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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.

Announcing the GDUI 2017 Elections

Announcing the GDUI 2017 Elections Beginning Saturday, May 27th 12:00 AM thru Sunday, June 4th 11:59 PM (EDT) for Seeking candidates for two Director Seats (3 Year Term)

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: 2 Director Seats (3 Year Term)

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 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 in the election of our GDUI Board.

 A membership in GDUI costs $15.00 per person per year, and includes an annual subscription to PawTracks, our quarterly magazine. 

Dues/subscriptions 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 to the above address and made payable to GDUI. 

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.

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 meet 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?

Position Description for GDUI Board of Directors

All GDUI officers and Directors must:

Be willing and able to participate in regularly scheduled meetings and e-mail discussions.

Always act in a dignified manner and interact respectfully with fellow directors and Officers and agree to abide by GDUI’s current code of conduct for board members,

Work as a team member to maintain and protect GDUI and its mission,

Become well verse with GDUI’s Bylaws,

Respect the authority of the GDUI Bylaws and work within the guidance therein, and the requirements of the GDUI Articles of Incorporation, and other GDUI governing documents

Be a collaborative participant in the democratic process –respecting the outcome of votes of the membership and votes of the board,

Possess sufficient computer skills to participate in e-mail work,

Be flexible for scheduling meeting times.

(The GDUI Board meets by phone conference bi-monthly for two or more hours, with committee meetings or other special meetings scheduled separately.

GDUI Director Position Description

Responsibilities and criteria for GDUI Board of Director position

Each member of the GDUI Board of Directors must be willing and able to accept the legal, fiduciary and ethical responsibilities of an organizational director, in accordance with standard nonprofit practices and procedures.

Board members are expected to attend all board meetings.

Members of the GDUI Board of Directors shall inform the President, in advance, if unable to attend a particular board meeting.

A GDUI board member shall not be absent from three consecutive board meetings in any year.

A majority of Board members will be guide dog users.

Respectfully Submitted,

The GDUI Nominations Committee

Nolan Crab

Charlie Crawford

Pauline Lamontagne

Deanna Noriega

Dixie Sanderson (Chair)

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

GDUI Announcement, February 28, 2017

Apply Today for One of Two First-Timers' Stipends to Attend the 2017 GDUI Convention in Sparks, Nevada at the Nugget Casino Resort from July 1-July 5. Read below for more details.

Dear GDUI Members,

Today’s announcement is an exciting one for all of us. Last summer, our Fund-Raising Committee held a successful Summer Drawing, the proceeds from which are funding this opportunity for two GDUI members to receive a stipend which will allow them to attend our summer convention, held this summer in Sparks, Nevada (near Reno). All of the details, including an application form and topics for three required essays, are included below.

Before sharing all of the details, I want to thank the GDUI 2016 Fund-Raising Committee and all of its members and Chairperson, Bob Acosta, who worked so hard to put the summer drawing together, collecting appealing items that generated so many bids, and handling the sales of tickets and coordination of drawing tickets and sending the winners their prizes. Thank you to every single one of you who contributed prizes, bought tickets, sold to friends or family members, and made this fund-raiser such a success for GDUI, and for the two first-timers who will reap the rewards of all those efforts this
coming summer.

Thank you, as well, to our First-Timers’ Committee who developed the process for selecting winners, created the application, and made this exciting competition possible. That committee included Caitlin Mongillo, Committee Chairperson; Brianna Murray; Minh Ha; and Lynn Merrill. And, of course, thank you to our board who met, both online and via telephone, to discuss the proposal and reach agreement on all of the details.

Now, it’s time for the suspense to end! We hope that many of our members who have been wishing they could attend one of our conventions, but just couldn’t manage to accumulate the wherewithal will apply for this award. The deadline for submitting your completed application is April 15, 2017. Results will be announced as soon as they are available, in time for airline tickets to be purchased convention kibble to be ordered or packed, and excitement to mount! Good luck to all of you! On this Mardi Gras Day, think positively, and let the good times roll!

Sincerely,

Penny and Willow, who can hardly wait to spend time with our winners
this coming July!

