Thank you.

Please note, in the event the handler does not have any means of contacting GDUI due to the present disaster, he/she may have one of the following individuals or organizations communicate on his/her behalf: family member, friend, veterinary hospital or clinic, Humane Society, Red Cross/hospital, Salvation Army, religious institution, local or acting police or fire department or similar agency.

Depending on the individual circumstances, additional assistance may be requested by   the applicant,   based upon prior approval by the DAPP committee for possible additional funds.

  • The approved funds may be issued in the form of a gift card from a known store which carries pet/dog supplies or tendered as a pre-paid credit card. Funds may also be directly transferred to a Veterinarian or Veterinary hospital or clinic. The monies may also be issued by a GDUI check or money order, wire transfer or other means depending on the handler’s circumstances. The means of issued funds will be determined by the treasurer (or designee) in consultation with the applicant. • All information submitted to GDUI by the applicant may be used by the GDUI Board of Directors or committee of the Board for purposes of determining approval of the application. All information will be held in the strictest of confidence. A news release may be issued but the name of the recipient and/or guide dog will be kept confidential per applicant’s request.

***Exceptions of Eligibility*** The Disaster Assistance & Preparedness Program is not available for a retired guide dog, a puppy in training and / or puppy raiser, or any household pet.

***APPLICATION Process*** All necessary information is required before any funds will be issued. Required Information: The following information may be provided by telephone or e-mail before eligibility is determined. We are sympathetic to the high stress levels experienced by both guide dog handlers and their dogs, and we will do our best to secure all the required information so we can respond quickly. Please have the following information ready when making initial contact:

  • Handlers full name, home address, city, state, zip code and phone number(s), at the time of the disaster.
  • If applicant’s living situation is unsustainable, i.e., homeless/shelter/family/friends, GDUI require the following information: the name of the shelter, the name of the shelter director, and phone number of the shelter. If staying with family or friends, please provide the name, address and phone number of new location.

How to Contact GDUI DAPP Volunteer Staff:  Applicants and/or those assisting the applicant can call or Email any member of the DAPP Committee:

Sarah Calhoun, Chair (Missouri)

Home: 636-942-5956

Cell: 314-753-5191


Bob Acosta (California)

Home: 818-9980044

Cell: 818-620-2200


Ann Chiappetta (New York)

Cell: 914-393-6605


Lynn Merrill, GDUI Treasurer (Maine)

Cell: 207-458-1362


Ken Metz (California)

Home: 818-882-3610

Cell: 323-793-1805


Dixie Sanderson (Connecticut)

Cell: 203-453-6474


Ron Brooks, Arizona Cell: 602-616-1171


Jane Sheehan, Office Manager (Maryland)


Revised 10/2014 A.C.