2017 GDUI Board of Directors Elections Results

Congratulations to Our Winning Candidates!

We want to congratulate Maria Kristic and Brianna Murray who were elected as members of the GDUI Board of Directors in last week’s election. And, we are pleased to also announce that all four proposed bylaws amendments have been adopted. New terms of office will begin for Maria and Brianna immediately following the conclusion of the 2017 GDUI convention, and newly adopted amendments are effective immediately.

 Election Results Announced:

In order for the election to have been valid we are required to have a minimum of 15 percent of the membership vote in the election.  We had a turnout of   33 percent of our membership.

Our 4 proposed bylaw amendments have passed as they require a two-thirds or 66.667 percent vote in favor.

Total voters for ballot: 171 (33.0%)

Brianna Murray (164 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 142 (86.6%)
Abstain from voting: 22 (13.4%)

Maria Kristic (162 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 148 (91.4%)
Abstain from voting: 14 (8.6%)

AMENDMENT 1: Non-discrimination and Freedom of Speech (170 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 158 (92.9%)
Abstain from voting: 10 (5.9%)
Vote against: 2 (1.2%)

AMENDMENT 2: Clarification of Affiliate Voting (171 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 149 (87.1%)
Abstain from voting: 12 (7.0%)
Vote against: 10 (5.8%)

AMENDMENT 3: Designating a Seat on the Board for Immediate Past President (171 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 134 (78.4%)
Abstain from voting: 28 (16.4%)
Vote against: 9 (5.3%)

AMENDMENT 4: Eliminating Provisions for Run-off Elections (170 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 115 (67.6%)
Abstain from voting: 35 (20.6%)
Vote against: 20 (11.8%)

End of Results

GDUI Announcement, June 6, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Congratulations to Our Winning Candidates! We want to congratulate Maria Kristic and Brianna Murray who were elected as members of the GDUI Board of Directors in last week’s election. And, we are pleased to also announce that all four proposed bylaws amendments have been adopted. New terms of office will begin for Maria and Brianna immediately following the conclusion of the 2017 GDUI convention, and newly adopted amendments are effective immediately.

Below is a summary of election results provided by this year’s Nominating Committee Chair, Dixie Sanderson. I know that all of you join me in thanking Dixie and members of her committee for making the 2017 GDUI election one of the smoothest and most inclusive election processes in our history. Thank you, Dixie, Nolan Crabb, Charlie Crawford, Pauline Lamontagne, and Deana Noriega.

Election Results Summary: 

In order for the election to have been valid we are required to have a minimum of 15 percent of the membership vote in the election.  We had a turnout of   33 percent of our membership.

Congratulations to Maria Kristic and Brianna Murray on their elections to the GDUI Board of Directors.

Our 4 proposed bylaw amendments have passed as they require a two-thirds or 66.667 percent vote in favor. 

Thank you to all of you who took time out of this holiday week to vote in this election.

Respectfully Submitted

Dixie Sanderson 2017 GDUI Nominations Committee Chair

Sincerely,

Penny Reeder, President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

mailto:President@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

mailto:vp1@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Website: http://www.guidedogusersinc.org/

Call us, toll-free at 866.799.8436

Like and visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GDUInc

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: http://www.acbradio.org/mainstream.

Download or subscribe to the GDUI Juno Report pod cast here: http://acbradio.org/gdr.xml or search for the GDUI Juno Report on ITunes.

Support GDUI when you use this link to shop at Amazon.com: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1871119.

To join the GDUI-Announce List, visit this link: http://guidedogusersinc.org/join/.

To subscribe to the GDUI Chat list, visit this link: gduichatlist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

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

businesslist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

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, May 25, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Voting Begins early on Saturday morning! 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).If you joined GDUI as an at-large member, or a GDUI affiliate on or before April 7, 2017, which was the date of record for this election, and if you have paid your dues, you are eligible to vote! Last week, every GDUI eligible voter received a post card in your postal mailbox which shared your unique voter I.D. Number with you, and yesterday or today, if your e-mail address is on file with GDUI, you will have received that same information in your E-Mail In Box, along with further instructions about how to vote by telephone or online. So, you’re all set! Let the voting begin!

Still Wondering about the Proposed Bylaws Changes or Wishing You Knew Our Candidates Better? You can still access both Candidates Forums in the following ways:

Retrieve the April 29, 2017 Candidate forum at the following sources:

Drop Box:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/euudjz7bxprkwc0/April%2029%2C%202017%20GDUI%20Candidate%20Forum.mp3?dl=0

Or Send Space: https://www.sendspace.com/file/hevs36

Or you can catch the somewhat abridged recording via the GDUI Juno Report podcast for May, here:

http://acbradio.org/content/gdui-juno-report-may-2017guidedogs-blindness-community-advocacy

Note that there was a brief delay in the midst of the recording, lasting only about two minutes, which occurred because of a technical glitch. Just keep listening and the recording will resume playing at the point when everyone had a chance to come back on the free conference calling phone line.

And, here are two ways to access the recording of the May 11, 2017, candidates’ forum.  The recording lasts approximately 60 minutes. 

Drop Box: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4909668/May%2011%2C%202017%20GDUI%20Candidate%20Forum.mp3

Send Space: https://www.sendspace.com/file/gls18n 

Our candidates for the two open board seats are so capable and personable, and we know they appreciate your consideration, and the proposed bylaws changes were submitted by your friends and fellow members, in order to clarify our operating procedures and strengthen our democratic foundation. We appreciate your participation in our universally accessible election. In order for the results to be certified, we need participation by the percentage of voters which is required for a quorum.

