GDUI Announcement, March 21, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Board Meeting Recording: If you missed our board meeting on Saturday, you can listen to the proceedings from beginning to end by using Dropbox or SendSpace or simply dialing your phone. Here’s the information you need from Sarah:

Hello GDUI members and friends,

Provided below are three ways to access the recording of the March 18, 2017 GDUI board meeting. The recording is 2 hours and 15 minutes long.

Drop Box:

Send Space:

Play back number: 712.432.1085
Access code: 919245 followed by the # key.


Sarah Calhoun, GDUI Secretary & Office Manager

Town Hall Meeting Recording : Were you meaning to get around to listening to the recording of our February 18 town hall meeting, but life got in the way? Never mind! Although the phone recording of Saturday’s board meeting has replaced the town hall meeting recording that’s available on the free-conference-calling line, you can still access our Dropbox to listen. Here’s the link you need:

PawTracks News! Nolan has resigned as editor of PawTracks. He needs some time to deal with some health issues, and so, reluctantly we accepted his resignation. I don’t think I can find adequate words for thanking Nolan for his great work as editor of our magazine. When our administration began, the magazine had essentially disappeared. Issues of PawTracks were being published only sporadically at best and, although the small committee of former board members who had valiantly tried to keep it going were doing there best, its quality had declined. I was so excited when Nolan agreed to take on the job of bringing PawTracks back to life, and I know that all of us have appreciated all of the improvements he made, including bringing back in-person narration! Thank you, Nolan.

Nolan will continue to be involved with our publications as much as he can. He has indicated his willingness to continue narrating the magazine, and he will continue his involvement with the GDUI Juno Report. We are pleased and grateful.

At Saturday’s meeting, the GDUI Board unanimously approved the appointment of our new PawTracks editor, Will Burley! Welcome, Will, to your new GDUI role as editor! We are pleased and grateful to you for stepping into this role.

Wasting no time, Will plans an April 2017 Spring issue, so if you have contributions to make to PawTracks – and we hope you do! – please send them to Will by the publication deadline of March 31. Write “PawTracks” in the subject field, and send all PawTracks articles, poems, letters, or other submissions here:  

Dues Increases: Another action that our board took at Saturday’s meeting was to increase GDUI’s annual and Life Members’ dues. I wish I hadn’t had to write that sentence, but GDUI’s financial predicament has truly left us no choice. GDUI’s dues have not been raised since 2002, when they increased from $12.00 annually to $15.00. At some time during those intervening years, Life Members’ dues also increased to $250 for a lifetime of membership. It is unfortunate that none of GDUI’s boards were willing to consider raising dues in the intervening fifteen years. If they had, the increase that we are making now might seem a little less dramatic. However, no one raised dues during all that time, and expenses mounted — for everything from the toll-free phone line, to administrative banking fees, to PawTracks production, to voting ($5 for each member!) — over that decade and a half, and we have found ourselves in a situation of having no choice other than to ask you to pay more. We hope and believe that the membership benefits you derive from being part of our organization justify our asking you to pay more. As of September 1, GDUI annual dues will increase to $25 per year, and if you want to become a life member of GDUI, your dues will be $400. We will continue to work out a way for life members to split their payments into timed installments. And, of course, if you would like to become a life member during the next few months, before the increase goes into effect in September, you’ll be benefitting from a significant discount. Please contact Sarah for all of the details and to set up your payment plan! Call 866.799.8436, toll free in the USA.

Your donations to GDUI are always welcomed and appreciated, and our fund-raising committee is pursuing several additional strategies for bringing in dollars, including GDUI’s participation in the 2017 ACB Convention Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk! We will be sharing the details about our GDUI team, how you and your guide dog can join as real-time or virtual walker(s), and how you can contact friends and family members to make ACB/GDUI donations grow, in a coming announcement.

Remember, the Record Date, by which time you need to be a paid-in-full member of GDUI for 2017, is rapidly approaching.

That date is April 7. All members who have joined by that date are eligible to vote in our May election. Election dates are May 27 through June 4. And, if you want to run for one of the two open board seats, you need to contact the Chairperson of our Membership Committee, Dixie Sanderson, by April 1. Here’s the link where you’ll find all the details about the coming election:

During coming weeks, the Nominations Committee will be eager to receive your questions for the two candidates’ forums which will take place in late April and early May, and the Bylaws Committee will be meeting to discuss the several amendments to GDUI bylaws that members have proposed. If you have submitted an amendment, expect to hear from Maria Hansen, who chairs our Bylaws and Resolutions Committee, to schedule a time when the committee can consult with you via telephone about your proposed constitutional change.

