The first-of-its-kind Specialized Training* program was developed to empower people with vision loss who have additional challenges. This may include individuals with gait and balance issues, cognitive challenges, and individuals who are DeafBlind. Highly customized training ensures that each team of a student and their guide dog can achieve maximum independence and mobility.

Key program elements include:

  • Two training options: (1) Residential Training for three weeks at our Yorktown campus, with opportunity for follow-up in the home area as needed; or (2) Home Training for students who are unable to leave their home area for an extended period
  • Customized ergonomic harness handles designed specifically for individuals with physical challenges, such as individuals with cerebral palsy, weak shoulder or arm muscles, or arthritic hands
  • For students who are DeafBlind, we provide Specialized Training Program Instructors who are proficient in American Sign Language, and we hire professional interpreters to expedite communication as needed
  • One-to-one or one-to-two ratio of instructor-to-student for highly individualized training

If you are interested in applying to this program, please visit the Admissions page to begin your application.

*Please note: The Specialized Training program was formerly named the Special Needs program. The name was updated in September 2018 to better reflect the type of training offered to students. The program itself has not changed.