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A young boy with a visual impairment brushes a yellow lab.

Guide Dogs is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people who are blind, and it's people like you who can provide us with some valuable insight. As the parent of a blind child, you know the abilities, hopes and dreams of your child. You know how they would measure satisfaction in their lives.

There are many opportunities for you and your child to get involved in our program. Kids as young as 16 may be eligible for our Guide Dog mobility training (offered free-of-charge), but there are other ways for youngsters to be introduced to our friends – four-legged or otherwise – long before that.

Guide Dogs collaborates with a host of agencies and organizations providing services to blind children. We'd like to connect you with these programs so that you can take advantage of all the options available and be the best advocate for your child.

  • K9 Buddy Program – Blind children are paired with dogs from our program as pets. The children experience bonding with a dog and learn to be responsible for the dog's care and well-being. This connection can provide the motivation for the acquisition of many other skills necessary to lead a full life.
  • Community canines – Dogs not destined to be mobility dogs are placed as pets with individuals and agencies (including professionals working with blind children) to expand their experiences and motivate them to learn. (Community canines are also placed with agencies for training as hearing or assistance dogs, search and rescue or police dogs, transportation security, and a host of other working dog careers.)
  • Presentations – Guide Dogs Speakers Bureau offers local role models who can give presentations to schools, clubs and organizations. Our Alumni speakers give their unique perspectives on the Guide Dog Lifestyle.
  • Guide Dog Experience and Lifestyle seminars – Children learn what is involved in caring for and working with a Guide Dog. Call us at 800-295-4050 for more information.
  • GDB 101 Classroom Education Projects – This PDF file is an age-specific educational curriculum about blindness and Guide Dog use for teachers and students.
  • VIP Tours of our campuses – Please call us at 800-295-4050 and ask for the Outreach Office.
  • Internships and job shadowing opportunities for blind/visually impaired teens – Summer Youth Internships Program applications are available thorough our Volunteer Department beginning in March. Job shadowing opportunities at either of our campuses are available through Guide Dogs' Human Resources Department.
  • Conference seminars and presentations - Come meet our representatives at seminars and presentations around the country.

K9 Buddy

Youth Outreach