Student Application Process
There are three main parts to the application process:
1. The submission of a full and complete application
2. The In Home Interview
3. Selection by GDA’s Selection Committee
The Application Process: A completed written application must be submitted, along with reports from a physician and, in most cases, an Orientation & Mobility Specialist. In some cases, Guide Dogs of America consults with a physician for medical advice in evaluating a prospective student. Applicants should be at least 18 years old, but there is no upper age limit. The application requests facts on personal and family information, housing and past guide dog experience. The application asks about an individual’s financial ability to provide necessary food and medical care for the guide dog, as well as facilities for a dog and home environment.
Applicants are asked to describe the general conditions under which the dog will be working. A completed application takes three to four weeks to process. Those accepted for training usually wait four to six months before the start of training. However, if there are any special training needs, this waiting period may be as long as one year. Of completed applications received each year, about 80% are accepted for training.
Home Interview: Within a few weeks after we receive the completed application forms, an instructor will contact the applicant for a home interview. In some cases, an interview may be done over the telephone, at which time we may also request that the applicant tape a short video of his or her independent travel in the home area.
Selection Committee: All applications are evaluated and discussed by the Selection Committee, which is made up of staff from the administration, training and admissions departments.
The contact person for Admissions and Graduate Services is Patty Elizondo. To request an application packet for admission, please call (818) 833-6458, email at PAElizondo@GuideDogsofAmerica.org, or complete the information and submit the form below.
The following application is to receive general information regarding applying for a guide dog.