The First-Timers’ Contest: We hope that lots of you are working on your essays to apply to win one of two “First Timers’ Awards,” for attending our GDUI convention in Sparks, Nevada. The deadline for submitting your application is April 15. If you win, you’ll be one of two people to receive $955 when you arrive at the GDUI convention suite. Here’s the link where you’ll find all of the First-Timers’ details:

GDUI Announcement, February 28, 2017

 Speaking of Convention … and Awards …

It’s time to think about rewarding those people who have improved our lives as users of guide dogs over the past year or so. Here’s the announcement from Charlie Crawford who is chairing our 2017 GDUI Awards Committee:

Hi GDUI members and friends,

It’s that time of year again: Help GDUI Honor the People Who Make a Positive Difference in the Lives of Guide Dog Handlers! Guide Dog Users, Inc. has a long tradition of honoring the people who have assisted us as guide dog handlers and improved our communities in positive ways.  

Again this year, we are seeking candidates for our Ethel Bender and Moffat-Gleitz awards.  In addition, we wish to honor the writers and communicators who make our quarterly magazine, PawTracks, and other productions such as the GDUI Juno Report, such informative and entertaining publications.

We encourage you to think about all the PawTracks and GDUI Juno contributors whose stories, articles, and poems have informed and entertained you in the last year. If someone moved you or made you smile or taught you something new about yourself or your dog or your experience as a person who is blind, we hope you will nominate that person for the GDUI PawTracks Excellence in media Award.

Next, our Ethel Bender award honors a sighted person who has made a significant contribution to the guide dog community.  Past winners included Ted Zubrycki, Lukas Frank and Michael Lilly.

Our third award, the Moffat-Gleitz Award honors a person who is blind and who has significantly improved the lives of guide dog users.

Awards will be presented at the GDUI annual luncheon on Wednesday, July 5, in Sparks, Nevada.

Please send us the name(s) of the person(S) an where or how to contact them and for which award they are being nominated and why?  Your nomination does not need to be long, but worded sufficiently to give us a clear understanding about why you choose to nominate that person or persons.  Please also include your contact information so we can follow up with you if we require more information. Send your nominations to Charlie Crawford at this address: and Put the words:  “GDUI AWARD Nomination(s)” in your subject line.

No access to e-mail?  Call GDUI’s office manager, Sarah Calhoun at 866.799.8436. Please submit your nominations by June 1, 2017, and thank you for helping us honor the people who make life for guide dog teams better every day.

Charlie Crawford: Chair, GDUI Awards Committee.

That wraps up our latest announcements. As always, we appreciate your friendship and support.  


Penny Reeder, President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.

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

GDUI Website:

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, 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.

Support GDUI when you use this link to shop at

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

To subscribe to the GDUI Chat list, visit this link:

To subscribe to the (members only) GDUI Business list, visit this link:

A recording of each GDUI announcement is available here: 712.432.1281. Enter the Access Code 488062 followed by the number sign. When prompted, enter the Reference Code, No. 1. The recording will remain available until it is replaced by a recording of the next GDUI Announcement. Please share this information with friends who may not have access to the internet. Thank you. We look forward to sharing information with all of our GDUI members and friends.

GDUI Announcement, March 17, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

GDUI Board to Meet on Saturday, March 18, 2017! Don’t miss our board meeting this coming Saturday. Every member, and every one of our friends, is a welcomed guest at our GDUI Board meetings. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m., EDT – That’s 10:00 a.m. EDT on the West Coast. Call 712.432.0075. Use this Participant Access Code: 919245-Pound. We will look forward to finding many of you on the phone with us on Saturday afternoon!

GDUI Elections Coming Right Up! Announcing the GDUI 2017 Elections

The 2017 GDUI Elections will commence on Saturday, May 27, at 12:00 A.M. EDT, and run through Sunday, June 4, 2017, at 11:59 PM.EDT. GDUI is seeking candidates for two (2) positions in our May 2017 elections. We will be filling two Directors’ Seats, each having a 3-Year Term.

All GDUI members in good standing are eligible to run for a position on the GDUI Board. Interested candidates should submit an application, resume and cover letter to the Nominations Committee Chair, Dixie Sanderson by the deadline of April 1, 2017.

GDUI members who have paid their dues by this year’s record date of April 7, 2017 will be eligible to vote in the May elections.

If you have not renewed your membership, now is the time to do so. This will allow you to vote to fill the two open board seats, as well as to accept or reject any bylaw changes that members have recommended, in our universally accessible elections this coming May. GDUI is proud of our universally accessible voting system in which each member of GDUI is entitled to a voice.

