GDUI Announcement, May 25, 2017

Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

Voting Begins early on Saturday morning! 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).If you joined GDUI as an at-large member, or a GDUI affiliate on or before April 7, 2017, which was the date of record for this election, and if you have paid your dues, you are eligible to vote! Last week, every GDUI eligible voter received a post card in your postal mailbox which shared your unique voter I.D. Number with you, and yesterday or today, if your e-mail address is on file with GDUI, you will have received that same information in your E-Mail In Box, along with further instructions about how to vote by telephone or online. So, you’re all set! Let the voting begin!

Still Wondering about the Proposed Bylaws Changes or Wishing You Knew Our Candidates Better? You can still access both Candidates Forums in the following ways:

Retrieve the April 29, 2017 Candidate forum at the following sources:

Drop Box:

Or Send Space:

Or you can catch the somewhat abridged recording via the GDUI Juno Report podcast for May, here:

Note that there was a brief delay in the midst of the recording, lasting only about two minutes, which occurred because of a technical glitch. Just keep listening and the recording will resume playing at the point when everyone had a chance to come back on the free conference calling phone line.

And, here are two ways to access the recording of the May 11, 2017, candidates’ forum.  The recording lasts approximately 60 minutes. 

Drop Box:

Send Space: 

Our candidates for the two open board seats are so capable and personable, and we know they appreciate your consideration, and the proposed bylaws changes were submitted by your friends and fellow members, in order to clarify our operating procedures and strengthen our democratic foundation. We appreciate your participation in our universally accessible election. In order for the results to be certified, we need participation by the percentage of voters which is required for a quorum.

Board Meeting Recording Available.

If you would like to listen to the recording of the GDUI board meeting held on Saturday, May 20, 2017, below are three ways to access the recording. The recording is 1 hour and 30 minutes long.



Telephonic Playback Number: (712) 432-1085

Access code:  919245 followed by the # key.

Medical Research That May Be of Special Interest to People with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy:

ClinEdge is working with GenSight Biologics on a phase III clinical trial named RESCUE that is actively seeking patients with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) in the United States and Canada. GenSight also plans to set up additional clinical trials in this rare population in the near future. The purpose of the RESCUE study is to evaluate an investigational gene therapy, GS010, as a potential treatment for the most common variant (ND4/G11778A gene mutation) of LHON. Three clinical sites have been selected to treat the patients: Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Travel costs and other appropriate expenses for taking part in the trial, including those for one accompanying companion, will be supported, in accordance with GenSight Biologics guidelines.

You may qualify if you meet the selection/inclusion criteria listed below:

Age 15 years or older;

Onset of vision loss based on medically documented history or subject testimony, in at least one eye for ≤180 days in duration;

Each eye of the subject maintaining visual ability to allow at least for counting of the examiner’s fingers at any distance; and

Documented results or pedigree evidence of genotyping showing the presence of the G11778A mutation in the ND4 gene and the absence of the other primary LHON-associated mutations (ND1 or ND6) in the subject’s mitochondrial DNA.

The RESCUE Study is being conducted by GenSight Biologics. For further information about the RESCUE Study, please visit:

Still Seeking Nominations for the Ethel Bender award: Charlie Crawford, Chair of this year’s GDUI Awards Committee, wants you to know that the committee has received nominations for several GDUI awards, but none has come in for the Ethel Bender award, which honors a sighted person or persons who have made significant contributions to the well being of guide dog teams. Charlie reminds you that nominations are due by June 1, so please, think about all of those sighted people who have made our lives better, and submit their names and a summary of their contributions to Charlie ASAP! Send your nominations by e-mail to: and put “Awards” in the subject field of your e-mail message. Or, call our Secretary and Office Manager, Sarah Calhoun, at 866.795.8436, and Sarah will be pleased to pass along your nomination(s) to our Awards Committee. Thank you!

Convention News and Updates!    

Ruffwear Round table: How often have you thought to yourself, “This harness would be so much easier to put on, or take off, or hold onto, or for my guide dog to wear… if only …”? Or,” this collapsible water bowl would be perfect if only,” or “The perfect toy for my dog would include …”? Well, now you have an opportunity to share your ideas and your experiences with people who can put your good ideas to work!

A Message from Ruffwear:

Ruffwear, a leader in the design and manufacturing of gear for dogs will be present at the Guide Dog Users, Inc. conference in Sparks, Nevada, from July 2-5, 2017. We are seeking participants that want to be involved in a roundtable discussion about all available dog GEAR on the market today.

We would love to learn what products work well for guide dog users, what products need to be improved upon, and what ideas you may have for future product development.

The discussion will not be limited specifically to Ruffwear products, so come prepared to share all your products an ideas.

When: Sunday, July 2, 2017 – 2:00 PM

As space is limited, please reserve a spot by sending an email to

Greg Freyberg • Specialty Product Line Manager


And Speaking of Products: Don’t miss the huge assortment of excellent products once again available in our GDUI Convention Suite! Maria Hansen, Chair of GDUI’s Products Committee says, “The Products Committee has been hard at work selecting merchandise that will appeal to our canine partners.  Such as:

  1. Lots of treats made in the U.S.A such as dental chews, nylabones, jerky, biscuits, cookies and antlers plus some canisters where they can be stored.
  2. Lots of toys! For both aggressive chewers and those with more self control. 
  3. Travel beds and mats, brushes, wipes, bowls and feeders, treat dispensers, drying towels and mits, cooling pads, Mushers Secret and an emergency bag.  And, of course, you can find GDUI harness signs and pouches, too.

