The home visit is scheduled after Guide Dogs receives your application and you have spoken by phone with a member of the GDB Admissions staff. This exchange will assist you in deciding if a Guide Dog is the right choice for you. It will also allow Guide Dogs for the Blind to determine your readiness for training and the type of dog best suited to your specific mobility needs.
Family members and others who may reside with you are invited to participate in this meeting so they can have any of their own questions answered. Your interviewer will provide information regarding GDB's residential training program. Although the home visit is usually conducted at your home, visits to your school or workplace can be part of the process. GDB staff will be happy to discuss the introduction of a Guide Dog into those environments with your administrator or employer if is helpful.
During the visit, the interviewer will accompany you to a destination of your choice. Your environment and O&M skills will be assessed while giving you an idea of what it is like to work with a Guide Dog. The route you choose should be one-half to one mile round trip and should include street crossings. You'll be asked to plan and travel this route independently. Street crossings should include intersections controlled by traffic lights, as well as those with stop signs. During the first portion of the walk you will demonstrate your knowledge of your home area and your independent travel skills. During the second portion of the walk, the feel of working with a Guide Dog will be simulated as you hold a Guide Dog harness and follow while the interviewer makes movements similar to a Guide Dog.
The staff member completing your home interview will submit a report that will be reviewed along with the other documentation that you supply as part of your application. Results may include acceptance into our program, a request for further information prior to a decision, or a determination that you do not currently meet the requirements for acceptance. GDB will contact you by phone, e-mail or postal mail regarding the outcome of the committee review. If you need additional preparation prior to acceptance, we will help you build a plan to achieve your goals. This may include facilitating access to additional services not provided by GDB.
GDB staff is happy to assist you throughout the application process. Feel free to contact the Admissions Department at 1-800-295-4050.