Board Meeting Recording Available.

If you would like to listen to the recording of the GDUI board meeting held on Saturday, May 20, 2017, below are three ways to access the recording. The recording is 1 hour and 30 minutes long.

DROP BOX: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4909668/May%2020%2C%202017%20GDUI%20Board%20Meeting%20Recording.mp3

SEND SPACE: https://www.sendspace.com/file/qx5fwh

Telephonic Playback Number: (712) 432-1085

Access code:  919245 followed by the # key.

Medical Research That May Be of Special Interest to People with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy:

ClinEdge is working with GenSight Biologics on a phase III clinical trial named RESCUE that is actively seeking patients with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) in the United States and Canada. GenSight also plans to set up additional clinical trials in this rare population in the near future. The purpose of the RESCUE study is to evaluate an investigational gene therapy, GS010, as a potential treatment for the most common variant (ND4/G11778A gene mutation) of LHON. Three clinical sites have been selected to treat the patients: Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Travel costs and other appropriate expenses for taking part in the trial, including those for one accompanying companion, will be supported, in accordance with GenSight Biologics guidelines.

You may qualify if you meet the selection/inclusion criteria listed below:

Age 15 years or older;

Onset of vision loss based on medically documented history or subject testimony, in at least one eye for ≤180 days in duration;

Each eye of the subject maintaining visual ability to allow at least for counting of the examiner’s fingers at any distance; and

Documented results or pedigree evidence of genotyping showing the presence of the G11778A mutation in the ND4 gene and the absence of the other primary LHON-associated mutations (ND1 or ND6) in the subject’s mitochondrial DNA.

The RESCUE Study is being conducted by GenSight Biologics. For further information about the RESCUE Study, please visit: http://studies.clin-edge.com/gensight/

Still Seeking Nominations for the Ethel Bender award: Charlie Crawford, Chair of this year’s GDUI Awards Committee, wants you to know that the committee has received nominations for several GDUI awards, but none has come in for the Ethel Bender award, which honors a sighted person or persons who have made significant contributions to the well being of guide dog teams. Charlie reminds you that nominations are due by June 1, so please, think about all of those sighted people who have made our lives better, and submit their names and a summary of their contributions to Charlie ASAP! Send your nominations by e-mail to: mailto:ccrawford@rcn.com and put “Awards” in the subject field of your e-mail message. Or, call our Secretary and Office Manager, Sarah Calhoun, at 866.795.8436, and Sarah will be pleased to pass along your nomination(s) to our Awards Committee. Thank you!

Convention News and Updates!    

Ruffwear Round table: How often have you thought to yourself, “This harness would be so much easier to put on, or take off, or hold onto, or for my guide dog to wear… if only …”? Or,” this collapsible water bowl would be perfect if only,” or “The perfect toy for my dog would include …”? Well, now you have an opportunity to share your ideas and your experiences with people who can put your good ideas to work!

A Message from Ruffwear:

Ruffwear, a leader in the design and manufacturing of gear for dogs will be present at the Guide Dog Users, Inc. conference in Sparks, Nevada, from July 2-5, 2017. We are seeking participants that want to be involved in a roundtable discussion about all available dog GEAR on the market today.

We would love to learn what products work well for guide dog users, what products need to be improved upon, and what ideas you may have for future product development.

The discussion will not be limited specifically to Ruffwear products, so come prepared to share all your products an ideas.

When: Sunday, July 2, 2017 – 2:00 PM

As space is limited, please reserve a spot by sending an email to mailto:Greg@ruffwear.com

Greg Freyberg • Specialty Product Line Manager

Visit  ruffwear.com

And Speaking of Products: Don’t miss the huge assortment of excellent products once again available in our GDUI Convention Suite! Maria Hansen, Chair of GDUI’s Products Committee says, “The Products Committee has been hard at work selecting merchandise that will appeal to our canine partners.  Such as:

  1. Lots of treats made in the U.S.A such as dental chews, nylabones, jerky, biscuits, cookies and antlers plus some canisters where they can be stored.
  2. Lots of toys! For both aggressive chewers and those with more self control. 
  3. Travel beds and mats, brushes, wipes, bowls and feeders, treat dispensers, drying towels and mits, cooling pads, Mushers Secret and an emergency bag.  And, of course, you can find GDUI harness signs and pouches, too.

The Suite will open at Noon on Sunday, July 2, and be open until the GDUI Luncheon on Wednesday, July 5th. The suite is, not only a great place to buy toys and treats, hang out with friends, take a break from convention stress, check in with trainers during Pawfice Hours each day during the hour proceeding GDUI convention programming, there will also be vet techs available for nail trimming and ear cleaning (on a schedule still being worked out), and those fabulous Carla Campbell canine massages that our guide dogs look forward to all year long! Best of all, of course, are our long-time friends, the Louisville Ladies! Stop by, take a break, say hello, and make yourselves at home for a while in the GDUI Suite!

Convention Registration Now Available Online, and via Phone as Well! Pre-Registration for all ACB Conference and Convention Activities, including all GDUI Convention activities, opened online on Wednesday, May 24, and will remain open until June 20.

To register online visit: https://acbconvention.org/

There will also be a link from the ACB website, http://www.acb.org; however, the convention link will take you directly to the registration form. Once there, you can download the form under the heading, 2017 ACB Conference and Convention Pre Registration Preview.

