GDUI Announcement, May 19, 2016

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Election Days Are Drawing Near! May 21 is the opening date! You may begin voting at 12:00, Midnight on May 21, and the ballot will continue to be available, both online and via your telephone, until the following Sunday, May 29, at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (That’s 8:59 p.m. if you live on the West Coast)!)

Your personal voter identification number will arrive in your e-mail in-box, or, if you don’t have access to e-mail, via the U. S. postal Service on a post card, within the next day or two.

If you have any problems at all with casting your ballot, or any questions, refer to the VoteNow! toll-free number which will be included in the e-mail or post card from the company, or contact Dixie Sanderson, Nominating Committee Chairperson, via the GDUI toll-free number, 866.799.8436, or via e-mail at this address mailto:Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org.

Our GDUI Nominating Committee hosted two informative Candidates’ Forums. We hope you were able to attend one or both, and all of us who are candidates for office want to thank the Nominating Committee, and especially Debbie Grub and Nolan Crabb, who served as moderators during successive forums, and Jane Sheehan and Annie Chiappetta, who kept time. Thanks to all of you who submitted questions, as well. And, to all of you who attended.

The recording of the second forum is still available via the following options:

DropBox: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4909668/GDUI%20Second%20Candidate%20Forum%20recording%2C%20May%2014%2C%202016.mp3

Send Space: https://www.sendspace.com/file/eoloco

Play back number: 712.432.1085, Access Code: 919245-Pound.

Thank you to Sarah Calhoun for making the recording available so quickly.

GDUI Board Meeting, May 21!
A few hours after our ballot becomes available, the GDUI board will meet, beginning at 1:00 p.m.,  for our scheduled meeting. The phone number, as always, is 712.432.0075, and the Access Code is: 919245-Pound. We welcome your attendance, and we hope you will feel free, at the end of the meeting, and while the recording is still happening to ask us questions, share your opinions and suggestions, and participate as a welcomed guest.

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 Moffitt-Gleitz awards.  In addition, we wish to honor the writers who make our quarterly magazine, PawTracks, such an informative and entertaining publication.

To that end, we encourage you to think about all the PawTracks
contributors whose stories, articles, and poems have informed and
entertained you since the magazine converted from a purely audio
format to a digital publication that can be read by any member of
GDUI.  If an article that appeared over the past two years 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. Past winners of the PawTracks writing excellence award include Janet Ingber and Rebecca Kragnes.

The Ethel Bender award honors a sighted person who has made a
significant contribution to the guide dog community.  Past winners
include Ted Zubrycki, Lukas Frank  and Michael Lilly.

The Moffitt-Gleitz Award honors a person who is blind who has improved the lives of guide dog users. Past winners include Jane Sheehan and Audrey Gunter.

Awards will be presented at the GDUI annual luncheon on Wednesday, July 6 in Minneapolis.

All nominations must be submitted in writing.  E-mailed submissions
should be sent to Vickie Curley, Awards Committee Chair at vickiecurley@gmail.com with the words “GDUI AWARD Nomination” in your subject line.

No access to e-mail?  Nomination submissions may be sent in Braille or print to Vickie Curley at:
16 Green Farm Ln.
Stockton, NJ  08559.

All nominations must be received no later than 9 a.m. on June 6, 2016. Thank you for helping us honor the people who make life for guide dog teams better every day!

A Note from Former Candidate, Caitlin Mongillo
A few weeks ago, Caitlin made the difficult decision to resign as a candidate for an open seat on our board of directors, and she shared the following note of explanation with the GDUI Nominating Committee. I have to tell you, we love Caitlin, and we were disappointed that she felt she could no longer run for a seat on the board, but we understand why. Caitlin has been a tireless worker for GDUI. She has taken on many of the writing responsibilities of the Publications Committee, and, like many of the other volunteers spending time with Lillian Scaife on the Convention Program Committee,  she has nearly a second full-time job planning events and making preparations for the upcoming GDUI convention! Even though her time will be more limited than she had anticipated, I know we will continue to be able to count on Caitlin’s skills and enthusiasm for GDUI and all things guide dog related, and we are grateful. Here is Caitlin’s note to our Nominating Committee:

Dear GDUI Nominating Committee:
I hope this message finds you well. First off, please allow me to thank you for the privilege of having my bid to run as a board member accepted. I truly appreciate GDUI’s universal elections procedure, and I was privileged to yet again gain your support for my candidacy.

I’m reaching out today because I am withdrawing from the race. I have been recently afforded an opportunity in my professional life that I cannot pass up. It will keep me fairly busy during the summer months, and it comes on top of my already somewhat chaotic work schedule. There are three terrific candidates running for board positions in Minh, Brianna, and Charlie. It would be unfair of me to continue to run and potentially deny them a position when I know my free time will be scant in the third quarter of the year. Therefore, I would ask that my name no longer be considered for this position. Brianna, Charlie and Minh will serve with confidence, loyalty, and compassion. I am excited to vote for them in a few weeks time.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter and for running such a well organized election.
With sincere thanks,
Caitlin Mongillo

