GDUI Announcement, August 8, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Welcome to August! Ordinarily, we might be chatting about those infamous “dog days of summer,” but for the past several days, our weather here in the mid-Atlantic has felt more like mid-September than early August, and   this year, the one thing we seem to be able to say about climate predictability is that our climate has been anything but predictable! There were tornados in Tulsa a couple of days ago, and here in normally hot, hazy, and humid  — but not very meteorologically exciting — Maryland, several localities experienced probable tornados just a few hours ago. The winds were strong enough to flip cars driving down highways where tornados were active. Over the week end, there was flooding in New Orleans when the city experienced ten inches of rain in a single day. Forest fires are raging all over the West, and a new tropical storm reportedly thinks about becoming a full-blown hurricane once it encounters land just about once each week. I bring all of this up just to remind you that, if you experience a natural disaster and that affects your ability to care for your guide dog, GDUI’s Disaster Assistance Preparedness Program is here to help. For more information, visit this link on our web site:

http://guidedogusersinc.org/resources/disaster-assistance-preparedness-program-dapp/.

Heads’ Up: GDUI’s Membership Survey is online and ready for your input! As a membership-driven organization, we welcome opportunities to hear from you! That’s why the Membership Committee, in cooperation with the Advocacy and Legislative Committee, and the Public Relations Committee, has created a survey to ask all of you to prioritize the issues you would like us to be working on, what you like about the way we conduct GDUI business, and if and how you would like us to make changes. Don’t worry, the survey is totally accessible (We tested it with a variety of screen readers and browsers), your anonymity is guaranteed, and there are just a few questions. Find our membership survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CS2DPCR

Please complete the short membership survey and submit it by August 31. That’s our deadline. And, thank you!

A new GDUI Facebook Group! Thanks to GDUI Board Member and Social Networking Guru, Minh Ha for creating a new public group on Facebook for GDUI members, friends, and supporters — giving us all one more way to share information, discuss our organization, and compare notes on the guide dog lifestyle and community. You can join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/GDUInc/

An Exciting New Fund-Raising Opportunity for GDUI! PLEASE SUPPORT GUIDE DOG USERS, INC GROUP #999969764

We’re partnering with Yankee Candle Fundraising to help achieve our fund-raising goal this year. They are the world’s Number-One  candle brand and they offer a variety of premium candles, fragrances and décor items at a wide range of prices. For GDUI, the most exciting aspect of this generous fund-raising opportunity is that 40 percent  of every sale goes to us!

To help support GDUI, you can click on the link below and order all kinds of beautiful sweet-smelling items online. Your purchases ship directly to your home and our group will automatically receive its 40 percent  on each and every sale. This promotion is good through January 10, 2018.

Ready to start shopping now? Just follow the link below and you’ll be on your way to helping GDUI reach our 2017 fundraising goals: https://www.yankeecandlefundraising.com/store.htm.

If the link fails to take you to the Guide Dog Users Inc. fund-raising site, don’t worry. Simply visit: www.yankeecandlefundraising.com and enter your Group Number 999969764 in the “Start Shopping” box you’ll find there. Then you can shop for all of the Yankee Candle Fundraising items and your purchases will still benefit GDUI.

Holiday shopping season will be here before we know it! We will be pleased and grateful if you begin your shopping with the Yankee Candle Store and help to support GDUI!

New List Moderators for GDUI Chat, Business, and Leadership E-mail Discussion Lists – We are grateful to Darla Rogers and Will Burley who stepped up to meet our need for members to help with moderating our e-mail discussion lists! Dixie and all of us are pleased and grateful. Thank you.

Great news: The GDUI 2017 Convention Recordings are now available at our web site! If you couldn’t attend this year’s GDUI convention, or you couldn’t attend every single program session, you can listen to the convention recordings, ably created and edited by ACB Radio. It will be almost as good as being there in person! Here’s the link: http://guidedogusersinc.org/gdui-convention-archives/2017-gdui-convention-program-recordings/

Returning briefly to our August theme, we want to share one more intriguing link with you! August is famous for the (apparently) breath-taking meteor showers which fill the night skies during this month each summer. I have often wished I could experience those showers of light. (After all, who doesn’t long to wish on a star?) And, this summer promises an even more extraordinary celestial event, the solar eclipse, which will be visible for a large number of people living in North America, on August 21. Now comes news that, even if you can’t see the eclipse with your eyes, there will be ways for you to experience the phenomenon using other senses!