You can browse the form or begin your registration by logging in to your account.  The username and password you used for 2016 registration should be used for your 2017 registration. If you have forgotten your user information, there is a “forgot login or password” link on the log-in page. Your information will be sent to you via email.

If you’d like to register via telephone, call 800.866.3242. Leave your name, phone number, time zone and best time to reach you. Someone from ACB’s Minnesota office will return your call and assist you throughout the registration process.

To review the pre-registration form for the ACB Conference and convention on NFB Newsline call NFB Newsline at 888.882.1629. Enter your identification number and your security code.

From the NFB Newsline Main menu, press the number 5 on your telephone’s keypad to select Read newspapers in a different state. Then press the number 5 for National Meetings of interest to the Print-Disabled. Then press the number 1 for the ACB Pre-Registration Form 2017.And, press the number 1 again to select the ACB Pre-Registration Form dated Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Then you will have the following options:

  1. Instructions press 10.
  2. Friday, June 30. Press 11.
  3. Saturday, July 1. Press 12.
  4. Sunday, July 2. Press 13.
  5. Monday, July 3. Press 14.
  6. Tuesday, July 4. Press 15.
  7. Wednesday, July 5. Press 16.
  8. Thursday, July 6. Press 17.
  9. Friday, July 7. Press 18.
  10. Official Convention Merchandise. Press 19.

Thanks to the staff of NFB Newsline for providing this service.

Are you excited about the GDUI Convention? So are we! Remember, for convention news and updates, including the latest information about our program, and (coming soon!) all those intriguing items that will be available at GDUI’s Live Auction on Sunday evening, visit this page on our web site often: http://guidedogusersinc.org/2017-convention/.

A three-day week end is on the horizon for Willow and me, and we are excited – even though the weather forecast calls for multiple days of rain (to add to close to a week’s worth of wet and cloudy days and an increasingly muddy back yard! So, this three-day week end seems like the perfect opportunity for watching some streaming media, perhaps the new film adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” that everybody is talking about. Except … if I want to watch the series, I’ll need to get some help from sighted family members or friends.

Let’s help Disability Rights Advocates and ACB advocate for video description on Hulu!

Disability Rights Advocates is investigating complaints from blind individuals who report that the Hulu website and mobile applications are not accessible, and from blind individuals who want audio description tracks to be made available on Hulu.

They would greatly appreciate speaking with you if you are blind and you have chosen not to subscribe to Hulu because you have heard about access barriers or the lack of audio description. They would also like to speak with you if you have confronted access barriers yourself while using Hulu.

To share your experiences, please contact Kyle Ruiz, by phone at 510.665.8644 or by email at: mailto:kruiz@dralegal.org.

Meanwhile, whether you’re spending time registering for the ACB/GDUI convention, or listening to recordings of our two excellent Candidates’ Forums, or last Saturday’s GDUI board meeting, or seeking respite in all of the streaming media available these days, or walking in the rain, or indulging in the delicious springtime treats that are showing up at farmers’ markets and supermarkets alike, –no matter how you plan to fill your time during the coming week end or the following week —  remember to vote! A vibrant democracy is one in which voter participation is important to every citizen, and in our case, every member! GDUI pays VoteNow! $5.00 for every one of our members who is eligible to vote. We do this because we believe in the democratic principles that have sustained our organization for more than four decades, and because we are proud of our universally accessible elections. Your GDUI dues payment helps us pay for this privilege. Make our investment in you and your interest in GDUI count! Voting begins at Midnight on Saturday, May 27!

One more thing — Remember that GDUI is raising funds by participating in the ACB 2017 Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk and you and your families and friends can help! To help sponsor the GDUI Mushers’ team or to walk with us on July 1 and reach out for support to your own network of family and friends, please visit this link, and thank you!

https://acb.donorpages.com/2017ACBWalk/GDUIMushers/

Thank you all for your friendship and support.

Sincerely,

Penny Reeder, President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

mailto:President@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

mailto:vp1@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Website: http://www.guidedogusersinc.org/

Call us, toll-free, at 866.799.8436

Like and visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GDUInc

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: http://www.acbradio.org/mainstream.

Download or subscribe to the GDUI Juno Report pod cast here: http://acbradio.org/gdr.xml or search for the GDUI Juno Report on ITunes.

Support GDUI when you use this link to shop at Amazon.com: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1871119.

To join the GDUI-Announce List, visit this link: http://guidedogusersinc.org/join/.

To subscribe to the GDUI Chat list, visit this link: gduichatlist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

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

businesslist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

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, May 10, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Second Candidates’ Forum Just Around the Corner!

The second scheduled GDUI Candidates’ Forum will take place tomorrow evening, Thursday, May 11, beginning at 8:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (That’s 5:00 p.m. on the West Coast). Again, the call-in number will be: 712.432.0075 and the Participant Code is 919245#.

During the first segment of the Forum, a representative from the GDUI Bylaws and Resolutions Committee will discuss the proposed amendments which will appear on the ballot as well as the process you can expect for receiving your individual Voter I.D. number.  

Then the candidates will each be given 2 minutes to introduce themselves to the membership.  After that, we will have a question and answer segment in which questions taken from those submitted by our members will be posed to the candidates.  Each candidate will be allotted 2 minutes to answer each question. At the end of the Forum, each candidate will be given 30 seconds for a concluding statement.

 If you missed the first Forum which was held on Saturday, April 29, it is still available for your listening pleasure. The recording of the first Forum can be retrieved from:

 Drop Box:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/euudjz7bxprkwc0/April%2029%2C%202017%20GDUI%20Candidate%20Forum.mp3?dl=0, or Send Space: https://www.sendspace.com/file/hevs36

The first Forum may also still be heard by phone at the following playback number: 712.432.1085. Access code: 919245 followed by the # key.

