GDA’s ‘No Upper-Age Limit’ Policy Keeps These Three Graduates Going and Going and Going
When Guide Dogs of America was founded more than 65 years ago, one of the founding principles was that no one would be denied a guide dog from the school based on his or her age. Joseph Jones, with the help of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM&AW), founded our school and established the policy because he had been denied a guide dog from other schools due to the fact that he was “too old.” Jones was only 57.
From advocating to educating: three graduates who open doors and open minds
Students arrive at Guide Dogs of America and spend 28 days in class learning to work and live with a guide dog. All of our graduates leave GDA as ambassadors of what can be achieved with the assistance and companionship of a guide dog, returning home empowered to pursue a life filled with “the possible.” Many — simply by their actions and example — have inspired others.
It’s time to get a guide dog when…
For many of GDA’s graduates, there was an “aha moment” when they knew it was time to take the next step toward greater mobility and independence — making the switch from a white cane to a guide dog. Here, we share stories of three of our graduates about when they knew the time had come and the difference that having a guide dog has made for them in their lives.
Families share stories about the difference a guide dog makes in their loved one’s life
For many of our students, stepping away from their day-to-day life for 28 days to train with a new guide dog and live on the Guide Dogs of America campus also means leaving behind loved ones during that time. Like the students, their loved ones are filled with anticipation of what life will hold for the new team when they return home. This is especially true of graduates and their family members who are experiencing, for the first time, the newfound freedom, independence, mobility and confidence that having a guide dog adds to the life of a blind person.