Admissions FAQ

Q. How long must an applicant wait after applying, before he will be enrolled in a class for training?
Q. Can persons of any age have a guide dog?
Q. Is the guide dog user (graduate) given ownership of the dog?
Q. How much does it cost to get a guide dog?
Q. Must an individual be totally blind to receive a guide dog or can they have some vision?
Q. How long does an individual stay at the school to train and receive instructions with their new guide dog?
Q. Do graduates receive any support from Guide Dogs of America once they have completed their 28 days of instruction at the school?
Q. Are graduates given priority when getting a new dog?

Q: How long must an applicant wait after applying, before he will be enrolled in a class for training?
A. Processing of an applicant (i.e. home interview, agency and personal references, medical report) usually requires 4-6 weeks to accomplish. Placement in class following final acceptance by the Selection Committee, may take as long as 4-6 months. Graduates, who are returning to train with another dog (retrains) are given priority, as such replacement is vital to them in order to continue with their lifestyle. Classes are limited to 10 students.

Q: Can persons of any age have a guide dog?
A. The school will consider for training any legally blind adult who can use a guide dog safely and effectively, but the minimum age is sixteen. There is no upper age limit.

Q: Is the guide dog user (graduate) given ownership of the dog?
A. Yes. Immediately upon successful completion of the required training program, the student is given title and ownership to the guide dog. Each new owner agrees to treat his or her dog with kindness, to feed and shelter it, and to provide veterinary care. Students agree to use their dogs in the manner taught by Guide Dogs of America.

Q: How much does it cost to get a guide dog?
A. Nothing. We provide our guide dogs free of charge to blind and visually impaired men and women.

Q: Must an individual be totally blind to receive a guide dog or can they have some vision?
A. No, individuals with severe visual impairment may receive a guide dog. Many forms of visual impairment allow the person to see some light or some of their field of vision, but they are considered legally blind. A person must be legally blind to be eligible for our program. The definition of legal blindness is “… central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens, or an eye which is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees…”.

Q: How long does an individual stay at the school to train and receive instructions
with their new guide dog?

A. First time Guide Dogs of America guide dog recipients must stay a full 28 days. Individuals receiving their second guide dog from us after their first dog retires can stay for the full 28 days or leave after 21 days if they are ready.

Q: Do graduates receive any support from Guide Dogs of America once they have completed their 28 days of instruction at the school?
A. Yes! The team continues to receive support and follow up care for the life of the team.

Q: Are graduates given priority when getting a new dog?
A. Yes. Guide Dogs of America gives priority to current guide dog users to provide as little interruption as possible in the life-style and mobility that they are currently enjoying.

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