A membership in GDUI costs just $15.00 per person per year, and includes an annual subscription to PawTracks, our quarterly magazine. Dues may be paid online by going to or by credit card by calling 1-866.799.8436; or by mailing your check made payable to GDUI to our postal mailing address:

C/O Sarah Calhoun
3603 Morgan Way
Imperial, MO 63052

Important dates to remember:

In order to be eligible to vote in the 2017 GDUI election, your 2017 GDUI dues must have been received on or before the record date of April 7, 2017.

We will hold 2 candidates’ Forums prior to the election.  Phone numbers for these calls will be publicized closer to the dates.

Candidates’ Forum 1:  Saturday, April 29, 2017, 1:00 PM EDT.

Candidates’ Forum 2:  Thursday May 11, 2017, 8:00 PM EDT

Between the dates of April 2, 2017, and April 16, 2017, we encourage members to submit questions for your candidates.  Please submit your questions to the Nominations Chair, Dixie Sanderson and include “Forum Question” in the subject line of your message.

Election dates: Saturday, May 27 12:00 A.M. Eastern through Sunday, June 4, 2017 11:59 PM.

Are you thinking of running for one of the directorships? We welcome your candidacy! Below, find the application for candidacy (also available here

Application for Candidacy:

GDUI has three major responsibilities:

  1. To promote the acceptance of guide dog teams by all agencies, employers, educational institutions, commercial establishments, and the general public;
  2. To work for the expansion, standardization, and enforcement of legal provisions, both civil and criminal, governing the rights and responsibilities of guide dog users in the areas of public access, employment, housing, personal injury to dog and handler, transportation, and recreation; and
  3. To work in cooperation with guide dog training providers by contributing constructive input concerning selection, training, health care, and accommodations for both canine and human students, and providing constructive suggestions that will improve the quality of the training experience.

With these goals in mind, please answer the following questions:


Position for which you wish to be a candidate:

Applicant’s Name:

Street Address:

City/State/zip code:

Phone number

E-mail Address:

Are you a guide dog user?

Describe your background (Educational, occupational and general experience.

Why do you WISH to serve on the GDUI Board?

Which of your skills and experiences would most support Board activities?

Please describe a time when a group of which you were a part accomplished its goal(s).

What caused the group to be successful?  How did you contribute to this success?

The GDUI Board of Directors uses e-mail to communicate with one another.  Are you able to communicate effectively using this medium and do you have access to e-mail?

The GDUI Board of Directors meets every other month by telephone. Meetings last from 2 to 3 hours.  Other ad hoc telephonic meetings are sometimes called as well. Board Members are often asked to chair and serve on committees and perform tasks on behalf of GDUI as directed by the officers and committee chairpersons. Will you be able to find time to perform the tasks described above?

Respectfully Submitted,

The GDUI Nominations Committee

Nolan Crab

Charlie Crawford

Pauline Lamontagne

Deanna Noriega

Dixie Sanderson (Chair)

Are you planning to attend Guide Dog Users of Washington State’s fabulous Spring Fling? The date has changed! Here’s the information you need from the Event Chairperson, Vivian Conger:

When:  Saturday, April 29, 2017


What:  GDUWS 2017 Spring Fling

Where:  paralyzed veterans of America building, 616 SW 152nd St., Burien, WA.

Time:  9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.

Hotel for Participants:  coast gateway hotel, 18415 International Blvd., SeaTac, WA, 206. 248.8200.  Each participant is responsible for making and paying for hotel room reservations as we don’t have a conference discount this year.

Come join us for the day where we will have lots of fun, education, and a Remembrance of Animals; in addition to many other events.

If you have an idea for a presentation/panel, please let me know.

Look for more information to come as time gets closer.

Vivian Conger, Chair
Events Planning

Many of us have found that flying with our guide dogs can be challenging, but we’ve never heard a more harrowing account of outright discrimination against a guide dog user than the one we heard this past week when Jonathan Mosen interviewed our member from Maine, Sue Martin, about the terrible discriminatory treatment she received at the hands of an American Airlines crew on a flight she attempted to take in early March. Here’s a link to Jonathan’s interview with Sue, which was featured on his excellent podcast, “TheBlindSide,” earlier this week. I also talked with Jonathan about these issues and GDUI’s advocacy on behalf of all of us who travel with our guide dogs.

And, to refresh your memory about your civil rights under the Air Carrier Access Act, visit this link, provided by the U. S. Department of Transportation:

In other news, 2017 Roeder Scholarship Applications Now Available! Applications for the 2017 Joseph Roeder Scholarship are now available on the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) website. The scholarship provides a one-time award of $2,500 for an individual who is blind to pursue education in a business related field.

