Information for Orientation and Mobility Specialists
Partners for Independent Travel
At GDB we are proud to partner with Orientation and Mobility specialists. Your services are an essential part of preparing visually impaired individuals to be successful guide dog users. We thank you for serving as ambassadors to our program and providing critical skills that create the foundation for effective partnership with a guide dog and the enhanced independence, mobility, and freedom that goes along with the guide dog lifestyle.
What Your Clients Can Expect
If your clients are interested in our program, the first thing they'll need to do is fill out an application that captures basic information and details three of their established routes. Next, all applicants are interviewed by GDB staff regarding their travel skills and other pertinent details. If the candidate seems ready to commence training with a guide dog in our program, the next step will be to schedule a home visit (interview) to gather/clarify information.
By the time a home visit is scheduled with your client, we would expect him/her to have finished orientation and mobility instruction and be a proficient traveler within his/her community and/or work place. Although we request each applicant has a minimum of three established routes, we will only observe one route during the home visit.
In order to be a successful guide dog user, candidates must demonstrate the following:
- Safe, independent travel to purposeful destinations. We typically request to observe a route which includes street crossings at various types of intersections including traffic lights.
- A genuine "need" for a Guide Dog to enhance independent travel
- The person's ability to learn and apply basic guidework principles during the Juno exercise (simulated guidework using a harness handle)
- A safe and loving home environment; acceptance of the idea of having a Guide Dog within the home by family members
Typically, your client will be observed walking in one direction to a specific destination. The return route is a "Juno" walk/demonstration. Dogs are not used during Juno. The instructor will provide instruction by using a Guide Dog harness and leash. Basic guidework principles are introduced during Juno. After basic instruction, your client will be evaluated on his/her ability to grasp and apply Juno concepts.
Following the home visit, your client will be notified regarding the next steps in their admissions process. Next steps may include confirming a class date or your client may be asked to work on some specific techniques and then reconnect with us once these are mastered.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments: (800) 295-4050.