SCS Elevator Is Thrilled To Sponsor a Guide Dog Through Guide Dogs of America
A guide dog can be an incredible addition to the life of a blind or visually impaired person. That’s why we are so excited to support the work that Guide Dogs of America (GDA) is doing by sponsoring a guide dog! Read on to learn more about GDA and how you can support their work as well.
GDA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves people who are blind or visually impaired, as well as children with autism and veterans through pairing them with guide or service dogs. They also place facility dogs in settings such as hospitals, schools, and courtrooms.
What Is Guide Dogs of America?
These well-trained dogs help their companions increase their confidence, mobility, and independence, allowing them to better compete in the workforce, participate in their communities, travel, and more.
Serving individuals in the U.S. and Canada, GDA works to facilitate meaningful and productive relationships between clients and their service dogs. They are an accredited organization through Assistance Dogs International (ADI), which means that all of their dogs are trained to ADI standards for public access and service dog cues and they follow ADI guidelines for dog placement.
GDA has been doing this amazing work for more than 70 years.
The organization began as International Guiding Eyes, Inc, a program whose founding was endorsed by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) when one of their members was unable to obtain a guide dog due to his age. It was one of the first guide dog schools to be founded by a blind person, and from the start they have had a policy that prohibits age discrimination. To this day, the IAMAW is a generous supporter of GDA’s work.
In 2020, GDA merged with Tender Loving Canines (TLC), expanding their services to veterans, children with autism, and professional facilities.
The Services GDA Provides
GDA provides a full slate of services, including:
- Professional training
- Personalized instruction
- Air and ground transportation to and from the school
- Room and board for in-residence training
- Veterinary services
- Specialized guide dog harnesses and service dog vests
- Post-graduate support services
GDA breeds, raises, and thoroughly trains each dog. When puppies are 8 weeks old, they are placed with volunteer puppy raisers (sounds like a dream job to us!), then at 18 weeks, the dogs come back to the school for their formal training.
During training, the dogs learn to respond to advanced commands as well as how to identify dangerous situations, navigate various forms of transit, and so on. Recipients of the guide dogs come to the school as well, where they are paired with a dog and then taken through their own training to acclimate to working with a guide dog.
Best of all? All of GDA’s programs are provided at no cost to the recipient.
Get Involved Through Donations or Sponsorship Opportunities
If you are as enthusiastic about what Guide Dogs of America is doing as we are, there are a couple of ways to get involved. You can give a one-time or monthly donation or sponsor a guide dog like we are! And if you happen to live in southern California near GDA’s facility, there are several volunteer opportunities you can take part in.
If you’re interested in donating or volunteering, you can find more information on GDA’s website at www.guidedogsofamerica.org.
SCS Elevator is the leading manufacturer of elevator cab braille, jamb braille, and elevator signage in North America. Whether you need specialized order fulfillment or custom products, SCS is here to help—contact us today!