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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

All About Guide Dogs: Leader Dogs

Thursday, June 20 - 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

From Readiness to Training Experiences, It’s All About Guide Dogs!

Are you interested in learning more about being a guide dog handler? Second Sense is hosting a 5-part guide dog series to help you understand all the components of this mobility option. We’ll answer the questions you may have about your readiness for a guide dog, the application process and the training experience at different guide dog schools. You’ll have an opportunity to take a Juno walk, a hands-on experience to feel what it’s like to work with a guide dog. Guest speakers from 5 guide dog schools will also share information about their school and their training.

These workshops are for anyone interested in getting a guide dog or who is already a guide dog handler and would like to learn more about other schools or reapplying for a successor dog.

During these workshops you will:

  • compare and contrast traveling with a cane vs. a dog simulator
  • receive an in-depth understanding of the requirements needed to get, and be successful with, a guide dog
  • learn about the application process for different guide dog schools
  • ask graduates from different schools about their individual experiences

You can choose to attend all 5 of the following workshops or just the ones that interest you. All will be available via recording post-session. If interested in experiencing a dog simulator to navigate, in- person attendance is required.

If attending virtually, please call our conference line at the times listed below (312)809-1004.

Friday, Feb 16: Introduction to Guide Dog Travel

Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm
(Virtual or in-person)
Presenter: Mandi Hetzel
You will learn where to obtain resources on guide dog schools, how guide dogs are trained and the differences in traveling with a white cane vs. a guide dog. This workshop includes a “Juno walk,” an interactive activity using a guide dog simulator.

Friday, March 15: Applying for a Guide Dog

Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm
(Virtual or in-person)
Presenter: Mandi Hetzel

This workshop discusses different factors required to be eligible to apply for a guide dog, the application process, timeline and required documentation. You will also learn about the responsibilities of the guide dog and the guide dog handler. Time will be available to answer any and all guide dog related questions.

Friday, April 12: Guide Dogs for the Blind

Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm
(Virtual or in-person)
Presenter: Pam Berman
GDB graduate and Outreach Alumni representative, Pam Berman, provides an overview of the GDB program, services and benefits Guide Dogs for the Blind offers at their two campuses in San Rafael, CA and Boring, OR.

Friday, May 10: OccuPaws

1:00 – 1:45 pm
Presenter: Jeff Flodin
OccuPaws graduate, Jeff Flodin, represents OccuPaws and shares information about their unique in-home training model and his personal experience with one of their guide dogs.

The Seeing Eye
Time: 1:45 – 2:30 pm
Presenter: Chelsea White
Outreach Specialist and Seeing Eye graduate, Chelsea White, shares an overview of the program at the Seeing Eye located in Morristown, New Jersey.

Friday, June 14: Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Time: 1:00 – 1:45 pm
Presenter: Melissa Carney
Melissa Carney, GEB graduate and Community Outreach and Graduate Support Manager, provides information on programs offered at Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, NY.

Thursday, June 20: Leader Dogs

Time: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
In person and virtual)
Presenter: Leslie Hoskins
Leslie Hoskins, Outreach Services and Community Engagement Manager at Leader Dogs for the Blind, speaks about the services offered at Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester Hills, Mi

For questions regarding any of the above presentations, please call 312-236-8569 or email Kathy Austin.