The recording of the first forum will be available only until the May 11 Candidates’ Forum takes place, at which time a new recording will replace the first one.

We hope that you will have an opportunity to join us on Thursday evening, or later via a recording, and get to know our excellent candidates, Maria Kristic and Brianna Murray, better. We look forward to your participation in our democracy!

For all news related to our up-coming elections, please visit this link on the GuideDogUsersInc.org web site: http://guidedogusersinc.org/gdui-election-news-2017/ and thanks again to our excellent Nominating Committee for all of your hard work putting these forums together and assuring us all of a secure and universally accessible way to participate in our GDUI democracy.

Spring’s PawTracks is here! If you’re the kind of person who lets things accumulate in your e-mail in-box without really paying much attention, you may want to do a little search for our magazine – because thanks to Dixie and Will, PawTracks popped up in our e-mail in-boxes late last week! We are so happy to find it there, along with links for listening to the narrated recording. (Of course, if you’re one of our audio cassette subscribers, you’ll find the Spring issue in your postal mailbox any day now, as well.) Thanks to our new editor, Will Burley, to Nolan, our narrator and techie guru, and to Dixie, our Membership Chairperson, for your combined efforts to keep us informed, entertained, and up-to-date! Remember, if you want to make a written contribution to PawTracks, just send your article, essay, letter or poem to will at mailto:editor@guidedogusersinc.org.

In Case You Didn’t Hear, Congratulations are in Order for the Two Recipients of our GDUI 2017 Convention First-Timers’ Awards! They are Sam Hoggle from Marietta, GA, and Karen Wood, from Columbia, MD. We are so looking forward to meeting Sam and Karen and their guide dogs, Flash and Dollie at the GDUI Suite on the first day of our GDUI convention. Again, we want to thank everyone who applied for the First-Timers’ Awards. We hope to be able to make these opportunities available to our members in years to come, and we look forward to your involvement in GDUI activities in the meantime.  We also want to thank Bob Acosta’s 2016 Fund-Raising Committee and all of you who purchased drawing tickets last summer, and  the hard-working members of our GDUI First-Timers’ Committee, Caitlin Mongillo, Chair, Brianna Murray, Minh Ha, Lynn Merrill, and me,(as president)  ex-officio.

Convention News and Reminders 

Want a fast and easy way to have your dog’s food delivered to your hotel room door?

ScoopMasters will be maintaining our dog relief areas at the Nugget. Once again they will offer the opportunity to order dog food delivered to your hotel room. To order your food visit ScoopMasters web site at: http://premiumpetfood.com/acb/.

Or call Tim at (800) 787-7667. The deadline for ordering food is June 20th, but Tim is hoping to receive your orders no later than June 15!

Preregistration for the ACB Conference and convention opens on May 24th. At that time, you will be able to register for all of the wonderful events associated with our GDUI Convention, which takes place coincidentally with ACB’s Conference and Convention. Our dates are (Sunday, July 2 through Wednesday, July 5. This year’s convention will take place near Reno, Nevada at the Nugget Casino Resort, 1100 Nugget Avenue, in Sparks, Nevada.

Don’t miss out on the fun! Make your hotel reservations today!  Room rates at the Nugget are $89 single or double; there is an additional $10.00 per night charge per person for up to four people per room.  Applicable state and local taxes are currently 13.4%.  When you make your reservation, one night’s stay will be charged to your credit card.

 To make reservations via telephone call 800.648.1177, and ask for Group Code GACB17.  You may also make reservations online by visiting the ACB web site here: http://acb.org/2017convention.

Pre-registration for the ACB Conference and Convention opens on May 24. At that time you will be able to register for all the ACB Convention -related events as well as all the special events on our own GDUI Convention Program (such as a Live Auction this year, a special Game Night involving Poker Chips and Pooches, a fabulous

GDUI luncheon where we will honor GDUI members and others who have improved our lives over the past year, and a hands-on class in Doggie Massage)!

Join and Support the GDUI Mushers’ Team at the Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk on Sunday morning, July 2!GDUI has already signed up several guide dog teams who will be participating in the 9th Annual Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk. We are calling our team the GDUI Mushers! The walk serves as a fund-raiser for ACB as well as affiliates who walk on behalf of our organizations. We can split the funds we raise, equally, with ACB. The more funds we raise – through donations in support of our team – the better for us, and for ACB!

If you are planning to come to the GDUI Convention and you will be there on Sunday morning, we encourage you and your pooch to sign up and take a stroll together with the group in support of our worthy cause! If you can’t attend, or you’re simply not into early-morning walks that don’t involve breakfast, please support our team’s efforts by making a donation and by sharing the opportunity to contribute to our worthy cause with friends and family!

To help sponsor the GDUI Mushers’ team or to walk with us on July 1 and reach out for support to your own network of family and friends, please visit this link, and thank you! https://acb.donorpages.com/2017ACBWalk/GDUIMushers/

If you haven’t yet checked out the intriguing conversations that have been heating up the mobile phone towers that connect so many GDUI guide dogs who chat incessantly on the Nyla-Phone, don’t miss those overheard tête-à-têtes on our GDUI Convention Web Pages, here:  http://guidedogusersinc.org/2017-convention/.

Learn there how to purchase a raffle ticket (Only $5 for 3 tickets!) for this year’s beautiful plush golden retriever guide dog pup in harness, and become acquainted with our convention program, as well as the menu from Rosie’s Café, this year’s GDUI Breakfast Club Destination! Coming soon: Our GDUI Convention Auction Catalog!