On August 21, 2017, millions of people will view a total solar eclipse as it passes through the United States. However, for the visually impaired, or others who are unable to see the eclipse with their own eyes, the Eclipse Soundscapes Project delivers a multisensory experience of this exciting celestial event. The project, from NASA’s Heliophysics Education Consortium, will include audio descriptions of the eclipse in real time, recordings of the changing environmental sounds during the eclipse, and an interactive  “rumble map” app that will allow users to  visualize the eclipse through touch.

No matter which celestial or terrestrial events become the highlights of August 2017, for you and your guide dog, we wish you an enjoyable last month of summer, with lots of friends and family members to share in your enjoyment, and wagging tails everywhere you go! Thanks again 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 Website: http://www.guidedogusersinc.org/

Call us, toll-free, at  866.799.8436

Like, visit us, and join our Facebook Group : 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.

SUPPORT GUIDE DOG USERS, INC GROUP #999969764 when you purchase candles and other decorative items from the Yankee Candle Store here: https://www.yankeecandlefundraising.com/store.htm.

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 where 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, July 10, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Willow and I arrived home from the ACB and GDUI Conventions late on Friday night. After many hours of sleeping soundly under a table at Thursday’s ACB general session and a five-plus hour airplane ride the next day, Willow is all rested up after the many GDUI events we attended together and eager to play with her new favorite ball from the GDUI Suite! I, on the other hand, am still recovering! But with so many wonderful memories and so much gratitude for everyone in GDUI who shares responsibility for a fantastic convention, I am feeling fine.

I am writing tonight to remind all of you about a fund-raising opportunity that will be fun and appealing for you and good for GDUI, too! Amazon.com’s third-annual Prime Day is on Tuesday, July 11, and will feature more than 100,000 deals exclusively for Prime members, making it one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Because of GDUI’s ‘smiling relationship with Amazon.com, all of that shopping can be good for GDUI as well! Whenever you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate to Guide Dog Users Inc.

When you #StartWithaSmile on #PrimeDay, Amazon.com donates to Guide Dog Users Inc. Shop for great deals at smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1871119.

Advocacy is important, but advocacy doesn’t come free of charge! There are phone calls to make and to hear, meetings to attend, letters to write. Even though our Advocacy and Legislative Committee is led and staffed by dedicated volunteers, there are still expenses associated with helping guide dog users make their cases for equality and civil rights, and persuading business owners, government administrators, and legislators about the importance of those civil rights.

We strive to improve our web site all of the time. Recently, GuideDogUsersInc.org was an important source of information about our fantastic convention. None of those postings came free of charge! And, soon, we’ll be adding the recordings from our GDUI 2017 convention to our web site, as well!

PawTracks is a magazine that informs, entertains, and allows members and friends to discuss all of those guide dog-related issues that need attention. One of our most significant expenses during a year is for the production and distribution of our quarterly magazine!

And, of course you know already that our universally accessible voting system costs $5.00 for every member eligible to vote.

I am hoping to encourage all of you to use the Smile Shopping Portal tomorrow when you check out all of those amazing Prime Day deals! Have fun shopping, and thanks for allowing GDUI to benefit from your purchasing power as well!

Sincerely,

Penny Reeder, President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

mailto: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, June 30, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Tomorrow is the day! Support GDUI’s actual and virtual Mushers’ Team  in the Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk, which will commence at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow at the Nugget Casino and Hotel in Sparks, NV! This event serves as an energetic fund-raiser for the American Council of the Blind and all ACB affiliates whose teams participate as well! Yes, GDUI has a team. We’re called the GDUI Mushers because – guess what!   Mushers’ Secret, makers of that wonderful waxy substance that protects our dogs’ paws in all kinds of weather conditions, is supporting our team!

Below is a message I have shared on Facebook (and will again, tonight, in one more effort to increase our funding!). Please share with your own family and friends, and please make a contribution! Every dollar counts!

Hello to Family and Friends,

I am writing today to tell you about a fund-raising event in which Guide Dog Users, Inc. – better known in the blindness community as GDUI – is participating this summer at the American Council of the Blind’s annual conference and convention. The event, the ninth annual Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk, will take place on the morning of Saturday, July 1, in Reno, Nevada, (site of this year’s convention), beginning at 7:00 a.m. GDUI is an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), and, for the first time, we are assembling a team of walkers – both human and canine, in-person and virtual! – to walk for the important cause of raising funds for ACB and GDUI!A magical aspect of this particular fund-raiser is that ACB and its affiliates split each team’s proceeds equally between us!  I am hoping that you will want to assist us in our fund-raising goal, either as a sponsor for one of our participating teams (Yes, My Seeing Eye Dog, Willow, and I have formed a team!), or if you’re a member of GDUI, as a walk participant yourself! If you decide to walk with the GDUI Mushers – either in-person and on-site, or virtually – then you can sign up on the web site that I will share with you below and then share the news with your own social networking groups of families and friends! (You can see how this effort can expand in a very meaningful and financially helpful way! If you’re one of our many members, let me encourage you to become a walker and spread the word! If you’re not into walking, your financial contributions will be equally appreciated, and both ACB and GDUI are organizations that will gratefully accept your donations and put them to good uses to improve support, opportunities, and advocacy on behalf of people who are blind and visually impaired in every region of the country!

