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 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 or by credit card by calling 1-866.799.8436; or by mailing your check made payable to GDUI to our postal mailing address:

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 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

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:


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


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

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:

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:

For more information, contact Kathy Gallagher, 703.310.0343 or

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:]

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 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, 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.


Penny Reeder, President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President
Guide Dog Users, Inc.

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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.