GDUI Announcement, April 13, 2016

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Drum Roll Please! The top bids have been determined and tallied, winners have been notified, the prizes are on their way, and we can announce the grand total from the GDUI Springtime Radio Auction, held on April 3!The grand total is $2,765.00!

We want to thank everyone who participated in this amiable event – including the GDUI fund-raising committee who planned the auction; Jeff and Larry and Debbie and everyone at ACB Radio, who helped us pull it off; all of our members and friends who contributed such an appealing assortment of items to our catalog; all of you who got into the competitive spirit of the evening and placed your bids; and, especially, Bob Acosta and Ken Metz, whose enthusiasm and energy were both contagious and remarkable as they performed the duties of co-auctioneers during the three-hour-long on-air event! We are simply blown away! And so grateful to all of you for supporting GDUI and our universally accessible election in such a generous way. Thank you all.

Speaking of our coming GDUI election, remember our first GDUI Candidates’ Forum will take place in just one week! GDUI will hold two membership forums to interview the candidates running in the May  election. The first one will be held on Thursday, April 21, 2016 beginning at 8:00 P. M. (EDT) and the second will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2016 beginning at 1:00 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 will be 712.432.1085. The April 21 forum recording will be available only until the May 14 forum is recorded; after that the May 14 forum recording will be available on the playback number.

Remember, you will receive your unique Voter I.D. Number from VoteNow! close to the date of our election, May 21-May 29. Find everything you need to know about our election and all of the candidates for office here:

April 14 is National Cogswell-Macy Act Call-In Day! Even if you don’t happen to know any school-age children who are blind, deaf, deaf-blind, or visually impaired, many of us can remember exactly what it felt like to be a visually impaired kid struggling to read a textbook with infinitesimal print, or learning to read braille from a teacher who could only spend limited amounts of time with each of his or her students, or spending twice as long on homework as any of our sighted classmates while  depending on parents to read textbooks aloud or to braille out our printed worksheets. Advocacy over the post-IDEA decades has led to improvements in education for children with sensory disabilities, but public education still has a long way to go before we meet all of the needs of school-age children who are blind or deaf, or who have any of these sensory disabilities along with other disability-related educational needs. That’s why it’s so important for us to join ACB, AFB, and a host of other advocates in calling in to persuade our legislators to support the ground-breaking Cogswell-Macy Act! April 14 was chosen as the “official call-in day” because that date marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Annie Sullivan. Honor those teachers and advocates who helped you to succeed in school despite all of the obstacles you encountered by advocating on behalf of today’s kids with sensory disabilities. Learn How You Can Help:

Sound off for kids with sensory disabilities by calling: 844.232.8210.

Remember to register during April for a free ophthalmological exam for your guide dog during the month of May 2016!

Over 4,500 Service Animals already have appointments!

Don’t forget to register and make your appointment for your free Service Animal screening eye examination! Only 16 days left to sign up for exams this May.

Check out the qualifications, participating cities and register today!

If you have problems registering on-line, you may call  208.466.7624 between 9:00 AM through 4:00 PM MST for assistance. Willow made her appointment today. She’ll be seeing the eye doc on the afternoon of May 27!

Did you catch the first GDUI Juno Report? We were so excited when the very first GDUI Juno Report aired on ACB Radio at the beginning of April! We want to thank Dan Kysor, who did such a super job of putting all of us whom he interviewed at ease, and Will Burley, whose interview with an attorney in Texas concerning the civil rights laws that protect us as users of service dogs was so excellent. Dan is already working on the next GDUI Juno Report, which will air at 11:00 p.m., EDT, on ACB Radio Mainstream, on the first Monday in May. Be sure to check it out, and, if you have any suggestions or comments on the show, share them with Dan on the Juno Line: 916.250.2629 (Tolls apply).

Problems with a LYFT driver refusing to transport you and your service dog? Find information concerning  structured negotiations between advocates for people with disabilities and LYFT:

Do you want more video description? Disability Rights Advocates and ACB are investigating complaints from blind individuals who report that the Amazon Video and Hulu websites and mobile applications are not accessible, and from blind individuals who want audio description tracks to be made available on Amazon Video and Hulu. If you are a person who is blind, and if you have experienced access barriers, yourself, while accessing Amazon video or Hulu, or you have chosen not to subscribe to Amazon video or Hulu because you have heard about access barriers to these services, please share your experiences by contacting Julia Marks at 510.665.8644, or by e-mail,

Congratulations to GDUI member and long-time guide dog user, Kathy Nimmer! Kathy, who has been teaching for 24 years, was named Indiana Teacher of the Year in 2015 and  now the National Network of State Teachers of the Year has selected her for the Chasing Rainbows Award. The award goes to an outstanding teacher who overcomes personal challenges. Read more about Kathy’s award here:

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 who make our quarterly magazine, PawTracks, such an informative and entertaining publication.

We encourage you to think about all the PawTracks 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 writer for the PawTracks Excellence in Writing Award.

The 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.

The Moffat-Gleitz Award honors a person who is blind who has improved the lives of guide dog users.

Awards will be presented at the GDUI annual luncheon on Wednesday, July 6, in Minneapolis.  Send your nominations to Vickie Curley at this address: 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, 2016, and thank you for helping us honor the people who make life for guide dog teams better every day.

As always, we thank you for your friendship and support. I – and all of the candidates running for office – hope to find many of you at the first Candidates’ Forum next Thursday. Until then, take care of yourselves and your dogs, and enjoy the coming of Spring!


Penny Reeder, President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

Will Burley, First Vice President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

Call us, toll-free, at  866.799.8436

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Enjoy the GDUI Juno Report on ACB Radio Mainstream, at 11:00 p.m. EDT, the first Monday of every month.

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For our members and friends who do not have access to e-mail (or prefer to listen to the pleasant sound of a human voice reading aloud), we also offer telephonic recordings of every announcement. If you are aware of guide dog users who do not have computer access, please share this telephone number with them: 646-653-1900. Recorded announcements available at this number are updated concurrently with each new online announcement.

We look forward to sharing announcements concerning our organization with all who are interested in GDUI.