Have you tuned into our GDUI Juno Report on ACB Radio yet? If you haven’t yet been able to check out Dan Kysor’s terrific half-hour show that centers on GDUI, you will be pleased to learn that the GDUI Juno Report is now a pod cast, online, and even via the ACBLink app on your Iphone or the podcatching application on your Victor Reader Stream, for your any-time listening pleasure! Find the GDUI Juno Report podcast here: http://acbradio.org/gdui201605.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announces the availability of draft Advisory Circular, (AC) 150/5360-14A, Access to Airports by Individuals with Disabilities, for public review. This advisory circular  will provide guidance and recommendations for ensuring access to airports by individuals with disabilities. The draft AC substantially revises and incorporates regulatory updates and recommendations for Service Animal Relief Areas (SARA) at airports. The draft AC was rewritten to improve readability, and to simplify and clarify the regulations for airport operators regarding airport access by individuals with disabilities. TO FIND  the newly released DRAFT ADVISORY CIRCULAR GO TO:  http://www.faa.gov/airports/resources/draft_advisory_circulars/

Additionally, the FAA is interested in public input regarding the use of wayfinding technologies and other technology innovations at airports. TO COMMENT  GO TO:   https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA_FRDOC_0001-13632
Claims for Compensation Under Historic Settlement Between DOJ and Greyhound May Now Be Filed

A claims process is now available to compensate people who experienced disability discrimination while traveling or attempting to travel on Greyhound. The claims process is part of a consent decree that resolves nationwide Americans with Disabilities Act discrimination claims brought by the Justice Department. Greyhound Lines, Inc. has hired a Claims Administrator to distribute an uncapped amount of compensation to people who experienced disability discrimination while traveling or attempting to travel on Greyhound. Individuals eligible for compensation must:

  • Have a disability;
  • Have traveled or attempted to travel on Greyhound between February 8, 2013, and February 8, 2016;
  • Have experienced a disability-related incident during the travel or attempted travel (for example, lack of accessible transportation or transportation-related services, Greyhound’s failure to make disability-related accommodations, etc.); and
  • Submit a Claim Form by mail, email, or online, to the Claims Administrator by no later than November 10, 2016. For further information, or to file a claim, contact the Claims Administrator by telephone, toll-free at 844.502.5953, or 800.659.2656 (TTY), or by mail at U.S. v. Greyhound Claims Administrator, c/o Class Action Administration LLC, PO Box 6878, Broomfield, CO 80021.

Assistance is available from the Claims Administrator for those who are unable to complete the Claim Form due to a disability.

For comprehensive information concerning the settlement and the claims filing process, visit this web site: http://www.dojvgreyhoundsettlement.com/.

Today’s the day! You can Register, beginning today, Thursday, May 19th for the ACB 2016 Conference and Convention, as well as our very own GDUI Convention activities and events!  To view the form, you have several options:

  1. visit the ACB website, www.acb.org. Locate the heading, 2016 Convention Pre Registration opening soon! Screen readers hit h7 times to reach the heading. You will find options to print a form in either MS word or PDF. you don’t have to print the form, simply open the link and you can view the form.
  1. Listen to the form via telephone.  You can call either Audio Now, sponsored by ACB radio  or NFB newsline to hear the pre-registration form. Call Audio Now at 1-605-475-8154, and select option 4.

If you are subscribed to NFB Newsline call 1-888-882-1629. You will select national papers, and then national blindness organizations and then select ACB.  Both telephone systems will read the entire pre-registration form.

Registration for the 2016 conference and convention will open on Thursday, May 19th and run through Wednesday, June 22nd.

Don’t miss out on the fun! Make your hotel reservations today!  Room rates at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 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.

For reservations by telephone call Central Reservations at 1-888-421-1442; make sure to mention you are attending the ACB convention in order to obtain our room rate.  To make reservations online go to https://resweb.passkey.com/go/2016ACBMeeting

ACB Convention dates are Friday, July 1 through Saturday, July 9. GDUI convention activities will begin on Sunday, July 3, and continue through the end of our convention on July 6. All GDUI convention activities which require you to register are included on the ACB Convention Registration Form. For more information about our GDUI convention, including our Convention Auction Catalog, Summer Drawing, and the GDUI Convention Program, visit our web site here: http://guidedogusersinc.org/2016-convention/

As you can tell, there are lots of important events happening and plans being made in GDUI! Springtime is our busiest season – for sure! We hope you can attend our board meeting on Saturday.  we know you’ll enjoy learning about and anticipating all the GDUI convention excitement as you look over the registration form and make all those difficult choices about which events to attend and which to visit via a post-convention recording. And, no matter what choice you make and how you plan to spend Saturday, May 21, we want to encourage you to vote! Our universally, accessible elections are one of GDUI’s accomplishments of which we are most proud. We have some terrific members running for office and for directorships in GDUI, and all of us are counting on your participation as voters in our election! Voting is crucially important, as, according to our Constitution and Bylaws, our election results will be considered valid only if we reach a quorum of members eligible to vote – and that is 15 percent of our membership. Voting is easy, voting is accessible, and help is readily available!

Thank you for your friendship and your support.

Sincerely,

Penny Reeder, President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

mailto:President@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Will Burley, First Vice President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

mailto:vp1@GuideDogUsersInc.org

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, at 11:00 p.m. EDT, the first Monday of every month.

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/

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.