The Suite will open at Noon on Sunday, July 2, and be open until the GDUI Luncheon on Wednesday, July 5th. The suite is, not only a great place to buy toys and treats, hang out with friends, take a break from convention stress, check in with trainers during Pawfice Hours each day during the hour proceeding GDUI convention programming, there will also be vet techs available for nail trimming and ear cleaning (on a schedule still being worked out), and those fabulous Carla Campbell canine massages that our guide dogs look forward to all year long! Best of all, of course, are our long-time friends, the Louisville Ladies! Stop by, take a break, say hello, and make yourselves at home for a while in the GDUI Suite!

Convention Registration Now Available Online, and via Phone as Well! Pre-Registration for all ACB Conference and Convention Activities, including all GDUI Convention activities, opened online on Wednesday, May 24, and will remain open until June 20.

To register online visit:

There will also be a link from the ACB website,; however, the convention link will take you directly to the registration form. Once there, you can download the form under the heading, 2017 ACB Conference and Convention Pre Registration Preview.

You can browse the form or begin your registration by logging in to your account.  The username and password you used for 2016 registration should be used for your 2017 registration. If you have forgotten your user information, there is a “forgot login or password” link on the log-in page. Your information will be sent to you via email.

If you’d like to register via telephone, call 800.866.3242. Leave your name, phone number, time zone and best time to reach you. Someone from ACB’s Minnesota office will return your call and assist you throughout the registration process.

To review the pre-registration form for the ACB Conference and convention on NFB Newsline call NFB Newsline at 888.882.1629. Enter your identification number and your security code.

From the NFB Newsline Main menu, press the number 5 on your telephone’s keypad to select Read newspapers in a different state. Then press the number 5 for National Meetings of interest to the Print-Disabled. Then press the number 1 for the ACB Pre-Registration Form 2017.And, press the number 1 again to select the ACB Pre-Registration Form dated Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Then you will have the following options:

  1. Instructions press 10.
  2. Friday, June 30. Press 11.
  3. Saturday, July 1. Press 12.
  4. Sunday, July 2. Press 13.
  5. Monday, July 3. Press 14.
  6. Tuesday, July 4. Press 15.
  7. Wednesday, July 5. Press 16.
  8. Thursday, July 6. Press 17.
  9. Friday, July 7. Press 18.
  10. Official Convention Merchandise. Press 19.

Thanks to the staff of NFB Newsline for providing this service.

Are you excited about the GDUI Convention? So are we! Remember, for convention news and updates, including the latest information about our program, and (coming soon!) all those intriguing items that will be available at GDUI’s Live Auction on Sunday evening, visit this page on our web site often:

A three-day week end is on the horizon for Willow and me, and we are excited – even though the weather forecast calls for multiple days of rain (to add to close to a week’s worth of wet and cloudy days and an increasingly muddy back yard! So, this three-day week end seems like the perfect opportunity for watching some streaming media, perhaps the new film adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” that everybody is talking about. Except … if I want to watch the series, I’ll need to get some help from sighted family members or friends.

Let’s help Disability Rights Advocates and ACB advocate for video description on Hulu!

Disability Rights Advocates is investigating complaints from blind individuals who report that the Hulu website and mobile applications are not accessible, and from blind individuals who want audio description tracks to be made available on Hulu.

They would greatly appreciate speaking with you if you are blind and you have chosen not to subscribe to Hulu because you have heard about access barriers or the lack of audio description. They would also like to speak with you if you have confronted access barriers yourself while using Hulu.

To share your experiences, please contact Kyle Ruiz, by phone at 510.665.8644 or by email at:

Meanwhile, whether you’re spending time registering for the ACB/GDUI convention, or listening to recordings of our two excellent Candidates’ Forums, or last Saturday’s GDUI board meeting, or seeking respite in all of the streaming media available these days, or walking in the rain, or indulging in the delicious springtime treats that are showing up at farmers’ markets and supermarkets alike, –no matter how you plan to fill your time during the coming week end or the following week —  remember to vote! A vibrant democracy is one in which voter participation is important to every citizen, and in our case, every member! GDUI pays VoteNow! $5.00 for every one of our members who is eligible to vote. We do this because we believe in the democratic principles that have sustained our organization for more than four decades, and because we are proud of our universally accessible elections. Your GDUI dues payment helps us pay for this privilege. Make our investment in you and your interest in GDUI count! Voting begins at Midnight on Saturday, May 27!

One more thing — Remember that GDUI is raising funds by participating in the ACB 2017 Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk and you and your families and friends can help! 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!

Thank you all for your friendship and support.


Penny Reeder, President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.

Deanna Noriega, First Vice President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.


Call us, toll-free, at 866.799.8436

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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.