Heads’ Up: GDUI’s May Board Meeting will be coming right up – not this coming Saturday, which is, BTW (just in case you need a reminder), the day before Mothers’ Day! – but on the following Saturday, May 20! And, a week after that, the GDUI election will go live! Once again, you’ll have an opportunity to participate in our universally accessible election for two candidates for directors’ seats on the GDUI Board, and to make your voice heard on whether or not to approve four proposed amendments to the GDUI by-laws.

Until we meet again via GDUI Announcements or Facebook, or on our web site, enjoy the springtime weather and your dogs’ enthusiasm for this new season of sunshine and flowers and adventure!

Thank you for your friendship and support.

Sincerely,

Penny Reeder, President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

mailto:President@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

mailto:vp1@GuideDogUsersInc.org

GDUI: http://www.guidedogusersinc.org/

Call us, toll-free, at 866.799.8436

Like and visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GDUInc

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: http://www.acbradio.org/mainstream.

Download or subscribe to the GDUI Juno Report pod cast here: http://acbradio.org/gdr.xml or search for the GDUI Juno Report on ITunes.

Support GDUI when you use this link to shop at Amazon.com: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1871119.

To join the GDUI-Announce List, visit this link: http://guidedogusersinc.org/join/.

To subscribe to the GDUI Chat list, visit this link: gduichatlist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

To subscribe to the (members only) GDUI Business list, visit this link: businesslist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

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, April 14, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Two Important Deadlines Rapidly Approaching This Coming Week End! The first is the last possible date for you to get your application in to be chosen as one of two to receive a substantial stipend to help you with expenses associated with attending the GDUI Convention. That deadline is Saturday, April 15! (This year, you won’t have to get your tax return in on April 15, but your application for the GDUI Convention First-Timers’ Award needs to be turned into the committee by the end of that day!) Find all of the details here:

http://guidedogusersinc.org/gdui-announcement-february-28-2017/,

and good luck! We can hardly wait to meet you in our GDUI Suite and hand you the money that so many generous GDUI members and friends raised to bring you to our convention!

The second deadline is the next day, April 16! That’s the last day for submitting questions for our GDUI Candidates’ Forums! You may email questions for the candidates, to the Nominating Committee Chairperson, Dixie Sanderson, by April 16, 2017, with the subject field, “candidate questions.” Her email is:

mailto:Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org .

GDUI will hold two membership forums to interview the candidates running in this election, as well as hear about the proposed amendments to our bylaws. The first one will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, beginning at 1:00 P. M. (EDT) and the second will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017, beginning at 8:00 P. M. (EDT). The call-in number for both forums will be 712.432.0075, Access code: 919245#.

Each forum will be recorded for playback via telephone, Drop Box or Send Space. The playback number is 712.432.1085. The April 29 forum recording will be available only until the May 11 forum is recorded.

Learn all about our two excellent candidates, Brianna Murray and Maria Kristic, and about the four proposed bylaws amendments at the Candidates Forums, and via e-mail and postal mail which has been distributed to all GDUI members eligible to vote in our May election, and on our web site, gdui-election-news-2017/. Congratulations to Brianna and Maria, and thank you both for stepping up to run for a Director’s seat and for working so hard for GDUI and all the issues that are so close to all of our hearts.

Handling those dreadful times when we’re denied services because we’re traveling with our guide dogs can certainly be challenging. Even though most of us know that dissolving in a river of tears won’t alleviate the problem or counter the discrimination, it’s still hard when we’re taken by surprise and shock at an unanticipated refusal of service to know exactly what to do, where to complain, how to help ourselves and educate the ignorant! Pick up some valuable tips from Jenine Stanley and Nolan Crabb when you listen to this month’s GDUI Juno Report! The program is available every month on Friday evening at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on ACB Radio, and thereafter as a podcast! Check it out. The next time a restaurant manager or an Uber driver gives you a hard time, you’ll be better prepared, and better able to cope! Find the GDUI Juno Report podcasts on ACB Radio, here: http://acbradio.org/gdr.xml.

The GDUI Program Committee is dotting the last of the I’s and crossing the last of the t’s as they ready the final GDUI Convention Program to share with you! Many of us are already scanning the internet for affordable air fares and making our hotel reservations at the Nugget. Here are dates and times and preliminary information:

Sunday, July 2, 2017 – Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada. Don’t miss out on the fun! Make your hotel reservations today!  Room rates at the Nugget are $89 single or double; there is an additional $10.00 per night charge per person for up to four people per room.  Applicable state and local taxes are currently 13.4%.  When you make your reservation, one night’s stay will be charged to your credit card.

To make reservations via telephone call

1.800.648.1177, and ask for Group Code GACB17.

The hotel shuttle provides complimentary ground transportation from the Reno airport to the Nugget, and the airport will be staffed, as usual, by Margarine Beaman and her cadre of helpful volunteers. To assist airline personnel and Margarine and her volunteers please provide the following information:

Your name, the name of the airline you will be arriving on, your departure city, arrival Flight number, arrival date and time, departure airline, departure date, departure time, and your Cell phone number.

Send Margarine an e-mail with “airline information” in the subject line at

 mailto:Oleo50@hotmail.com  or  call her at 512.921.1625.