Guide Dog Users, Inc.
First Time Convention Attendee Application for 2017 GDUI Convention

Purpose
Every year, Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI) holds its convention in conjunction with the American Council of the Blind Conference and Convention. In 2017, the GDUI Convention will take place in Sparks, NV at the Nugget Casino Resort from July 1-July 5, http://acb.org/2017convention. The GDUI convention is a terrific opportunity to network with other guide dog users, get program updates from the guide dog schools in the US, attend workshops on the most pressing issues in the community, and have a lot of fun. We understand that the cost of attending a convention can be prohibitive for some, which is why we created this opportunity to assist individuals that
may otherwise not be able to attend.

Process
Please complete the application (below) in its entirety and submit it by April 15, 2017; incomplete applications will not be considered. There are a series of demographic questions to assist us in gathering info about our applicants, as well as three essays. Essays should be added to this completed word document. All applications must be received by April 15, 2017. Completed applications may be submitted to gduifirsttimers@gmail.com.

They can be sent as attachments (please include your name in the file name) or copy/pasted into a blank email message (please put your name in the subject line). The winning applicants will hear back from the committee as soon as a decision is made.

Award winners will receive a check for $955.00 on July 1, 2017 at the GDUI Suite. This money can go towards reimbursement of hotel costs, meal subsidy, airfare or other convention expenses.

Award winners will agree to:

  • Participate in all GDUI convention events
  • Sit with GDUI at least twice during ACB general session
  • Write an article for the fall edition of PawTracks, GDUI’s magazine
    describing your experience at the GDUI convention
  • Actively participate on at least one GDUI committee throughout the
    year following the GDUI convention
  • Conduct yourself with respect and professionalism throughout the convention

Requirements of Applicants:

  • Must be a member of GDUI in good standing
  • Must be a guide dog user
  • Must be willing to attend the GDUI convention in full; July 1 – July 5, 2017
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must NOT be a board member, family member of a board member, or an
    individual sharing a dwelling with a board member
  • Must not have attended an ACB or GDUI National Convention in the past

Guide Dog Users, Inc. – First Time Convention Attendee Application:

Name:
Date:
Address:
City:
State:
Zip code:
Email address:
Phone number (cell/work/home):
Date of birth:

Are you currently a member of GDUI? If yes, how long have you been a member?

How long, in years, have you been working with a guide dog?

How long have you been working with your current guide?

Have you attended a national GDUI convention in the past?

Essay Questions

Question 1: In a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 750, tell us
what you would hope to learn from this years’ GDUI convention in Reno.
What are you most looking forward to, and why do you want to attend?

Question 2: In a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 750, please
tell us, in detail, what you think the main issue facing guide dog
teams is in the year 2017? Why is this a problem, and what suggestions
do you have to help remedy this issue?

Question 3: In a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 750, tell us
what projects or initiatives you would like to assist GDUI with this
next year. What talents do you feel you could bring to the
organization and what committees interest you the most?

GDUI Announcement, February 17, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Tomorrow’s the day! We will host a telephonic membership meeting for all GDUI members, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (11 a.m., Pacific Standard Time) and lasting until 4:00 p.m. Call this number: 712.432.0075, and use this Participant Code: 919245-Pound.

We will segment our discussion under three broad themes: Membership involvement in the governance of GDUI; Membership contributions to funding GDUI; and Members’ involvement in determining GDUI’s advocacy goals.

We know that many of you have good ideas, and we are eager to hear them and happy to have this opportunity to share with one another.

GDUI Bylaws And Resolutions Committee News
This year’s GDUI election will run from Saturday, May 27 through Sunday, June 4, 2017.  The Bylaws and Resolutions Committee will consider amendments to the GDUI 2015 Bylaws for inclusion on the ballot. Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Bylaws Committee no less than seventy-five (75) days prior to the election which means that if you have amendments to suggest, you need to get them in by

Monday, March 13, 2017.   Proposed amendments may be sent to bylaws@guidedogusersinc.org
If you don’t have computer access, call Maria Hansen, Committee Chair, at 212.929.5025.

GDUI Bylaws are available for review on our website at http://guidedogusersinc.org/resources/governing-documents-of-gdui/gdui-bylaws-2015/

One More Top Dog Update! If you weren’t able to attend Top Dog 2017, or you want to listen again to one of the conference presentations, you can now find all of the recordings on our web site here: http://guidedogusersinc.org/top-dog-2017/. Thanks to ACB Radio for making these excellent recordings available to us for posting.

