In honor of October being Blindness Awareness Month, the Oakland County Blog is featuring Leader Dogs for the Blind, and their tips on how to interact with guide dogs.
The number of people who are blind or visually impaired continues to grow. Worldwide 285,000,000 are visually impaired and only 10 percent of people with vision loss travel independently with a cane or a guide dog.
At Leader Dogs for the Blind, our mission is empowering people who are blind or visually impaired with lifelong skills for safe and independent daily travel. We serve clients from all over and we have clients here in Oakland County. We want to share with you what to do when you meet a Leader Dog.
The Leader Dogs for the Blind headquarters, located in Rochester Hills, is putting the final touches on a $14.5 million renovation – a new state-of-the-art Canine Development Center.
Prior to the renovation, portions of the kennel dated back to the 1960’s, proving insufficient for the needs of today. It took three years of planning before the organization broke ground on the renovation in August of 2014.
The Leader Dogs for the Blind success story began in 1939, when it was founded by three Detroit-area Lions Club members. They began their new venture on a small, leased farm in Rochester Hills, Michigan and that’s where they remain today. Since the late 1930s, they have helped 14,000 clients. Almost 300 clients are served each year and more than 1,000 volunteers are involved with their services. The mission of Leader Dogs for the Blind is to empower people who are blind or visually impaired with lifelong skills for safe and independent daily travel. Leader dogs give clients the opportunity to venture out and become more independent in a world where travel has become increasingly complex. With several programs available, Leader Dogs is able to offer training that is personalized to each client’s individual needs. Continue reading