Convention highlights include our famous GDUI Suite, a live auction this year, a game night that combines poker and pups in unique ways, the ACB-GDUI walk, a mock trial where attendees serve as jurors, the GDUI Breakfast Club at Rosie’s Café, Carla’s famous canine massages, a nearly life-size plush Golden guide dog to bring home with you if yours is the winning raffle ticket, the always popular guide dog schools updates, and so much more! Keep track of all the convention information, including lists of auction items coming soon here: http://guidedogusersinc.org/2017-convention/.

Remember, April is the month for scheduling a free eye exam for your guide dog! The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) will again be conducting free eye exams for qualifying service dogs during the month of May, 2017. Registration is open from April 1 through April 30, 2017 athttps://www.acvoeyeexam.org/.

Here’s an “inspiring” message from GDUI Board Member, Charlie Crawford, and his Seeing Eye Dog, Razen: Enjoy Charlie’s message, and then go to the web address he provides and either sign up as a GDUI Mushers Walker or donate in the name of Charlie or Deanna or Willow and me or anyone else who has joined the team! And thank you!

Hello GDUI!

Yup, it’s time to hup hup and make some money for GDUI to go forward on our activities and goals!  This time, Charlie Crawford, that’s me, registered as a virtual walker in the ACB Brenda Dillon memorial walk coming up this summer at the ACB convention.  We’ve created a team called the GDUI Mushers and I need to ask you huskies to join up on the sled team and let’s get moving on the trail to a much brighter future for both ACB and GDUI! 

I have set a hefty goal for fund raising since it will take some gold for the GDUI Mushers to bring home!  Yukon King and I were talking with Razen and we figure ten thousand for ACB and ten thousand for GDUI is what we will need to bring in a total of twenty thousand! Are you thinking I am going out of my mind and we can’t do that! Of course we can! Look at it this way: Bill Gates goes to the GDUI Mushers page and writes a donation of $40,000.  No big deal to him and we get twice what we wanted.  Now being serious, we could get a thousand people to donate $20 each or maybe two thousand people to donate ten bucks each, or even four thousand people to donate five dollars each and tada, we got it!!!

Lastly, let me say two things.  First, if a whole bunch of people check out the GDUI Mushers page and donate a whole bunch of loot, then we will go beyond the goal and wouldn’t that be cool!  Second, here’s what you need to do.

Bring up your favorite internet browser and go to:

https://acb.donorpages.com/2017ACBWalk/GDUIMushers

and hit the donate button to make your donation!  That’s it!  No muss, no fuss.  Only one more thing: share this message with everyone you know because together we go places and alone it is a whole lot harder.

So big woof woofs from my little Razen in the sun and she says you get a million wags for every $20 you give!  Of course you are free to donate any amount and whether big or small, it comes from your heart and it is really appreciated! 

I’d ask you to get busy and go to the page, but naaah, that Ain’t right and your dogs would not understand it, big smile.  So I’ll just say see you at

https://acb.donorpages.com/2017ACBWalk/GDUIMushers

and please give what you feel you can do for ACB and GDUI!

Charlie Crawford, GDUI Mushers Captain and my little Razen in the sun whose sending lots of wags and wiggles out to you and your pups!  

BookShare needs your help! If you, like me and so many others who are blind or visually impaired, rely on BookShare for an amazing, constantly updating selection of reading materials, please answer this call to action and contact your Congresspersons to tell them what a valuable service BookShare provides, not only to all of us grown-ups who love to read, but also to thousands and thousands of school-age print-disabled children who rely on BookShare for accessible textbooks. BookShare’s funding is in grave jeopardy. Please help by going to this web site and writing to your Representatives and Senators: http://cqrcengage.com/bookshare/.

Finally, we want to announce a Survey Request for which your input as guide dog users will be particularly helpful. researchers are studying the experiences of people who have had a vision impairment for at least 5 years and rely on technologies that provide sound output (e.g., GPS, talking watches, VoiceOver on iPhone, sonic canes, crosswalks with sounds) when they are out and about in their communities. We are most concerned with how easy or difficult it is to hear the sounds from these technologies. We are recruiting adults who:  are 18 years or older • have had vision impairment for at least 5 years • use sound output technologies to independently get around in their communities multiple times during a week; and • can understand and speak/read/write English without any difficulty. To complete our survey, please go to the following link:

http://sgiz.mobi/s3/cece772ce8d3 If you prefer an alternative to the electronic survey or have questions about participating in this research project, please contact Dr. Carrie Bruce at 404.385.6916 or mailto:carrie.bruce@gatech.edu

Carrie Bruce, PhD, CCC-SLP Senior Research Scientist, School of Interactive Computing Research Director, Master’s Program in Human-Computer Interaction Georgia Institute of Technology 85 Fifth St. NW – Room 346 | Atlanta, GA 30318 Office: 404.385.6916, Web: http://mshci.gatech.edu  

Until we arrive in your In Box again with more information about GDUI events and concerns, enjoy the beautiful springtime weather, and thank you for your friendship and support.

Sincerely,

Penny Reeder, President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.
mailto:President@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.
mailto:vp1@GuideDogUsersInc.org

GDUI: http://www.guidedogusersinc.org/

Call us, toll-free, at  866.799.8436

Like and visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GDUInc

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: http://www.acbradio.org/mainstream.

Download or subscribe to the GDUI Juno Report pod cast here: http://acbradio.org/gdr.xml 0r search for the GDUI Juno Report on ITunes.

Support GDUI when you use this link to shop at Amazon.com: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1871119.

To join the GDUI-Announce List, visit this link: http://guidedogusersinc.org/join/.