Air Travel will be one of the Featured Topics at ACB’s Legislative Seminar. We’re all wondering about what next steps DOT may take with respect to updating regulations regarding guide and service dogs on planes. Is a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) coming, or will these – like other regulations currently are – fall by the wayside? What might DOT propose, and, if the Department does propose new regulations, will they have taken our input in the aborted “RegNeg” process of last year into account?

Tune in, via ACB Radio, on Monday, February 27, between 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon, to hear from Blane Workie, Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Livaughn Chapman Jr., Chief, Aviation Civil Rights Compliance Branch, Office of the General Counsel,  U.S. Department of Transportation, who will be discussing, “Access in the Skies: A U.S. Transportation Update.”

Now for other news. There’s a new service, rolling out nationwide, that allows families to take advantage of ride-sharing services like Uber and LYFT for family members who may not be able to contact these services using the smart-phone apps so many of us have become familiar with.

GoGoGrandparent connects seniors to Uber to get to doctor’s appointments, social engagements or anywhere they want to go within 100 miles.  It sounds super easy and no smart phone is required.  You can try out their demo with a sample phone call right from their website. Operators are available 24-hours a day at this number: 855.464.6872.

When setting up the call, you can add an emergency contact who will be informed about the trip via e-mail or text message. Learn more about the service here: https://gogograndparent.com/faq

We hope that this next item is the kind of good news so many of us have been needing to hear. Uber has updated their official service dog policy presumably to recognize the civil rights protections available to us under the Americans with Disabilities Act (and the terms of last December’s settlement agreement). I will quote from their news release:

 “State and Federal law prohibits driver-partners using the Uber app from denying service to riders with service animals because of their service animals or otherwise discriminating against riders because of their service animals.”

“*Driver partners have a legal obligation to provide service to riders with service animals

*Driver partners cannot lawfully deny service to a rider with a service animal because of allergies, religious objections or a general fear of dogs.

*Each driver partner has been made aware of their obligation to transport riders with service animals through the technology services agreement they signed with Uber.

*If driver partners refuse a rider with a service animal, because of their service animal, that driver is in violation of the law and in breach of their agreement with Uber.”

“*If Uber determines that a driver denied service to a rider because of a service animal the driver will be permanently banned from the Uber Driver App.

*Uber will make the determination of whether service was denied because of a service animal in a review of the incident

*If Uber receives multiple complaints about a driver partner denying service to a rider because of a service animal, that partner will be permanently banned from driving with Uber, regardless of the justification the driver-partner offers.”

According to Uber, this is how you can and should report a denial of service complaint: You can get to the right place in your Uber app via either the trip details screen or the account menu button. navigate to “I want to file a service animal issue” complaint screen and leave your information. You can also file a complaint on Uber’s web site by clicking on the HELP link.

Let’s hope the company is serious about implementing and enforcing this newly announced policy.

Not relevant to this discussion of Uber’s updated service animal policies, but still useful information is this: You can file a denial of service complaint with LYFT by calling this Critical Response Line phone number: 855.865.9553.

Coming Events! Even though winter is still making its presence rather fiercely known in many parts of the country, we’re already more than halfway through February, and lots of us are getting excited about the coming of spring time events that will let us connect with other guide dog users and their dogs! Last week, Guide Dog Users of Washington State shared preliminary details about their annual GDUWS Spring Romp:

SAVE THE DATE!
When:  Saturday, May 6, 2017
Who:  GUIDE DOG USERS OF WASHINGTON STATE (GDUWS)
What:  GDUWS 2017 Spring Fling
Where:  Seattle area

The GDUWS Spring Fling will again be held in conjunction with the Washington Council of the Blind’s (WCB) 2017 Leadership Training Seminar and Spring Board meeting.

 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.

You can contact Vivian Conger, who is the Chair of GDUWS’s Special Events Committee, for more information here: 509.200.0599, or by e-mail: Blazie.girl@gmail.com.

Candle in the Window is an annual mini-conference for participants who are blind which takes place toward the end of the summer or in early fall. That’s pretty far away, but registration, which is limited to only 20 participants, is occurring now. If you’ve been longing to acquire a particular skill and wondering just exactly who might be able to teach you how to do it, this event may be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for! Here’s the announcement: CANDLE IN THE WINDOW PRESENTS ITS 2017 RETREAT! Our topic this year is How do you DO That?: Teaching each other skills we’ve always wanted to learn!