Drawing on the experiences and varied knowledge

Of our members from every region of the USA, GDUI provides peer support, advocacy and information to the blind and visually impaired members of guide dog teams. In addition, GDUI works with public entities, private businesses and individuals to ensure that guide dog users enjoy the same rights to travel, employment, housing, and participation in all aspects of life that people without disabilities take for granted.

An affiliate of the American Council of the Blind since 1972, GDUI is the largest consumer-driven organization of its kind in the world. 

GDUI sponsors an informative web site http://www.guidedogusersinc.org, provides several venues for online discussion and communication, and publishes an award-winning quarterly magazine called “PawTracks,” to share information on matters that resonate with its members and friends.

GDUI maintains a Guide Dog School Survey to facilitate informed choice for everyone who seeks training with a guide dog.

GDUI publishes fact sheets and informational brochures which educate the public on a variety of topics, including the access rights of guide dog teams, and, considering the special danger that uncontrolled dogs can pose to working teams,   responsible pet ownership.

GDUI provides informed advice to local, state and federal governmental entities such as the U. S. Department of Justice, and the U. S. Department of Transportation, regarding the civil rights protections that permit people who are blind and visually impaired to rely on their guide dogs for safe and independent travel wherever people who do not experience disabilities take independent travel and unfettered access for granted.

 In conjunction with the annual convention of the American Council of the Blind, GDUI hosts an informative and entertaining convention each summer, where members and friends gather to hear from experts on blindness and canine-related topics, to share experiences, and to gather together for purposes of fun, friendship, and organizational governance. 

Recently, GDUI became the first blindness-related organization in the United States to develop a process and provide a means, online and by telephone, for universal accessible membership voting.

We welcome your exploration of our web site. And, we provide a fully-staffed toll-free telephone number where experienced guide dog users can answer questions, provide information, share stories, and extend empathetic support (866.799.8436).

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/

There’s more than one way to raise funds for GDUI during convention week!

Participate in our Sunday-night live and call-in auction!

If attending the ACB/GDUI Convention at the Nugget Hotel in Sparks, NV. (All are welcome)

When: Sunday July 2nd

Where: In the Bonanza A room (second floor)

Time: 8:00PM PST

There will be a no host bar.

Don’t miss out on the fun!

 Guide Dog Users Inc. invites you to join in all the fun and participate in the annual Auction, LIVE from the comfort of your own couch!

Toss your guide a “Nyla” Bone, Pick up the phone, and pour a glass of your own as we bid for some pawesome treats!!

 How to Participate:

 When: Sunday July 2nd

 Time: 8:00PM PST

 Call #:

1 (515) 739-1030

 Passcode: 877998

 As this is an event we won’t want you to miss, we insist you be on the line between 8:00-8:15pm! Once you arrive on the line, listen to a description of items from the auctioneers. You will then be greeted by your operator who will relay with phone attendees and the live auction in Reno. To place a bid, simply speak your name and bid request, and the operator will handle the rest!

Please don’t be late for this tail wagging date! Any participant who arrives on the line after 8:15pm will not be able to bid!

 We hope to see you all there!!

*If you encounter any problems, please call Toll Free:

1-866-799-8436

The GDUI 2017 Program Team!

Great news from New Jersey!

New Jersey guide dog handlers who want to keep their retired guides now have full and equal access to all housing!

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillView.asp?BillNumber=S1359

This seems like such a worthwhile goal for all of us who may someday want to retire a faithful guide dog and keep him or her with us and our family even after we begin working with a successor guide dog. Congratulations, New Jersey, on advocacy well done!

If you are here at convention in Reno, Willow and I are looking forward to getting to know you better. If you couldn’t make it this year, we are pleased to let you know that nearly all of our program segments will be recorded and available online soon after convention. No matter where you and your guide dog are hanging out this week, have a happy Fourth of July! We all treasure our independence.

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 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.

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.

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

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