To subscribe to the GDUI Chat list, visit this link: gduichatlist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

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

businesslist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

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.

April 10, 2017

Announcing the GDUI 2017 Elections

In our upcoming election, you will have the opportunity to both vote on filling two Board positions as well as on the amendments of GDUI Bylaws.

The Board of Directors of Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI) is asking GDUI members to vote for two open Director seats (term ending in 2020).

The candidates for these positions are:

Candidates for Director:

Brianna Murray, incumbent from South Carolina                

Maria Kristic, from New York                                                     

The 2017 GDUI Elections will commence Saturday, May 27, 2017 12:00 AM (EDT) and conclude on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 11:59 PM (EDT).

GDUI members who have paid their dues and are members in good standing by the record date of April 7, 2017 are eligible to vote in this election. Each member has one vote.

GDUI must receive the votes of fifteen percent of the members entitled to vote in this election, or at least seventy-five votes, for this election to be valid.

The two open director positions will be filled by the two   candidates who receive the largest and second-largest number of votes for director.

Any current GDUI member may request a copy of the candidate biographies from the Nominations Committee Chair at the following address: director5@guidedogusersinc.org.

In order for the proposed bylaw amendments to be considered for adoption, the Organization must receive the votes of 15% of the members entitled to vote on this question, or at least 75 votes. The bylaw amendments will be adopted if 2/3rds of the members voting on each proposal vote yes.

Voting System

Once again this year VoteNow will be handling our election.  GDUI members will have the option of voting either telephonically or online.

Your old voter ID number will no longer be valid.   In a few weeks, members will receive new voter ID numbers.  either by e-mail or postcard directly from VoteNow.  Please watch your inboxes and mailboxes for this important information.  No one else at GDUI will have access to your personal ID number so, if you misplace that new number, you may call a designated person at VoteNow to retrieve that information. You will also receive the number for telephonic voting and the link to the online ballot.

GDUI will hold two membership forums to interview the candidates running in this election. The first one will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, beginning at 1:00 P. M. (EDT) and the second will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017 beginning at 8:00 P. M. (EDT). The call-in number for both forums will be (712) 432-0075; access code: 919245.

Each forum will be recorded for playback via telephone, Drop Box or Send Space. The playback number is (712) 432-1085. The April 29 forum recording will be available only until the May 11 forum is recorded; after that the May 11 forum recording will be available on the playback number.

You may email questions for the candidates, to the Nominating Committee Chairperson, Dixie Sanderson, by April 16, 2017, with the subject field, “candidate questions.” Her email is: Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org.

GDUI has elected to proceed under Section 29.405.20(f) of the Nonprofit Code. If a member who is entitled to vote on these matters wishes to communicate with the membership about the subject matter of the vote, the member should contact the Nominations Chair. 

Dixie Sanderson

GDUI Nominations Committee Chair

Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Proposed Amendments to the GDUI Bylaws April 2017

The GDUI Bylaws and Resolutions Committee submits the following four (4) proposed amendments for consideration during the May 2017 Annual election.

In order to achieve a quorum, at least 75 members, which represents 15% of the membership, must vote.  Further, a two-thirds affirmative vote is required in order to adopt an amendment.

Members will have opportunities to ask questions about the proposed amendments during the Candidates/Amendments Forums which are scheduled on two separate dates prior to the elections.  The first will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, beginning at 1:00 P. M. (EDT) and the second will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017 beginning at 8:00 P. M. (EDT). The call-in number for both forums is (712) 432-0075; access code: 919245 followed by the pound sign.

AMENDMENT 1: Non-discrimination and Freedom of Speech

Purpose: To acknowledge the principles of Freedom of Speech and non-discrimination.  Although technically not required because it is already included within the context of the existing provision, GDUI wishes to underscore its commitment to the principles of non-discrimination and freedom of speech with the additional proposed language in the last sentence below.

ARTICLE 1.00:  NAME; GOVERNANCE; AFFILIATION

Section 1.03:  Affiliation

This Organization shall be a chartered special interest affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, and shall hence be subject to all requirements and obligations applicable to affiliates  of that organization.  GDUI embraces the principles of non-discrimination and freedom of speech.

AMENDMENT 2: Clarification of Affiliate Voting

Purpose:  to amend the language of subsection 4.06 (1), which deals with Affiliate Voting, in order to eliminate ambiguity and to conform with related sections 4.06(4) and 7.02.

Below is the proposed revision of 4.06 (1) followed by the current 4.06 (1).

Proposed revision of 4.06 (1):

4.06(1) Affiliate voting shall be limited to caucuses and business sessions taking place at the annual convention  where such business shall be strictly limited to matters coming before the ACB convention on which GDUI may wish to adopt positions or take specific actions.  At such a meeting, the membership may, by majority vote of those present and voting, call for a roll call vote on a specific matter of business.  When affiliate voting is authorized, each affiliate shall be entitled to one (1) vote for each seven (7) affiliate members, or major fraction thereof; however, no affiliate may have more than twenty-five (25) affiliate votes.

The current language of 4.06(1) is:

Affiliate voting shall be limited to caucuses and other activities authorized by the Board of Directors, with the exception that the membership at a properly called meeting, may, by majority vote of those present and voting, call for a roll call vote  on a  specific matter of business.  When affiliate voting is authorized, each affiliate shall be entitled to one (1) vote in any annual or special  meeting of the membership  or properly called telephonic or electronic election/meeting for each seven (7) affiliate members, or major fraction thereof; however, no affiliate may have more than twenty-five (25) affiliate members.