We’ll be meeting once again at the lovely and gracious Wooded Glen Retreat Center in Henryville, Indiana, located minutes away from Louisville, Kentucky. It’s a great opportunity to connect with friends and to enjoy conversations that explore the impact of internal and external factors on ourselves as people who are blind.

Our agenda? Well, that will be up to us as participants. Anyone who would like to teach something is invited to get together with those who would like to learn. Skills could range from things like How to Ask for Help, to What the Heck do I do with this iPhone, to perhaps how to whittle. The possibilities are limited by the imagination of those willing to teach or learn.

Retreat Dates: Wednesday, September 27 thru Sunday, October 1. The Conference Fee includes round trip transportation from the Louisville KY, Airport to the retreat center; all meals; and room accommodations (per person) as follows:
Double Occupancy: $550
Single Occupancy: $705

All registration fees must be paid in full by September 8th. A $40 deposit (non refundable) will reserve your spot. If payment is received before August 15, a $15 discount is offered. Registration closes September 15, 2017.

For more information contact: Kathy Szinnyey, joyfulrenegade@gmail.com or call her at 502.759.1288 or, call Patrick Votta at 718.797.2475, or via e-mail, pvotta@verizon.net

Until tomorrow, February 18, at 2:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, when we hope to connect with many of you, thanks for reading and for sharing information in these announcements with your friends who are blind and visually impaired. We’re looking forward to spending time with all of you tomorrow afternoon.

Sincerely,

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

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.
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, February 8, 2017

Dear GDUI Members,

First, the big announcement and invitation! You are all invited to our first Membership/Town Hall Meeting of 2017! The meeting will take place via conference call on Saturday, February 18, beginning at 2:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (11:00 a.m., Pacific Standard Time) at this number: 712.432.0075. Your Participant Code will be: 919245-Pound. We expect the conversation to last for at least 90 minutes, with a possible end-of-meeting time of 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. We hope that many of you will come ready to participate in our conversation. Bring us your concerns. Tell us what you like, where we can improve, how you want to help, and how you see Guide Dog Users, Inc. meeting the needs of the 21st Century guide dog users’ community.

We anticipate that our meeting will incorporate several themes, including these:

1. Membership Involvement in the governance of GDUI: Since GDUI’s members voted to embrace universal, accessible voting, we have been proud to accept guidance from all of our members. With the advent of universal voting made available by phone and online to every GDUI member, GDUI was no longer guided by mandates from the relatively few members and GDUI affiliates’ representatives who could attend our annual conventions. Each of us can submit proposed amendments for the consideration of GDUI’s Bylaws and Resolutions Committee, and vote proposed bylaw amendments up or down via a universally accessible election ballot, as well as cast our votes for the candidates of our choosing. We believe that this system is a good one, especially since via telephone, e-mail and web site feedback, members have many opportunities during the course of the year’s day-to-day conversations to communicate with directors and officers, and our administration has tried hard to take your comments and suggestions into account, to add items you have submitted to us (often via e—mail or phone calls) to our meeting agendas, to welcome you as observers and participants at our board meetings, and to share information and concerns with you via these announcements, and in the pages of PawTracks.

Yet, some of our members are asking, can this representative kind of democracy respond effectively to members’ concerns and guidance? Are there other ways for members to participate more directly in decisions and discussions that influence GDUI’s operations and direction? Now that members don’t recommend and vote upon GDUI policies while participating in the annual GDUI business meetings at our summer conventions, what are effective ways for members to make their wishes known and direct the activities of the organization? How can resolutions be introduced, discussed, considered, and acted upon? Is there a danger that just a few who have the time and inclination to participate on GDUI e-mail discussion lists and bimonthly affiliates calls are the only members whose needs and concerns will or can be addressed? Is there a danger that the attention of directors and officers will be drawn toward those few members who don’t hesitate to find fault or express discontent while they may not find a way to hear from members who may want to share more positive suggestions, i.e., is it only the “squeaky wheels” who are capable of attracting board members’ attentions?   What role does or should PawTracks (or Facebook or Twitter or www.GuideDogUsersInc.org)  play in fostering forums for member involvement and feedback? What about members who either by personal choice or because of lack of opportunity don’t participate in online discussions?

