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, 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!

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:


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!

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.


Penny Reeder, President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

GDUI Website:

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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.