AMENDMENT 3: Designating a Seat on the Board for Immediate Past President

Purpose: designate the position of Immediate Past President as a seat on the Board.  This would involve the following changes.

5.03:  Immediate Past President 

The position of Immediate Past President shall be designated as a seat on the Board. 

  (1)The Immediate Past President shall have full voting privileges and shall serve until there is another Immediate Past President.

  (2) The designated position of Immediate Past President shall become available when the person serving as President in June of 2017 shall be duly qualified to succeed  to that office.

The present section 5.04 shall become 5.05 and read as follows:

5.05:  Board Of Directors

The Officers, Directors, Immediate Past President, and the three (3) additional members who are elected or appointed to the Board shall constitute the Board of Directors of this Organization, (hereinafter the Board).  All Officers shall be considered to be Directors as that term is used in the DC Nonprofit Code.

The current section 5.05 shall become 5.06 and shall read:

Section 5.06:  Locales of Directors

Of those Director positions that are elected to the Board, no more than three (3) members occupying those positions shall be from the same state, district, or possession.  For the avoidance of doubt, the Publications Editor, the Affiliate Liaison, the Guide Dog School Liaison, and the Immediate Past President are not elected positions on the Board.

AMENDMENT 4:  Eliminating Provisions for Run-off Elections

Purpose: Due to the costs of conducting elections, propose eliminating the provision for run-off elections (second elections).

The proposal involves eliminating sub-section 5.09 (3), which deals with second elections, and merging sub-sections 5.09 (2) and 5.09 (4), which deal with majority and plurality voting.

Changes to 5.09 Election and Tenure.  Propose elimination of sub-section 5.09(3) which reads: “In the event there are more than two candidates for any Officer position  and following the election, no candidate has received more than fifty percent of the votes cast for such office, a second election will be held immediately following the conclusion of the first election.  The two candidates receiving the most votes in the first election shall be candidates in the second election.  If either of the top two candidates elects not to stand for the second election, the candidate with the next highest vote total shall be a candidate for office in the second vote.  No additional nominees will be accepted for such office.”

5.09(2) reads “Officers will be elected by a majority  of the members present at the meeting.”  and

5.09(4) reads “Directors will be elected by a plurality of the members present at the meeting.”

Propose combining both into a new 5.09(2) to read, “Officers and Directors will be elected by a plurality of the members present at the meeting.”

End of proposed Amendments

GDUI has elected to proceed under Section 29.405.20(f) of the Nonprofit Code. If a member who is entitled to vote on these matters has any questions, please feel free to contact your Bylaws Committee members at Bylaws@guidedogusersinc.org .

Respectfully submitted,

Maria Hansen, Chair, Bylaws and Resolutions Committee

Lynn Merrill, Member

Ellen Telker, Member

Rick Roderick, Member

Maria Kristic, Member

Penny Reeder, Member

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:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/zozfsp

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

Best,

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:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4909668/GDUI%20Town%20Hall%20Meeting%20Recording%2C%20February%2018%2C%202017.mp3

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: editor@guidedogusersinc.org  

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: http://guidedogusersinc.org/announcing-gdui-2017-elections/.

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:

Director1@guidedogusersinc.org 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.  

Sincerely,

Penny Reeder, President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.
President@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.
vp1@GuideDogUsersInc.org

GDUI Website: http://www.guidedogusersinc.org/

Call us toll-free at 866.799.8436

Like and visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GDUInc

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: http://www.acbradio.org/mainstream.

Download or subscribe to the GDUI Juno Report pod cast here: http://acbradio.org/gdr.xml or search for the GDUI Juno Report on ITunes.

Support GDUI when you use this link to shop at Amazon.com: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1871119.

To join the GDUI-Announce List, visit this link: http://guidedogusersinc.org/join/.

To subscribe to the GDUI Chat list, visit this link: gduichatlist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

To subscribe to the (members only) GDUI Business list, visit this link: businesslist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

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 Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org 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 http://guidedogusersinc.org/join/ or by credit card by calling 1-866.799.8436; or by mailing your check made payable to GDUI to our postal mailing address:

GUIDE DOG USERS, INC.
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 Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org 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 http://guidedogusersinc.org/announcing-gdui-2017-elections/

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:

Date:

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

Who:  GUIDE DOG USERS OF WASHINGTON STATE (GDUWS)

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
509.200.0599
Blazie.girl@gmail.com

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: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/passengers-disabilities

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: http://www.nib.org/content/roeder-scholarship-application.

For more information, contact Kathy Gallagher, 703.310.0343 or kgallagher@nib.org

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: http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/32858/myva311-one-number-call-reach-va/]

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 spoof@oig.hhs.gov. 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, http://guidedogusersinc.org/gdui-announcement-february-28-2017/ 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.

Sincerely,

Penny Reeder, President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.
President@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.
vp1@GuideDogUsersInc.org

GDUI Website: http://www.guidedogusersinc.org/

Call us, toll-free at 866.799.8436

Like and visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GDUInc

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: http://www.acbradio.org/mainstream.

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

http://acbradio.org/gdr.xml or search for the GDUI Juno Report on ITunes.

Support GDUI when you use this link to shop at Amazon.com:

http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1871119

To join the GDUI-Announce List, visit this link: http://guidedogusersinc.org/join/

To subscribe to the GDUI Chat list, visit this link: gduichatlist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

To subscribe to the (members only) GDUI Business list, visit this link: businesslist-subscribe@guidedogusersinc.org

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: https://soundcloud.com/theblindsidepodcast/episode26
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: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/passengers-disabilities