We welcome your participation in this discussion. On our part, we will ask Maria Hansen, Chair of the GDUI Bylaws and Resolutions Committee, and other board members to explain how members can participate in crafting, understanding and voting upon bylaws and bylaws changes, and in the resolutions process, as well.

Dixie Sanderson, who chairs this year’s Nominating Committee, will outline plans for the coming elections, including the process for becoming involved as a candidate for office and also participating in our planned candidates forums.

2. What role should and can members play in funding the work that GDUI does on their behalf?

GDUI’s individual membership dues have not been increased for many years.(In an informal poll of board members, I couldn’t find anyone who remembers paying less than$15 annually – ever!) Yet, during that time, the costs for providing members’ services have increased dramatically.

 Online and telephonic voting do not come cheap! During last year’s election, we paid $5.00 for each member eligible to vote, and we just received a quote for this year’s services from VoteNow, which will cost the same. VoteNow which conducts our elections, assists members who encounter difficulties, tallies the results, and assures that our system is entirely secure provides good service to us, and theirs was the lowest bid among companies we surveyed in order to select the best service provider.

Of course, we have additional ongoing expenses as well, including those for PawTracks, for maintaining our web site, and for putting on an excellent GDUI national convention each summer. We provide a toll-free number for our members who reside in the USA, and there are expenses associated with advocacy as well as with our affiliation with ACB.

Dixie Sanderson, who serves with Maria Hansen, Lynn Merrill, Sarah Calhoun, and me on the GDUI Budget and Finance Committee, is gifted at explaining exactly how your membership dues figure into our overall budget – and the resulting shortfall that we are experiencing.

We want you to understand why we’re proposing an increase in members’ dues, and we want to hear about your ideas for other ways of finding the money to meet your needs.

Part of this discussion will also include the disposition of GDUI’s reserves, and Maria Hansen and Lynn Merrill will discuss our beliefs about how and when investment funds should be tapped, and when and how we might find other ways to raise funds.

3. GDUI exists to support our members, most of whom are guide dog users themselves, to advocate for our civil rights as people who are blind who choose to travel with guide dogs for independence and safety, and to educate the public about our dogs, our rights, and the many benefits of partnering with guide dogs. What directions should GDUI be pursuing in terms of support and advocacy?

Charlie Crawford, who chairs the GDUI Advocacy and Legislative Committee, will be eager to provide the latest info on what we’ve been doing to advocate for you and on your behalf, and to hear from you if or how our advocacy goals should be expanded.

So, there you have it! This is a lot to cover within just a short afternoon, and we promise to keep our remarks as brief as we can, to give all of you ample opportunity to tell us what you think and guide us in the directions you want us to go.

We propose a two-minute time limit for each member who wishes to speak on a given topic, and Sarah Calhoun, GDUI’s Secretary and Office Manager, will be using her IPhone to make sure we don’t stray from that limit.

Background noise has been a persistent problem on board meeting calls. We implore each of you to mute your phones when you are not speaking so that all of us can hear one another. Our conference calling service does include a feature by which all callers, except for a few, can be muted and a central authority can then allow individuals to speak – while everyone else’s line is kept quiet. As tempting as it is to utilize this feature, we hesitate to do so. Honestly, this exact feature has been used in less democratic times to silence members who wished to speak and to promote only one, favored point of view. We believe in open dialogue, and frankly we don’t want to even imply that those actions from a darker period in GDUI’s history could be adopted again. So, please, if you’re not speaking, mute your phones (Star6), and if you can’t make your smart phone fall in line, keep the background noise at a minimum! We appreciate your cooperation.

 In any meeting of this sort, it’s easy to fall into the mind-sets of complaining, criticizing, and accusation. We hope that this meeting can rise above that kind of negativity. Please share with us those things that you like about GDUI as well as those ways we can all listen and respond to one another’s needs and wishes and hopes effectively! We all joined GDUI for similar reasons. We whom you have elected to represent you hope that we’re measuring up to your expectations, and we’re eager to hear from you about the best ways to meet your needs and facilitate your participation in decision making.

We are looking forward to hearing from many of you on Saturday, February 18. We’ll be there at 2:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. We hope you will be too.

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.