The scholarship is named for Joe Roeder, senior accessible technology specialist at NIB from 1997 until his death in 2010. Roeder was instrumental in the development of the Section 508 electronic and information technology accessibility standards of the Rehabilitation Act, which require all federal government agencies to provide accessible data, EQUIPMENT,  and information for employees with disabilities.

Eligible candidates must be:

Legally blind;
A college student pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in a business-related field;
Have a GPA of at least 3.0;

Applications and supporting documents must be submitted online no later than Friday, May 5, 2017, here:

For more information, contact Kathy Gallagher, 703.310.0343 or

Info for Vets: VA is introducing 1-844.MyVA311 (1-844.698.2311) as a go-to source for Veterans and their families who may be confused about what number to call for specific information or services. This new national toll-free number will help eliminate the feeling of frustration and confusion that Veterans and their families have sometimes experienced when navigating the 1000-plus phone numbers that currently exist within the VA system.

 With 1-844.MyVA311, Veterans, families, and caregivers can access information about VA services like disability, pension, healthcare eligibility, enrollment, and burial benefits, in addition to a self-service locator to find the nearest VA facility. And if they’re looking for immediate assistance with housing or are having a mental health crisis, MyVA311 will route callers to the Homeless Veteran help line and the Veterans Crisis Line.

If you already know which number to call, keep calling it. None of the existing VA numbers will go away. The future vision is that 1-844.MyVA311 will become a 24/7 one-stop information service platform for all VA services. [From:]

SCAM Alert! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently confirmed that the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. The scammers represent themselves as HHS OIG Hotline employees and can alter the appearance of the caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the HHS OIG Hotline, 1-800.HHS.TIPS (1-800.447.8477). The perpetrator may use various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information, which can then be used to steal money from an individual’s bank account or for other fraudulent activity.

HHS OIG takes this matter seriously. The agency is actively investigating this matter and intends to have the perpetrators prosecuted.

It is important to know that HHS OIG will not use the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800.HHS.TIPS (1-800.447.8477). HHS encourages the public to remain vigilant, protect their personal information, and guard against providing personal information during calls that purport to be from the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number. HHS also reminds the public that it is still safe to call into the HHS OIG Hotline to report fraud, and particularly encourages those who believe they may have been a victim of the telephone spoofing scam to report that information to them through the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800.HHS.TIPS

(1-800.447.8477) or Individuals may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission 1-877.FTC.HELP (1-877.382.4357).

Are you working on your application to win the First-Timers’ Award which will help you attend the GDUI Convention in Sparks, Nevada, in early July? There will be two lucky winners! The only criteria for applying are that you have never before attended an ACB national convention and that you’re a member of GDUI! The deadline for submitting your application is April 15, so check out the First-Timers’ Application here, and start thinking about those essay responses! We can hardly wait to meet you in our GDUI Suite and share the bounty of last summer’s fund-raiser which will support two lucky winners with a cash prize of $995 each.

Today is the day for the Wearin’ of the Green! Each of us – so my friends who are Irish-American tell me – is at least a little bit Irish! And, that’s a good thing indeed. No matter how you celebrate the day, we hope you and your dog experience some of that lovely Irish luck! We hope to find many of you at Saturday’s board meeting, and, until then, thank you for your friendship and support.


Penny Reeder, President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.

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

GDUI Website:

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, 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.

Support GDUI when you use this link to shop at

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

To subscribe to the GDUI Chat list, visit this link:

To subscribe to the (members only) GDUI Business list, visit this link:

A recording of each GDUI announcement is available here: 712.432.1281. Enter the Access Code 488062 followed by the number sign. When prompted, enter the Reference Code, No. 1. The recording will remain available until it is replaced by a recording of the next GDUI Announcement. Please share this information with friends who may not have access to the internet. Thank you. We look forward to sharing information with all of our GDUI members and friends.

The Blind Side Podcast: A Guide Dog User’s Terrible Experience While Traveling by Air

Guide dog owner at airport posing in front of a commercial airliner.

This is what Discrimination against a guide dog user who is flying with her guide dog sounds like! Check out Jonathan Mosen’s weekly podcast, The Blind Side, for this week, in which Jonathan interviews Sue Martin about her horrendous experience on March 1, of being bullied, refused appropriate seating, and forced to leave a plane about to take off on a flight for which she had purchased a ticket. Also interviewed, Penny Reeder, President of Guide Dog Users, Inc.

Here’s the link:
And, here’s a link to a helpful resource for knowing your rights as a person with disabilities when traveling by air in, to, or from the USA: