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Continuing Education Seminar

Guiding Eyes for the Blind Graduate Continuing Education Seminar (CES)

Graduates of Guiding Eyes for the Blind will gather together April 21-23, 2017 at the beautiful Doral Arrowwood Resort in Rye, NY for a weekend of team-building and personal renewal. Sessions provide opportunities to brush up on skills and learn new ways to communicate with our dogs. Graduates, puppy raisers and sighted friends will learn from one another, dog cognition specialists and leadership and trainers from Guiding Eyes. Learn how research and new techniques keep Guiding Eyes dog teams at the head of the pack. When not in sessions, participants have time to connect in the hot tub, indoor pool or even on the golf course. Designated areas inside and out also provide space for human and canine connections.

The cost is $350.00 per person for double occupancy (shared room) or $550.00 per person single room occupancy. This cost includes all sessions, meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch and refreshments during breaks. The Day Rate is $160 for Saturday and $120 for Sunday. Lunch is included in the day rate. There are no additional costs for any GEB activities. Participants have access to all the Doral Arrowwood amenities. Space is limited so early registration is encouraged. Full refunds are available through November 15, 2016.

Learn More

We’re sorry, but we are no longer accepting new registrations,  If you are a graduate who would like to be added to the waiting list, or if you are a graduate who is already registered for the seminar and would like to register your accompanying family member, please email Becky Davidson at


If you have already registered, you may complete your registration with the appropriate link below.

Complete my double occupancy registration

Complete my single occupancy registration


Required Deposit Amount: While we prefer full registrations paid as early as possible, space may be held with a $100 per person deposit. Registration is fully refundable through November 15, 2016.

Deadlines: Registration opens Monday, May 2. Registrations must be paid in full no later than November 15, 2016. Late registration will be open after that date as space is available.

Cancellation without penalty dates: November 15, 2016.

Graduate Council, with the strong support of Guiding Eyes leadership, staff and Board of Directors, has created this first of its kind continuing education weekend. The Doral Arrowwood Resort is ideal with its extensive facilities and amenities. The location is close to Guiding Eyes campus making it easier for GEB staff to participate. Sessions serve the needs of working guide dog teams with some sessions for puppy raisers and sighted participants. Most sessions provide opportunities for all participants to work together. We hope to offer the seminar weekend every 3 years.

When is the seminar? Friday dinner through Sunday lunch, April 21, 22 and 23, 2017.

How is the weekend structured? Participants may arrive as early as 3 PM on Friday afternoon. Check-out is late morning on Sunday. Meals include Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. Refreshments during session breaks are also included. On Saturday, sessions will be held after breakfast with more class sessions after lunch. On Sunday, sessions will be held between breakfast and lunch. Evening presentations will be held Friday and Saturday evenings after dinner. There will be space set up outside and in for informal interaction among people and their dogs.

What are the available sessions?  Sessions designed for graduates include hands-on sessions to learn new skills and techniques, strengthen travel skills, address handler improvement and expand healthy bonding such as dog play, recreation and relaxation. Sessions for puppy raisers and other sighted participants include supervised cane walks, Juno walks and guide-dog walks. Visual impairment goggles and blindfolds are available for sighted participants. Round table discussions will provide grads and puppy raisers with a greater appreciation of our dogs and our different perspectives.   All participants will have their worldviews expanded with sessions in navigation technology, canine first aid, ADA accessibility, worldwide travel with guide dogs and updates from all divisions of GEB. Participants may build a full class schedule or choose to participate in only a few of the available sessions.

Registered participants may choose their sessions after January 1, 2017.


What is the cost of the Guiding Eyes Graduate Seminar?:

The cost of the all-inclusive weekend is $350.00 per person for double occupancy (shared room) or $550.00 per person single room occupancy. This cost includes registration, meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch and refreshments during session breaks in addition to the hotel room. There are no additional costs for any GEB-sponsored activities. Participants have access to Doral Arrowwood amenities. The day rate for people who live locally or who do not want to spend the night at the hotel is $160 for Saturday and $120 for Sunday. Lunch and all activities are included in the day rate.

What is the cost of transportation?

Each participant is responsible for the cost and arrangement of their own transportation to the event.

Flying in to Westchester Airport (HPN) is the best way to ensure no or low-cost ground transportation. That airport is served by American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, United and two local carriers, Cape Air and Tradewind Aviation.

What is the deadline to register for the Guiding Eyes Graduate Seminar?

Registration closes November 15, 2016 or when space is filled. We are limiting the number of people attending to ensure a good experience for this first-time ever conference. The majority of participants will be Guiding Eyes graduates.  Puppy raisers, sighted friends along with Guiding Eyes trainers and staff and Board of Director members will be part of our gathering as well.

The final day to cancel registration with a full refund is November 15, 2016. We encourage registrations as early as possible. Space may be held until November 15 with a $100 per person deposit. We encourage graduates who cannot register or make the deposit at this time to add themselves to the late registration list by contacting Becky Barnes at 914-243-2210 or emailing her at  Persons on the late registrant list will receive periodic emails regarding the number of open spots that remain. As full refunds will be issued without penalty through November 15, registration may re-open after that date. Those on the late registration list will be offered space, if available, on a first-listed-first-served basis.

What are my registration payment options?

Any registration payment will be refunded in FULL if the registration is cancelled no later than Tuesday, November 15. If we do not have sufficient registration, the event may be cancelled. As we are depending on early registrations to demonstrate significant interest in the seminar, we strongly encourage participants to pay the full cost of registration. However, a $100 deposit per person will hold space until November 15, 2016. All registrations must be paid in full by that day.

Registration is fully refundable if cancelled by November 15th, 2016.

Are there ways I can individually raise funds to help with my seminar costs?  Yes, please check back for more information which will be posted by June 1, 2016.


What happens if I am unable to attend?

Participants can get a full refund as long as they cancel their registration by November 15, 2016. Make changes to your registration by going to the “update registration” section of this site. After November 15, 2016, refunds are available only if a late registrant takes your spot.

Who is eligible to participate?

  1. Guiding Eyes graduates who are currently working with a Guiding Eyes dog or graduates who have been approved for a successor dog from GEB.
  2. The partner of a registered Guiding Eyes graduate.
  3. Current Guiding Eyes puppy raisers.
  4. Guiding Eyes staff members, Board of Directors or Sponsors.
  5. Partners of registered puppy raisers or Guiding Eyes staff members.

Why is the Grad Seminar is Important?

Every day is a training day for Guiding Eyes graduates and their guide dogs. Once working on their own, teams get to know each other better, forming tighter bonds than any non-guide dog user could imagine. But, teams can also get sloppy. Graduates may become inconsistent in their commands or corrections. Dogs may get distracted by food, by other dogs or by people. Almost always, teams work in isolation. Guide dog user online-discussions and discussions with trainers solve some problems. Rarely does a GEB graduate have an opportunity to spend extended time meeting with trainers, puppy raisers and other graduates. Rarely do puppy raisers have an opportunity to spend extending time observing and interacting with guide dog teams. Our goal for the graduate seminar is connection: with our dogs and with each other.